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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 26th, 2011, 01:00 AM   #1
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Need help with lens for 60D for shooting weddings

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..

Kren
www.verticalvideoworks.ca
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Old January 26th, 2011, 02:35 AM   #2
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will you ONLY be using DSLRs? if so you need a good wide-long range zoom and there are none in your price bracket for 2 unless you want the 18-55 lens which wont give you super shallow DOF nor will it be long enough for practical long shots like you'd need at the ceremony. if you are still going to use camcorders as well then Id suggest getting 2 50mm's because those're the cheapest bang for your buck lens thatll give that wow shallow DOF look AND will give you some good low light performance during the reception. or you can drop in on some old manual nikon lenses or whatever but you're probably going to have to spend about $600 per camera on lenses as the bare min im my books. I started with the 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 and a 50mm 1.4

Now I just rent a 24-70 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8 and use those with my 11-16 2.8

Renting is a really good option for you, you're looking at about $40 per lens to rent and you can get a 24-70, a 70-200 and a 35 or 24mm for the glidecam then youll be using L lenses and get the best image quality practically possible .

I really suggest renting to see which lenses you work well with because the problem is that you want reasonably wide-portrait mm for everything except the ceremony where youll need alot of telephoto distance. if I didnt have to shoot the ceremony I wouldnt be renting the 70-200 and if I didnt have to shoot the bride/groom prep I wouldnt be renting the 24-70.

you gotta find out which mm lengths work for you and the problem is that you cant really go and buy the cheapo lenses because you need lowlight quality.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #3
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Kren, I read good reviews about the old Super Takumar lens in this forum. I think a 1.8 goes for $200 on Craigslist right now. Or you can go buy a Brand new Canon 50mm 1.8 for $ 125. That leaves you with $ 475 to spend, the Canon 70-200 f4 goes for $ 600 on Craigslist.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 07:47 AM   #4
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With such a low budget it's almost impossble to get anything unless you buy used.

There are several low cost MF lenses on ebay and adaptors to fit any lens to your EOS.

First of all you will need lenses at least f2.8 or less.

You will need a zoom. You can find a Sigma 24-70 2.8 or a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 used under $300. The Tamron costs $330 new.
A MF 50mm f1.4 or 1.7 will cost you between $50-100, a used Sigma 20 f1.8 would be a good choice for receptions (under $300) and you can also get a Russian 16mm fisheye for your wide shots ($165).

For telephotos lenses you will have to save up some more or settle for an f4 lens.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 12:44 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your helpful feedbacks!

@Spiros - thanks for taking the time to provide us with detailed info ...much appreciated

@David - thanks for the detailed advice...we will also have a Canon Vixia HD as a 3rd camera for back up purposes in case we screw up.. renting lenses here in Canada is somewhat expensive and there are not a lot of stores that do it.

@Noel - thanks buddy! we were sad to let the Sony go but after 3 years i think its time to try something fresh and exciting...
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Old January 27th, 2011, 08:06 AM   #7
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Kren, I think with DSLR you need to sacrifice more. I honestly have regretted my purchases on the cheaper lenses as I eventually sold them and upgraded to a better lenses. However, if I must choose on which cheaper lenses to start with, it would be Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and Canon 70-200mm f4L (haven't tried the Sigma equivalent but is worth considering). If you need a fast prime, I'd go with either Sigma 30mm f1.4 or Canon 50mm f1.4.

Both covers most ranges and is probably within your budget. I've used my Tamron 17-50mm on a steadicam and it works fine. Make sure you also stock up some spare batteries and memory cards to cover you for the whole day too.

Sure you'll enjoy the quality these babies will produce :)
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Old January 27th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #8
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Kren, good luck on the new DSLRs, I am keeping my HD1000 and purchasing a Canon t2i for Bride prep & Park Shoot.

The only draw back I think for the DSLR is if you are shooting a Debut (18th Birthday), you know the 18 candles/roses which is a good 20 minute non-stop shoot.

Happy shooting!
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Old January 27th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
Kren, good luck on the new DSLRs, I am keeping my HD1000 and purchasing a Canon t2i for Bride prep & Park Shoot.

The only draw back I think for the DSLR is if you are shooting a Debut (18th Birthday), you know the 18 candles/roses which is a good 20 minute non-stop shoot.

Happy shooting!
There's no 1/2 second break time? I just shot a bar mitzvah and there were plenty of times I could hit the pause/record button during the candle lighting.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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Michael, the 18 roses/candles is one long ceremony. 18 ladies lights a candle one by one, so you have to shoot the lady lighting a candle, she will say her well wishes , kiss the debutante, place the candle on the cake, all of this while the next participants name is being called out. I guess you can pause somewhere but there are participants who goes well beyond the customary greetings and goes on and on about how they met, etc. After the 18 candles, the debutante will blow all 18 candles and deliver her thank you speech, all in one continuous ceremony.

I guess in Kren's part he can coordinate with the other shooter with a hand signal, but as a solo shooter this will kill me.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
Michael, the 18 roses/candles is one long ceremony. 18 ladies lights a candle one by one, so you have to shoot the lady lighting a candle, she will say her well wishes , kiss the debutante, place the candle on the cake, all of this while the next participants name is being called out. I guess you can pause somewhere but there are participants who goes well beyond the customary greetings and goes on and on about how they met, etc. After the 18 candles, the debutante will blow all 18 candles and deliver her thank you speech, all in one continuous ceremony.

I guess in Kren's part he can coordinate with the other shooter with a hand signal, but as a solo shooter this will kill me.
For the Bar Mitzvah, I had one DSLR on a tripod and another one on a monopod..just me as the cameraman. Get some cutaways to cover yourself and you should be good to go!
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Old January 27th, 2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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Good advice Michael, maybe I will feel more comfortable once I have 2 or 3 dslr shoots in my resume. I personally think that the learning curve and the thought on missing out on something is too much for me to handle for a first dslr shoot.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 11:06 AM   #13
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Still motions tutorials are really worth the watch. How do I post a link to a vimeo???
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Old January 27th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
Good advice Michael, maybe I will feel more comfortable once I have 2 or 3 dslr shoots in my resume. I personally think that the learning curve and the thought on missing out on something is too much for me to handle for a first dslr shoot.
oh yes. My first 10 or so weddings I had an XHA1 running tape.
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