opinion needed

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by lisa_scott|1, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Hi!

    I need some help or opinions about portrait lenses and consensus on a macro lens.

    First: I need a portrait lens that will not cost me a fortune. I'm a serious photography enthusiast, but just
    getting started. I have a Canon Rebel XTi. Can anyone tell me a decent lens to get for my camera, and not
    expensive. I know in the future I will upgrade my lenses, but I want to work with them first to get a better
    perspective and feel for the different types out there. I need a portrait lens now, I have a wedding coming up
    in January, the couple (family) asked that I do their photos. But I can't afford a really good lens right now. It
    doesn't matter if the lens is made by Canon or made by an after market brand, just as long as its decent enough
    to work with, and give decent photos.

    The second question is about a Macro lens someone is selling. Now I know when it comes to macro lenses, to get a
    good one I'm looking at paying at least $1000-2000. Which I so do not have right now. The lens for sale is a
    Tamron 70-300mm Di LD lens. Any thoughts on this one? Is it worth getting to play around with? Its selling for 160.


  2. -- "I need a portrait lens that will not cost me a fortune ... Rebel XTi"

    Get the EF 50/1.8 (and if you can afford it get the EF 85/1.8 USM also).

    -- "Now I know when it comes to macro lenses, to get a good one I'm looking at paying at least $1000-2000."

    It depends on the type of dollars ... if you want a really good macro lens, don't buy a zoom lens. Buy a lens like the EF 100/2.8 macro USM, or the Tamron 90/2.8 macro. Both are excellent lenses. Both cost quite a bit below 1000$ (at least US$).
  3. Hello Lisa,

    You have more to consider here than I think you may realize.

    #1 Portrait Lenses: Do a quick search here and you will get dozens of forum threads about inexpensive portrait
    lenses, the most popular response being the Canon 50mm f 1.8 which sells for under 100.00 at B&H. However
    depending on your situation sometimes a good zoom (one of the 70-200s) or even the 100mm macro lens is often
    recommended for portraits.

    #2 Macro Lenses: I don't have any experience with the zoom macros, but I did rent the Canon 100mm Macro this
    summer and I cannot wait to make it a permanent part of my lens choices. It sells for under 500.00 at B&H.

    #3 Things not considered: Saying yes to shoot a wedding when you seem to have no experience or equipment to do
    so can go a couple of ways. You can get lucky and pull it off (Low percentage chance here) or you will take
    this very special day of their lives and give them less then special photos to remember it by. I have no real
    idea of your photo expertise, but given the questions and equipment listed and not listed above, you need to
    consider a lot more than a portrait lens. Consider renting another body or two, you will likely need a flash,
    extra memory cards, card reader and device for backing up photos is a good idea....You will hopefully get others
    to add on here. I am not a wedding expert, but I do know that I did a wedding for a family member who had a
    budget of zero dollars so I helped them out and I wish I would have just paid for a pro wedding photographer for
    them instead. Even with two cameras, one with B&W film, one with Color,Me and another family member with phoot
    experience (and she had a good eye for the artful shots) shooting, the results were less than spectacular. Even
    if they told you they don't care, days, months, years from now they will wish they had better memories. If you
    cannot say no, get your lenses and start practicing your shots. Think ahead of what you need to provide at a
    minimum. Events during that day will get away from you in a hurry if you are not ready.
  4. I don`t know what expensive is to you but have no problems doin weddings with a tamron 17 50 f2.8, also for economy the canon ef 50mm f2.5 macro is a gem for portraits as short tele and macro, but will need an attachment for 1:1 tho :)
  5. My suggestion: get the Tamron 90mm Macro. A really good Macro Lens, and it would make a nice portrait lens too. It might be too long (for some) on a crop body, but I feel that it gives just enough distance to make your subjects feel comfortable with you clicking away.
  6. Thank you Michael for your response.

