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Most used lenses

A.B. van der Weide , Jun 02, 2004; 04:14 p.m.

To keep the question simple: what are your most used lenses during wedding and event photography?


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Shaun Westlake , Jun 02, 2004; 04:30 p.m.

The one attached to the camera that I have with me ;)

When I did wedding photography, my main body had 100 or 135mm prime while the "backup" had a 50mm on it. Both used equally with a 35mm in my jacket pocket. All depends on your style and the situation your are shooting in.

Steve Tout - Seattle, Wa , Jun 02, 2004; 04:33 p.m.

Nikon 28-28/f 2.8 -- very sharp, and has the most frequently used focal lengths (28,35,50,70) that I like using for candids.

Nikin F100, Nikon 28-70 f/2.8, Kodak Portra 160NC

Eric Friedemann , Jun 02, 2004; 04:42 p.m.

In 35mm format, everything but formals, the Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 AFS and the 85mm f/1.4:

28mm- 5% of pix

35mm- 65% of pix

60-70mm- 20% of pix

85mm- 10% of pix (available light during service)

For formals with a Mamiya 7II cameras:

65mm lens (32mm in 35mm format)- 50%

150mm lens (73mm in 35mm format)- 50%

Rich Dutchman , Jun 02, 2004; 04:49 p.m.

Lots of threads about this one. If you're on a budget, I'd recommend something like a 24 2.8 and an 80-200 2.8. That should cover you very well. Used, they'll run together $800 max. Use two bodies, one lens on each and focus on the photography.

What I use at the reception is a 28 1.4 for ambient light at high ISOs, and an 18-35 3.3-4.5 and fill flash.

For ceremony, the 28 1.4 and an 80-200 2.8. For groups, the 28 1.4.

The 80-200 has a macro setting. It works wonderfully for detial shots before the reception. I use a tripod and ambient light.

Also have the 10.5 2.8. Fun lens for some group shots, as well as the BG coming out of the church.

I take my old 24 2.8 as a backup, just in case something happens. I also have a 1.4TC, but have never had the need to use it. In all, five lenses and one TC.

Steve Levine , Jun 02, 2004; 08:36 p.m.

I shoot in a formal,tradtional style,so I use mainly 2 lenses.In 645 these are the 55mm & the 80mm(equal to 35mm & 50mm respectively in 35mm format).When I shoot candids with a 35mm camera,I have found that a 28-80 or 35-70 is all I need.It is nice to have a little longer(85 or 105),and a little shorter(18,20 or 24) for once a while shots.I would say that a constant aperture zoom in 35-70 or so,pretty much covers all the bases.

... Timber ... , Jun 02, 2004; 09:54 p.m.

Keep in mind that you can photograph the whole wedding with just one lens: a normal focal length lens.

David Pang , Jun 03, 2004; 01:27 a.m.

For weddings, I use my 28-70mm f2.8 for more than 90% of the time. Use 70-200 f2.8 for the rest.

Asim H. , Jun 03, 2004; 02:00 a.m.

i think with the usage of digital and crop factors, giving the lens alone is only half the answer - need the camera or crop factor too.

Marc Williams , Jun 03, 2004; 05:26 a.m.

I don't have a formula. What I take with me depends on the circumstances I'll be facing.

I don't agree that if you're a good photographic talent, you only need a couple of lenses. To me this is force fitting the circumstances of a shoot to the limits of a few lenses. Weddings are all different. Different distances, different lighting. Different people.

Can a great talent do great work with one lens. Absolutely. But try documenting the actual ceremony with a 50mm when the rules force you to the back of a large church. Or getting candle lit ambience with a f/3.5 max aperture as the Bride and Dad walk down the aisle. Or selecting the right lens draw for a chunky Bride's close up that makes her look slimmer instead of like a parade float (which I see all the time on other wedding forums).

Zooms are a great convenience, but even the great wide zooms distort, and are slow in comparison to fast primes. A f/1.4 or 1.2 prime is invaluable when there is a riot of clutter right behind the subject. F/3.5, and sometimes even f/2.8, doesn't cut in those circumstances.

So, my most used lenses at a wedding are the ones I need to fit the circumstances... which sometimes means ALL of them. It's why God allowed the invention of the roller bag.

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