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Thread: Called to take some photos at a wedding.

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    Member Bubbleyboy's Avatar
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    Called to take some photos at a wedding.

    I have been asked to take some family photos at a wedding I am to attend soon I have a canon 1100d with a 18 /55 kit lens . Iam still finding my feet with this unit and while the standard lens will take adequate shots I was wondering if it was worth purchasing a 50mm F1.8 for the wedding portrate shots as they are relativly inexpensive < $130.00.

    Bubbleyboy
    Last edited by Bubbleyboy; 02-05-2012 at 12:03am. Reason: wrong f stop

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    depends. Yes a 50 mm will offer you some nice portraits, but if you want group shots you will need something wider. The 18-55 kit lens will do this, but if you are indoors, without flash, you might find the 18-55 struggles.

    I had a look to see if you had taken portraits before, but can't see that you have loaded any to AP for critique, I would be interested in your skill level as to whether you should be doing lots of portrait practice between now and the wedding.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    General wedding photography tips:
    - never be the main photographer for friends, whether it's paid or for free. Fill-in photographer is usually fine though.
    - never be the main photographer for anyone before you have significant experience as a fill-in photographer + all the gear
    - you need wide aperture lenses, for depth of field control and also just light gathering.
    - shoot raw. get a big memory card if needed. Even if you use raw just to not have to worry about white balance while shooting, it's already worth it.
    - have lots of batteries
    - scout the location before and try some test pics. Very experienced photographers who are doing a not too high profile wedding can rely on their experience to adapt on the spot, but apart from this case, go for it.

    The 1100D is a beautiful camera, particularly for its price tag. The only thing I don't like about it is the full plastic (they could have put a bit of rubber around the grip!). It can do decent pics up to 1600 ISO which is nice. I advise to lock auto-ISO to 1600 max on this camera, because its 3200 is really ugly.

    The kit lens is total crap, hardly better than an iphone, but with any slightly decent lens you can make beautiful pictures. The 1.8 is a great value lens. On a Canon crop sensor you get equiv. perspective of 80mm. You'll be blown away by how it compares to the kit lens, it's another world. It does a bit of colour fringing full open, but it's nothing you can't correct in photoshop. Close it a bit to 2.2 - 2.5 and you'll get rid of it anyway.

    Get a second battery and bring the charger with you. Charge both before you get there. This way when the first battery is out, you can put it to charge right away and start using the second one. Oh and deactivate the image display in options, and deactivate the lcd screen (press "disp" button).

    Also a flash that can be shot from the side is pretty good (integrated flash is awful - and shooting from right next to the lens produces terrible results). You can pick this up used for less than $100. Any E-TTL capable flash with an extension cord is good for starters. A softbox for the flash is pretty nice too. You can make it yourself for $10, you just need to use your hands

    So yeah, as a fill-in photographer here is your list:
    - 50 1.8
    - battery!!
    - any E-TTL capable flash with extension cord (the wireless ones are expensive)
    - home made flash softbox (or buy one if you have the cash, though it's not hard at all to make)

    And action list:
    - scout the location before
    - charge your batteries
    - learn the ins and outs of your camera if you don't already know it very well. 1100D is pretty simple which is awesome
    - experiment a lot with the 50 1.8, its depth of field control and perspective
    - do lots of testing with flash photo. it's not a basic skill at all.

    Cheers
    Last edited by patrickv; 04-05-2012 at 12:07pm. Reason: typo

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    Thanks for your answers , I think the purchase of the 50mm is a definate now , even if its only to note the difference between it and the kit lens . I will be mostly be doing portrates , aunty Sally with Uncle Ben ect just for posterity and some Family members who cant be there . A few other have to get items are mentioned , second battery and flash , but one thing at a time with limited finances and at this stage the 50 mm lens is in my reach , so I'll dive in and hope to post some results after I have them .