    "Saying yes to shoot a wedding when you seem to have no experience or equipment to do so can go a couple of ways. You can get lucky and pull it off (Low percentage chance here) or you will take this very special day of their lives and give them less then special photos to remember it by. I have no real idea of your photo expertise, but given the questions and equipment listed and not listed above, you need to consider a lot more than a portrait lens"

    > The last thing I wanted, when posting this, was someone to look down on me upon their high horse. I do have experience enough not only with what I can produce with my camera as is, but with photography programs such as Photoshop CS3. The couple in question have viewed my portfolio, and are impressed enough with it, and my artistic eye, to ask me to do their wedding. I have also done engagement photos for another couple, who as well were impressed with the results. Because I may not have the best of equipment money can buy, does not mean I cannot produce photographs that stimulate the eyes and mind. Having a extra flash, memory cards, extra batteries are a natural give-in for which I have, but I did not mention them because they have no bearing on the question I was inquiring about. I would ask that you take caution when responding to posts, keep your personal sly insulting comments to yourself, nobody cares to read them. Because you are not confident in your results from said wedding shoot, does not mean I am. Perhaps you need to practice more and perhaps not think yourself a master who probably considers himself the next Leibovitz, Karsh or Ansel.
  7. Thanks Rainer, Chris and Paulo for your responses!
  8. Lisa, I am very sorry you took it that way as I was truly trying to be sincere and helpful. I am not a pro and have made my share of amateur mistakes and was only trying to help you\others possibly avoid the same mistakes. The forums are filled with beginners who overlook the little things (which is why I started with "I have no real idea of your expertise). I am very happy indeed that you do have both the ability and confidence to do a wedding that I now know I do not have (I will stick with wildlife). I am not knocking the equipment you have (the XTI is what I use too), I just made a bad assumption when I read the combination of XTI needing lenses for a family wedding and then seeing your page with no pictures posted. I wish you only the best.
  9. Thank you. I did take what you wrote the wrong way. I just joined the site yesterday, which is why my page is empty. The portrait lens is what I am currently looking to get for the wedding, as I think it may help a little. The macro lens is not needed for the wedding for obvious reasons. I've got a good tripod, so I'm hoping that will help me out a little more in my shots, in relation to buying a cheaper portrait lens.
  10. Hi Lisa, The above lens suggestions are all valid and of sufficient quality to be part of your gear for years to come.
    Good image quality doesn't have to cost the earth, but you do need fast sharp glass. For the wedding you need to
    source a back up camera. Since it is a family wedding see if you can find a guest with another Canon DSLR,
    preferably an XTi that you can borrow in the unlikely event of Murphy resting on your shoulder. Have a spare charged
    battery and cf cards and do some research on flashes, issues relating to depth of field and how to resolve camera
    lock-ups. Try some practice sessions so you sort out camera settings (ISO, focus point selection, Av or Tv?, shutter
    speeds, aperture settings, Raw or JPG?) before the day.. Look through some Bride and Wedding magazines in your
    newsagent to get a few ideas. I have been in your position, it's not easy, but the results can turn out a lot better than
    if the bride and groom rely on uncle Ted's point and shoot. Go for some candids, try to avoid long poses before the
    shutter is pressed, don't be afraid of shooting in continuous or taking lots of pictures. Talk to the bride and groom
    before the wedding to see what they would like, take a few informal portraits of them to see how it turns out. Finally
    try spreading the burden a little by enlisting the help of another guest to also take shots. Best of luck. Neill
  11. Lisa, Check out this thread for other portrait lens options: http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00MlRH
  12. Sorry Lisa, I may have also underestimated your ability. That 70-300 Tamron lens, I don't think it's true macro and possibly a bit soft, also slow for wedding use where the lighting is subdued. There is a quantum jump in quality between this lens and the two you should aspire to, a Canon 70-200 F4L or the Canon 70-300 IS (which is also slow). If the wedding, or the purpose for the lens is in bright daylight and you can shoot up around F8 it might be useful, but there are much better lenses around for more $s of course. Neill
  13. And here is one on Macro lenses which often make good portrait lenses: http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00MsgY
  14. There's also a wedding forum on photo.net which includes lots of posts about "which lens".
  15. Ef-S 60 f/2.8 will double as a macro (about as sharp as you can get and on a crop camera like you have) and it makes for an excellent portrait lens, $370 at Amazon. Does not focus quick as it is a macro lens, this is one of the most under rated lens but the reviews on it are excellent. Fredmiranda reviews http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=293&sort=7&cat=2&page=3 and at Photozone http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/162-canon-ef-s-60mm-f28-usm-macro-test-report--review
  16. Kill two birds with one stone: Get the sigma 70mm DG macro f2.8. Effective focal length of 110 on your cam, perfick for
    portraiture, also a 1:1 macro & it will work on a full frame body as well, the 90mm and 100mm will be a wee bit long once
    the effect of cropping on an APS-C sensor is taken into account. You will be too far back when it comes to getting a
    flattering composition, thereby creating too flat a perspective.

