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Old Jan 29, 2007, 4:40 PM   #11
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wall33 wrote:
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At 6-10 feet how much DoF am I looking at with the 50mm f/1.8? My fist thought would be to have the bride in groom's faces in focus, and let everything else blur out.

I'm completly new at this type of photography, I mostly take sports pictures and have let the camera do 99% of the work. Looks like I will need to do some more reading and practicing in the next couple of days.
imo: 'dicey' @ f1.8 -> you really need f4 for weddings (the closer you get, the shallower DOF becomes)

as mentioned: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

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Old Jan 29, 2007, 6:53 PM   #12
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I don't know how things are in your area, but almost all of the weddings that I have shot, there have been two pretty strick rules. I could not get any closer than the last person seated. And of course the no flash rule, which is mostly the rule of the person performing the ceremony, try reading from a book and have someone taking flash pictures in front of you, not much fun. One thing you didn't mention, are you the official photographer, or just taking some pictures to help out? If you are the official photographer, well you should have a back up of everything. You should also find out if there is a wedding coordinator, she will be able to tell you where you can and can't go. I would also suggest that you use your tripod when ever possible. I usually have a long zoom on one body on a tripod and a short zoom on a handheld body, both lenses are f2.8 constant and are usually fast enough. When taking wider shots where you need more in focus you have to stop down anyway. A lot of the shots can be re-inacted after the ceremony so you can get close and be sure of a good shot. If you are doing the formal alter shots of the families and wedding party be sure and use your tripod for those.
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 7:06 PM   #13
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wall33 wrote:
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Unfortunately due to timing, I would only be able to go in the day before the wedding. So, not much time to make a purchase decision, or for that matter test out the new lens so that I am familiar with it....
A day before is a whole lot better than nothing: spend the time figuring things out. Of course that means you cannot spend time enjoying yourself, but you got yourself into this so carry it through.
wall33 wrote:
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... I'm positive that from what I have read, and seen samples of, the 50mm f/1.8 would do a great job with the available light.
Very likely that is the really good value, pretty much sharp as they come, about two stops faster than most everything else you have, and costs about $100. If that describes the 50mm you are looking at, get it. Even if you don't use it on this outing, you will find it useful once you figure out how and where to use it.

Borrow the 28-70 at least a week before the wedding and spend some time learning how to use it. You should attend the rehersal with it.
_____________
Cabose brings up a good point: are you the official photographer? If not, stay out of the way of whoever is.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 10:11 AM   #14
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Taken from about 50 feet away with a Pentax K100D and a 135mm f/2.8 lens at ISO800, f/2.8, 1/100s, no flash.



I'd say it can be done. This lens goes for ~$50 on ebay. The problem with this lens for your situation is that it's a prime lens (not a zoom) which means as the action gets too close, you'll lose the shot that way. However, I think f/2.8 should be fine for low light.

Russ
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 10:16 AM   #15
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No, I'm not the primary photographer, or at least I don't think so. I think my friend has asked a couple of us to take pictures, so that he does not need to spend the big bucks on for a pro. I hope we do ok.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 10:21 AM   #16
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Hey, very nice photo rfortson! I really like it. So, I gues the f2.8 may be sufficient. Maybe I should just go rent a good zoom with f/2.8 and not worry about the prime lens. I only have the one camera body anyway, so I don't want to have to be swapping lenses every five minutes to get the shot I'm looking for.

Thanks for all the input guys, I really appreciate the help!

Funny, but right now I feel like the guy that knows just enough to be dangerous, rather than the guy that knows enough to be good. Decisions, decisions, decisions...
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 10:57 AM   #17
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Hello wall33! Here is a photo taken of our Christmas program cast last December. I used the 50mm 1.8 on my Nikon D-50. I was aprox 30 ft away no flash 1/40 F 3.2 hand held. I love the lens, paid $100.00 new.

Bob

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Old Jan 30, 2007, 11:07 AM   #18
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Nice photo bhammitt. Did you need to do an PP? Was this image cropped? From 30ft with 50mm, I wouldn't have thought that you we get such a tight shot.

If anyone else has some sample photos, I would appreciate seeing them.
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 11:23 AM   #19
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Thank you Wall33! I did just a slight crop, you don't get wide shots with the 50mm, when composing the shot I had to back down a aisle till I got everyone in the photo. If you are going to be close to your subjects you will probably need at least 28mm.

Bob
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 1:49 PM   #20
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A couple of points.

1. For portraits, you don't want to get too much closer than 10 feet anyway, as you start to get distorted perspective (and big noses).

2. If DOF is too narrow at 10 feet with the 50mm (.96 ft. at f2), all you need to do is step back about 10 feet (about 4 steps), suddenly you have a 3.91 foot DOF. From 30 feet it's 8.92 feet. So if lighting is really that low that you need it, you will be able to get your shots. You might just have to crop some if you want close frames.

3. From 10 feet with the 50mm, you would be able to fill the frame in portrait mode with just two or three subjects. From 20 feet it will cover a small group. From 30 feet something like the group posted above (that may be even a bit farther). Remember, it's a 75mm equivalent. It is a telephoto lens (a short telephoto).

4. A more normal length prime , like a 28mm, as suggested by bhammitt (or maybe the Sigma 30mm f 1.4) is even more versatile. A good part of that versatility is due to DOF. A 30mm lens at f2 from 10 feet has a 2.73 foot DOF. From 40 feet at f4 it's DOF is infinite (anything more than 19 feet away will be in focus). So, you control DOF pretty thoroughly just by zooming...with your feet. You can't do this with a telephoto. With even a 100mm lens, you might have to change your subject distance by about 300 feet to have a similar effect.

5. That said, if you only have one camera, and you really don't want to be changing lenses mid ceremony, your best bet is the zoom you already have access to. But, for the value, every Nikon owner should probably have one of those 50mm f1.8 lenses anyway. As has already been suggested, pick one up used if the budget is tight. Even if you don't use it for the ceremony, you might get a chance to try it out at the reception. And, if the other amatures there are already shooting the wedding with zooms, you may even decide to go to the prime for the ceremony. You're liable to end up with the sharpest shots of the bunch.


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