    Bubbleyboy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbleyboy View Post
    I have been asked to take some family photos at a wedding I amto attend soon I have a canon 1100dwith a 18 /55 kit lens . Iam still finding my feet with this unit andwhile the standard lens will take adequate shots I was wondering if it was worth purchasing a 50mm F1.8 for thewedding portrate shots as they are relativly inexpensive < $130.00.


    No. The EF50.1.8MkII is not a sensible purchase given the details you’ve provided.

    If your finances are limited to only one purchase, on the balance of probibilities, you will have more scope to make good Family Portrait Photos at the Wedding if you buy a dedicated Flash Unit (e.g. 430EXMkII) and make a White Bounce Card and Practice and Learn how to the Flash and the Bounce Card and also how to Pose People and also Practice how to take Candid Portraiture.

    And as an initial functionality - use the Camera in P Mode and the Flash in Full Auto, bounced forward at 45° into the White Bounce Card.

    The EF-S 18 to 55F/3.5~5.6IS is certainly NOT total crap, but rather very good quality images can be made with it.

    One should consider the very great limitations of making a variety of Family Portraits at a Wedding, if one is confined to only using a 50mm lens on an APS-C Camera.


    WW
    Last edited by William W; 10-05-2012 at 2:24pm.

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    You are better off renting pro equipment which are not that expensive to rent, rather than paying for sub-par equipment.

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    It's still a few hundred dollars to rend decent stuff for a couple days

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickv View Post
    It's still a few hundred dollars to rend decent stuff for a couple days
    still better than shooting with a Canon 1100D + 18-55 + 50 f1.8?

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    IMO. And don't take this too harsly. Turn down the gig. Turn up with your camera and take some random photos. Give it to them at the end of the day. No stress on you no expectations from them.

    18-55 is not crap. It's a decent lens when stopped down to f8. LOL.

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    For sure it's better. As a general thing, you'll always be better off with better equipment.
    Renting proper pro equipment would cost about as much as buying an average flash and the 50 f/1.8, and it just seems that the OP has issues with the financial aspect of just getting a flash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickv View Post
    For sure it's better. As a general thing, you'll always be better off with better equipment.
    Renting proper pro equipment would cost about as much as buying an average flash and the 50 f/1.8, and it just seems that the OP has issues with the financial aspect of just getting a flash.
    have you actually hired gear on a regular basis? what you are stating there is about half a grand in rental gear? I dont know where you get your rental stuff from but the average rental price for an FF body is between $90-150 for weekend, good lenses between $50-$100, flash under $50 blah blah.


    http://sydneycamerahire.com.au/wedding-equipment.html
    1. Canon EOS mark1 camera (looks like a MKIII)
    2. 2 memory chips
    3. Flash
    4. 2 x lenses
    5. Bag
    6. $175 for the weekend

    http://www.digihire.com.au/canon-slr-lenses.htm

    $160 for 4 L prime lenses kit of 24, 35, 50, 85 - bargain hire


    http://www.rentacam.com.au/canon-cam...re-sydney.html

    17-55 IS + 580EXII = $95 rent.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Photography camera Canon EOS 1d mark II
    Camera
    One 35mmto 70mmlense
    One wide angle lens
    Monopod
    Total price is $175 per day

    I suspect it is a MARK I.
    Last edited by KeeFy; 11-05-2012 at 11:30am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    Photography camera Canon EOS 1d mark II
    Camera
    One 35mmto 70mmlense
    One wide angle lens
    Monopod
    Total price is $175 per day

    I suspect it is a MARK I.
    would u prefer that still over a 1100D?

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    would u prefer that still over a 1100D?
    Depending on situation. If it's low light. I'll take the 1100D over the MK1 for ISO control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    Depending on situation. If it's low light. I'll take the 1100D over the MK1 for ISO control.
    I wouldnt, not with an 18-55 on it anyway.

