kbnguyen124 wrote in post #16749199
I have a Canon T3i with the standard kit lens (18-55mm). I was hoping to try picking (I can rent or borrow from a friend) a lens for an event with friends coming up where I'll be taking pictures of the group. I'm just an amateur, so I actually do not have much experience beyond using the 18-55. I have a 50mm f\1.8 lens I can borrow. I have also in the past been recommended by a pro a 24-105mm as a great all-around lens for portaits. Reading up on the forums, I've also seen the Sigma 17-50 as a recommended one. Just need a solid all-around lens (zoom isn't necessary, but prime or zoom would work) that will get the best results possible.
Some details about the shoot:
-Outdoor, in a garden of sorts
-Most likely sunny
-Group is about 17 people
-Everyone will be wearing formal attire (dresses and tuxes)
The 18-55 is all you need here (18mm will cover those 17 people). No need to buy anything unless you just want to ball up money and throw it at it, and get the same result as what you'll get with this. You will be stopping down for depth of field. F4~F8 easily. Work with the sun, you want fill flash. You're better off spending money on some lighting so you can help get rid of shadows on faces even in the sun. Sun light washes stuff out, so getting into a shady area is your goal here, and fill flash to even it all out.
If you don't already have lighting, here's my suggestion(s):
Stands + Flash Shoes + Umbrella holders
Westscott 43" shoot through umbrellas
Yongnuo 560 III's (get two)
Yongnuo RF603CII tranceivers (one package)
The 18-55 is sharp, stopped down. You won't see a dramatic difference with it and something better, stopped down for depth of field.
Make sure and stagger the people so that they're in even, flat rows, with their faces in the same plane. This will go further in making your photograph better, than a new lens will.
Otherwise, for a more dramatic look, a wide aperture longer focal length prime. But you have to know how to use this to get everyone in focus. It takes a LOT of planning and very cooperative people to get them all in the focal plane. But it can make very nice blurred backgrounds. But I wouldn't do this unless you've already done it and know how to set people up so you don't lose time and thus lose shots.