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


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Old March 25th, 2016, 11:24 AM   #1
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Lens changing and focal lengths

There have been a few weddings in teh past where I never took my 24-70mm lens off after the ceremony, and found the 2.8 did a perfectly adequate job with the wedding day's shooting, but on nearly every wedding my go to lens is a 35mm focal length.

I lately though bought a 85mm with a view to mixing it up a little - an 85mm can give a super shallow DOF shot.

So, I did my first wedding trying to juggle two focal lengths and I've pretty much decided I won't do it again. It just takes too much time to switch. and by the time you do, the moment has perhaps passed or you realise you need to be wide again.

For me it just seemed like added complications. Maybe I just need practice.

I thought I'd throw it out to you guys.

Who switches lenses regularly during a shoot? Does anyone just use zooms to be flexible?
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Old March 25th, 2016, 01:12 PM   #2
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

Never Clive!! 24-70 tamron 2.8 on full frame great fir everything then other full frame 70-200 sigma 2.8, I'm set switch from one camera to the other. Sod changing lenses!!!
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Old March 25th, 2016, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

I buy a camerabody for every lens :) Last wedding I left my 12-35mm lens (24-70 full frame equiv) on until the evening and then switched to a 15mm or 42,5mm prime, in that case I leave my gh4 with a 12mm attached to my side so if I have the 42mm on my main camera I at least can shoot very wide if something comes up. I try to minimize switching lenses.
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Old March 25th, 2016, 01:51 PM   #4
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

I have a Canon C100 and I try to keep lens changes to a minimum.
Canon 18-135 f3.5-5.6 if everything is exterior.
Tamron 17-50 f2.8 if it's interior.
Sigma 18-35 f1.8 for late night stuff.

Once I change the lens stays on unless the lighting conditions require it.
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Old March 25th, 2016, 02:31 PM   #5
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

I have both full frame and crop factor cameras.

I don't like switching, but like having options on hand.

So, for instance, if the lighting is just too dark, its nice to have 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.8 (STM for my 70Ds), and an 85mm f/1.8 in my bag.
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Old March 25th, 2016, 04:35 PM   #6
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

Thanks guys. Funny that since moving to Sony a7s and now a7sii, I almost don't think of lens aperture in terms of light levels. (How it should be I might add).
It's all about DOF, and I think in some occasions 2.8 doesn't quite give me the wow look. Otherwise I'd be tempted to buy a better 24-70 (than my Tamron) and sell every other lens.

The G Master is stupidly expensive but perhaps canon's. I guess I could use a speed booster...
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Old March 27th, 2016, 04:11 AM   #7
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

OK - I'm a bit tired after back-to-back weddings with only 5 hours sleep between but it's on mind so here goes...

I HATE swapping lenses - I do it so many times during a wedding day it can ramp up the stress levels, especially when things are rushed - here is how it went yesterday. All on my Sony A7s II

Bridal Prep - Tamron 24-70 f2.8 - lovely images, by far the most pleasing of all my lenses and 2.8 is enough for even the darkest rooms. Also great manual focus for nice rack focus shots

Church Arrivals - Zeiss 24-70 f4.0 - OK images but used here because it has nice AF which I need for guests arriving, tracking wedding car arriving, bridal party making their way to the church, and processional (not sure how I'd handle this with an MF lens)

Church Ceremony - Back to the Tamron 24-70 only because I can nail manual focus which is tricky with the crap Sony focus system (and crap is being nice to say it's such an expensive lens)

Recessional and afternoon reception - Zeiss 24-70 again handy to have AF for confetti shot, bridal car leaving the venue etc etc

First Dance/Evening reception - Tamron 24-70 makes a killer combo in low light with the A7s and can quickly nail focus manually

I also have a 24-105 and 70-200 on hand if I need more reach

So you see why I'm tearing my hair out!!!! I don't care how much it costs, if the new G-Master has good MF I'll be selling my Tamron and Zeiss 24-70 lenses and buying it. I need less stress during my wedding shoots.

I should add I don't use primes, I have in the past and would again if I had a second shooter but for solo work I find them too restrictive.

Pete
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Old March 27th, 2016, 04:22 AM   #8
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

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Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
Thanks guys. Funny that since moving to Sony a7s and now a7sii, I almost don't think of lens aperture in terms of light levels. (How it should be I might add).
It's all about DOF, and I think in some occasions 2.8 doesn't quite give me the wow look. Otherwise I'd be tempted to buy a better 24-70 (than my Tamron) and sell every other lens.

The G Master is stupidly expensive but perhaps canon's. I guess I could use a speed booster...
Clive I don't think the Canon 24-70 will be better than the Tamron. I have that Tamron and the Canon 24-105 and the images from the Tamron are sharper and punchier somehow - just more pleasing.

