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


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Old June 1st, 2014, 01:56 PM   #1
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Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

I have a general idea of what lenses to use for weddings but I am very curious to see what works best for everyone. During the prep what lenses do you use? Is it the same lens if it was a wide shot or detail shot? What about for slider shots or glide cam shots? If you can give me a breakdown of your lens selection for each shot you go for throughout the wedding day, that was be very insightful.

I have a 70d with a 16-135mm f/3.5 and I am looking at the 35mm f/1.4 and the 70-200mm f/4. I am thinking the 16-135mm isnt wide enough for the glidecam and borrow a buddies 10-20mm.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

I shoot m4/3 camera so cropfactor is different then your camera but I use a 25mm f1.4 during bride prep, it's not stabilised but I am able to handhold it steady enough to not use a monopod or tripod. I use a 12mm f2.0 which sits permanently on the steadicam and I use a 75mm f1.8 always on a tripod for talking heads and speeches at the venue. Then there is a stabilised 12-35mm f2.8 for more run and gun stuff.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

We use 70Ds, but without great lenses, we've been stuck using the kit lens 18-55mm STM during prep because it's focus is the smoothest and quietest of our lenses when using live autofocus, and a zoom lens gives us the flexibility we need. I'd love to know how well the lenses you have do.

For the ceremony itself, we use 50-250mm STMs on 70Ds in the outside aisles, because once we get to the vows, we like a very tight shot from over the groom's shoulder of the bride, and vice versa. The aisle camera is usually at about 135mm, but it depends on the church. Some larger venues I use 200mm (full frame)

Our lens noise tests with the 70D focus. I'm most interested in how the Sigma 50-150mm does, or Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 (or f/4) do.

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Old June 1st, 2014, 03:24 PM   #4
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

My lens that takes care of 90% of wedding is the Canon EFS 17-55 IS constant aperture F 2.8.
Razor sharp. Best all purpose lens ever made for APS size.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 04:18 PM   #5
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

when i use my Canon 5D Mk III, I use a EF 24-105mm f/4 and a EF 70-200mm f/2.8, for preparations in the Brides house it's the 24 -105, same for the first dance, during the speeches I am well back and use the 70 -200 sometimes will use this for the vows etc. depending on space and convenience.
I have a 35mm f/1.4 that i used before along with a EF 16-35mm f/2.8 which are both damaged after a fall from a bag, both these were good performers too.
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Last edited by Rob Cantwell; June 1st, 2014 at 04:24 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old June 1st, 2014, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Gannis View Post
My lens that takes care of 90% of wedding is the Canon EFS 17-55 IS constant aperture F 2.8.
Razor sharp. Best all purpose lens ever made for APS size.
+1
Razor sharp, on tbe 70d, but we are using the c100 and 6d by far these days even though the 70d is auto focus, there is something special with full frame video that excites me
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Old June 1st, 2014, 05:40 PM   #7
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

Quote:
Razor sharp, on tbe 70d
Some that shoot 4K camera would highly disagree ;) but it's true that a constant fast aperture zoom is a must have lens that can be used for a wide variety type of shots.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 06:06 PM   #8
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

Hi Sean,

I don't know how it works with crop factor, etc, but the following is what I'm packing on 5dMk3. All Canon. Note that my personal preference is either for wide or close; I don't like mid that much. So I actually don't like the 50mm length that most people use. I also much prefer zooms to primes; the ability to capture candid moments is more valuable to me (and one of the things I market my business on) than the more technically beautiful images from primes.

Bride prep

-- One shooter mainly on 24-105 -- for slider shots, general shots, whatever. It's just such a versatile lens. Love the IS, even for monopod shots. And the Mk3 can make up for the f/4 lowlight limitations.
-- Occasionally swapping out to either a 70-200 or 100-400 depending on the situation. If I have to shoot the bride getting dressed by myself, I'll stay on 24-105. But if I have a second who has the wide angles covered, I'll switch out to a close-up lens. If it's a skittish bride and bridesmaids group who are really uncomfortable around cameras, and there's enough room in the room, we might shoot a lot of the make-up etc on the close-up lenses as well.
-- Second shooter on 16-35 or 24-105 with steadicam. 16-35 because of the wide/deep focus factor. 24-105 for using steadicam with shallow depth of field while still retaining some versatility. IS also helps steadicam of course.
-- And we'd carry a 100mm macro for ring shots and some make-up shots.

Groom prep

-- Same as bride prep.

Ceremony

Well, we're going to be shooting this with a minimum of three cameras -- one wide, two close-ups. Sometimes four. Lenses vary a lot depending on layout etc. But a typical breakdown might be:

-- On processional, I'd be on a 70-200 to watch the bride coming down the aisle. Second shooter on 16-35 for steadicam for just the first part of the entry. Wide angle with... Well, we do carry some primes. Used to use a 24-70 for this. Now it's normally a 24mm or 50mm, or even 100mm. We often carry 40mm pancake as opposed to the 50, because that tiny bit of space it saves in the bags is actually helpful. Groom's first look -- ideally with a 70-200, but closer to the 70 end, since the camera is often unmanned.
-- For ceremony proper: two cameras at the front would have a 100-400 and a 28-300, so that they've got the reach to pick out faces in the audience. The 28-300 because sometimes the speaker is positioned quite close to the camera, so you'd need to be able to zoom out wide as well. Third wide-angle camera sticks with whatever it's got -- 24 or 50 normally. Fourth camera, if there is one, probably a 70-200, and would just get musician shots or be a couple cam mainly, or sometimes act as a safety wide during the signing.

