after hours and hours of searching e-bay...

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by cyn14060, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. In answer to a question I posted earlier, I had several different
    respondents advise me to purchase either a 50mm F1.8, 85mm F1.8 or
    even a 100mm F.2 lens for photographing a wedding. About the only
    one I can afford right now would be the 50mm one. Since I would
    like to have something with more "zoom" for use from the back of the
    church, what would happen if I used a teleconverter along with the
    50mm lens?
  2. Misc. ramblings... A good TC will cost as much as the 100mm f/2. The Canon brand TC's won't work with any of the lenses mentioned, but some other brands will. TC's work best with long lenses, but they will work on the 50mm f/1.8. TC's always degrade image quality. I wouldn't buy one for a 50mm lens, but I have used a Kenko 1.5x TC on a Canon 50mm f/1.8 and the results were acceptable.

    If all you can afford is the 50mm f/1.8, buy it, it's a great lens. But don't use it at f/1.8. It doesn't get real sharp until about f/2.8.

    You can do weddings with a cheap slow zoom, it just doesn't work as well. So use what you've got. Wedding photography is more about capturing the event & emotion than it is about the quality of the equipment, or even the sharpness of the pictures. If the couple can't afford to hire a pro, tell them you will do your best and that's all they're gonna get.
  3. E-bay has an AF 50/1.4 for EOS for a "Buy it Now" price of $275. This is a better lens than
    the f/1.8. It will be invaluable at a wedding.

    You mentioned wanting more zoom from the back of the church. Do you have any other
    existing lens for your Canon? If you have something like a 28 to 85 zoom, just borrow a
    tripod and use that with a wide open aperture @ the 85mm setting. Use a cable release if
    you have one. A tripod and cable release will do more to improve the quality of your
    existing light, in-church shots than anything else you can do.
  4. Cynthia:

    All due're in WAY over than your ability and equipment inventory!

    Only accept a wedding engagement if you have redundant systems, and you’ve mastered ‘Light’

    Equipment failures are frequent enough…If you do not have the gear (2 bodies, 4+ lenses [Great zooms and good primes are needed at a minimum] and at least two flashes) then you should decline!

    "Light" is beastly hard to master for weddings and you've obviously not done least based on your question.

    I hope you’ve consulted the couple accordingly...

    Furthermore, it sounds as though your new to shooting weddings cause there is no way your going to be able to shoot from the back of a church with a cheap zoom or prime +TC.) Simply put…there is not enough light. Your WAY WAY off track and need to do some homework and cough up the $ for some good gear if your intending on delivering good pix!

    This is not like your normal household birthday! It's more like a nightmare! Managed properly it's a DREAM!

    I understand that this is more than likey being done for free...but it sounds like your headed for trouble. Nobody uses a 50mm + TC!!!

    Slapping a TC on a 50mm lense is like trying to put diesel fuel in a gas powered Chevy!
  5. I'd echo what Marc says. The Canon 50mm 1.4 will get great results in most lighting situations. The 1.8 although cheaper, isn't anywhere near as good. A teleconverter isn't really a good idea, as the loss in speed and quality is too great. The pro teleconversters are as expensive as getting a new lens, and they won't connect to the 50mm. You would be better off spending the money and getting a longer lens if possible. Alternatively, if you use a tripod and get some really sharp pics from the back of church, you could blow them up quite subsatntially to give the appearance of a longer lens. To do this effectively though, you need to have a perfect exposure, focus etc as any shortcomings in the shot will shout at you when enlarged. A further thought is ti get yourself in with the guests, this allows you to get closer to the action and with a 1.4 lens you should be able to get some shots.
  6. Here are some ebay auctions for Canon 100/2 lenses:

    Manual focus (Cheaper, and if you're going to use f/2 on 400
    speed film you probably won't be using autofocus anyway):

  7. B&H lists a canon 80-200 for $100, which is about the same
    price as the 50 f.18. But that 80-200 and it's slow f 5.6 aperture
    is going to create more problems than it solves. Let's go through

    Problems it solves: lets you shoot from the back of the church.
    Problems it creates: forces you to work from a tripod, or with a
    flash (which I think in one of your post you said was a popup)

    Now you aren't going to have nearly enough flash power to stand
    at the back of the church and take your pictures, so you are going
    to be force to use a tripod. Do you have a tripod? If you do,
    consider this. When the b&g are ready to walk back down the
    isle, you are going to be futzing with getting your camera off the
    tripod, and maybe even changing the lens.

