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Old Jul 19, 2008, 10:17 AM   #11
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The range from 17-135 is where you need to be. Low light shooting will be a part of it and All auto that will function in the low light level is a plus. A 17-70 with around a 2.8 f/stop would be great. I would want the FA 50 1:4 for the really low light stuff as well. But even better than that is educate your relatives to understand and accept NO as an answer. I've done many weddings for my relatives in the past but they won't ask now as I've made them realise I will not shoot their weddings any more. Well not as the primary photog anyway!
I do wish you luck and hope things work for you. Just be aware that no matter how well you do someone will not like your photos. There has always been one or two that really hated mine. That's life and reality for a wedding photographer! LOL Don't get me wrong..It can be fun....But it will also have a down side to it most times. Just be prepared to accept both as natural.

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Old Jul 20, 2008, 8:30 PM   #12
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Saw this thread late as I was gone for the last week visiting my grandson. You might consider renting a lens or two. I had planned to rent the 50mm from cameralensrental.com, but wasn't sure I could get it "in-hand" before I was scheduled to fly out. I have been interested in this lens (plus the DA*50-135) for quite a while, but wanted to try them first. I took about 800 pics last week, and at least 60% of them were inside (including a children's "hands-on" museum - no flash), and Ifound myself wishing for the faster, better lens (I was using the18-55mm kit lens). The kit lens does a nice enough job, and I got several outstanding shots of my grandson, but I told my lovely "keeper of the checkbook", that I planned to go ahead and buy the 50mm this week. She said...."get what you want". Now, after 40 years of marriage, I know that isn't exactly what she meant. :roll:

Anyway, good luck with your wedding shots, and possibly think about renting the lens you need.
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Old Jul 21, 2008, 5:33 PM   #13
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Last December I shot at my brother's wedding in a supplemental capacity. The 50mm 1.4, as others have said, is excellent for the job, best deal for the money, etc. Definitely not the only tool you'd want to have if the wedding is all on you, but exceptionally useful all the same. First, the low aperture is vital in low light: in the church fellowship hall and the front entrance, the light wasn't quite enough to get good exposures at 1/60 s or so at apertures of f3.2 and greater. Having that space from f1.4 to f3.2 totally made it happen. Mind, if you do go all the way to 1.4, that lens will be a little soft. Second, people love shallow dof portrait shots: laughter, smiling, goofing, etc. I heard later that some were saying they loved how I got the shot to look blurry in the background, "I love that kinda picture", etc., along with some disappointment that the hired photographer didn't have any turn out like that. I'm sure the grapes would have been much sourer if I were the principle photographer, but still, the low f lenses like the 50mm will impress.

Inside the church, however, there wasn't much I could do - or anyone without a flash for that matter (which, other than onboard, i own none). The area was very dimly lit and the light sources were from yellow lights hanging down from the ceiling way up high. You could be doing ISO 1600, f1.4 and 1/30 second and you'd just be getting orangy shots with high noon shadows all over the place. The woman hired for the shooting had some flashes and diffusing items to alleviate this, but nothing I thought too fancy or extravagantly expensive. I never saw her shots, but if this is your situation, getting good photos will not be a trivial challenge.

I would say with limited equipment and the wedding party having no other options (and you are willing), make clear your limitations (i.e., tell them what shots and where they will NOT be able to get), bring a lot of stamina, and exert as much leadership/planning as you can muster to get people to go where you need to obtain the frameable group/combo photos they will want to have. Good luck and hope it works out!


Oh, and definitely case the venue in advance if you can, with plenty of practice photos so you will know yourself what to expect.

Oh, and another thought. If your brother is just being cheap as you say, and you feel that substantial disappointment will be eminent, then the person you really need to be straight up with is the soon to be wife, as it may well be from the bridal side that you'll take most of the hell. Hope it goes well!
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Old Jul 25, 2008, 11:16 AM   #14
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Thank-you everyone for the great advice.
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