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Old January 26th, 2011, 01:01 AM   #1
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Best "wedding" lens for 60D

Hi there!

We are finally jumping into DSLR craze :)

Sold our Sony camcorders and bought 2 60D's (body only) however we are not particularly sure which lens to buy..our current budget will only be $500 -$600 and we will need 2 lenses since we have 2 DSLRs to outfit...If anyone can advice me on which entry level lens or a must have lens for weddings (that's not $2000) that will be great...we have an upcoming wedding in a month so we want to try it out....Any help is appreciated... Thanks!

PS: Ceremony and receptions will only be lighted with one Sony HVL-LBPA LED Video Light on a stand..we have a 12 ft. continuous lighting set 2x1000 watts in softboxes that we want to retire since its a pain to haul and set-up.. we also use a glidetrack and steadicam..
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:10 AM   #2
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You will need more than 1 lens to cover a wedding, a good starting point would be a zoom with a constant aperture of 2.8. The tamron 17-50 2.8 VC is highly thought of. A wider lens such as the Tokina 11-16 2.8 is invaluable for wedding work. Also a fast, 1.4 50mm prime for those many low light problems that you will encounter.
Hope this helps.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:07 AM   #3
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Best "wedding" lens for 60D

Check out this link, it will answer your questions.

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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
Hi there!

We are finally jumping into DSLR craze :)

Sold our Sony camcorders and bought 2 60D's (body only) however we are not particularly sure which lens to buy..our current budget will only be $500 -$600 and we will need 2 lenses since we have 2 DSLRs to outfit...If anyone can advice me on which entry level lens or a must have lens for weddings (that's not $2000) that will be great...we have an upcoming wedding in a month so we want to try it out....Any help is appreciated... Thanks! ...
Your budget is a big drawback. Another BIG drawback is only having one month to learn your new cameras. Renting would fit your budget, but you need the next month to learn how to shoot with your 60D and you can't do that with rented lenses, unless you rented the for a month. $$$

If renting for a month is out, then the only choice I see is Vintage Lenses. Almost every lens I own is a Vintage Lens. Example, Vivitar Series 1 (Series 1 Lenses are a step above standard Vivitar lenses) 28-105 f/2.8-3.8 for about $50-75. Nikon 50mm f/1.4 for $75-150, Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f/3.5 for $50-100. Since you have to make every dollar count, for your upcoming wedding I would get two Vivitar Series 1 28-105s or even the 28-90, one Vivitar Series 1 70-210 and one Nikon 50mm 1.4. With adapters and shipping you should be within your budget.

Are you skeptical about shooting with Vintage Lenses? There are many of us who use primarily Vintage Lenses. Joel Peregrine, Chris Watson and myself to name a few. Look up there work and check out their results. You can see my latest work with Vintage Lenses on my vimeo page.
Mark & Trisha Von Lanken on Vimeo

Prep, you can both use the 28-105/28-90, which is why I said to get two of theses.
Ceremony, wide shot-Vivitar 28-105, close shot-Vivitar 70-210
Reception, wide shot-Vivitar 28-105, close shot-Vivitar-70-210.
When shooting in really low light use the Nikon 50mm 1.4 and zoom with your feet, as Chris Watson says. Speaking of Chris Watson, read his excellent article on Vintage Lenses
EventDV.net: The Event Videographer's Resource

After reading the article you will know which mounts to look for (Nikon, C/Y, Olympus, Pentax K, M42, etc) and which mounts to stay away from (Canon FD, Minolta, etc) You will also learn where to buy Vintage Lenses (Ebay, B&H, KEH, etc.)

Whatever you do, get started practicing. If you shot in manual exposure and manual focus with your video camera, you have an advantage, but if you let the video camera automatically set exposure and focus...well you have a lot of practicing to do.

You will learn a lot at your first DSLR wedding. Learn from your mistakes and get better from them.
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www.VonWeddingFilms.com
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Old January 26th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
If anyone can advice me on which entry level lens or a must have lens for weddings (that's not $2000) that will be great...we have an upcoming wedding in a month so we want to try it out....
do you have any experience with DSLR video?
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Old January 26th, 2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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I think is it dangerous and inappropriate to use a DSLR for a ceremony. I have one and I use it for great looking b-roll for montages. The depth of field looks great for selective b-roll but do your clients want to see themselves go out of focus when they walk a few feet away? Do they want to see you focusing the camera? If you are hired as a pro they want pro results

And then there is the 12 minute limit and potential overheating...