    Not to mention that the image quality of that 80-200 isn't going to
    be anything nearly as nice as a 50.

    So to the point that I was originally trying to make. Take Jeff's
    advice. Use the 50 and zoom with your legs. Get amongst the
    guests. The 50 will be fast enough to handhold especially if you
    use 400 or 800 speed film. And the fast aperture will allow you to
    do things like isolate the b&g with shallow depth of field. You
    could probably do the whole wedding with the 50. There is a
    reason all 35mm cameras used to come with a 50. It's a nice
    lens, with a very shallow learning curve. It lends itself to doing all
    sorts of things. If you can't afford the 1.4 now, get the 1.8.

    Good luck.
  8. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I think you now realize that your response when asked to do the wedding should simply have been, "A wedding? I don´t have the equipment to shoot a wedding." The shot from the rear of the church, I assume the balcony or choir loft, has to be done with a tripod and cable release. That will allow you to compose and balance the scene and allow you to wait for the perfect moment when no one is moving and fire the shutter. Even at a very slow shutter speed like 1/2 or 1/4 second that should be fine. Take four or five shots to be on the safe side, bride and groom with backs to camera priest in the middle is a classic or B&G facing each other. Don´t waste too much time, though. You still have to take the camera off the tripod, remove cable release and change lenses then hurry unobtrusively down and to the front of the church for the closeups. The field of view at 100 feet with an 80mm lens would be about 30º or 30 feet wide in the viewfinder. Not a frame filling shot of only the B&G and priest but still a nice composition taking in a lot of the scene.
  9. Cynthia, I went back and read your original post. Since you're shooting this for a family member who can't afford to hire a pro, I'd say they shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Only you know what your relationship is like with this person, so you have to judge for yourself if you think they'll hold a grudge if they don't like the pics. But if they're easy going and glad to have your services, then have some fun with this opportunity. If you need the longer focal length mainly to shoot from the back of the church, your zoom could work for you if you use a tripod. Depending on what speed film you end up using your shutter speed will be a bit slow even wide open, so you'll probably want to wait until no one is moving at the altar to avoid subject blur. As other have pointed out, your next lens really should be a fast 50 for two reasons. First, it's an excellent focal length, and it's limitations will aid your composition skills. Second, it's speed will keep you away from the evils of blown-out flash. ;-) Whatever you end up using for a flash, practice with it beforehand and get some sort of diffusion for it. It will keep your flash shots from looking like everybody elses's happy snaps. Have a back up body of some sort! Borrow a P&S from a relative, if necessary, and become familiar with it. Finally, and I'll admit this is just a matter of taste, don't use the flash unless you absolutely have to. It's tough even with experience to use a flash on the fly that doesn't look cheesy, IMO. Nothing that snaps onto the top of your camera can equal God's own light, and even difficult light can produce results that usually look better than the attempt to 'fix' it with a flash.
  10. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I forgot to add to my last post, shoot everything twice. There is nothing worse than getting a well lit, well composed shot and someone has their eyes blinked closed or the groom inadvertently glanced down at the brides-maid´s cleavage. That is why you need a lot of batteries and change them frequently. People get tired of that second shot waiting for the flash to recycle. <BR>
    It is also a good idea, before firing the shutter, to open both eyes and look over the camera to see if anything inadvertently happens when you shoot or even if your flash did fire. Just don´t move the camera while doing so.
  11. I'm still pushing for the idea that you and your friends pool your money and get them a pro photographer as a wedding gift. Maybe they pro would let you tag along and learn? :)
  12. Be encouraged, if your assignment is as a favour, explain your limited skills but go ahead anyway. As for 2 bodies, 4 lense 2 flashes blah blah blah ( H...e S..T)! Wedding photography is not mysterious or difficult. Take your camera and 50mm lens and plenty of film. Shoot lots of different angles and use your feet to move into good light positions just as you can zoom with your feet (get closer). If your camera has a catastophic failure, borrow a guests cause they aint doin much with it anyway. Have FUN and delight your bride and groom with your photographic passion.
  13. I think Philip's answer is just about perfect.
  14. You don't need a telephoto for weddings. All you need is one normal lens like a 50mm
    1.8. You won't be using it at f1.8 because any knowledgeable photographer will have a
    tripod set-up to use it at f4 or so. <p>
