Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 on Canon 7D for weddings?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by elle_bee, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Hi!
    I started off assisting for a wedding photographer last year. After my first wedding assisting her, she allowed me to take photos strictly for practice. After two weddings she loved my practice work and asked me to be her regular second shooter for this year (yay!)
    My question is regarding my equipment. I shoot with a Canon 7D, and my only non-kit lens is a 50mm f/1.4. I own two kit lenses - an 18-55mm and a 75-300mm. I know it's important as a second shooter to have a nice variety of shots. I'm concerned that my 50mm won't give me that nice variety. I'd love to just use my kit lenses, but I'm afraid that they won't be fast or sharp enough for the weddings.
    I do NOT have money to spend on new equipment. I have either the option of buying a more inexpensive lens or renting a nicer one.
    That being said, would a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 be a good choice for me? Are there other lenses that would be decent for second shooting weddings on a crop sensor? Or should I just rent a lens like the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II?
    The primary photographer is well aware of the equipment I currently own, and she hired me this year on the basis of the work I showed her from the weddings I assisted her with last year. She's not asking me to upgrade, but I really feel like I need to. I want to make sure I can provide the highest quality images possible, but I don't want my equipment to hold me back.
    Any help is greatly appreciated! :)
  2. Is 28 - 70 on crop really the right tool for your style? Or will you end switching to the 18-55 and back all the time? - Did that Tamron get good reviews? Or does it provide its starting aperture just for focusing?
  3. Due to 7d's cropped sensor, you
    might want to look at tamron 17-
    50. You can probably get it used
    for $300. Also, rather than
    renting Canon's 24-70 mkII, you
    might consider the mkI, Canon ef-
    s 17-55 IS, or tamron's 24-70
    which also has image
    stabilization.. And cost a lot
    less to rent. All the mentioned
    above are F2.8.
  4. I've used it on both film bodies and crop sensor bodies, all Nikon, for quite some time for a standard lens and have used it for many weddings. I call it my money lens. No it isn't super wide on a crop sensor but how wide do you really need it to be? Excellent color and contrast, plenty fast enough and focuses as fast as I ever need it to. Pretty good pricing too. It works well for my purposes.
    Rick H.
  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    A few specific comments for you to consider:
    “I know it's important as a second shooter to have a nice variety of shots.”
    That’s not my experience.
    However, it is important for the second to deliver exactly what the Lead Photographers asks of them, which might be a variety of shots, but, on the occasions when I have used a second Photographer at a Wedding or Event I have been quite prescriptive and variety (especially shallow DoF and low level available light shooting was not part of that prescription) after the directives were filled and the requested shots in were the can then, sure, my Second would have a reasonable free reign to extend themselves, but not before each part of job was completed, as I requested.
    “I do NOT have money to spend on new equipment.” –and – “The primary photographer is well aware of the equipment I currently own . . . She's not asking me to upgrade”
    What SPECIFICALLY is she asking you to do as her Second Photographer? I think that is the MOST important factor to bring to this conversation.
    “That being said, would a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 be a good choice for me? Are there other lenses that would be decent for second shooting weddings on a crop sensor? Or should I just rent a lens like the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II?”
    A 17 to 50~55 F/2.8 is my suggestion as a better choice for an all-round fast zoom lens for a 7D for Weddings: 28mm is generally not wide enough for all circumstances that one will encounter. Tamron make a less expensive zoom (than the Canon) in that range – the Tamron NON VR version seems to be the better lens optically of the two, which Tamron make.

    In addition to that fast zoom lens a fast 85 Prime (e.g. EF 85 F/1.8) would cover most of the telephoto needs: also the 85/1.8 makes a nice (FAST) partner for the fast 50mm lens that you already have. What you do not have is a fast “normal” lens so later down the track you could look at the EF35/2 or EF28/1.8 (or similar), for example if you want to progress low level available light shooting or very shallow DoF work, or both.

