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Old Apr 30, 2011, 1:19 PM   #1
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Hello all, my name is Troy and Im a newbie to big boy cameras. I recently purchased a new Canon EOS Rebel XS and Im trying not to bang my head against the wall. I have always loved taking photos and have had many compliments. Im getting ready to shoot a wedding for a family member (free) and have been learning that its better to shoot people with a bigger lens. I haven't yet purchased the upgrade lens for my camera and was given a loaner lens to try. Its a 80-200mm that came off of a 35mm camera (not digital). Can I use it on my digital Rebel XS? Are there pros and cons to using this lens on my camera? I have attached it and it seems to auto focus correctly but I'm just learning so any advice would be appreciated. I'm waiting to receive my Canon EOS Rebel XS For Dummies book in the mail, hopefully it will help me move forward. Thank you in advance.

Troy
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Old Apr 30, 2011, 1:34 PM   #2
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Hey Troy. Welcome to Steve's.

A Wedding, huh? I'd tell them no and run the other way. ;-)

Is this an Canon EF mount lens that was used on an EOS film camera? If not (and it's an Canon FD mount manual focus lens), it's not going to work.

I'd give very specific information on the exact lens model you're asking about. Your best bet would be to ask about lenses in our Canon Lenses Forum. Here's a direct link to it:

Canon Lenses

But, what you need is going to vary by venue (where you can shoot from, how much room you have to back up, etc.). Chances are, you're going to need a wider lens, as well as a good external flash (not to mention a backup camera body, lenses and flashes in case something breaks, as tends to happen when you least expect it). Lots of experience shooting that type of thing would also help (unless you want to make enemies of family members if photos don't turn out well). You only get one chance at a wedding to get it right, and even very experienced photographers can make mistakes. ; -)
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Old Apr 30, 2011, 2:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Hey Troy. Welcome to Steve's.

A Wedding, huh? I'd tell them no and run the other way. ;-)

Is this an Canon EF mount lens that was used on an EOS film camera?



But, what you need is going to vary by venue (where you can shoot from, how much room you have to back up, etc.). Chances are, you're going to need a wider lens, as well as a good external flash (not to mention a backup camera body, lenses and flashes in case something breaks, as tends to happen when you least expect it). Lots of experience shooting that type of thing would also help (unless you want to make enemies of family members if photos don't turn out well). You only get one chance at a wedding to get it right, and even very experienced photographers can make mistakes. ; -)
Yes it is a EF 80-200mm It seems to focus alright. I tried it outside on the dog and it seemed to work alright but then again I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing which is why I asked. I didn't know if it was going to cause a problem later when I tried to work with the photos.

I know exactly what your saying about the wedding. I'm not trying to be something I'm not and I am a little worried about things going right as the time will be rushed probably. Our wedding was on a tight budget so when a family friend volunteered to take them for free we said heck yeah, but they sucked. She had a nice camera but wouldn't have done a decent job with a point and shoot. They know I am not a pro but they have seen our family photos that I took on a tripod with a point and shoot self timer. I bought a 16gig card, going to pre charge the battery and take the point and shoot for back up. I told them I would put all the photos on a disc so they could do what they wanted with them. I'm shooting some prom kids this evening as well for free. Just trying to get some experience. If you still think I should post this question in the other spot I will and thanks for your advice.
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Old Apr 30, 2011, 3:30 PM   #4
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Troy - you'll definitely want to get a wider lens for group shots, etc. Just as an ecouragement, as long as they know that they are getting what they pay for, you might turn out some nice pics. Back in 2005, I took pictures as a back up at my brother-in-laws wedding in Moscow, Russia (not Idaho). The main photographer was using a film camera only. I had a 6 MP Pentax DSLR with the kit lens (18-55mm) and an inexpensive older Pentax AF 70-300mm zoom. Some of the pictures I took weren't real great, but others were their favorites of all of the pictures from the wedding. In fact, I just modified some for them in photoshop with B&W effects. You might just surprise yourself and them. Of course, there's really not much pressure when you're a back up rather than the main/paid photog.
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Old Apr 30, 2011, 4:43 PM   #5
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My suggestion would still be to run the other way. ;-)

Look... even if that is a good lens (doubtful, and you didn't give any specifics about it other than the focal range from wide to long), and it's actually relatively bright (and you can tell that from the specs on the front of the lens where you'll see the aperture range supported) and able to focus in the venue the wedding is being held in (dimmer lenses will have more problems focusing indoors), it's probably too long for most purposes anyway. So, hopefully, you've got some other lenses to use with it.

I'd suggest starting a new thread (perhaps in our General Discussion Forum) to get some suggestions (or read through some of the many existing threads, as this subject comes up on a regular basis).

But, even if you have great gear (lenses, external flashes, etc.), skill level using it is very important. Taking a photo of a dog in good light is one thing. Taking photos in a dimly lit church is something else entirely, and you'll also need good people skills to organize the posed shots.

Do you have a good external flash and know how to get the best from it? Any problems with using a flash in the venue the wedding will be held in?

I'd check with the minister, as flash may not even be allowed, meaning you'll need a very bright lens and higher ISO speeds, combined with experiencr timing your shots to get any keepers that are not blurry if the wedding is indoors.

Here's one article that's better than most on the subject (note that it's 6 pages, so keep reading after you finish the first page):

http://www.rokkorfiles.com/Wedding101-page1.html

You seem to be under the impression that because you got good photos with a point and shoot camera that your new dSLR will be better.