    "zoom" with your feet. Understand also, that you don't need a zoom to take a picture of 2
    people 1/2 body shot. The Normal lens will put you back 5-6 feet for sure. As for
    pictures during the ceremony, just shoot it with a normal lens.
    I have done hundreds of weddings since 1973 with just one normal lens. I now own about
    8 cameras, 18 flash units and all kinds of lenses. But I don't really need wide angle lenses
    and telephotos. I know that I can compensate with my feet for not having these.
    During the ceremony, you will see alot of the back of their heads. Even if you see the
    sides of their faces, where is the drop in quality if you should show her full dress at the
    altar? Concentrate on using a tripod with careful releases to maintain quality, sharp
    You don't need a f1.4 lens. A f2.8 lens is plenty, and I have
    shot hundreds of weddings with an f3.5 lens. So, go figure.
  15. Seems to me you're getting conflicting advice from photographers in two generally different schools of wedding photography. The folks who are doing wedding photojournalism are suggesting a single focal length, wide aperture lens because they tend not to use flash or minimal flash, and wider apertures mean you can photograph without flash at handholdable speeds in more situations than with a slower zoom. "Traditional" photographers use more flash and are not that concerned about extremely wide apertures. No one has asked you what kind of locations you need to photograph in. I'm assuming the ceremony is in a church, but what about the reception? and the pre-ceremony location? and what time of day are we talking about for all of these locations? In your initial post, you don't mention having a separate flash. To me, you'd need one besides the built-in flash in your Rebel, even if you are going for the minimal flash look, especially if the reception is at night inside or you are doing the family photos at the altar in a dark church. If the whole wedding is outdoors in the daytime, maybe you can get away without flash. The minimal flash, photojournalism look is also something that requires photographic skill and experience, and isn't something that can be picked up instantly. You seem to be looking at the extra lens expressly for the purpose of photographing the ceremony. If so, you realize that a telephoto will get you close to the altar if you are restricted by the church, but a 50mm normal lens won't. You'll be able to get a nice overall view though. If you can't use flash during the ceremony, a tripod is necessary unless you have one of the wide aperture lenses, and even then, might be necessary, depending on how dark the church is. If you don't intend to make wedding photography your career, and just want to do a nice job for your relatives, I'd buy a separte flash before another lens. I think the lens you have is fine, and with the flash and a tripod, you can do a fine job of covering the wedding. I think a few pointers about using the equipment you have in the situations you will be photographing in is what you should be asking about.
  16. Still think a backup camera and lens is important. See if you can rent or borrow one. What if..... The camera gets dropped or malfunctions. It's happened to me and it has happened to many of us. That is why we give the advice to have a backup.
    I am a big lover of zooms. I don't own a 50mm. I don't like to "zoom with my feet" because I don't like to draw attention to myself. If I'm rushing around the room closing in on people to get a photo - they are aware of me and self concious rather than natural and expressive.
    Having said that -- if you don't have one - Do the best you can and if you continue to do this kind of work - save up and get a really good one if you want one.
    Always a good idea to look at the work of various photograpers - see what turns you on -- then ask them what they are shooting with. Above all -- Read all the very helful and widely varied advice (including mine :) and just remember you are dealing with just our "opinions". Yes, it is based on years of experience for some of us - but also our differing shooting styles, comfort levels and tastes.
  17. Just re-read your question about the teleconverter. I agree that getting a 50mm and a teleconverter is not a great idea. You're kind of defeating the purpose because you lose two stops. Are you restricted to the back of the church? If not, having a telephoto is not necessary. If you are able to shoot from a hidden spot on the altar or can sit up close among the guests, or even come closer to the altar down the asile you could get some good shots with your exisitng zoom and a tripod, no flash. Some churches allow flash and movement by the photographer, in which case, with reasonably fast film, you'll be fine with the existing zoom as well.
  18. Rent.
  19. I continue to be absolutly amazed by the number of people who want to shoot weddings but yet "cannot" afford the equipment. When i started doing weddings I was flat broke too, but I knew from having attended Brooks for awhile, and from going with a pro for many weddings, that good equipment, including backups, was a necessary part of the business. Thats why I treated it as a business, borrowed the necessary funds ($10,000) to get outfitted correctly (Hasselbld, etc.), and charged accordingly.