    I believe that a Kenko x1.4 Tele-extender works acceptably with the EF 85/1.8, though I understand there is a minor issue with using the lens wide open: this would be a good option to get for telephoto reach for one who is on a very tight budget.
    Notwithstanding those suggestions above: the kit zoom that you have (18 to 55, assuming that it is one of the later IS versions), is a very sharp lens. That lens will do very well for all shots that are required of you as a Second Photographer if the shots can be made using the F/7 to F/11 Aperture range of the lens.
    It is understood that your question is about lenses – but it is worthwhile mentioning your Flash gear – if your Flash Gear is lacking, then any cash that you get hold of could be well better disbursed in that area: again depending upon what the requirements are of you, by the Lead Photographer .
    Also, I’d guess that your intention is to move towards shooting Weddings for yourself – so in that regard any purchases that you make now should not be specifically for your work as a second photographer but rather to contribute to building a flexible stand alone kit for yourself and in this regard: a fast 17 to 50~55 zoom; and a fast 85; and two Speedlite Flashes; and a spare camera body (with the backup two lenses that you already have) would be a reasonable, inexpensive starter-kit to launch your own gigs.
  6. You might consider a 24-105 / 28-135 (mine is IS) lens. From the "Good old days" (film) I acquired a Sigma 18-125mm lens - Look for it in the used sections of many online stores.
    Another suggestion for you would be the EF-S 17-85IS (or it's successor) in the lens lineup from Canon.
    Picking up a used 40/50/60D or the like with another lens would be an alternative solution.
    Best wishes -
    Derek Isaacs
  7. Jochen S, from various reports of Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8 in Minolta A mount, the lens is not sharp enough at f/2.8 to be usable, and need to use f/5.6+ aperture. (OTOH, reports of Tamron 24-70 mm f/2.8, about US$ 1200, say that it is much better than the above and nearly matches the current OEM lenses in the same range.)
  8. I think you may be jumping the gun. As you said, she hired based on what you've been able to produce with your current gear. While I would consider a 17-50/2.8 to be a preferable upgrade for a crop camera than the 28-75/2.8 simply from a focal range perspective, you may get more mileage (than even a 17-50/2.8) out of an inexpensive 70-200/2.8. Upgrade when you feel compelled to do so, not simply because you've achieved a new level.
    Though the 28-75/2.8 is a very very good lens for the price. If you have 3-4x it's cost in your budget, then I'd def. go for the 24-70/2.8 USD VC, but if you are shooting weddings FF, the 28-75/2.8 (canon mount) is a darling for the $400 it'll cost you.
  9. Within my first few years of wedding photography I discovered that the Tamron 28-75 would not focus nearly fast enough to get in-focus images of processionals or dancing subjects. It can't track well enough. It has great optics, but it focuses too slowly. In low light, it takes even longer to acquire focus.
    IMO, focus speed is of extreme importance with wedding photography because of moving subjects and how many photo-worthy moments can happen suddenly. If your lens doesn't lock fast enough, you missed the shot. If your lens can't track the moving target, you missed the shot.
    I bought the Canon 24-70 years ago, then sold it, then bought another and sold that later when I moved to primes. However, the focus was like lightning compared to the Tamron 28-75, and I can say without reservation that the faster focus allowed me to get many shots I simply could NOT hope to get with the slower-focusing Tamron 28-75. It tracked better, it locked faster, like night and day, the difference between Zt! and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....zzzzzzzz...t. But without any sound.
    As a primary/solo photographer, I would not use the Tamron 28-75 for weddings unless I had no other choice. If my second shooter was using the 28-75 (if I had a second), I would expect many more out of focus images because of slow focus speed, and I'd never expect a good processional photo from them. However, if ALL they are shooting is static, nonmoving subjects with no time constraints, then it's a great lens for that.
    And just for reference, a lot of photographers don't know how to use 24-26mm focal length so they are oblivious to the kind of perspective distortion it can destroy a photo with. I never recommend the 17-50/17-55 variants for that reason. Plus, the Tamron 17-50 actually focuses SLOWER than the Tamron 28-75.

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