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


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Old October 30th, 2015, 10:35 AM   #1
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What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

I havent't searched it and haven't really seen anyone talk about it so I am bringing it up. Maybe I just have missed the conversations about lenses and application. It's funny how you learn new things about your gear or situations each time you go out and shoot. This is my setup for the day, I would like to hear what you use as well.
Canon C100 with Tamron 24-75mm 2.8 for preps
Tamron 70-200 for ceremony
Rokinon 85mm for speeches and first dance
I have been using the Tamron 24-75mm for cake cutting, but lately I have found that some of the weddings are so dark that I would prefer to use the 85mm 1.5 for that really clean look

6d Ceremony Tamon 70-200
Reception Rokinon 50mm 1.5
Glidecam has the Canon 20mm with the 6d. During the dances I usually get a few glidecam shots and then place the glidcam under or close to my tripod while rolling so I can get a lower angle shot in case I need that extra shot.

I have been spoiled using the Rokinon lenses so much that when shooting with a 2.8 lens I feel that it could look better with a 1.5 lens. I use lights, however the Rokinon gives such as clean look that I am really thinking about just using it over the zoom lenses I have during the reception. Yes the zoom is very handy, but when it comes to editng the final video you look at the image shot with the 2.8 lens and say I could have done better. Maybe I am a perfectionsist and I am always looking to improve my game, but one thing is for sure...you get a lot more with a 1.5 lens than a 2.8.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 11:12 AM   #2
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

I'm using micro 4/3s, so my setup is:

Bridal Preps:
12-35mm 2.8 for slider and establishing shots.
Panasonic 25mm 1.4 & 42.5mm 1.2 for beauty shots

Ceremony:
Either 12-35 or 35-100 for main camera, or 42.5 if its a dark room.
Olympus 12mm 2.0 for camera 2
Panasonic 14mm 2.5 for camera 3
Either the 25mm or Olympus 45mm 1.8 for camera 4

Reception:
12-35 on gimbal, slider, jib and for general wide shots. The 42.5 and Olympus 75mm 1.8 for beauty shots of the guests.

Speeches:
Same as Ceremony

1st Dance:
As Speeches and Ceremony, except camera 4 has a slr magic 12mm 1.6 lens and my main camera has either the 25 or 42.5.

Evening Reception:
Olympus 12mm, Voigtlander 17.5mm 0.95, 25mm and 42.5mm. I never use the zoom; that's retired to my bag before the 1st dance or even earlier if its a darker venue.

Winter, my zooms get even less use. One big advantage with the 4/3 lenses is they're smaller and I can have 3 other primes in my side bag. So if I need to change the angle, I can do so quite quickly.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 11:17 AM   #3
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

Hey, Jeff. You and I have talked about this before, but...

Prep
Canon 70D (super easy tracking focus) with the 18-135mm STM lens (cheap junk, but makes keeping focus a zero problem). For pretty shots, I have a Sigma 17-70mm macro f/2.8-4, or the 5d Mark ii with one of my primes on it.

Ceremony
Aisle: 5d Mark ii with 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm prime.
Balcony: Go Pro Hero4 Black
Up front, on either side aisle: Canon 70D with the 18-135mm for most of the ceremony, then the 55-250mm STM for vows.

Reception:
We stick with primes. I have a 14mm (rarely), 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm.

I don't have a glidecam or anything for the dancing. I put the 5d Mark ii, 35mm f/2 on a tripod with the legs short. The weight helps smooth out my movement.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 04:38 PM   #4
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

I use only 1 lens. The one that is permanently stuck on the Sony RX10. Constant 2.8 and a 8 to 1 zoom. And if I really want to get wide and fancy, I just screw in a fisheye adapter that I always keep in the camera bag. Sweet and simple.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 05:19 PM   #5
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

Prep canon 70d 17-55mm 2.8 and canon 6d tamron 24-70mm 2.8, slider, mono pod. Arrivals 6d tamron 24-70mm 2.8, also another 6d with sigam 70-200 2.8.
Ceremony, safety camcorder small at the back and next to me at the front, then 70d for facial track bride isle shot, and then the ceremony, from half way up isle or back or side, canon 6d 70-200, camcorder on shoulder for safety and back up in case.
Exit mingling two 6d one with 70-200 and other 24-70 tamron
Reception 70d on hd4000 glide cam, 70-200 second cam.
speeches 70d two 6d and one safety camcorder.
First dance two 6d one close/tight, one wide at 24mm end, 70d on the glide, camcorder wide as safety net.
Two mono pods, two sliders one large one short, two tripods, one glide cam, one Dj Phantom advance quad
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Old October 30th, 2015, 06:54 PM   #6
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

