Whats a good starter lens for wedding photography

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jamie_clouser, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. I currently have a canon eos 50d with a 28-135mm lens. I'm looking to start shooting weddings. What lens would you recommend I add to my bag first?
  2. I'm not a wedding photographer, but I suspect that if you have to ask that question, you're likely not ready to shoot a wedding.
    From everything I've read, where I in your position I'd be looking to get a second body, a 70-200 f/2.8, an 85 f/1.2, some strobes, a tripod, filters, and probably a host of things I don't know about.
  3. I guess the only thing in the world worse then going to church is going to a wedding. I think a fast car would be the next purchase. Something for a quick get-a-way.
  4. I wouldn't be using what you currently have for a wedding assignment.
    I use a 1Ds II and a 5D. The lenses attached normally would be an 85/1.2 II where I cannot get close and a 50/1.4 where I can get close. I mainly shoot wide open to about f/2.8 on average.
    In my bag would be a 15/2.8 Fisheye, 16-35/2.8 II, 100/2.8 Macro and (just in case) a 70-200/4 IS. In my car would be a 300/2.8 IS. Yes, I bring everything in my arsenal including the lights, modifiers. flash and colour meters.
    Of course, other's will have their respected opinions.
  5. A few things should be in that bag. 7D, 5DMKII, Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon 70mm-200mm f/2.8 L, Canon 24mm-70mm f/2.8 L, Tokina 11mm-16mm wide, Professional grade Tripod, a monopod, 6-10 8gig memory cards, several (4-6) Canon Speedlite 580EX II flashes with stands, soft boxes, many spare charged batteries for cameras and sever big packs of AAs for flashes just for starters...and you may get away with it. With just a 50D and some really good glass, you could be OK as a second shooter, but don't risk someones only wedding photos with just one camera. If the Camera dies and you have no back up, what will you do? Weddings are a really really big deal to the bride and groom, their family. Big bucks are spent on these events. Don't blow it, be prepared, be at the top of your game. Think out every thing that could go wrong and have a back up.
    Do you have a film camera too? Would be really nice to shoot a hundred or so shots on film too.
    Just an opinion.
  6. Jamie,
    What is your level of photographic experience? Do you have a game plan for entering this genre? Timelines, etc.? Learning/growth plan? I think you'll find that you may well irk some of the more experienced wedding shooters who are likely to read this thread. Reason being the tone of your question sounds like an awfully casual approach to shooting a once-in-a-lifetime event.
    Wedding equipment is a very style-driven and hence subjective matter. As you can see from just the few comments so far (Peter J, Mark Keefer), their equipment lists differ greatly. My list is totally different from either of theirs. And neither is necessarily more "correct" than the other. The replies simply reflect different shooting styles.
    I would suggest you start by using the search function on this page. This is a frequently asked question. Also, you would do well to read this:
    If you can provide more information about your plan, that will help a lot. But getting into weddings just because you have a dSLR is a no-no in my book.
  7. "I currently have a canon eos 50d with a 28-135mm lens."
    Keep the 28-135mm, and get yourself a wide angle like the 10-22mm f35/4.5 or the 17-55mm f2.8 .
  8. A second crop body, a speedlight EX 430 II and a EF-s 17-55/2.8 IS come to mind.
  9. see http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/24-70/
  10. getting into weddings just because you have a dSLR is a no-no in my book.​
    But it isn't your decision. Anyone can have a go at it. If they are no good, they will not get much work. If they are good, they will get work by word of mouth advertising.
  11. 17-55mm IS or Tamron 17-50mm (VC or non-VC) and a 430 or 580 Speedlight-that's pretty well all you need.
  12. I just started shooting weddings with an established wedding photog and he uses only 1DS III and two 1D IV's (occasional 1D III) along with ONLY f/2.8 or faster lenses + multiple flashes and triggers; and at least two of everything. If you don't have two 70-200mm f/2.8L IS's then you should have an 85mm prime as an alternative backup (you should probably have it anyways). You need everything from superwide to 200mm @ f/2.8. Unless you're just casually shooting weddings as a guest, and not as a paid photographer, I would suggest getting more educated about what really goes into wedding photography. I would say a sufficient wedding outfit is going to cost a minimum of around $10K.