Unless you know how to use it (and that takes practice in the same conditions you'll be shooting in), the opposite is often the case (a higher skill level will be needed to get good photos with a dSLR in many conditions).

Your depth of field will be much shallower with a dSLR, so focus point is more critical. Many users are under the impression that all they need is a better camera to take better photos. It doesn't work that way. ;-)

Given that it sounds like you just got this camera and have very little experience with it, I think trying to use it to take photos of a wedding is probably a very bad idea if you're the only photographer that's going to be shooting it..

I'd start a new thread and get some tips from users if you insist on going through with it.

But, I'd also make sure there are lots of other people at the wedding taking photos, too. That way, perhaps they'll be more likely to get some keepers if your efforts don't work out as well as you intend them to.
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Old Apr 30, 2011, 5:07 PM   #6
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Jim's advice is good. I was a back up, not the main photographer, so I had no pressure. Good luck whatever you end up doing.
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Old May 5, 2011, 6:48 PM   #7
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For some reason I'm not getting notified of replies to this thread even though it says I'm subscribed
I hear what your saying Jim. I'm not implying I'm an ace either just because I get great shots with a point and shoot. I have been the shutter bug in our home for a very long time and I am no slouch when it comes to taking pictures. I'm not under any false impressions and I know I'm in over my head with this camera. My wife on the other hand thinks because its a lot better camera that my shots are going to be just awesome. Well...they're not. That is why I'm asking questions from you.
I have been taking your advice serious since you first said it and I have even mentioned to my wife (whose family it is getting married) that maybe I shouldn't be the one taking photos. I mentioned some of the horror stories about family and friends never talking to each other again over wedding photos and all I get back is that they are not like that. Which worries the heck outta me because I am a perfectionist with my construction business and anything else I do so I want it to be perfect. I took some great shots outside of our boxer, but like you mentioned there was a lot of light to work with. I went to the prom thing and it was inside with people everywhere taking photos with smaller cameras up closer and the lighting wasn't as good so most of my photos sucked. In the construction realm I have preached for years that you cannot shortcut experience, and that goes without saying here as I'm sure you will agree. So even though I tried to back out and its two weeks away it looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet.
Back to the lens. The only numbers on it; around the lens: EF 80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6 2(roman numeral 2) a circle with a line through it next to 52mm, the macro flower has 1.5m/4.9ft that's it.
I have the kit lens that came with it EFS18-55mm. I was reading that it was better to shoot people with around 70-80mm and zoom in but the 80-200 I have seems like its too much whereas the smaller (wider?) 18-55mm seemed too far away. Its too late to back out now and I wish I could. I'll probably be screwed. But, I will try. If I could take them outside I would feel much more confident but I know that's probably not going to help me during the ceremony. As far as the flash goes all I have is the one on the camera.
Thanks for the advice and I am trying to apply it. I know that at this point if I back out they ARE going to be mad at me.
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Old May 5, 2011, 7:19 PM   #8
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You may want to check your e-mail's junk/spam folders to make sure any e-mail from us isn't being deposited there. That's the usual cause for missed notifications when replies are made.

The first lens sounds like an f/4.5-5.6 zoom (very dim, and probably questionable quality when used at wider apertures). It's probably too long to do a lot of good in closer quarters, too. The 18-55mm kit lens is about the same brightness (dim), and I'd probably use it for most shots, using your feet for zoom to get closer when you can. No external flash with dim lenses is not a good combo.

Frankly, and others may disagree with me, but given you have a new camera you haven't practiced a lot with yet to get a better understanding of it's behavior in different conditions, with no external flash, and will be using lenses that are not ideal for that type of shooting, I'd use the camera's Auto mode and let it make the decisions if you can't get out of taking the photos. Hopefully, you can at least use the built in flash (as you'll need it with lenses that dim indoors).

They may not come out great.. But, a camera's auto mode would probably be less likely to make serious mistakes in a fast paced environment, and that way, you should get some keepers (and I'd bring spare cameras, batteries, memory cards, etc., as failures do happen (and encourage others to shoot with their cameras, too).

I'll let others chime in with their thoughts. But, I'd also try to get some help organizing the group photos and try to figure out what posed photos you're going to want in advance (and articles like the one I linked to may help out with that part).
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 3:57 PM   #9
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Just checking back in after the wedding. It was a huge success. The link you provided was very helpful, I ended up getting a good deal on a Canon EFS 55-250mm and I went to the rehearsal and shot it just like it was the wedding. I didn't want to use flash because all I had was the one built in so most of my pictures the first night were blurry. The day of wedding I decided to speed the shutter which gave me darker photos but I was able to edit some light back into them afterwards. Everybody loved them and I actually got three more weddings from those photos, the first of which I am shooting tomorrow. I'm going to shoot the rehearsal tonight so I wanted to check this link out again for a refresher so I thought I would share how it went. Thanks again for the advice, I still tried to talk the new clients out of having me do it but they insisted I enjoy it.
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 7:57 PM   #10
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We're glad it worked out for you. But, keep in mind that the 55-250mm lens is fairly dim for anything other than good light use or with a flash if you don't want blurry photos. It sounds like you got away with using it that time by underexposing the photos and brightening them later. Just keep in mind that you'll end up with higher noise levels doing it that way, just as if you used a higher ISO speed to begin with, and dynamic range (ability to capture a larger range of bright to dark) is also negatively impacted. So, it's probably better to use a flash if possible to keep noise levels lower or get a brighter lens if you can't use a flash.

Please keep us posted on progress.
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