Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   General Discussion (
-   -   Shooting a wedding (

peterbj7 Mar 2, 2011 11:30 PM

Shooting a wedding
I might have asked something along these lines before.....

On POTN I asked what lenses should be taken to a wedding (to shoot it officially). Everyone is saying that all lenses need to be f2.8 or wider and that it's completely unacceptable to turn up for a paid wedding engagement with anything slower. Yet I'm sure I've heard here of (semi)pros who use slower lenses, presumably quite successfully.

What do people here think? If push comes to shove I could get a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 to augment my Canon 24-105 f4.0 and other lenses. That's to be used on a FF camera. My backup is 1.6 crop and I don't propose buying a second f2.8 lens for that (native lens is 15-85 variable f# starting at f3.5, but I'd transfer whatever I used on FF over). I shall have an assistant with a 24-105 on a FF camera - she also doesn't have anything faster.

A friend has a Canon 24-70 but I don't think I can ask to borrow it as she was specifically passed over for this wedding. In Belize I can't rent lenses.

Photo 5 Mar 2, 2011 11:47 PM

Check with Mark (one of the moderators) as he is a wedding pro and he will be able to give you whatever lens info etc your using. But one thing I will add is if you have to ask about your gear and if it is good enough to shoot a wedding and stuff like that especially since your going to be paid then you need to take a step back and ask yourself this have I shoot weddings before and am I good enough to do this. Weddings are one of the hardest things to shoot and if your questioning yourself and your gear you may not be in position to provide the pro shoots your client is looking for......... With a wedding you only get one chance to get the pictures and your gear needs to be the best you can afford with full backups and backed up with plenty of skill.......


I may not have said that right but hope you understand what I mean.

peterbj7 Mar 2, 2011 11:58 PM

I've been asked to do it BECAUSE I'm not a pro and have never shot a wedding before. Sounds a bit perverse but it's true. Several pro wedding photographers in the area have been deliberately passed over. Not really sure why, but I've made it very clear that I've never done it before and don't necessarily have the best gear for it, and they repeated the request.

SOooo - I'm just asking the technical question:- will lenses slower than f2.8 be acceptable, or should I really blow my budget and get another lens?

Photo 5 Mar 3, 2011 12:23 AM

Ok thanks for clearing that up.

I will tell you that I have shoot 5 weddings in my lifetime. I am not a wedding pro did them as favors and after being bagged. I am a newspaper/ fire-rescue photographer by trade. And from my experience with th two weddings I shot with a Sony D-SLR when you get into the reception with the low lights and fast dancing you really need a fast lens. I found for the entire reception of both weddings I used the 50-150 f/2.8 the entire time. A 28-300mm f 35.-6.3 just didn't cut it but worked very well for the church part of the day. So I would say in my limited experience with D-DSL (I had two bodies used them for about 18months and they broke down on me so I moved on to the Fuji HS10 which works 1000% better for me) you will want a fast zoom lens of some sort be it f/2.8 or f/2 for the reception part when the light gets turned down low for dancing etc.

Sorry I can't be more help


Photo 5 Mar 3, 2011 12:24 AM

And... congrads on being picked over the pros for the job. I hope whatever you decide to do you get a lot of good pictures and the couple is happy with your work and if you want it to that it leads you to more work.


peterbj7 Mar 3, 2011 12:47 AM

I'm moving more and more towards getting an f2.8, and for economic (and other reasons) I'm considering the Tamron 28-75. Using it on my main FF camera will make sense, though I'm still afraid that I'll be wanting longer focal lengths than that (and I won't be buying the Canon 70-200 f2.8 any time soon). But if my FF camera packs up and I have to use my cropped one I'll end up effectively with 45-120, a bit light on the wide end. Whilst my 24-105 will do virtually everything the wedding has to throw at me, without changing lenses.

Other than perhaps for close-ups of the ring I can't see that I'll be wanting the shallow DoF that f2.8 will give. And my cameras are both excellent at high ISO. So even ignoring cost considerations I'm still not convinced of the need for f2.8.

peripatetic Mar 3, 2011 2:30 AM

Plenty of people shoot weddings with the 24-105L.

A much better investment IMO than a 24-70 f2.8 is to purchase the "Masters of Wedding Photography" DVDs, and a couple of books on wedding photography to get a good idea of how you might adapt your personal style to a wedding.

peterbj7 Mar 3, 2011 9:24 AM

Thanks. No-one on POTN uses a 24-105, apparently.

My abilities may or may not be adequate, we'll see. I've been at this photography game for quite a while and I don't feel too worried.

But I've been concerned at so many people on the POTN board, everyone in fact, saying that without f2.8 lenses I shouldn't even consider doing a wedding. The implication is that it won't work and I'll end up disappointing everyone.

On a more specific point. I've read of countless problems with Canon's 24-70, with some people saying they've had four or five copies before they got one that worked properly. Even if I were prepared to stump up so much money that would worry me. Tamron's 28-75 is 40% of the cost, appears to perform at least as well, and the "bad copy" rate seems to be greatly lower. Anyone any views?

iowa_jim Mar 3, 2011 9:31 AM

I've been wrestling with such decisions for awhile now, as I prep for a nephew's wedding in May. One consideration for me was that many of the shots will be taken at smaller f-stops because of the needed for greater DOF. Additionally, one stop can help but will probably not make enough of a difference in most situations, requiring the use of a shoe-mounted flash anyway. I went for the 24-105 and have been practicing my flash technique. Flash technique is much more involved than I anticipated.

peripatetic Mar 3, 2011 10:16 AM


Originally Posted by peterbj7 (Post 1205617)
But I've been concerned at so many people on the POTN board, everyone in fact, saying that without f2.8 lenses I shouldn't even consider doing a wedding. The implication is that it won't work and I'll end up disappointing everyone.

You need to decide whether you need f2.8 shots in the 24-70 range. Maybe no-one on POTN uses anything else, but that can be a self-selecting group.

You know what the difference between f2.8 and f4 is. If you can't tell that they are talking nonsense...

Why not just rent one for the day? It's a cheap way of figuring out whether you really need it or not.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:09 AM.