I use them both with the Metabones smart adapter IV, not the speedbooster.
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Old March 27th, 2016, 06:32 AM   #9
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

Reading these posts makes me so glad that I bought a pair of Panny FZ1000s. I turn up at the weddings, set up 2 or 3 cameras for the ceremony and thats that. Most of the rest of the day is zoom in or out as required, no lens change and 4K as required. In low light I restrict the zoom, preferring to change position to maintain F2.8 on the aperture as it reduces to f4 on maximum zoom. It needs to be pretty dark though before I start to restrict it or increase the ISO. Freedom from lens changing definitely lowers pressure and stress or the need to carry multiple cameras all day.

Suits me to the ground, but I do appreciate that many prefer to have different lenses for different purposes and also prefer much bigger sensors.

Roger
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Old March 27th, 2016, 08:15 AM   #10
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

Maybe its running the smaller micro 4/3s lenses, but I never have any issues changing lenses and do so quite frequently and as a solo operator. Obviously I have the 12-35 for the run n gun moments. However for Bridal Preps, I regularly swap between the 25mm and 42.5mm, the Ceremony has either the 12-35, the 35-100mm or 42.5 if I'm feeling adventurous. Reception I use my 12-35, the 42.5 and sometimes the 75mm if I have enough time. Speeches, its frequently the 35-100mm, unless the room is quite dark. Then for the evening do, I regularly swap lenses, between my 17.5, 25 and 42.5. I also change lenses on 2 of my other 3 cameras for each section of the day.

Far from feeling stressed about it, I quite like the variety that working with different lenses can give me. Working with just 1 lens sounds boring in comparison. Changing a battery or a SD card can carry more stress as the choice to do so isn't always in your hands. It seems odd that some of you have chosen an interchangeable lens camera but hate changing lenses. Go with the FZ1000 as Roger does if its too much hassle for you.
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Old March 27th, 2016, 08:46 AM   #11
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

The M4/3 lenses are certainly much smaller & lighter & easier to change. With half of them if you were to drop one on the floor it wouldn't do any damage whereas any Canon 'L' lens weighs a ton & is likely to suffer if dropped.

People choose a 5D3 mostly for the full frame look & the Canon colour science rather than necessarily because it has interchangeable lenses. There are no long range full frame constant aperture zooms (I think that the Canon 24-105mm F/4 is the longest at just over 4X) & if there were an 8X or 10X it would be too big & heavy. The minimum for a workable solution if you want FF is two cameras one with a 24-70mm & the other with a 70-200mm.
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Old March 27th, 2016, 09:52 AM   #12
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
People choose a 5D3 mostly for the full frame look & the Canon colour science rather than necessarily because it has interchangeable lensesThe minimum for a workable solution if you want FF is two cameras one with a 24-70mm & the other with a 70-200mm.
Still if you're going to pick an interchangeable lens camera, to be frustrated that you have to change lenses seems a bit daft to me. Even when I was running my Canon 60d, I would make use of my 50mm prime as much as possible and often swapped the Tamron 11-17 with my kit zoom lens for other sections of the day. Why pay good money for an important feature and then sideline it for a task that takes up as much time as swapping a battery.
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Old March 27th, 2016, 01:07 PM   #13
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

I wonder if part of my frustration was about getting to the lenses for swapping. I reckon a few belt lens pouches would make changing over a bit more convenient.

Perhaps it's more a zooms versus primes argument I'm trying to create more so that one lens versus many.

If I put the Sigma 18-35mm on crop mode what would the DOF equivalence be? Shallower than a 24-70 2.8 on full frame???
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Old March 27th, 2016, 02:59 PM   #14
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

I think Peter rush as it spot on. After 10 years we all want it to be less stressful but want the look we have to be creative or what outcome we require. So if you have a strategy that quickly changes lens and allows you to work quickly and catch the moment then fine but me personally two full frame with 24-70 and a 70-200 saves me hassle that I do not need. The jobs hard enough without complicating. Just my thoughts. Steve
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Old March 28th, 2016, 06:26 AM   #15
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Re: Lens changing and focal lengths

I'm terrible. I'll swap lenses like the wind changes direction. I have a 12mm prime for indoor wides, 25 f/1.4 for most of the bridal prep, 12-40 for ceremony in 4K, 40-150 if outside shooting tele, 75mm f/1.8 if there's time to be a little creative... blah blah blah. I actually struggle using zooms. There's too much choice. However, using primes has huge drawbacks too. I shot my first 4 weddings with primes. The last two I think I've shot with zooms (at times).

As to those who use 35mm sensors, and are able to use two fixed f/2.8 aperture zooms, I can definitely see the benefits that would bring.
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