    The 70mm has a focus limiter to speed things up either side of the limiter, works well on the infinity side of the limiter, for
    macro shots you really want to be using manual focus.
  17. I agree with Paul, PopPhoto gave the Sigma 70 DG f/2.8 Macro one heck of a rating...
    "The Sigma is one of only a handful of lenses today that pulls down SQF numbers within the 90th percentile all the
    way out to our maximum magnification (20x24 inches)."
    Have a good one JoeR
  18. Lisa, before you haul off and get snitty about the responses, you have to recognize that your original post did
    not exactly mark you off as a "gearhead." Macros, very good ones, are certainly available for much less than
    US$1000. You confuse real macro (defined as 1:1 ability) with so-called "macro" zooms that are really just close
    focusing lenses. Your camera is fine, but an entry-level one and you admit you are just getting started. It's
    also chancy to shoot a wedding without a backup for equipment failure, rare as that may be.

    That being said, any decent 18 to 55 sort of zoom will provide a good range - the catch is that most of these are
    fairly slow lenses. To get f/2.8 or better does put you into the $1000 and up range, alas. The cheapest
    alternative is the 50mm f/1.8 "plastic fantastic" mentioned above. On your camera this is a nice portrait lens,
    and you can use "sneaker zoom". If you are shooting during the service and the service is indoors, this may do it
    with a judicious use of higher ISO.Taken together with the 18-55mm kit lens you probably already have, this will
    do the job. Even the older kit lens will do ok if the light levels are high enough to allow you to shoot stopped
    down somewhat. The newer kit lens with image stabilization would be much better and that lens is also very
    reasonably prices and has reported good IQ.
  19. Good morning JDM and happy thanksgiving. I appreciate that you have my back here, but Lisa and I have worked it out, and I think we're ok. Let's not get the thread closed over some misunderstandings over a phrase or two that could have been better stated. It contains some useful information that may help Lisa and others. Thanks for being there and thanks for adding some useful info on a thankful day.
  20. Well, the thread asked for opinions... there are certainly a lot of them! I would advise against (I think other posters have already said as much) the close-focusing zooms as a macro. Get the 100mm macro (I have and like) or another such lens. Consider having on-hand a second camera body as a back up (rental if you're not ready to buy and can't borrow). If your main camera goes fritz, the wedding party can't just come back some other time. I do like the 24-70L for a portrait lens though... fast but bulky. A nice all around lens.
  21. Lisa, I would suggest thet whichever lens you choose, ask the couple to bear the expense. Afterall, your effort is valuable family or not.
  22. 70-300 zooms made by Tamron and Sigma are labelled "macro", but in reality they only allow close focusing. They are not true macro lenses. Expect mediocre performance, especially in low light.

