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Whats a good starter lens for wedding photography

Jamie Clouser , Mar 21, 2011; 11:04 p.m.

I currently have a canon eos 50d with a 28-135mm lens. I'm looking to start shooting weddings. What lens would you recommend I add to my bag first?


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David Wagle , Mar 21, 2011; 11:16 p.m.

I'm not a wedding photographer, but I suspect that if you have to ask that question, you're likely not ready to shoot a wedding.
From everything I've read, where I in your position I'd be looking to get a second body, a 70-200 f/2.8, an 85 f/1.2, some strobes, a tripod, filters, and probably a host of things I don't know about.

ross b , Mar 22, 2011; 12:13 a.m.

I guess the only thing in the world worse then going to church is going to a wedding. I think a fast car would be the next purchase. Something for a quick get-a-way.

Peter J , Mar 22, 2011; 12:29 a.m.

I wouldn't be using what you currently have for a wedding assignment.

I use a 1Ds II and a 5D. The lenses attached normally would be an 85/1.2 II where I cannot get close and a 50/1.4 where I can get close. I mainly shoot wide open to about f/2.8 on average.

In my bag would be a 15/2.8 Fisheye, 16-35/2.8 II, 100/2.8 Macro and (just in case) a 70-200/4 IS. In my car would be a 300/2.8 IS. Yes, I bring everything in my arsenal including the lights, modifiers. flash and colour meters.

Of course, other's will have their respected opinions.

Mark Keefer , Mar 22, 2011; 01:17 a.m.

A few things should be in that bag. 7D, 5DMKII, Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon 70mm-200mm f/2.8 L, Canon 24mm-70mm f/2.8 L, Tokina 11mm-16mm wide, Professional grade Tripod, a monopod, 6-10 8gig memory cards, several (4-6) Canon Speedlite 580EX II flashes with stands, soft boxes, many spare charged batteries for cameras and sever big packs of AAs for flashes just for starters...and you may get away with it. With just a 50D and some really good glass, you could be OK as a second shooter, but don't risk someones only wedding photos with just one camera. If the Camera dies and you have no back up, what will you do? Weddings are a really really big deal to the bride and groom, their family. Big bucks are spent on these events. Don't blow it, be prepared, be at the top of your game. Think out every thing that could go wrong and have a back up.

Do you have a film camera too? Would be really nice to shoot a hundred or so shots on film too.

Just an opinion.

Mark Anthony Kathurima , Mar 22, 2011; 02:22 a.m.


What is your level of photographic experience? Do you have a game plan for entering this genre? Timelines, etc.? Learning/growth plan? I think you'll find that you may well irk some of the more experienced wedding shooters who are likely to read this thread. Reason being the tone of your question sounds like an awfully casual approach to shooting a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Wedding equipment is a very style-driven and hence subjective matter. As you can see from just the few comments so far (Peter J, Mark Keefer), their equipment lists differ greatly. My list is totally different from either of theirs. And neither is necessarily more "correct" than the other. The replies simply reflect different shooting styles.
I would suggest you start by using the search function on this page. This is a frequently asked question. Also, you would do well to read this:

If you can provide more information about your plan, that will help a lot. But getting into weddings just because you have a dSLR is a no-no in my book.

Harry Joseph , Mar 22, 2011; 04:19 a.m.

"I currently have a canon eos 50d with a 28-135mm lens."
Keep the 28-135mm, and get yourself a wide angle like the 10-22mm f35/4.5 or the 17-55mm f2.8 .

Matthijs Claessen , Mar 22, 2011; 04:31 a.m.

A second crop body, a speedlight EX 430 II and a EF-s 17-55/2.8 IS come to mind.

Spencer Marks , Mar 22, 2011; 06:52 a.m.

Steve Smith , Mar 22, 2011; 07:37 a.m.

getting into weddings just because you have a dSLR is a no-no in my book.

But it isn't your decision. Anyone can have a go at it. If they are no good, they will not get much work. If they are good, they will get work by word of mouth advertising.

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