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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 28 Feb 2006 (Tuesday) 16:25
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your setup for evening receptions with dim lighting

 
picturecrazy
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Feb 28, 2006 16:25 |  #1

I just want to know what you guys are using for this situation, which is very common for weddings.

I just bought a 24-70 F2.8L to help deal with the low light, but I didn't gain as many stops as I hoped I would. I'm considering returning this lens and switching to fast primes.

I do NOT like lighting everything up with flashes. I want the ambiance and mood of the room to be preserved. What are you all doing to properly expose people, keeping them reasonably sharp (as many people in candid shots are not holding still for you obviously), and preserving the mood and lighting? Of course, I use a flash, but keep it's light to a minimum.

I guess lots of flash is just not my style. It never has been. There's gotta be some people here who are also like that....?
anyone?


-Lloyd
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tim
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Feb 28, 2006 17:04 |  #2

You should probably have a F2.8 zoom in that range anyway, to blur backgrounds.

I had a first dance at a reception a couple of weeks ago that was lit solely by a mirror ball and a tiny bit of ambient light from the bar. I could see them ok, but the camera had trouble. I used my 50mm F1.4 @ ISO3200 and that was pretty good, I gave it to my assistant, with a 550EX set as fill - about FEC-1 for some shots. I was using a Tamron 28-75 F2.8, ISO3200 @ F2.8, lighting the couple with a flash at FEC0 and dragging the shutter to get the ambient background light. You wouldn't want to print any of them too large, but for a typical album or print they're pretty good.

Alternately, the new 85mm F1.2L would be a good lens, at US$2K+


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bpuppy
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Feb 28, 2006 17:42 |  #3

I'd agree with Tim on the 50mm f/1.4 ... what a fantastic lens ... wide open it allows lots of light in AND looks so great with the depth of field 'slice' and smooth bokeh. You just have to run around more (human zoom) but it's so worth it.

If you have the 50mm f/1.8, that would be good too, but I didn't know how much better the 1.4 was until I got it. It's my fave lens, no question.


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tim
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Feb 28, 2006 17:50 |  #4

The 1.4 is definitely soft wide open, but shut down a stop or two it quickly improves. I use it at F1.4 all the time anyway, sharpness isn't the be all and end all of photos, especially for smaller prints. Just don't do a 30x45 print from an F1.4 photo unless you really have to!

Hey bpuppy you hvae a lot of the same gear I do :)


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SuzyView
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Feb 28, 2006 17:55 |  #5

Tim, did you mount the 550EX for your assistant on a bracket?

I have the 50 1.4 and 24-70L, and the 50 1.4 is better in the dark. With ISO set high, you should do okay. Flash is not awful if you use a diffuser. Red-eye is my least favorite adjustment in PS.

Tim, you said you put a soft-box on your flash. Is it this one?

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tim
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Feb 28, 2006 18:18 |  #6

I only use one bracket, i'm not sure if I had either camera on the bracket for those shots. I suspect not. 550EX on one camera, 580EX on the other, the 580EX had that softbox you linked to on it.


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bpuppy
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Feb 28, 2006 19:14 |  #7

Funny ... I've heard those reports of it being soft at 1.4 ... but mine for some reason is still nice and sharp. I might have gotten a lucky lens. Or maybe you should get yours checked.


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tim
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Feb 28, 2006 19:31 |  #8

I don't think I have a bad copy of the 1.4... all lenses are softer wide open. I could perhaps post a 100% crop at F1.4, F2.8, and F8 all of the same thing, would you mind doing the same?

It might take me a week to do it... i'm seriously working 16 hours per day, including my day job. I think my days are all chock full until Monday evening next week... even then I have albums to design I just don't have anything concrete in my diary yet! And another wedding this weekend adds to the load, but at least I love doing them :)


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SuzyView
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Mar 01, 2006 07:58 |  #9

I am glad I don't have any weddings coming up this month. I am so tired and my weekends are taken with my boys. I am a photographer volunteer at a local Chess Club Tournament and my two little boys are competing. The MASTER will teach me to put the results on the computer and I will be taking pictures when I am not at the computer table.

I feel I am going to have to take my 50 1.4 for the bad lighting in the gym. So, first trip out with the Press-T bracket and the 20D with 50 1.4 on it. Hope it all works. I'm not taking a whole lot of stuff this time. Have to carry it with me all day.


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picturecrazy
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Mar 01, 2006 12:17 as a reply to  @ SuzyView's post |  #10

hmm so sounds like I should definitely have a 50mm f1.4
Do you think running around with a 50mm f1.4 and a 35mm f2 for receptions to be adequate? (on a 1.6 crop) Or have you guys found you need more flexibility in your range?


-Lloyd
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tim
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Mar 01, 2006 15:31 |  #11

I often use a 70-200 F2.8 IS for speech shots at the reception, so I can stay out of the way. The IS is great because the light is always terrible.


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picturecrazy
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Mar 01, 2006 16:38 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #12

Geez, a 70-300 F2.8 IS.... i WISH!! Maybe someday.
I have the same lumiquest diffuser as you Tim. I mount it on my stroboframe bracket. Do you prefer to fire it direct or point it up at 45? (on, let's say a 8 ft white ceiling)

Also, what are you thoughts on iso3200 on your 20D for paying customers? do you think it's too noisy?


-Lloyd
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tim
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Mar 01, 2006 17:29 as a reply to  @ picturecrazy's post |  #13

picturecrazy wrote:
Geez, a 70-300 F2.8 IS.... i WISH!! Maybe someday.
I have the same lumiquest diffuser as you Tim. I mount it on my stroboframe bracket. Do you prefer to fire it direct or point it up at 45? (on, let's say a 8 ft white ceiling)

Also, what are you thoughts on iso3200 on your 20D for paying customers? do you think it's too noisy?

The softbox I point straight ahead, if i'm going to bounce I usually take the diffuser off. There's not a huge amount of difference either way.

I would rather have a noisy ISO3200 image than a blurry image with less noise, so I use 3200 when I need to. I would probably refuse to do prints over 5x7 if it's ISO3200, i'd definitely do sample prints myself first to check I was happy with the quality. All of my first dance shots from my 2nd last wedding were at ISO3200 because without that they'd be too blurry to use.


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your setup for evening receptions with dim lighting
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