    True macro primes include Sigma 50/2.8, Canon 60/2.8, Sigma 70/2.8, Tamron 90/2.8, Tokina 100/2.8, Canon 100/2.8 and Sigma 105/2.8. All are stupidly sharp and they make wonderful portrait lenses. AF can be slow (especially with the off-brand lenses) and they are best used for posed portraits, rather than moving subjects (candids, wedding). The Sigmas are inexpensive, and the Tamron has a $90 mail-in rebate right now.

    Canon makes some wonderful primes for portraiture: Canon 50/1.8, Canon 50/1.4, Canon 85/1.8, Canon 100/2. These are very fast, very sharp, very contrasty, yet very affordable lenses. Bokeh is awesome and dof can be very thin when shot wide open. I love my 85/1.8. Sigma's offerings are 30/1.4 and 50/1.4. Canon's spendier primes are 50/1.2, 85/1.2 and 135/2.

    Be aware that 70-200 zooms are pretty long on APSC gear. That said, Canon's 70-200 zooms (f/2.8 or f/4, IS or no IS, pick your flavor) offer superb image quality. Be sure to check out Tokina 50-135/2.8 and Sigma 50-150/2.8. These latter two zooms offer f/2.8 speed and focal lengths more amenable to portraiture with APSC gear.
  23. p.s
    I just read Now I know when it comes to macro lenses, to get a good one I'm looking at paying at least $1000- 2000
    The macro lenses I listed above sell for $250-$550 new. They are the best money can buy.
  24. Tamron 90mm macro. It's good for macro and portraits. It's a focal length (and a lens) that I like for tight portraits with my 20D. It's a little long for portraits that show the subject in their environment, though. If that is what you are after, Sigma 50mm or 70mm macro would be a good choice. All these lenses are f/2.8, affordable, and optically superb.

    I would not buy the Tamron 70-300 if I were you. As others have said, it is not really a macro lens and it does not have a wider enough aperture to separate your portrait subject from the (out-of-focus) background.
  25. The 85/1.8 is a wonderful lens for portraits or almost anything else. The 85/1.2 L II is even better, but it's almost USD 2,000.00 new. It does give you the look of a 135 mm lens on full frame on cameras like yours, but the build quality and the AF system are much better than the 50/1.4.

    Of the various 70-75-100 to 200-300 zooms out there at the moment, the Tamron 70-200/2.8 might be a very good choice. It's very sharp, lighter weight than others in its class and focues down to about three feet. That's no real macro lens, but it's closer than any of its competitors. The AF isn't that fast but it's otherwise quite good.It's about USD 700.00 new.
  26. The Sigma 50 mm/2.5 macro might do both jobs for you. I picked up this lens pretty cheaply used, and I figure, perhaps
    wrongly, that the fact that it is optimised for close focus can't be such a bad thing for portraits.
  27. You know, the Canon EF 100 macro is a great macro lens and gets good reviews for portraites as well. It's $500 and on the 1.6x sensor its focal length will be almost ideal for portraites at 160mm.

  28. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    > I need a portrait lens that will not cost me a fortune ... Rebel XTi <

    EF 50mmF1.8MkII.


    > Macro lens someone is selling . . . Tamron 70-300mm Di LD lens. Any thoughts on this one? <

    It is not (a macro).

    The EF100mmF2.8 macro USM works well on an APS-C Camera.

    It also doubles as a (very reasonable), longer portrait lens.


    > I have a wedding coming up in January, the couple (family) asked that I do their photos. But I can't afford a really
    good lens right now < [referring to the portrait lens]

    The EF35mmF2 is likely a more suitable lens, for the particular purpose of Wedding Portraiture - but it costs more
    than the 50/1.8MkII.

    The preferred Focal Length for (general) Portraiture, is a very personal choice: on an APS-C camera, the lens I
    mostly use, is my EF85F1.8. This is a lens I also recommend - but it most likely will be unsuitable, as a one only
    lens, for Wedding Portraiture.