  13. edit: Gah. Completely missed that the same information had already been provided. Sorry.
  14. The OP is only asking for what lens to add first to get him started - he doesn't have to start off with 10K of equipment!
  15. The new Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 seems to have gotten a lot of good reviews.
  16. Hi Jamie.Welcome to photonet.. as you are getting some valuable help here already I would second.. read all there is on p/n. the forums.. the critiques.etal.....I am not a wedding photographer but would suggest 50m f1.8( great little) lens .... or the 85 m f1.8. try to see groups of people and visualise how to record them. Please post some of your work above all that gives a handle on how to help more . wish you well regards miken
  17. But it isn't your decision. Anyone can have a go at it.​
    Steve, I didn't say or even imply that it was my decision, nor can it ever be. I am simply seeking more information as to the OP's motivation for wanting to shoot weddings. The lack of any background info from Jamie basically doesn't give much to work with insofar as recommendations/suggestions.
  18. Far more important than equipment is going to be your skill and vision as a photographer. A skilled photographer could shoot a whole wedding with a Canon F1, 50mm 1.4, B&W film and produce and excelent wedding album. Their shooting style with that set up could be rather different than if they were shooing with a modern DSLR and fast zooms and of course they would have backup equipment but they would get the job done even if it was different to their normal style.
  19. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "a canon eos 50d . . .what lens would you recommend I add to my bag first?"​
    Zoom: A fast (F/2.8) 17 to 50 ish
    Prime: EF35/2, or with no Budget Limit: EF24/1.4L MkII
  20. First lens to add is 24-70, 2.8 canon lens.
  21. I second William W, the 24 1.4 would be nice but you will need quite a bit of selective focus "learning" to get great OOF shots. 24-105L would be the other lens to replace the 28-135 for better images quality.
  22. I currently have a canon eos 50d with a 28-135mm lens. I'm looking to start shooting weddings. What lens would you recommend I add to my bag first?
    The 24-70 2.8L. You must also have a 2nd EOS body. Another good lens would be the 85 1.8 and/or the 70-200 2.8L.
  23. Before you buy anything - I would rent a lens first and see how useful it is for you. A lot of people have mentioned that you need wide and fast and telephoto and I would agree - but rent a 70-200 f2.8 first and find out if you're going to do a lot of wedding photography before you put down the bucks for one. If you're intent on buying I would echo others and say that the Tamron 17-50 VC is very good and the VC is nice for low light portraits. I owned the 100 f2.0 USM and on a crop body it made a real nice medium telephoto before I got my 70-200 f2.8 (the 85 f1.8 would be similar).
  24. Woah, everyone seems to think you need a Canon 5D Mk II to start off and know everything about photography there is to know!

    The way i did it, I started off with a Nikon D60 and went out as an assistant by emailing around to wedding photographers and learnt from them.

    I now run a successful wedding photography business at the age of 19. i use a Canon 7D which I love! And a 50mm 1.8 and a 18-200mm. This means i an get arty shots and wide shots etc. Soon, when I have a bit extra cash flowing in I'd like to have the 5D MK II, but its not essential! I worked with a man who used this camera, whilst I used my 7D and a customer actually said they preferred my shot, which shocked me as he was a professional and I'd only just started.

    I used the 50D to cover a wedding once, I think if you have a 50mm and a 18-200 you have a good starting point, then maybe move on to a 7D then a 5D once you have the money. People forget that we have to start somewhere. And i dont use lighting nd all that etc,, just a flash gun. It depends on your style, im photo journalistic so a lot of the time im on the move so i dont have time to set things up. But its up to you, thats why there is competition because we are all different :)
  25. everyone seems to think you need a Canon 5D Mk II to start off​
    Not me.
  26. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

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