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Thread started 20 Sep 2017 (Wednesday) 17:32
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135mm (primes) vs. 70-200mm for wedding?

 
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Sep 21, 2017 10:08 |  #16

I use to use the 135L for weddings as my long lens, along with the Sigma 35 and 50 art lenses [mostly], two bodies and three lenses and the odd time plonking on a 24mm if it was tight.

The 70-200 is a stellar lens but its huge and heavy and costs the same as 2.5 of the other three primes. I really like primes.


If the 135L had OIS it would be the perfect wedding tele prime.


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Sep 21, 2017 10:20 |  #17

mdvaden wrote in post #18456749 (external link)
Although 70-200mm has a stellar reputation, I was curious if other photographers have chosen prime lenses like the 135mm for weddings to shed lens lens weight. Have any of you made primes work for this, whether 135mm, another prime, or combination of primes. Is the lack of zoom too limiting? Is the 70-200mm indispensable? Or can some someone learn wedding shooting with primes effectively?

Take a look at the rendering of the 135L at F2 and the 70-200 F2.8L II at 135mm F2.8 and see if you see enough of a difference to make you think you need that F2 compared to having the versatility of the focal range of the 70-200 and the image stabilization.

Many weddings were done prior to zooms existing.

Heck, there are professional iphone wedding photographers.

Just depends on what you want your product to be and what your market is.

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Sep 21, 2017 11:12 |  #18

jimmy_beaner wrote in post #18457049 (external link)
I'll throw out another (related) question. Given the choice in a smaller venue, you can use two bodies and two lenses. The bodies would be 1 full frame and 1 crop. Options: 35 mm L, 85 mm L, 135 mm L, 24-70 mm L II, 70-200 mm L II. What lenses do you pick to go on which camera?

My first thought is can I forget that 70-200mm because that's in the basis of the entire thread. Can prime use erase that heavy lens weight. I find the 24-70 a bit more compact, and can still mix that with primes.

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18457053 (external link)
If you can only take 2 lenses, then 24-70 II on the crop and 135L on the FF. This provides a 24mm through 216mm equivalent FOV between the two bodies (considering you can switch the lenses around). In a small venue, that should be sufficient, I would think.

24mm equivalent, or 38mm? The lenses could be swapped, but I prefer not swapping two lenses on two bodies at the same time.


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Sep 21, 2017 11:24 as a reply to  @ mdvaden's post |  #19

If you don't want to swap, then sure, you lose some range. You are then restricted from a 24-216mm equivalency to a 38-135mm equivalency. The answer really lies with you, you have to decide beforehand what kind of range you feel you need vs how much space you have to operate within. We aren't going to be able to answer that. If you have access to the venue beforehand, it might be worth a test run.


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Sep 21, 2017 11:27 |  #20

MalVeauX wrote in post #18457115 (external link)
Take a look at the rendering of the 135L at F2 and the 70-200 F2.8L II at 135mm F2.8 and see if you see enough of a difference to make you think you need that F2 compared to having the versatility of the focal range of the 70-200 and the image stabilization ... SNIP

I don't think (my) shots of people look as good zoomed near 200mm using a 70-200mm set at f/2.8. So I thought I should review the 70-200 f/4 lens and compare it's weight in relation to my primes and 24-70mm 2.8 ... plus the f/4 has IS. It's only a one stop. For some reason, I seem to do better between f/1.2 and f/2.8 using primes than with my 70-200mm zoomed almost all the way.


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Sep 21, 2017 12:14 |  #21

Two Hot Shoes wrote in post #18457108 (external link)
I use to use the 135L for weddings as my long lens, along with the Sigma 35 and 50 art lenses [mostly], two bodies and three lenses and the odd time plonking on a 24mm if it was tight.

The 70-200 is a stellar lens but its huge and heavy and costs the same as 2.5 of the other three primes. I really like primes.


If the 135L had OIS it would be the perfect wedding tele prime.

The weight of a 5DIV is 890g
The weight of an 100mm f/2.8 lens is 620g
The weight of a 200mm f/2.8 lens is 1490g
The weight of a 70-200mm f/2.8 is 1490g


  1. 5DIV + 100mm f/2.8 = 1510g
  2. 5DIV + 200mm f/2.8 = 2380g
  3. 5DIV + 70-200mm f/2.8 = 2380g



(#1 + #2) vs. #3: 3890g vs 2380g ...from this we can deduce the following...


  • For equal max aperture, the fast fixed focal length lenses are not necessarily lighter than same max aperture zoom...200mm f/2.8 = 70-200mm f/2.8 in weight!
  • You do NOT save weight by carrying primes; the more primes you carry (to try to better get 'equivalent FL') the worse it gets.
  • But for same FL, the prime does offer a more compact total package which is less conspicuous (shorter length, not white).
  • And the prime does offer the likely availability of a faster max aperture (e.g. 100mm f/2 or 135mm f2) than the same FL in a f/2.8 zoom.
  • And the zoom does offer far better ability to 'crop in the camera' by altering FL to better frame the most important elements of the shot, rather than having to alter camera position.
  • Carrying two bodies with different FL lenses is NOT less weight than same single body with a zoom, and it increases the handling difficulty.

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Sep 21, 2017 12:25 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #22

You are presuming that you’ll need a range of focal lengths in that range. You probably don’t need to and it’s not like you be taping them all on your camera at once if you did. So mounting a 1.5Kg lens off the front of you camera for a 14 hour day is going to make you feel the differience. Having the half the weight on your camera and the other half in a bag makes that a lighter option in real use

Like I said, there is no need to have a 70-200 zoom to shoot an event although the versatility is a nice thing at times.