  29. If buying any of the lenses above mean that you have money left over from your budget , you could spend the remainder getting a second body - and consider getting a second-hand early Rebel model (these are getting to almost throwaway prices). You could have the zoom on one body and a prime on the other and the similarity to your current camera will mean less of a learning curve. But this will also mean additional memory cards etc as has been said. Or can you borrow another body?

    Another thing to consider is what type of shoot do the couple want? Some want to concentrate on the 'formal' shots, some prefer a portfolio of candids. If you get a lens with f2.8, then you can work more with available light and so will not have a flash gonig off all the time and intruding on the event; you can then sink more into the background and get more true candid shots. The Sigma/Tamorn/Tokina zooms will allow you to do this even at the upper end of ther range.
    One of the other threads on this site sent me to Jeff Ascough's website and he specialises in the more 'candid' wedding photos. His portfolio of wedding pictures is about of the best I have ever seen and is all available light (and barely a formal picture in sight). Perhaps it will give you some ideas.

    Good luck with your shoot!
  30. Another vote for the 50 f/1.8 as your portrait lens. I get some superb portraits with this lens on my XTi, both at weddings and for my other shoots. I don't know enough about macro work to make an educaated comment on it :)
  31. Thanks guys! I'm quite over-whelmed with the responses. I certainly wasn't expecting this much interest, but I am so grateful. I do have a back up camera, a Nikon D70. This is my friends camera, he does have lenses and filters, but please don't ask what ones because I cannot remember and do not have the camera with me now.

    I'm going to take all the suggestions to heart. I came across an ebay store called Prodigital2000 (I wonder if anybody hear has heard about them or bought from them?). By far and wide, this store has got the best prices on lenses that I've seen anywhere. I read up on consumer reviews about this store, because my main question was, if these lenses are legit, how is it they can sell them at such a low cost? Apparently they buy there stock in huge bulk, therefore able to sell at such an amazing price. Everything is 100% legal. So if anyone out there is in the same position I am, with a tight budget, you may find this place interesting.

    Anyway, I'd like to Thank you all again.

    Have a great weekend, Happy Shooting!
  32. Mixed reviews of their "Sister" store here: http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Carman_s_Photo_Source

    Be very careful when not buying from one of the big players. Prices cheaper than B&H, Adorama, or Amazon are often to good to be true. Resellerratings.com is a great site for online retailer reviews.
  33. Thanks Mike for the link to Jeff Ascough's website, I quite agree, his wedding shots are incredible.
  34. The store may buy in huge numbers, but I could they really buy is such quantities that they can beat someone like B&H? I'm not saying they can't, but it sounds too good to be true (and you know what they say about that....).
    I don't know about the USA, but over this side of the pond we have a market in 'grey imorts' which is equipment purchased through genuine channels from a cheaper country (such as Poland) and even with paying import tax they can beat the traditional retailers. The products are genuine and everything is legit and legal, but you may not get a manual in your language, and at worst the warranty is invalid. With lenses this may not be an issue but if you are concerned about it you could confirm directly with the store that the products are genuine 'for sale in US' items (preferably do it by e-mail so you have it in writing).

    I think you are going to have a shed load of fun at this!
  35. As others have recommended, the 50/1.8II. You can "make" it a macro lens with a Kenko or Canon extension tube set (also inexpensive).

    With all due respect to JDM, who is a fine photographer, I'd recommend a good (optical) zoom, rather than "sneaker" zoom. When you're photographing the ceremony, you might not have much choice as to where you situate yourself, so you'll need the flexibility. Then when you're photographing the reception, you'll have to weave through a small crowd, grabbing shots where you see them. Again, sneaker zoom might not be an effective option.

    Something not addressed above (?): Wear dress slacks and flats!

    Good luck!
  36. Thanks Michael. The one thing I noticed on your link, was these reviews are 5 years old. This is the site where I read more on the store.


