View Full Version : Lenses - Which zoom lens?
27th of December 2005 (Tue), 10:20
Ok, so I placed my order for lenses over the weekend, but have second thoughts on one and need advice ASAP (could still make the change with B&H).
3 Lenses I purchased over the weekend:
Canon Telephoto EF 85mm f/1.8
Canon Normal 50mm f/1.8
*Sigma zoom telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6
*I'm thinking for weddings I wouldn't really need that much zoom range, right? I was actually thinking about going with a Canon 55-200mm lense (speed is the same as the Sigma). Is Sigma a good brand? Does it make a big difference going with a lense other than a Canon? (I have the EOS XT)
27th of December 2005 (Tue), 10:41
The APO DG version of this lens is about the best buy under the rather more expensive 70-200 f4 Canon L. I know nothing about weddings but I doubt you'll need such a zoom and even if you did it would probably be indoors and this one is too slow. You will need a monopod to get the best from it. The cheaper zooms like this are generally a bit soft at 200mm and up. What about a wider angle for group shots instead? Do you have a flash?
27th of December 2005 (Tue), 10:59
The cheaper zooms like this are generally a bit soft at 200mm and up. What about a wider angle for group shots instead? Do you have a flash?
I figured as much (on the 200mm softness). So would you recommend the 55-200mm zoom from Canon instead?
As far as the wide angle goes, since I'm just starting out and have a limited budget, I was looking at the 18-55mm (the one that comes with the XT and 20D)...cheap I know, but all of the wide angle lenses that I looked at cost a pretty penny. Any entry or mid level ones you could recommend?
As far as flash goes...looking at picking up the 550EX or 430EX speedlite to start. Will that work?
27th of December 2005 (Tue), 11:15
Snapshot - all the lenses you've listed so far either fall into the telephoto range if you're using an APS-C camera body (such as the Digital Rebel, XT, 20D, etc.) or are way too slow for much natural light work. For doing weddings, you will definitely want some faster and shorter lenses.
The best single zoom lens that I could recommend - though it isn't inexpensive - is the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8. You could probably shoot a whole wedding and never take that one off the body. It is fast enough for a lot of the natural light situations you'll run into. Its focal length range will handle most, if not all, the situations you'll run into. It's also an extremely well built lens, rugged enough to last you for decades.
In addition, the lens design coupled with the supplied lens hood is by far the best design ever. The lens hood is rather deep. You'd think that it wouldn't work at wide-angle zoom settings. However, the fact is that the lens extends for the wide-angle settings and retracts for the longer settings. Since the hood is mounted to the non-moving lens barrel, this places the front element of the lens only an inch or so behind the front of the hood at 24mm, and about three inches back at 70mm. It will do the absolute best job of protecting the image from stray light and protecting the lens from physical damage of any lens/hood combination on the market.
27th of December 2005 (Tue), 12:12
Thanks for the tips/info skip!
Yeah, you're right..that lens isn't inexpensive. Will this one do...
So in addition to the telephoto zoom lense, the other lenses I mentioned aren't good enough for weddings either?
27th of December 2005 (Tue), 12:19
The Sigma 24-70 2.8 DG EX Macro is a very good lens. The motor is a little buzzy but fast and accurate in my experience. The Tamron 28-70 is a little cheaper and also very popular. With the 85mm (superb lens) and Kit lens (quite practical if stopped down) and a decent flash you probably have the basic kit you might need. I would personally use a tripod for any group shots. These will be hard to organise, judging from my own and other weddings I've been to, and very hard to repeat if you don't get it right.
27th of December 2005 (Tue), 12:37
Great! Thanks Condyk! I'll look into the Tamron lense as well. Would you say that this could be, more or less, an all-in-one lens for a wedding?
I just called BH Photo...too late...couldn't modify my order, the Sigma 70-300mm is on it's way too :cry: . They said I could return it, but I hate to go through that hassle.
Keep it? I'm sure it'll serve some purpose down the road, yeah?
28th of December 2005 (Wed), 23:24
*Sigma zoom telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6
*I'm thinking for weddings I wouldn't really need that much zoom range, right?
Won't need that much? I don't think there is such a thing as too much reach. If the aperture were better on that lens I'd pick one up.
For weddings I use a 16-35mm f/2.8 or 17-40mm f/4.0 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS, with and without the 1.4x TC for 99% of the shots.
28th of December 2005 (Wed), 23:58
The thing you really need to have if you are doing this for money is 2 bodies at least and 2-4 1gb cards. Another thing is a good flash with a quantum pack(eventually).
For portraits, your 85 1.8 will do well, especially if you have space to move.
For the unformal part, you want to have a mix like this....(trying to give you a wide variety of options)Generally, you want to have 3 ranges(wide,medium, telephoto).
A few wide angles(for group shots):
Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4
Canon 17-40 f/4L
Canon 16-35L f/2.8L
Medium Zooms(for the most all purpose running around):
Canon 24-70 2.8L
Sigma 24-70 2.8
Canon 28-70 2.8L(although discontinued-but slightly less than the new 24-70)
Tamron 28-75 2.8
Telephoto zoom(sometimes you just can't get close, and you want this range)
Sigma 70-200 2.8
Canon 70-200 2.8L
Canon 70-200 2.8L IS
No use in getting the 300's since you really don't need that reach.
29th of December 2005 (Thu), 12:55
Thanks again Grego!
I'll be sending back the 70-300mm and picking up a mid range (20-70 and semi long range lens 70-200mm).
AND I'm already on the hunt for that 2nd body :)
There just seems to be no gradual build up of the equipment in this business, is there? It's like you're "all in" (I love saying that. Yes, I've got the poker bug) or not.
29th of December 2005 (Thu), 12:58
Join the club. Good to hear you are hunting for the second body. Good hunting.
29th of December 2005 (Thu), 17:16
You need a 24-70 type lens, you probably don't need a slow 300mm lens, and the 50mm F1.8 isn't good enough for professional work. Get fast lenses (F2.8 at least) so you can work in natural light. Primes are a pain for weddings, zooms are great. 2nd body is essential if you're paid for your services.
29th of December 2005 (Thu), 17:23
My friends use the 24-70 and 17-40 L series lenses on thier 5D and 20D.
they did have the 75-300 IS lens that I have now but they never used it for weddings so they let me have it.
they use the Metz lights for thier flashes and it does a great job, and the camera attaches to it so you don't need one of those flash camera bracket things.
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