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Old Jun 4, 2011, 9:08 PM   #1
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Default Best lenses for 50D, portrait and weddings....?

My wife is starting to do more portrait photography, and usually has 2-5 shoots a week. She shoots babies, kids, teenagers, engagement, families and some people are requesting her to do their weddings. She doesn't like to use artificial lighting or flash if she doesn't have to (which I guess means we have to get faster and more expensive lenses).

She has a 50D and 30D and She LOVES her 50mm 1.4. She swears that the prime lens is the best way to go.

We have the following lenses and she doesn't like ANYTHING like her 50.

Canon 28-135 3.5-5.6 IS USM (this lens was a HUGE disappointment)
Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 HSM (soft and inconsistant, slow focusing)
Sigma 18-125 3.5-5.6 DC (Like the lens for walk around, but probably not good enough)

I was looking into the 24-70 an 24-105 L offerings, but since this is a cropped body, it is looking like the Canon 17-55 2.8 IS USM EF-S might be the BEST zoom for doing the weddings and having some range as well as being good under low light. The problem is that you are almost paying the "L-lens" price, but not getting the magnesium housing and build quality, but every review I read is very very good.

The other lens we were looking at is the Canon 85mm 1.8.

I am kind of thinking these 2 lenses would be a great addition, and selling the sigma 17-70, the canon 28-135 and maybe the sigma 18-125 (although I will probably just keep that one).

That would make the main lenses she uses
Canon 50mm 1.4
Canon 85mm 1.8
Canon 17-55mm 2.8

Is my line of thinking on track, or are there some really really good 3rd party options (since we are on a tight budget) like Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina, etc....

Also, agree with the canon 17-55mm over the 24-70 L with a 50D?

TIA
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Old Jun 4, 2011, 9:42 PM   #2
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the 24-70L is a great lens, but it is a little tight is she is good a group shot of the family. Not sure she will have enough room to backup in a indoor venue sometimes, but at 70mm on the long end, it make getting some candid moments with aps-c.

So it is a tough call, but you are not loosing much with the 17-55, it is a very nice lens, almost L lens in performance.

No way to get around the flash thing for indoor stuff at a wedding, 2.8 is not fast enough when they dim the lights for dancing.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 12:53 AM   #3
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For a crop body Shoturtle is right about the 17-55. It's reported that were it not for the EF-S it would be an L. I have the 15-85 F3.5-F5.6 for my 60D which is very close to the 17-55 in rating and quite like it as I wanted the expanded view. I've gotten excellent sharp shots with this lens that left me speechless. If I had a full frame, I'd probably go with the 24-105L as my walk around and use the 16-35 L for wider shots....but sadly, I don't have that lens OR a full frame.

My lenses are the 15-85 USM IS, the 70-200 F4 L USM IS, the 50 1.8 and the 24-70 L f2.8...I also had the 28-135 for a brief time but didn't like it much myself. I don't regret returning it and getting something different.

I was hesitant on the 24-70 because I like having the security (imagined or otherwise) of the IS in a lens. However, the F2.8 and lack of this in my longer range lenses coupled with dwindling supply of canon stock persuaded me along with seeing the quality generated by the 70-200 (I now have L-itis). I actually love it. The sharpness is superb and the photos I've taken with it of other peoples kids has been well received. However, shoturtle is right about the crop factor and this would be a constant consideration in determining positioning when doing a wedding.....a little different for candid shots (like I do) where movement is more fluid.

For a crop body many people recommend the 17-55 over an 'L' because of the expanded range offered and its L like performance. Why don't you rent both try them out and then you'd have a feel for what works best as well as a direct comparison.
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Last edited by Shutterbug74; Jun 5, 2011 at 1:08 AM.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 1:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutterbug74 View Post
For a crop body Shoturtle is right about the 17-55. It's reported that were it not for the EF-S it would be an L. I have the 15-85 F3.5-F5.6 for my 60D which is very close to the 17-55 in rating and quite like it as I wanted the expanded view. I've gotten excellent sharp shots with this lens that left me speechless. If I had a full frame, I'd probably go with the 24-105L as my walk around and use the 16-35 L for wider shots....but sadly, I don't have that lens OR a full frame.

My lenses are the 15-85 USM IS, the 70-200 F4 L USM IS, the 50 1.8 and the 24-70 L f2.8...I also had the 28-135 for a brief time but didn't like it much myself. I don't regret returning it and getting something different.

I was hesitant on the 24-70 because I like having the security (imagined or otherwise) of the IS in a lens. However, the F2.8 and lack of this in my longer range lenses coupled with dwindling supply of canon stock persuaded me along with seeing the quality generated by the 70-200 (I now have L-itis). I actually love it. The sharpness is superb and the photos I've taken with it of other peoples kids has been well received. However, shoturtle is right about the crop factor and this would be a constant consideration in determining positioning when doing a wedding.....a little different for candid shots (like I do) where movement is more fluid.

