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Old Jan 26, 2009, 11:32 AM   #1
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A friend is getting married and has asked me to take her Wedding Dress photos for her prior to the Wedding.

I'm not searching for advice on the close-up shots, nor on the far away stuff.

But which lens would be best to shoot a portrait (not landscape) mode of a bride and her entire wedding dress plus a bit of background?

Here's what's in my bag. If it's not in my bag, tell me that too.







Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xsi (12 megapixel DSLR)

18 - 55 EFS Canon IS lens 3.5 - 5.6

70 - 200 APO EX DG Macro Sigma F2.8 II

28 - 135 EF Canon 3.5 - 5.6

50 mm Canon EF 1.8

430 EX Flash


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Old Jan 26, 2009, 12:07 PM   #2
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FaithfulPastor wrote:
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Here's what's in my bag...
-> EF 28-135 or EF-S 18-55


Quote:
... If it's not in my bag, tell me that too.
Sigma 30mm f/1.4, EF 28mm f/1.8 (or 35mm f/1.4L but $$$...)
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Old Jan 26, 2009, 5:28 PM   #3
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As a follow up, sort of.....

Can you describe the difference I'd see in shooting a close up with a 50mm 1.8 lens, vs. 50 mm 1.2 lens?

I just don't know how much depth of field difference I'll see between the two. I imagine it's alot, but I don't know.


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Old Jan 26, 2009, 6:27 PM   #4
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FaithfulPastor wrote:
Quote:
As a follow up, sort of.....

Can you describe the difference I'd see in shooting a close up with a 50mm 1.8 lens, vs. 50 mm 1.2 lens?

I just don't know how much depth of field difference I'll see between the two. I imagine it's alot, but I don't know.

DOF is going to be very narrow with the 1.2, I would probably be shooting at f5.6 or narrower for this sort of shot so having a really bright lens is not going to help out here.
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Old Jan 26, 2009, 10:14 PM   #5
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FaithfulPastor wrote:
Quote:
I just don't know how much depth of field difference I'll see between the two. I imagine it's alot, but I don't know.
You can tell by this - It's not a lot: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Like Mark1616 said theses lenses are not at their sharpest when shot wide open, further more in low-light they tend to be at their worst as the MTF's is a function of contrast... I ususally shoot outdoor with wide aperture (and it goes for all lenses)

Most likely you'll get the best result indoor with your 430EX with the aperture closed down a bit
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 2:51 AM   #6
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There is quite a big difference in DOF betwen the two 50s. But I agree, in general you are not going to want to be shooting that wide for this application.

Better to use flash and a smaller aperture.
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 8:19 AM   #7
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peripatetic

I guess it's all relative to the distance; However, for capturing a bride with her entire wedding dress one must be at least 15ft away with a 50mm to allow for proper centering in the composition which leave the DOF @:
f/1.2 = 14.4 to 15.6 ft
f/1.8 = 14.1 to 16ft (and this is what I meant by not a lot)

-> and why a ~30mm focal lenght makes a better sense (i.e. 50mm on a cropped camera)
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 7:59 PM   #8
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Okay, first of all, many many thanks for the depth of field calculator!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did the math (well, I just plugged in the numbers, the website did the work)

Using my Sigma 2.8f(all the way thru), 70-200 lens at 15 feet, focal length of 70 my depth of field is : 14.3 - 15.8 or to make up a term, there's 1.5 feet of everything in focus. (15.8-14.3=1.5)

Using my Canon 1.8 50mm at 15 feet (fixed focal length of 50) again at 15 feet, my depth of field is 14.1 - 16, again using my made up term, there's 1.9 feet of everything in focus.

So I think that the Sigma is going to be just a bit sharper because the sigma has only 1.5 feet of focused objects vs. the 1.9 feet of focused objects.

Now the questions. Assuming my math is right, first am I interpreting the data correctly?

Second, again, assuming my math is right, there may be a different reason to choose the Canon 50mm 1.8. If so, what is it? I'm using center dot focusing on the bride's face.

Thanks for sharing your years of experience with me, the resident hack photographer.
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 8:06 PM   #9
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Don't forget the DOF is only when used at those settings, and also when wide open the lens is usually a little softer so stop it down a little as this will give you more DOF and also better sharpness.
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 8:07 PM   #10
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But 50mm at 15 feet isn't the same field of view as 70mm at 15 feet. That's the problem with your math. You'd have two different types of framing.
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