    Although there are some customers that had issues, the overall consensus seems good. I'm in Ontario myself, and may not have any issues if I were to order from them. I'm also not familiar with B&H, but try to stay away from purchasing outside Canada, because of extra costs that comes with it.
  37. Thanks Sarah, I guess I should have mentioned this early on in the post. This occasion I'll be doing, is more a reception rather than a wedding ceremony. The couple got married back in the summer, by justice of peace. This is their celebration party. So no traditional wedding dress and all the bells and whistles that come with a full fledged wedding ceremony.
  38. It's great that your friends have invited you to photograph their wedding, and I hope that you have a good time doing so. Rather than suggest one specific lens (although I have some suggestions in that regard), I would like to raise some criteria for your consideration in selecting appropriate equipment, and for conducting yourself as a photographer during a wedding, in order to get the best results. I offer the following advice not with reference to you personally, but rather based on experience both as an invited amateur photographer and as a family member and guest at several weddings. I hope that you find it helpful in achieving results that you, the couple, and their family members and guests will all enjoy.

    1) You should select your equipment based on your approach, and your approach should be grounded in your understanding of the occasion. Context matters, and so do sensitivity and tact. Unless you are taking pictures of an outdoor, daytime wedding, you will need to have a fast (f/2 maximum aperture or better) lens in order to do available-light shooting without using flash. Flash can be highly disruptive, and thus socially unacceptable to clergy and guests, during a wedding ceremony, even if it is tolerated for posed photos prior or subsequent to the ceremony. While reactions to flash may vary somewhat depending upon the beliefs of the clergy and congregation, using flash during a ceremony is considered tacky at best and offensive at worst, so don't do it unless you want to irritate many of those present and incur ill will for the balance of the wedding. Whatever equipment you may have in mind for posed photographs prior or subsequent to the ceremony, you will need a lens of f/2 maximum aperture or faster to do available-light shooting during the ceremony.

    2) The best choices for f/2 or faster lenses usable for available-light work will be fixed focal length lenses rather than zooms. It is difficult if not impossible to find a zoom with adequate speed for this sort of work, and fast zooms can be expensive, so a fast, fixed focal length lens may be a much better choice than a zoom to use for a wedding. While the approaches of individual photographers will vary, and excellent results can be produced with a variety of equipment, there are three fairly standard types of pictures typically taken at weddings. Your choice of lens, or lenses, will depend upon which of these types of pictures you plan to emphasize.

    3) Perhaps the most common type of wedding picture is the waist-up or head and shoulders portrait of the couple, with shallow depth of field and selective focus used to concentrate attention on the subjects. A fast, fixed focal length lens of 50mm to 60mm on a DSLR with a 1.6 crop factor, or of 85mm to 105mm on a 35mm film camera, used at or near maximum aperture, can be a good choice for this kind of photo. If you are only going to buy one single lens for a wedding, this is the one to buy.

    4) Another common wedding picture is the full-length portrait of the couple taking their vows, taken during the ceremony from the side of the congregation or from the aisle up the middle of the congregation. A fast, fixed focal length, short to medium tele of 85mm to 105mm on a DSLR with a crop factor of 1.6, or of 135mm to 180mm on a 35mm film camera, used at or near maximum aperture, can be a good choice for this kind of photo. As such a lens is too long for conventional portrait work within relatively confined spaces, this would a supplementary lens rather than the main lens to take to a wedding.

    5) The third common type of wedding picture involves candid shots and group shots of guests at the reception. A fast, moderate wide-angle lens, wide enough to take in a group of 8 to 10 people from relatively close range, but not so wide as to introduce noticeable wide-angle distortion into the picture, such as a 21mm to 24mm lens on a DSLR with a crop factor of 1.6, or a 35mm lens on a 35mm film camera, would be a good choice for this kind of work. A fast, normal lens of 30mm on a DSLR with a 1.6 crop factor, or 50mm on a 35mm film camera, would also be a reasonable choice for this kind of work, though probably not as effective as a moderate wide-angle. Obtaining a lens of f/2 or faster for this use is a plus. While flash is more acceptable for taking table group portraits at a reception than for using during the ceremony, it is still fairly disruptive when used for candids, such as people dancing. This too would be a supplementary lens rather than your main choice, but if you plan to take many pictures during the reception, this one can be important.