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    is there another photographer there, actually being paid ? Get them to do it and you get pissed
    Darren
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Member bmeikle's Avatar
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    I recently went through this same exercise.
    I have a Nikon D5100 with a couple of lenses - I bought a 35mm f1.8 DX lens and a decent flash.
    I was able to borrow a Nikon D700 from a friend (ex pro photographer) with some nice lenses which was fantastic. Then have my camera as a backup which I gave to my son to take some extra shots.

    I would also suggest make a list of the photos and guests you "must" get. Things move so quickly on the day that it is a scramble and I missed some combinations of guests.
    Hardest thing is being a guest as well as photographer is that people want to keep talking to you and you get distracted from taking the photos.

    It was pretty stressful but the photos turned out great and the bride and groom were happy - which is the main thing.
    Good luck

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    I've done three weddings now and the time before last decided I would never do one again. I'm now doing another in August.

    They are stressful events indeed and talent to handle them comes with a lot of practice.

    Taking family portraits should be a job your and your gear should be capable of. The 50 you have in mind will be fine.

    At one wedding I shot family portraits indoors with the nicest background possible and this ended up being in a hall with a wooden hat and umbrella rack etc. Pulling in a few nice looking chairs and using a tripod and the off camera flash it really worked well.

    Shoot lots of photo's.
    "Nature photography is about choosing a location, crawling through dirt, being bitten by insects and occasionally taking a great image". - Wayne Eddy.

    Canon 5D MkIII, Canon 7D, 17-40mm f/4L,
    24-105mm f/4L
    + Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS +400mm f/5.6L + Canon 1.4xTC + Canon 100 EF f2.8 USM + 430-EX


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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    have you actually hired gear on a regular basis? what you are stating there is about half a grand in rental gear? I dont know where you get your rental stuff from but the average rental price for an FF body is between $90-150 for weekend, good lenses between $50-$100, flash under $50 blah blah.
    Please show me the 90-150 for a weekend (not a single week day) that is a not a 11 year old 4mpix 1d mark1. I'm interested... I'd like to test a 5D3 for a weekend for $150 is it possible?
    How much do you buy a 50 1.8 ? I can get it any day under $100, same for an average flash.

    All this rental thing doesn't either take into account that to get used to new gear - particularly if you don't have much experience - it takes more than a single day... Even if it wasn't super expensive, what use is it to rent some fancy stuff if it's your first time ever using an off-camera flash? I think you can get much better results with a 50 1.8 + a $100 flash that you can use every day to practice for a month than with full studio, top camera bodies, lenses, strobes, that you have no idea how to use ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickv View Post
    Please show me the 90-150 for a weekend (not a single week day) that is a not a 11 year old 4mpix 1d mark1. I'm interested... I'd like to test a 5D3 for a weekend for $150 is it possible?
    How much do you buy a 50 1.8 ? I can get it any day under $100, same for an average flash.

    All this rental thing doesn't either take into account that to get used to new gear - particularly if you don't have much experience - it takes more than a single day... Even if it wasn't super expensive, what use is it to rent some fancy stuff if it's your first time ever using an off-camera flash? I think you can get much better results with a 50 1.8 + a $100 flash that you can use every day to practice for a month than with full studio, top camera bodies, lenses, strobes, that you have no idea how to use ...

    Sorry but check the websites above for prices that are not old bodies?

    Im sorry but top end gear stlll works the same as low end gear, you can still change apertures, shutter speed, ISO blah blah, so unless you have never ever touched a camera before you can easily pull off good shots on any pro or entry level body. Fact.

    So a $100 dollar flash - I am expecting no TTL there - you want the OP to use Manual for a wedding for both outdoors and indoors? Yeah I cant wait to see the pics from blown out highlights.

    Instead of arguing, why dont you try to be a bit more productive by helping the OP, I gave them my suggestions based on being an experienced wedding photographer with using all levels of gear.

    I cannot wait to see how the results from a 50mm on a 1.6x crop used for all shots, and a $100 dollar flash on Manual - if he goes by your suggestion.

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