Hi Arthur

I was on a barrage of lenses up until August this year. Either the lens you need is over on the other side of the venue or you have to walk around with fanny packs strapped to your waist so you have access to them all! Nowdays it's so easy .. Just one 25mm - 400mm attached permanently to the camera ...dunno why I put up with all the multiple lens nonsense for so long. Maybe it's a status thing "Look at all my lenses..I must be a pro" .. I'm over that now and still get the shots I want!!
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Old October 30th, 2015, 10:48 PM   #7
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

Chris, way back when i was doing photography I used a medium format camera with only 3 lenses. There was no zoom available for it. A moderate wide, a normal and a short tele. That was it. The equivalent to a 3:1 zoom ratio. Even before that I has to manage just with a normal lens before I saved enough clams to buy the other 2. If I wanted a close-up I marched closer to the subject likewise a wider shot meant backing up to a wall or into a closet. That 80mm normal lens worked me up a lot. Today, I see no need for extra lenses other that a good fast zoom. In one zoom lens I can say I have a 24, 28,35,50,85,135, and a 200mm. All with 2.8 aperture. Now having a zoom that covers that range ,and many of them do, will save a lot of footwork and clicking on lenses as well as extra weight to lug around. OK I know that it ain't a F1.2 or a F.95 of that almighty bokeh calls for but must we spend all that extra money carrying those clunky fast primes, schlepping all that weight just for the bokeh? I dunno, I get nice bokeh when I am at F2.8 and zoomed in a bit. Today we are spoiled with all that available gear just enticing us to spend that hard earned money we made using perhaps gear that was not really necessary to begin with. Nah, we don't just wanna use one lens on a tiny camera, we love weight and slaving ourselves to schlep it along. After all we are pros and pros must show gear, and lots of it..right?
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Old October 30th, 2015, 10:52 PM   #8
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

On a full frame camera body...

Canon 24-70/2.8
-This is the lens I use the most throughout the day.
-On a tripod, monopod, slider, or steadicam
-For steadicam, I have it zoomed in anywhere from 24mm to 70mm

Canon 70-200/2.8
-Ceremony, cocktails, romantics
-On a tripod

Canon 50/1.8
-Walking around tables at reception, dancing
-On a monopod

Tokina 11-16/2.8
-Details, dancing
-On a steadicam or slider
-On a full frame body, I have to keep this lens zoomed in to 16mm.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 11:38 PM   #9
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

Hey Arthur

I guess we are old school and used to video cameras? When I was using my Sony cameras with Nikon lenses I still only used a 18-70mm F2.8 for the main camera and an 18-35mm F1.8 on the B-Cam cos I never wanted to schlep around lenses. I still do stills with my two Nikons and have a case full of lenses which really is a pain in the butt to take from location to location so even on stills now I will only use a 10-24mm zoom for the big group photo and then once the bigger formals are done, I change to the 18-70 and it stays on for the rest of the day!

I still cannot figure out why people are using lenses like the 70 - 200 at wedding ceremonies ..sheesh, where are you guys standing ..about 100' away from the couple or the Churches and Venues must be REALLY big! At receptions I'm full wide 99% of the time which is 25mm for full frame ...Using an 85mm prime for the first dance?? Yikes you must either be quite far away and just have the couples faces in the shot .. I tried a 50mm Sony lens on my APSC cameras a long time back and I found I had to be totally away from the dance floor to even get a shot that included just a couple never mind a group!
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Old October 31st, 2015, 01:01 AM   #10
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

90% of my shots throughout the entire day are done with the zoom between wide to normal. This causes the least shaking handheld and when I need close-ups I rarely go beyond 2X from normal. I don't think I ever shot near the far end of the zoom.
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Old October 31st, 2015, 01:54 AM   #11
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Maybe it's a status thing "Look at all my lenses..I must be a pro" .. I'm over that now and still get the shots I want!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Gannis View Post
After all we are pros and pros must show gear, and lots of it..right?
When you two have finished hijacking this thread with a bitch and moan on those professionals who prefer to use professional lenses rather than a jack of all trades, master of none, perhaps you'd like to spare a thought that using primes isn't a status thing or to prove we're pros. The fact I use primes impresses no one except maybe the odd video professional I may encounter. Most don't give a tuppeny toss what gear I use. Sure my slider, gimbal and jib may get the odd remark, but frankly I find such comments more annoying than satisfying.