Photoshoot

-- Usually I'm on a 70-200 or 100-400 on a monopod, and my second shooter is on a 16-35, with a 24-105 or 100mm handy for shallow-depth steadicam shots.

Reception

-- For details, same sorts of lenses we normally use. 24-105 + monopod/slider, 16-35 + steadicam. Maybe switching to 70-200 from time to time -- for instance, getting a nice shallow depth slider shot.
-- For candids, usually 70-200, because you need the f/2.8. If I can get away with it, I'll switch to 100-400, which is f/3.5-5.6.
-- For wide shots (for instance, on entry or during dancing or entertainment), something like 24mm f/1.4. Can sometimes get away with 40mm pancake.
-- During speeches: 100-400 and 28-300 to cover speaker and couple, and 70-200 for reaction shots. I'd rather use 100-400 for reactions, but depends on lighting conditions. We'd also have a fourth camera handy with a wide angle lens, usually 24mm these days (previously 24-70, but we've started carrying the 24mm in preference), because if we're all stuck on close-up lenses when they transition from speeches to cake cut, we're screwed.
-- First dance: 70-200, 16-35 + steadicam are the main lenses, with a 24mm safety wide.
-- For mucking around/getting creative shots, the sky's the limit. Will try lens-whacking with a Nikon 50mm, or run around with the 24mm getting wide-angle shallow-depth shots or whatever.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 08:30 PM   #9
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

I also use Micro four thirds system ... namely Panasonic GH 3 and a GH 13.
I use the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 for nearly everything close including steadicam shots. The only other lenses I use are the 20mm f1.7 and the 14-140 for longer outside shots.

I should also mention that I run a Nikon system as well. Nikon D610 and a Nikon D7100. I use 28mm f1.8, 50mm f1.4 and 28-75 f2.8 for the D610 and 17-50 f2.8, 35mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.4 for the D7100.
I do have a 70-200 f2.8 but never use it for video.

I also have dedicated video cameras Panasonic AC90 and Canon HFG30 for easy setup and capture as well as audio.

I use the GH 3 for 90 % of wedding coverage ... certainly would never use the Nikons handheld. My eyes are not good enough to accurately focus using the LCD screen but I love the fact that you can use the GH 3 viewfinder whilst shooting video.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 09:20 PM   #10
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

Gosh

You guys must be all shooting from the back of the Church ..then again I'm pretty much up front so on APSC is seldom go any more than 50mm ... My choice at ceremonies is 17-50 and on the stedicam I stay at 18mm but if I do need a wider shot I use a Tamron 10-24 ... At receptions gain I like to stay close to the action so my 18-35 F1,8 virtually stays on all night so I don't need lights and the DOF is controllable

Wow 70-200 for bridal entrance!! even on full frame cameras 70mm means that unless you are a long way away all you are getting are the bridesmaid's faces.

I guess the lenses you use must match your position in the aisle and ceremony... I cannot imagine where I would use 200mm !! Each to their own.

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Old June 1st, 2014, 11:19 PM   #11
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

Answers are very insightful so far. If they came out with a full sensored autofocus DSLR, I would no doubt have that than the 70d.

I am for sure going to get the 70-200 f/4. No way I am spending $2500 for the 2.8. Hopefully f/4 is enough for the toasts.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 11:28 PM   #12
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

Doesn't seem like there are a lot of prime shooters here. I prefer primes whenever I possibly can, outside of the ceremony.

I shoot with a 5d3 & 6D.

For prep I use the 35 Sigma 1.4 Art on the monopod (my favorite lens) or the Canon 24 1.4L on the slider. I also throw in the 50 1.4 (until I buy the Sigma 50 1.4 Art soon.)

For the ceremony I have the 24-105L on the 6D and the 70-200 2.8L on the 5D3.

For the reception I like to use the 24 & 35 whenever I can (I fly with the 24L always for dancing), but will mix in the 70-200 as well.

If I could shoot with only primes, I would. Well maybe except for the 70-200, which basically shoots like one.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 01:37 PM   #13
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

I also utilize primes as much as possible. We typically use either a 35mm or 50mm during prep. I think the 35mm gives a little bit "fun/loose" feeling to the mood since the compression isn't as strong, so it really depends on if it's an intimate moment or a more relaxed moment. Of course it also depends on what I have room to utilize too (some rooms are small).

I'll usually fly with the 24 or 14. The 14 makes it feel like you're moving fast through a frame.

The ceremony has 1 cam with the 24-105 and two with the 70-200.

The reception we use a 70-200 and 85mm for toast. And will typically will use the 50mm, 35mm and 85mm primes during the rest of the ceremony. It just depends on what is going on.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 02:25 PM   #14
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

With the 70-200 you will need to splash the cash and get the IS version. At that focal length you will often find the 'shimmer' from vibrations will be very noticeable.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: Weddings: I would like to get your take on specific lenses for specific shots....

"splash the cash", would be a great slogan for a bumper sticker when my wife goes out shopping. :)
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