    Now that I practice law I wouldn't dream of sending a client out the door with less than the correct answer to a question because I hadn't invested in the library necessary to do the job correctly. I certainl wouldn't want to go to a dentist and have him pull out a hammer and a chisel because he couldn't afford a drill.

    There is a lot of responsibility in telling a person that you are going to properly record one of the most important days of their life. Take that responsibility seriously and get the proper equipment!!!

  20. Again, thanks to all of you for your advice. I ended up buying the f1.8 lens. Phillip- thank you very much for your thoughts- I felt a lot better about the whole project after reading that. My neice is well aware that I am not in any way a professional photographer. I did not volunteer my services ( I do know better than to do that, given the limitations of my experience and equipment). I was asked if I would do it. And when I was asked I plainly stated my limitations. It didn't matter. They still wanted me to take the pictures. So, it seems to me that if they know the risks and still want me to do the photography regardless, I am being given a great opportunity to learn. Will all of my shots come out looking like a pro shot them? No, they surely won't, BUT- I will get some that are good. And you know what else? I am going to enjoy this. I'll be sure to follow up here with examples of the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanks again for all your thoughts and advice. Cindy
  21. That's the spirit Cynthia! They know the limitations and you do to. So you're free to go at
    it and surprise everyone. As the old TV ad use to say, "never let them see you sweat" ...
    and afterwards edit, edit, edit. Post your experiences here when it's all over. We all can
    learn from one another's successes and goof-ups.

    But please see if there is a second camera you can beg, borrow or steal. It is amazing how
    stuff seems to fail right at the critical time you need it. Weddings are notorious camera
    killers, every camera I ever shot with failed at one time (or I did something stupid), except
    my all
    mechanical, no electronics Leica Ms. (which is why I won't go to a wedding without them
    and a brick of film... even if they never come out of the bag).
  22. Marc- the backup camera is next on my list. If I can't find one that I want to buy, I do have a friend who has a nice one which I'm sure he will let me borrow. I might even be able to convince him to come along for the fun and use it himself.
  23. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Please remember to get good film - Fuji NPH 400. And lots of it. Most photographers figure if they get two or three good shots per roll, they did well. That is in keeping with the photojournalism style that you will be mostly using. Have Fuji film processed on a Fuji Frontier system, like in most Wal-Marts or Walgreens.
  24. Cynthia, I think bringing a photograpically inclined friend along is an excellent idea. And like Marc said, let us see what you get. This should be a fun experience for you.
  25. Second James's comments re: film stock... is not a good idea to save money on film when shooting weddings!

    The Fuji NP range is specifically made for the high-contrast (normally) of a wedding - it is low-contrast, fine grain, good for skin tones...etc (no, I don't work for Fuji either!)

    NPH 400 for general, hopefully the weather will let you use NPS 160 outside, and buy some NPZ 800 too - this will be ideal when flash is a problem. They are all similar, so shots will not look out of place when prints are laid next to each other.

    I was given this same advice when I shot my first wedding, and couldn't believe the difference spending the extra few pence made...

    P.S. Watch out for interfering mother-in-law's and sulky teenagers ;-)

    best of luck!

    (My tip - if it's your first, back up each shot on a back-up camera - this will improve your 'peace of mind' no end, giving you the freedom to concentrate on what you are doing)
  26. I second the recommendation for a good film stock. If you have
    no preferences of your own yet, you cannot go wrong with a bag
    full of Fuji NPH. Mail order it from B&H and it's only $3.89 for a
    36exp roll.
  27. DEFINITELY get good film stock, though I prefer Kodak Portra (esp. NC) over Fuji NP*, it's not too likely you'll go wrong with either.

    If you can find sulky teenagers, follow them around and take their pictures. They'll never forgive you, and the bride and groom will love the pictures (both of which are good things :)
  28. I shot a roll of fuji 400 the other day just to see what was different from my usual Kodak film. I was amazed at the difference in skin tones, and this was just the film from Walmart, not the good stuff. Think I'll go buy some of that now and play around doing grandkids portraits for fun (and practice). My new lens should be here in a day or so, so I'll have time to use that and see some results before the wedding.
  29. When shooting with plenty of light outdoors... Don't forget about 100 speed Fuji Reala! I've used it for 14 years and once my lab started to understand how to process it - They even preferred it over anything else on the market. I do use the 400 indoors though.

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