For a crop body many people recommend the 17-55 over an 'L' because of the expanded range offered and its L like performance. Why don't you rent both try them out and then you'd have a feel for what works best.
great info guys!

how would you compare your 15-85 to the 17-55? The 15-85 looks much cheaper and has a better range, but only goes down to 3.5.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 1:10 AM   #5
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go with the faster lens for wedding. The 15-85 is a very good lens, but indoors it is a bit dark. And will require a good flash. And the 2.8 will allow her to get some good shallow dof shots to make things more intermit.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 1:20 AM   #6
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I bought the 24-105L for a wedding shoot. Image quality is excellent, and the zoom range was perfect for almost everything, including shots from the back of the church. The only time I needed a wider lens was for shooting candids at the reception, i.e. people at their tables, and even then my 18-55 wasn't wide enough (T2i).

The 17-55 is a highly regarded lens, and runs about the same price as the 24-105. It lacks weather-sealing, and I've seen a few comments about it collecting dust on the inside. Given my overall objectives, that was a concern. For interior work only, perhaps that is not a concern for everyone.

The current version of the 24-70 lacks IS, again giving the nod to the 24-105.

The only shots I blew at the wedding were when the participants were walking in the aisle. They moved faster than expected, and I needed a faster shutter speed to stop their motion. I didn't have the flash mounted at the time, as I didn't need it prior to the procession. An extra stop, at 2.8 rather than 4, would not have been enough to make the difference.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 1:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
go with the faster lens for wedding. The 15-85 is a very good lens, but indoors it is a bit dark. And will require a good flash. And the 2.8 will allow her to get some good shallow dof shots to make things more intermit.

I just meant that if the 17-55 is as good (which I know it is reported to be even better) then the 15-85 for which I shoot with, then they couldn't go wrong with that choice. I've never shot with the 17-55 and can only relay what I've read on it. Having the F2.8, I agree, would absolutely be an advantage over the F3.5 given the type of photography she'll be doing and the 17-55 would provide opportunity for wider shots of the wedding party, etc.
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Last edited by Shutterbug74; Jun 5, 2011 at 1:32 AM.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 1:26 AM   #8
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all lens collect dust. the 100-400L is noted for that also. I would not pay to much mind to the dust comments. As that is normal for all lenses. I have gotten dust in allot of my primes.

But I would go with shutterbugs suggestion. Rent both and see which works better for her. Some like wider, some like long.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 1:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
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great info guys!

how would you compare your 15-85 to the 17-55? The 15-85 looks much cheaper and has a better range, but only goes down to 3.5.

I really like the 15-85 because I use it outdoors with good lighting and it afforded me the wider view plus the range I wanted over the 17-55. So the F2.8 wasn't as important to me because indoors I could use the flash if needed. But with natural light coming in, I received outstanding shots from it which I initially thought were done with the L lens I had at the time.....will try to post one to show you.

However, for indoor weddings where a flash isn't an option, an F2.8 or greater is a must. Many photographers I know shooting weddings use the 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 (as the 1.4 L is a bit beyond their budget for the time being).

I ended up buying the 24-70 because I wanted the constant 2.8 although for my purposes I could've gone without it and not have it be a hindrance since I'm not professionally out shooting except for the occasional family portraits.
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Olympus E-PL5 45mm 1.8, 60mm macro and Panny 25mm 1.4

Canon 5D III
50mm 1.2 L l 24-70 F2.8 L l 70-200 F4 L l 40mm 2.8 l 100mmL 2.8 macro

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alainn...39490172728282
http://alainnbellephotography.smugmug.com/

Last edited by Shutterbug74; Jun 5, 2011 at 1:49 AM.
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 1:40 AM   #10
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I tried to upload the photo of my nephew but I'd have to resize it and at the moment I don't have time on my side. However, here is the link of it on Flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alainnp...in/photostream

I did soften his face slightly and barely had to sharpen his eyes. It was shot with natural light and is in pretty close to 'as is' so the need for the 2.8 wasn't an issue. When I uploaded it I thought I had it shot with the 70-200 because of the quality so I was pleasantly surprised too see that it was with the 15-85. The 17-55 is reported to have this and perhaps even better IQ and you have the F2.8 needed.

I still think renting the 17-55 and the 24-70 would afford you the chance to see a side by side comparison on your own laptop and then you can decide what works for your needs and then you aren't wasting money on a lens which might not be what you expect.
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Canon 5D III
50mm 1.2 L l 24-70 F2.8 L l 70-200 F4 L l 40mm 2.8 l 100mmL 2.8 macro

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alainn...39490172728282
http://alainnbellephotography.smugmug.com/
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