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Thread: Lenses for a wedding

  1. #1
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    Lenses for a wedding

    So a friend of mine asked me to shoot his wedding. It'll be my first, and it's being done semi-pro-bono, but I'm having trouble figuring out what to pack in my bag. I could just pack my entire kit, but I don't want to weigh myself down all that much. I'll be shooting with a partner with a Nikon DSLR kit, so he'll probably be doing more of the posed shots while I do more of the creative/candid stuff, I'm just trying to narrow things down. My total kit is:

    CV 15mm f4.5
    Elmarit 28mm f2.8 ASPH
    Cron 35mm 1st ver
    Cron 50mm collapsible (M, coated)
    Lux 50mm 2nd edition
    Summarit 75mm
    Tele-Elmarit 90mm (thin)
    Canon LTM 90mm f1.9
    Hektor 135mm f4.5
    MATE (28/35/50) f4
    ---
    Leica SF58 Flash w/ 8" softbox diffuser

    It's an outdoor wedding, so while I would have liked a shallower DOF, I'm thinking the MATE as my primary for the reception, the 50 Lux for some indoor shots (like at the bride's house), and the Elmarit 28 for some of the group shots if I need another stop for background separation. I'm just not sure which focal length/aperture is best for posed portraiture-while I may not be the primary shooter I'm sure I'll be getting some. The reception's in a high-ceiling'd dark wood pavilion, semi-outdoors, so I won't be able to bounce flash there either, but luckily it only goes to 6, so I should have some ambient light I can just fill-in with a little flash.

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
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    ashwinrao1's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses for a wedding

    Nice kit, Ryan. Hope that you are enjoying the MATE. As a veteran of 30 or so weddings, I'd suggest the following:

    1. When, you'll appreciate the MATE for its ease of use and clarity of shots. I'd stick with that for most of your outdoor work, except when you need to blur backgrounds (for that, use your lux). However, the f/4 is limiting as soon as you get indoors, and since the M9 isn't a high ISO champ (I'd be careful above ISO 1250, given the wedding), I'd take some faster glass with you for indoor work, such as your summilux and v1 cron. Using these lens, you'll have a very unique classic look, great for portraits and people shots, that's far more romantic than the clinical Nikon look.

    I'd also take the Canon 90 f/1.9 for some longer/telephoto indoor grabs when you can't be as close to the action.

    Best of luck!

    Ashwin
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
    My Photography

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    Re: Lenses for a wedding

    Thanks, Ashwin! I like the MATE, but I haven't made my final judgements yet. The 3 focal lengths are very convenient for a walk around town/inevitably for travel, but I'm not sure how I feel about being limited to f4-practically for an outdoor wedding it's not likely to affect me much-I'll be doing some fill flash and so in order to get down below 1/160s I'll need to stop down anyway, but it's a limitation I'm not used to.

    That said, luckily I won't really have any indoor shots-the ceremony and reception are both outside, it's just that the reception's under a pavilion. I really like the FL and look of the 75, but think I may find the Lux and Canon more useful with their extra stop or two. I guess my only real question is what's likely to be the best for the posed formal group portraits (wedding parties, family, etc)? I'd prefer to take a few steps back and go longer so I can blur out the background, since it's going to be in front of the Jefferson Memorial and there are likely to be other people mingling around I don't want in my shot-thoughts? If I knew it was just an outdoor wedding with no background distractions I might just stick with the MATE for all the ceremony shots, but guess I'll have to see...

    For what it's worth I plan on having my M6 over my other shoulder for some semblance of backup but really just to have a second lens out and ready to swap.

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    Re: Lenses for a wedding

    I would bring (28)/35/50 and 75mm.
    I would also try to shoot as much with 35mm as possible as long as you can get close enough. (which can be a problem in the church for example) And then maybe some portrait like stuff / more formal things with 75mm.

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    New Member Markus Dagnell's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses for a wedding

    Hi,

    My name is Markus, I shoot weddings in Sweden. I agree on the suggestion to bring 28,35,50 and 75. Since you are two I think itīs important that the two of you go throw the wedding and decide who covers what angle at the different key moments. Also test the light conditions at another day to get an idea. For groups shoots go with the 35cron, find a good background to work with. In the church depending on where you are standing, 50Lux or the 28 for overview from the back. Outside the church use the 35cron. Try to figure out whatīs going to happen and position yourself there.

    Good luck!

    -----------------

    My blog: www.dagnellfoto.se

  6. #6
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses for a wedding

    Keep in mind with a wedding that its different than most other shooting. Most people understand that you need to get the shots and and are not bothered by the photographer ...especially if you have enough light to shoot available light . You can easily move to make a 28 a 35 FOV... However you have to shoot in the light thats available .

    Your flash is way more important than the differences between a 28 and 35 .

    Pick three lenses that you like ..but the faster the better. My preference with my lenses would be the 24/35/75 summiluxes . But its easy to adjust to a 28/50/90 set .

    The M shines for available light candids but its not easy to work with fill flash so you need to get the flash set up really down.

    The other issue you have is working with two shooters ..one has to take the lead especially with the groups . Otherwise you confuse people and no one gets the group looking in the same direction. Seems obvious but just happen to my daughter who has about a dozen weddings ...new 2nd shooter walked directly into the sets and the eyes where all over .

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    Re: Lenses for a wedding

    What you outlined sounds about right to me, but rather than asking us to decide, let your EXIF tell you. Things happen fast in a wedding and you will do your best work with the focal lengths that are closest to the way you see. My one bit of advice is to shoot a little looser than you otherwise might to allow for standard printing/framing options -- even more important if they will go into a traditional wedding album. Concentrate on eyes, hands and details.

    I know this is a little vague, but some people would shoot a scene back a little with a 90 while others might shoot up close with the 15. There is no right answer, but if I had to pick from your lenses, I would go 28, 50 Lux, 75. The 15 can be fun and the MATE can be very useful outside and inside with flash.

  8. #8
    Studio58
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    Re: Lenses for a wedding

    I would take the MATE and the 75. After 350 weddings I have come to realise that simplicity is the way to go.

  9. #9
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    Re: Lenses for a wedding

    So, post-wedding, I took more than I may have needed, but ended up using the MATE heavily, the 75 for portraits and slightly longer shots (the kiss, etc), the 50 for available light interior shots at the hotel beforehand, and the 35 for group shots/table shots at the reception. I wish I'd had a 90 for more reach outside during the ceremony and didn't need the 28 I took, but all in all a pretty solid setup. Was shooting with the SF58 and an 8" diffuser for fill flash as everything was outside, and besides TTL fill was doing everything manually-I'm fairly impressed I managed to get a solid stock of very usable photos-now just to sift through the ~1000 or so down to a more reasonable number of choice shots...

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