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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #1
Kirill
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Default Best Lens for church

This weekend I took pictures of baptism. I think i did Ok, didn't get any masterpieces, just some decent photos. I wasn't a paying gig, it was just helping a friend of a friend, and getting some experience for me - so i think it's fair outcome.
It was my first time shooting in the church. It truned out very easy going church. Although church was dark - Flash was allowed, I also was allowed to move whenever I wanted, We were the only one family at the church at the time - so i wasn't bothering anybody else.

I came prepared for "the worst" (7d + 70-200 2.8 is II), Now in hindsight - It may not been the best lens to use - i was expecting "stay here, no flash", what I got is "be anywhere and flash is OK"

So knowing what I know now - I want to use that as learning experience, so next time I can get better results.

I think 70-200 on crop was too long for the situation i was in - where i was able to move freely, and 580exII flash with stofen diffusor may not been very effective on long side

Question 1:
Probably can get away with putting couple slave flashes to light up the church - is a good approach next time ?

The main question - what would be the best lens to use next time ?
24-70 2.8 ? I think IS on 70-200 helped a lot - cause i had to shoot wide open, ISO 800-1600 and was getting shutter speed in 100-200 range to bring in ambient.
24-105 4 IS - may not be the best cause f/4 is may be too slow for the dark church ? But if I light it up with 2 more remote flashes ?

Last edited by Kirill : 20th of December 2011 (Tue) at 09:48.
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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #2
bpalermini
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

I's stick with the 70-200, fast sharp and even though there are no restrictions you can stay a bit away from the participants so as to not distract them. To me photographing in church is a lot about not distracting or bringing attention to myself.

As for flash I'd say if you need it use it if not don't. I rather like available light if it is good.

Here's what I shot at our church last weekend with my 70-200. You'll see in the second one, the light falls off quite a bit as you get to the side of the stage. The guitar player is in the light while the singer is in the fringe.





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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #3
nicksan
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirill View Post
Although church was dark - Flash was allowed, I also was allowed to move whenever I wanted, We were the only one family at the church at the time - so i wasn't bothering anybody else.
Is your question about the same church or would you be shooting in different churches? I ask, because different churches have different policies with regards to photography and flash.

When I am shooting a wedding ceremony, even if flash was allowed, I try my best not to use it. If it's really dark and flash is allowed, I will use it. That's about the only scenario I would use flash though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirill View Post
Question 1:
Probably can get away with putting couple slave flashes to light up the church - is a good approach next time ?
Again, this depends on the church's policy. Are you going to be shooting in the same church, or is this a more general question? As mentioned before, personally I would try to avoid using flash at churches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirill View Post
The main question - what would be the best lens to use next time ?
24-70 2.8 ? I think IS on 70-200 helped a lot - cause i had to shoot wide open, ISO 800-1600 and was getting shutter speed in 100-200 range to bring in ambient.
24-105 4 IS - may not be the best cause f/4 is may be too slow for the dark church ? But if I light it up with 2 more remote flashes ?
Those are typical settings that I use to shoot wedding ceremonies. f2.8 1/120-1/160 ISO1600 - 3200. I have no issues with those settings. I use the 70-200 f2.8 IS MKII quite a lot at ceremonies.
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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

I generally use a 24-70, or a 16-35 F4 VR if it's really dark, along with a 70-200 F2.8 VR II on full frame. In 120 weddings i've only had to use flash in a church once.
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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #5
Red Tie Photography
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

Since you are shooting on a 7d, why not look into the 17-55 IS. Better range on a crop and has IS.
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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

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Originally Posted by Red Tie Photography View Post
Since you are shooting on a 7d, why not look into the 17-55 IS. Better range on a crop and has IS.
Just don't drop that lens. I dropped two or three over the course of a few years, they generally can't be repaired.

My 24-70 and D700 fell off the roof of my car onto rocks at my last wedding - not a moving car, I just put it there for a second while I was unloading. It still works perfectly, it just has a few scratches on the lens hood. Pro equipment win.
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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #7
Kirill
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpalermini View Post
I's stick with the 70-200, fast sharp and even though there are no restrictions you can stay a bit away from the participants so as to not distract them. To me photographing in church is a lot about not distracting or bringing attention to myself.

As for flash I'd say if you need it use it if not don't. I rather like available light if it is good.

Here's what I shot at our church last weekend with my 70-200. You'll see in the second one, the light falls off quite a bit as you get to the side of the stage. The guitar player is in the light while the singer is in the fringe.





This is similar to the results I got - it just doesn't have eye bleeding sharpness.
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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #8
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicksan View Post
Is your question about the same church or would you be shooting in different churches? I ask, because different churches have different policies with regards to photography and flash.


Those are typical settings that I use to shoot wedding ceremonies. f2.8 1/120-1/160 ISO1600 - 3200. I have no issues with those settings. I use the 70-200 f2.8 IS MKII quite a lot at ceremonies.
Very good question - I guess High Iso + 70-200 2.8 IS will cover almost all churches. What I need is something for photographer friendly churches.
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Old 20th of December 2011 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

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Originally Posted by Red Tie Photography View Post
Since you are shooting on a 7d, why not look into the 17-55 IS. Better range on a crop and has IS.
I think it's a good one, but 55 may not be enough for the shots like priest pouring holy water.
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Old 21st of December 2011 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

This was shot with a 30 1.4 if I used a 50 I would be shooting really tight.
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Old 21st of December 2011 (Wed)   #11
nicksan
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

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Originally Posted by Kirill View Post
Very good question - I guess High Iso + 70-200 2.8 IS will cover almost all churches. What I need is something for photographer friendly churches.
And what I was saying was photographer friendly or not, I usually don't use flash during the ceremony. Only when the light is too low will I ever use flash, provided I am allowed to use flash to begin with.
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Old 21st of December 2011 (Wed)   #12
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

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Originally Posted by Kirill View Post
I think it's a good one, but 55 may not be enough for the shots like priest pouring holy water.
That is why you have the 70-200. If you are worried about missing the 55-70mm focal length, just crop in on the image from the 17-55. It is much easier to cover that focal length with the 17-55 and the 70-200, it is really hard to get 17-24 if you are using the 24-70.
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Old 28th of December 2011 (Wed)   #13
Kirill
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

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Originally Posted by Red Tie Photography View Post
That is why you have the 70-200. If you are worried about missing the 55-70mm focal length, just crop in on the image from the 17-55. It is much easier to cover that focal length with the 17-55 and the 70-200, it is really hard to get 17-24 if you are using the 24-70.
I think the answer is two bodies. Crop with 17-55, Full Frame with 70-200
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Old 29th of December 2011 (Thu)   #14
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

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I think the answer is two bodies. Crop with 17-55, Full Frame with 70-200
my favorite church zoom combo!
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Old 29th of December 2011 (Thu)   #15
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Default Re: Best Lens for church

35L or 24L
No flash
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