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Post edited 11 months ago by mdvaden.
     
Sep 21, 2017 12:35 |  #23

Wilt wrote in post #18457194 (external link)
SNIP ...
  • You do NOT save weight by carrying primes; the more primes you carry (to try to better get 'equivalent FL') the worse it gets ... SNIP
  • Good points to consider.

    Presently, my thoughts are possibly reducing 70-200mm f/2 weight in my pack, and also in my hand. I can wear a Spiderpro, etc., but my bag is next to me 80% of the time. I am considering a rolling bag that virtually negates the total pack weight aspect. In-hand, with one body and lens, prime can definitely be lighter.

    I just interjected the 70-200 f/4 into the conversation recently. It will never sell my 70-200mm f/2.8, but this conversation prompted realization that a 70-200mm f/4 may be worth buying as an affordable spare backup.

    As I reflect on this, I think my issue with weight is 70% when I have to heft the heavy backpack and 30% when holding the camera and lens combo. Because the bag is always loaded fully. Whereas the body / lens combo varies. If my 16-35mm f/4 is mounted, it's almost like the lens weight doesn't exist.


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    Sep 21, 2017 12:37 |  #24

    Two Hot Shoes wrote in post #18457202 (external link)
    You are presuming that you’ll need a range of focal lengths in that range. You probably don’t need to and it’s not like you be taping them all on your camera at once if you did. So mounting a 1.5Kg lens off the front of you camera for a 14 hour day is going to make you feel the differience. Having the half the weight on your camera and the other half in a bag makes that a lighter option in real use

    Like I said, there is no need to have a 70-200 zoom to shoot an event although the versatility is a nice thing at times.

    OTOH, carrying ONLY the 200mm f/2.8 lens vs. the 70-200mm f/2.8 is NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL in weight
    The fixed FL lens is 2.4" shorter than the zoom, however.


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    Sep 21, 2017 12:38 |  #25

    I am used to 2 bodies with the 24-70 and 70-200 for 3 hours straight at a time at games, so I guess I have gotten used to it.

    I will be shooting a wedding this weekend, and will sport the same set up there.


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    Sep 21, 2017 13:18 |  #26

    Wilt wrote in post #18457216 (external link)
    OTOH, carrying ONLY the 200mm f/2.8 lens vs. the 70-200mm f/2.8 is NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL in weight
    The fixed FL lens is 2.4" shorter than the zoom, however.

    One table I looked at, like B&H, suggests the 200mm f/2.8 is almost half the weight for the lens comparison. 765 g vs. 1310 g according to their chart.


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    Sep 21, 2017 13:21 |  #27

    TeamSpeed wrote in post #18457220 (external link)
    I am used to 2 bodies with the 24-70 and 70-200 for 3 hours straight at a time at games, so I guess I have gotten used to it.

    I will be shooting a wedding this weekend, and will sport the same set up there.

    Yes, I have done similar many times, even up to 6 hours or more.

    Did you have anything to add toward the OP's inquiry about a solution with primes or not?


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    Post edited 11 months ago by TeamSpeed.
         
    Sep 21, 2017 14:46 as a reply to  @ mdvaden's post |  #28

    Other than what I had offered in my other replies, I only have 1. When I shoot weddings, especially larger venues, a prime simply would not work. As I work the perimeter of the action, a zoom is the only way to get the wedding party as they move to the front, and then also get the wide shots I look for. I could run around with 2 cameras, but during the action part of the ceremony, that isn't very much fun.

    So I can shoot this...

    IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Engagements-and-Weddings/Corey-and-Haleigh-Wedding/i-djqT3tt/1/279ba9c5/L/5P1B0447-L.jpg

    then as the wedding party is in position with the bride and groom, I can move to a different location and shoot this. In this particular venue, there were multiple pools of water, and I didn't want to risk being a spectacle by falling into the water. :)

    IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Engagements-and-Weddings/Corey-and-Haleigh-Wedding/i-T7Z7KtC/1/c60da642/X2/5P1B0465-X2.jpg

    So it depends on the venue quite a bit, and where you think you will be positioned.

    I have other pics where I am zoomed in on the ring placement on the hand, then I can zoom back out and get the overall scene very quickly without changing cameras. Many different examples that show in some cases, a zoom can be better.

    Then again, I am not a pro shooter so others will have better suggestions. :)

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    Sep 21, 2017 16:20 |  #29

    Wilt wrote in post #18457216 (external link)
    OTOH, carrying ONLY the 200mm f/2.8 lens vs. the 70-200mm f/2.8 is NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL in weight
    The fixed FL lens is 2.4" shorter than the zoom, however.

    Sorry Wilt, but you are wrong. The 200 2.8, both version 1 and version 2 lenses, are nearly half the weight of the zoom.


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    Sep 21, 2017 17:52 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #30

    Wait, we are talking about the 135/2 Vs the 70-200/2.8 not the 200/2.8 to 70-200/2.8. And it's not like the 70-200 would be the only lens you'll have with you at a wedding, and not the one camera either, most would have some wider angle lens be it the 24-70 or a 1.4 prime, a second camera & probably a backup in the bag. Those primes you might call on with the light gets low and you'll be thankful of the two extra stops.

    If you already have the 135/2, there's no need to go out and get a 70-200 you would be far better off getting a second body with another lens option on it. As then you'd have two cameras, backups count at weddings.


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