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Old 17th of March 2011 (Thu)   #1
Tiggity-T
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Default Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

My brother-in-law wants me to shoot his engagement photos because A)I have a camera and B)I'm free. I am by all means an amateur but he's seen what I've shot of my own family and decided that's good enough for him.

I don't necessarily have portrait quality lenses, so I plan to rent one for the session. I am shooting on a 7D body, so the 1.6 crop is my sticking point. My three choices and reasoning are:

85mm 1.8 - Best bokeh and sharp, but effectively a 136mm
50mm 1.4 - 2nd best bokeh, also sharp and only 80mm after crop.
24-70 2.8 - Most versatile but not as good of bokeh.

All input is appreciated.
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Old 17th of March 2011 (Thu)   #2
gonzogolf
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

Use your nifty and save the lens rental until you actually need to rent something. Engagement photos give you plenty of latitude to work with the nifty.
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Old 17th of March 2011 (Thu)   #3
jcolman
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

85. You already have a 50. Play with the 85 at f/2ish for some nice bokeh. The next best thing to get is a reflector or off camera speedlight if you really want to step up your game.
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Old 17th of March 2011 (Thu)   #4
Tiggity-T
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

I should have added that I am not to confident in my nifty fifty. Not sure if its me or the lens, but half of the time its out of focus or at best, soft. I tried to do the micro-adjustment with the 7D but it would focus consistently enough to get any valid results. No other lens has given me issue like it, but it was cheap so I don't complain much, so I would prefer to rent a good quality lens for $20 rather than risk the shots all being OOF because of hardware.

@jcolman Thanks for the tip on the lighting. I actually forgot to add that to my tag. I have a 430ex speedlight that I can use off camera, but I would like to get reflectors too. I can rent a pack for $5.

Also, I thought about starting the shoot first thing in the morning when the light is less harsh and would have some nice glow and shadows, then work with them as the morning progressed if the lighting didn't work well. Is that a good strategy?
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Last edited by Tiggity-T : 17th of March 2011 (Thu) at 15:35.
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Old 17th of March 2011 (Thu)   #5
gonzogolf
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

I suspect its a technique issue as your nifty is the only lens in your kit that can get really shallow DOF. Renting another fast lens is going to be the same problem only potentially worse. Can you show us a problem shot taken with the nifty?
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Old 17th of March 2011 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

If your going to rent, go for the best and start collecting portfolio work. 35L and 85LII would make for a great session.
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Old 17th of March 2011 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiggity-T View Post

Also, I thought about starting the shoot first thing in the morning when the light is less harsh and would have some nice glow and shadows, then work with them as the morning progressed if the lighting didn't work well. Is that a good strategy?
Yes, but I usually do just the opposite. I start in the late afternoon. The more I shoot, the better the light gets. But I've done dawn e-sessions and got some beautiful light.
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Old 18th of March 2011 (Fri)   #8
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

I'd get the 24-70. Yeah, not as good bokeh, but who cares and the difference isn't that dramatic. Plus, you want to be able to mix things up and get wide from time to time (though 24mm on a 1.6 isn't really very wide).
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Old 19th of March 2011 (Sat)   #9
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

You can actually shoot the entire thing with your 50 ...
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Old 21st of March 2011 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

You could very easily do the whole thing with the nifty.
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Old 21st of March 2011 (Mon)   #11
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

I was going to say use the 85mm for sure, until I saw you were using a crop-body and your nifty-fifty would actually be a nifty-eighty on the 7D. So use the Nifty!
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Old 22nd of March 2011 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

You probably don't need to rent anything.
Also, don't rule out using the 70-300 at the longer end to get some bokeh and nice compression.
Definitely bring the flash for fill.
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Old 22nd of March 2011 (Tue)   #13
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

Don't stress too much on the gear for your first time out. You're going to be thinking about which lens to use the entire time. Bring what you have and just have fun. The nice thing is, your shooting for family. If you screw up, just go out and shoot it again. Make sure you capture the couple as best you can with the equipment you have. Focus on them and not the gear. Once you do it a few times than start renting or adding things you may think you'll need next time out. If you're out there trying to figure out which lens to use, which reflector, how to hold the reflector, etc, you will lose confindence very quickly and most importantly the couple will too.

Last edited by ggalluppi : 22nd of March 2011 (Tue) at 11:14.
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Old 23rd of March 2011 (Wed)   #14
Dan Barron Photography
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

nifty fifty all the way
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Old 23rd of March 2011 (Wed)   #15
patrickf117
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Default Re: Lens Suggestions for Engagement Photos

agreed w/ the poster above....the nifty can do the job.
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