    6) No matter which lens or lenses you choose, make sure that you bring extra batteries if you are using a digital camera, lots of film if you are using a film camera, and a backup camera if you have one. Regardless of what the matrimonial laws of any given state might provide, and regardless of what the scriptures of any religious denomination might provide, Murphy's Law ("If it can go wrong, it will") applies with full force in all 50 states at all times to photographers taking pictures of weddings.

    7) If you are going to take any pictures that require being at the front of the sanctuary or in the middle of the main aisle during the middle of the ceremony, make absolutely sure that you consult and obtain express consent for this from the clergy and key members of the wedding party prior to the start of the ceremony; and make sure to observe scrupulously any restrictions that clergy or the wedding party may choose to place upon your location and actions during the ceremony, even if you personally consider such restrictions to be unreasonable. The wedding is about them, not about you, so don't make yourself an issue or a distraction. This is essential to photographing a wedding in a way that people will appreciate afterward.

    8) From a broader perspective, a wedding is not simply a subject for commissioned photography, or a social occasion. It is also a religious ceremony. Whatever the personal beliefs and attitudes of the couple being married, or of the photographer, may be, it is likely that the family members and guests will include religiously observant persons who take seriously the ceremony and beliefs involved. In addition to getting good pictures at the right moments, one of your goals as a wedding photographer is to stay out of the way, keep a low profile, be as unobtrusive as possible, and conduct yourself with tact and restraint, in order to avoid disrupting and spoiling the way in which the family members, friends and clergy experience the wedding ceremony. A wedding is simply not the right occasion for in-your-face, big-ego photography. The couple, the wedding party and the clergy, rather than the photographer, are the appropriate center of attention, and the photographer should not be distracting people from that, especially at sensitive moments. Even if you have been invited or hired to photograph the wedding, your role is to record the ceremony (and reception) as a courteous and considerate observer, and not to treat the wedding as an opportunity for stage-directing posed photography. If you delay the ceremony, intrude yourself into the middle of it, or disrupt it by issuing a stream of requests or directions for posing, you may spoil the occasion and offend a number of people. While these comments might seem to be obvious or exaggerated, I have watched professional photographers overplay their roles during several weddings in ways that offered memorable lessons in what to avoid doing, and we can all learn from their mistakes.

    I hope that these suggestions help you to participate in your friends' upcoming wedding, and to produce results, in a way that the couple and family find pleasing. As with any other advice, your mileage may vary. Feel free to disregard any of these suggestions that you disagree with; but do keep in mind that they are offered with good will, and based on direct experience with what can happen when they are ignored.
  39. This past summer, the Canadian loonie was at $1.10 US and it used to be worthwhile ordering from the big dealers in the U.S.

    Now, the loonie is at 81 cents US, it's just not worth it to ship internationally IMO. I suggest checking Henry's, Vistek, and McBain's for prices. Buying from a local dealer means dealer support when it comes to warranty issues - worth a few extra bucks IMO.
  40. I'm really surprised that no one has mentioned the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Compact Macro. (NOT the 65mm, which is a different animal)

    It's a really first rank macro lens, and with a 35mm equivalent focal length of about 90mm, a perfect portrait lens. The f2.8 maximum aperture is plenty unless you're shooting in the dark. It's very small, and makes a great walking around lens. Costs about $350-$380 at the big name on-line stores.

    Two birds with one stone!
  41. Totally agree with Scott Paris. This lens is perfect for both portraits and up to 1:1 macro. As sharp as you can get. The only disadvantage is that this is a EF-S lens which will not work on a full frame body. But unless you're planning to upgrade to a FF, this one is perfect.

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