Not to mention that a 200mm lens is effectively only 320mm. My Sony video cameras are 590mm equivalent. Even the cheap 250mm kit lens is only 400mm.

Wedding are hard enough (which is why I only do a few a year)
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Old January 26th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #7
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Mark,

Thanks for the links and info about the vintage lenses. I want to look in these lenses.

Keith

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Von Lanken View Post
Your budget is a big drawback. Another BIG drawback is only having one month to learn your new cameras. Renting would fit your budget, but you need the next month to learn how to shoot with your 60D and you can't do that with rented lenses, unless you rented the for a month. $$$

If renting for a month is out, then the only choice I see is Vintage Lenses. Almost every lens I own is a Vintage Lens. Example, Vivitar Series 1 (Series 1 Lenses are a step above standard Vivitar lenses) 28-105 f/2.8-3.8 for about $50-75. Nikon 50mm f/1.4 for $75-150, Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f/3.5 for $50-100. Since you have to make every dollar count, for your upcoming wedding I would get two Vivitar Series 1 28-105s or even the 28-90, one Vivitar Series 1 70-210 and one Nikon 50mm 1.4. With adapters and shipping you should be within your budget.

Are you skeptical about shooting with Vintage Lenses? There are many of us who use primarily Vintage Lenses. Joel Peregrine, Chris Watson and myself to name a few. Look up there work and check out their results. You can see my latest work with Vintage Lenses on my vimeo page.
Mark & Trisha Von Lanken on Vimeo

Prep, you can both use the 28-105/28-90, which is why I said to get two of theses.
Ceremony, wide shot-Vivitar 28-105, close shot-Vivitar 70-210
Reception, wide shot-Vivitar 28-105, close shot-Vivitar-70-210.
When shooting in really low light use the Nikon 50mm 1.4 and zoom with your feet, as Chris Watson says. Speaking of Chris Watson, read his excellent article on Vintage Lenses
EventDV.net: The Event Videographer's Resource

After reading the article you will know which mounts to look for (Nikon, C/Y, Olympus, Pentax K, M42, etc) and which mounts to stay away from (Canon FD, Minolta, etc) You will also learn where to buy Vintage Lenses (Ebay, B&H, KEH, etc.)

Whatever you do, get started practicing. If you shot in manual exposure and manual focus with your video camera, you have an advantage, but if you let the video camera automatically set exposure and focus...well you have a lot of practicing to do.

You will learn a lot at your first DSLR wedding. Learn from your mistakes and get better from them.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 12:38 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your helpful feedbacks!

@ Mark - thanks for taking the time to diligently answer my question. we will definitely check it out. My mom actually manages a big thrift store and i have come across old donated MF lenses in the past...so i'll pay her a visit...we'll also be practicing like crazy before the wedding ; our main goal is to keep it very simple until we get a handle on things.

@ Colin - Thanks!..prior to Mark's advice, these lenses are what we actually had in mind

@Inna - Great link ! thanks!

@Bubba - no experience with DSLR video but it is a great learning opportunity for my team to venture out and try something exciting and new..we hope that our 5 years experience shooting weddings with videocams would come in handy once in a while.

@Colin - no worries..we will have a Canon Vixia HD running as backup during the ceremony
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Old January 27th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #9
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I don't mean to sound rude, but I honestly think you have made the plunge a bit early.

Selling off your old gear and going all DSLR for weddings is a big, dangerous step. It's even bigger and harder if you don't have a solid understanding of lenses, focal lenghts, etc. You're going to need several lenses and possibly doubles of some (eg probably 2 70-200's for the ceremony), and glass in not cheap.

I agree with others that at this stage your best option (well, it's really your only option given your budget) is vintage glass. It doesn't really matter that you don't have autofocus lenses because you can't use it anyway.

There's alot of 70-210's around but you want to make sure you get the fast f/2.8 ones. Anything less and you'll struggle in darker locations. Then get some fast primes so you can actually take advantage of the shallow DOF and low light capabilities of a DSLR.

You'll need to fork out for something nice and wide too - something under 17mm, preferably - and you won't be able to find vintage glass this wide because older glass was designed for a larger imaging circle which didn't take crop factor into consideration when working out the field of view. In my opinion a super wide lens is a necessity for DSLR's as their form factor is very conducive to camera shake, which is then amplified by the rolling shutter wobble. So you need to counteract this with a wider FOV when handheld.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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AGREE. It does sound like people going into the DSLR route are thinking this is a cheaper way to make videos.

