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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

I'm talking DSLR, of course. I still haven't taken the plunge, mainly for financial reasons. But it seems that the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 is a show-stopper as much as any single lens can be. Would it be a feasible one-lens operation, or would a variety of 2 to 3 be better?

To be quite honest, I'm a bit low budget. I run with a couple of Canon GL2s and a GL1. Even though I work my butt off, these cams don't give me that professional look that I see here, and my prices run accordingly. Also, this is not my full time gig.

Anyway, back to the question. So??
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

I cannot image trying to shoot a wedding with just a 17-55 2.8. You could not get a closeup of the vows with that lens. Additionally, 2.8 is fast for a zoom, but in low light receptions I rely on fast primes. In really low light, 2.8 is often not bright enough.

If $1100 is your max budget for lenses, go with Vintage Lenses. You can get alot of the lenses you will need for about $1100, that is if you go the vintage route. There is a lot of info about Vintage Lenses on this site on the DSLR forum. You can also check out this article to get you started.

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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:59 PM   #3
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

Thanks for your response. Actually I was checking out your Vimeo channel today. I wasn't sure which lenses you were using though.

I hadn't thought of using vintage lenses until you mentioned it. For new, I was looking at getting either a 50mm or 30mm, or both. And then also I want to find a good lens for the ceremony for my second shooter. But if going vintage will work, I am open to my options. I haven't made the jump yet and have been contemplating it for quite a while.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 08:04 PM   #4
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

Hi Christian,

You are welcome. I prefer a vintage Nikon 50 1.4 for about $100-150 over a new Canon 50mm 1.8 for about $100. You could also consider the Helios 44 which is a 58mm 2.0 for as little as $30. In the 30mm range, I have heard good things about the Sigma 30mm 1.4 but I don't have one.

A great cost effective lens for the ceremony is the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 3.5 for about $100. Sure, the Canon L 70-200 has IS and is 2.8, but it's about $2200 more than the Vivitar Series 1.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

If I was stranded on an island and had to shoot a wedding with just one lens I would choose a Canon 35 1.4 (with a crop body) or (Canon 50 1.2 for full frame) Yes it would be a wide shot for the ceremony, but that's the only time I use a telephoto lens. The rest of the day is about that 2.0-2.8 aperture.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 09:45 PM   #6
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

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Originally Posted by Aaron Almquist View Post
If I was stranded on an island and had to shoot a wedding with just one lens I would choose a Canon 35 1.4 (with a crop body) or (Canon 50 1.2 for full frame) Yes it would be a wide shot for the ceremony, but that's the only time I use a telephoto lens. The rest of the day is about that 2.0-2.8 aperture.
Aaron, if you were stranded on an island, that 35mm would probably be just fine for the beach ceremony. You could get close enough with it. ;-)
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 10:18 PM   #7
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

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Originally Posted by Mark Von Lanken View Post
Hi Christian,

You are welcome. I prefer a vintage Nikon 50 1.4 for about $100-150 over a new Canon 50mm 1.8 for about $100. You could also consider the Helios 44 which is a 58mm 2.0 for as little as $30. In the 30mm range, I have heard good things about the Sigma 30mm 1.4 but I don't have one.

A great cost effective lens for the ceremony is the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 3.5 for about $100. Sure, the Canon L 70-200 has IS and is 2.8, but it's about $2200 more than the Vivitar Series 1.
Christian , i was in the same boat as you were about 3 weeks ago and took Mark's advice. I went around different pawnshops, flea markets, thrift stores even an estate sale (in -40'C weather) and i've managed to score some of the lenses Mark indicated (and more) for approximately $300. All you need is to order some adapters from e-bay to fit your Canon EOS. They range from $5-$20 so very economical..

Nikon 50 1.4
Helios 44 58mm 2.0
Vivitar Series 1 70-210 3.5
Hanimar 135/3.5 & 28/2.8
Pentacon 55/1.8
Super Takumar 105mm f/2.8

These to go along with our newer lenses Canon 85 /1.8 and a couple of Tamrons (17-50 & 28-75) 2.8

Total bill for 10 lenses $1,200.00 :)

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Kren
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 08:06 PM   #8
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

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Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?
Yes - I have one lens on my camera. Though I'm not looking forward to shooting 3-D - then we'll have to have two...
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Old February 24th, 2011, 08:48 AM   #9
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

Honestly, I think shooting with a single lens is rather optimistic unless you have a no holes barred agreement than means you can go any where you want when ever you want so you can get the framing. That never happens here.

I admire your courage though. I don't want to shot a wedding with a single camera let alone a single lens!
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Old February 24th, 2011, 02:08 PM   #10
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

There aren't really any zoom lenses for DSLRs that would be the equivalent of those on a camcorder which may well be 18x or the equivalent of 28mm-500mm but even a 10X 28mm-280mm would be enough.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #11
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

If I were to shoot with one lens only, i thing it would have to be a 24-105 f4 IS.

I will trade low light with versatility and range. It's light enough and sharp being an L. I'll just bump the ISO up.

We've been too spoiled with low light by the dslrs. Years ago, F4 performance would have still been excellent on regular video cams.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #12
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

I agree.. the 24-105 lens is awesome for versatility (it has IS which helps too). The 4 fstop sucks but hey boost you're ISO - it will look like crap but that's the sacrifice you'll have to pay. This is probably what I'd do in your situation. If you have room left over i'd also purchase a used 50mm 1.4; this lens is cheap and that way you'd be covered for low light work too. (but then you'd have two lenses lol)

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Old February 25th, 2011, 03:22 AM   #13
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

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Originally Posted by Jason Magbanua View Post
If I were to shoot with one lens only, i thing it would have to be a 24-105 f4 IS.
Funny. I just sold mine because I NEVER use it! F4 just didn't cut it for me in low light. I'd need lights too much of the time. I'm not willing to shoot at ISO10,000 all the time on the current cameras. Maybe one day.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 03:39 AM   #14
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Re: Does anyone shoot with just ONE lens?

Yes I just sold mine too because I ditched it when it got dark.. but I still think its a great lens for flexibility sake. Canon needs to make this lens in a 2.8
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