I think you Chris mentioned how you disliked the colour from Sony cameras, is it that much of a stretch to imagine that some of us equally dislike the image a zoom can give under certain conditions. Your full of praise for the fz1000s image compared to your previous camera, and its better handling in low light, so clearly image quality does matter to you as it does to others. You've just sacrificed some for the sake of convenience of using 1 camera and lens.

Ultimately I enjoy working with my primes as you both enjoy working with your respective cameras. I like the image I get from my gear, which is the only reason I use it, and the footage is far superior to anything a zoom could produce. You two prefer simplicity and convenience, nothing wrong with that. Just accept that others have different needs and expectations and are willing to accept the extra gear it requires.

And my 35-100 is equal to 70-200 and its use doesn't mean I'm 100' away, just getting MCU of the couple and Guests during the Ceremony and Speeches. On both I prefer to keep a respective distance and not stand say next to the head table for instance. If you film with 1 camera, I can understand a need to keep it wide and safe, but when you film with multiple cameras, you have more options to add variety to your shots. If I use an extreme end of the zoom for instance, it could be to show a close up of the ring being placed on.
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Old October 31st, 2015, 02:50 AM   #12
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

I have narrowed my lens choices down to a 12mm f2.0 which permanently sits on my gh3/steadicam, a 42,5mm f1.7 which is stabilized and a 25mm f1.4 for my gh4. The reason for those primes is mainly low light performance and creative shots. For all the rest (mainly for run and gun, ease of use or as set it and forget it kind of camera's I use fixed lens cameras like a rx10, a ax100 or a cx730.
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Old October 31st, 2015, 04:50 AM   #13
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

For the G7 I have a Panny 25/1.4 and Panny 28 2.5

For the A7R MKII I have 24/70 and 70/200 F4's

For slowmmo I love the RX10 II

For run and gun my choice is the AX100 every time
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Old October 31st, 2015, 04:57 AM   #14
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cook View Post
Canon C100 with Tamron 24-75mm 2.8 for preps
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cook View Post
I have been spoiled using the Rokinon lenses so much that when shooting with a 2.8 lens I feel that it could look better with a 1.5 lens. I use lights, however the Rokinon gives such as clean look that I am really thinking about just using it over the zoom lenses I have during the reception. Yes the zoom is very handy, but when it comes to editng the final video you look at the image shot with the 2.8 lens and say I could have done better. Maybe I am a perfectionsist and I am always looking to improve my game, but one thing is for sure...you get a lot more with a 1.5 lens than a 2.8.
Jeff, have you considered that it might be because it's a Tamron lens that you are unhappy with the image? Most people would prefer the Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS on an APS-C sensor. The Tamron is not very wide as it's going to be the full frame equivalent of a 36mm on the C100 & although the build of the Canon lens is a bit plasticky the image quality is pin sharp & as good as any 'L' lens.
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Old October 31st, 2015, 10:16 AM   #15
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Re: What lenses are you using throughout the wedding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cook View Post
Canon C100 with Tamron 24-75mm 2.8 for preps
Tamron 70-200 for ceremony
Rokinon 85mm for speeches and first dance
I have been using the Tamron 24-75mm for cake cutting, but lately I have found that some of the weddings are so dark that I would prefer to use the 85mm 1.5 for that really clean look
Wouldn't an 85mm be and pretty extreme zoom for speeches & especially 1st dance?

I have a Sony VG 900 as my B camera, which is a decent entryway for me into the world of DSLR/Interchangeable lenses. Although I wish I had read this thread before checking out some lenses lol. As to what Chris Harding asked, I can't imagine using a 25mm(??) for the ceremony?! I've had very few small venues where that would work? Let alone Catholic Churches (which in the US tend to be about the size of a basketball or hockey rink floor), and I'm skuttled down about 30 to 50 feet down the aisle, even hotel & other venues I'd need 50mm at least.

Anyway, soon enough I found 50mm wasn't close to enough, and with a few outdoor weddings I didn't have to worry much about gain/ISO and being a B cam I too bought a 70-200, f/4, slow, esp when zoomed in up higher f stop, but it serves it's purpose and again good for summer/outdoor weddings. Others include in order I purchased them:

50mm Sony 1.8(APS-C, it was cheap)
Sammyang 14mm Fisheye (Cheap, admittedly not sure I need it)
Helios 58mm f2 (cool Russian lens I read about. Only $50 bucks, gives great DOF although it sorta duplicates the 50mm with no autofocus. No reason to resell it tho).

Ultimately I feel I worked my way around in a circle, and I should have started with just a 35mm (Sigma?), for reception/dancing, and the zoom for big churches. Learning experience, and I can grow into DSLR or similar in a year or two. My main camera is still a Z5U fwiw.
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