When is it done properly the cost of the glass and needed equipment will end up costing more than a small pro-level video camera (which only costs about $4000-7000)

A good videographer has multiple equipment options at his disposal. As stated before I love my DSLR for controlled shooting and b-roll shooting. It is completely the wrong camera for a wedding ceremony.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #11
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AGREE. It does sound like people going into the DSLR route are thinking this is a cheaper way to make videos.

When is it done properly the cost of the glass and needed equipment will end up costing more than a small pro-level video camera (which only costs about $4000-7000)

A good videographer has multiple equipment options at his disposal. As stated before I love my DSLR for controlled shooting and b-roll shooting. It is completely the wrong camera for a wedding ceremony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
I don't mean to sound rude, but I honestly think you have made the plunge a bit early.

Selling off your old gear and going all DSLR for weddings is a big, dangerous step. It's even bigger and harder if you don't have a solid understanding of lenses, focal lenghts, etc. You're going to need several lenses and possibly doubles of some (eg probably 2 70-200's for the ceremony), and glass in not cheap.

I agree with others that at this stage your best option (well, it's really your only option given your budget) is vintage glass. It doesn't really matter that you don't have autofocus lenses because you can't use it anyway.

There's alot of 70-210's around but you want to make sure you get the fast f/2.8 ones. Anything less and you'll struggle in darker locations. Then get some fast primes so you can actually take advantage of the shallow DOF and low light capabilities of a DSLR.

You'll need to fork out for something nice and wide too - something under 17mm, preferably - and you won't be able to find vintage glass this wide because older glass was designed for a larger imaging circle which didn't take crop factor into consideration when working out the field of view. In my opinion a super wide lens is a necessity for DSLR's as their form factor is very conducive to camera shake, which is then amplified by the rolling shutter wobble. So you need to counteract this with a wider FOV when handheld.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Keith Forman View Post
AGREE. It does sound like people going into the DSLR route are thinking this is a cheaper way to make videos.

When is it done properly the cost of the glass and needed equipment will end up costing more than a small pro-level video camera (which only costs about $4000-7000)
But glass is like a tripod, the investment last much longer, and they actually appreciate in some cases, so you get it back. And if cost is a concern, you can get alt glass. So I would say it is a cheaper way to get into videos. Its also incremental cost, which indyfilmakers can invest into as they get their paychecks.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Keith Forman View Post
AGREE. It does sound like people going into the DSLR route are thinking this is a cheaper way to make videos.

When is it done properly the cost of the glass and needed equipment will end up costing more than a small pro-level video camera (which only costs about $4000-7000)

A good videographer has multiple equipment options at his disposal. As stated before I love my DSLR for controlled shooting and b-roll shooting. It is completely the wrong camera for a wedding ceremony.
Keith,

You offer a valid point however we are going to the DSLR route not because its cheap but because we like the qualitly and flexibility it provides us and our clients..we also love the opportunity to learn and expand our knowledge..in terms of equipment, we've accumulated a lot in the 5 years we've been shooting weddings that we can still use with the DSLR including a Canon Vixia for ceremonies. Also given the need, we've updated our budget to $1500 for lenses :)

Cheers!

Kren
Vertical Video Works* Winnipeg Videography
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Old January 27th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
I don't mean to sound rude, but I honestly think you have made the plunge a bit early.

Selling off your old gear and going all DSLR for weddings is a big, dangerous step. It's even bigger and harder if you don't have a solid understanding of lenses, focal lenghts, etc. You're going to need several lenses and possibly doubles of some (eg probably 2 70-200's for the ceremony), and glass in not cheap.

Thanks for your concern John, we've thought about it long and hard since the last year. however we are confident in our abilities to adapt and learn new things, also we've increased our lens budget to $1500 :)

Cheers,

Kren
Vertical Video Works* Winnipeg Videography
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Old January 27th, 2011, 12:45 PM   #15
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Kren,

You're making my point for me. The Canon Vixia is a consumer camera not a pro camera (my tripods cost more than that camera) and you can't get the pro lenses needed for $1500. I understand that many clients of wedding videography are not that discerning however they are paying you to be discerning for them.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Autofocus Lens 2569A004 B&H Photo

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Zoom Lens 1242B002 B&H Photo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
Keith,

You offer a valid point however we are going to the DSLR route not because its cheap but because we like the qualitly and flexibility it provides us and our clients..we also love the opportunity to learn and expand our knowledge..in terms of equipment, we've accumulated a lot in the 5 years we've been shooting weddings that we can still use with the DSLR including a Canon Vivia for ceremonies. Also given the need, we've updated our budget to $1500 for lenses :)

Cheers!

Kren
Vertical Video Works* Winnipeg Videography
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