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Thread: Gear check for amateur wedding photography

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    Gear check for amateur wedding photography

    Hi Guys

    I have agreed to shoot another wedding (I have done one in the past, around this time last year) in feb and have started to think about my gear.

    Currently I shoot on 550D and have the following lenses:

    Canon 10-22mm wide angle
    Canon 50mm 1.4
    Canon 85mm 1.8
    Canon 100m 2.8 macro
    Yongnuo flash
    2 x 16GB extreme pro sd cards
    1 x 32GB sandisc class 10
    1 x 8GB sandisc class 10

    I like to shoot wide open, and close tightly cropped shots are usually my style. Now, my concern is that my 10-22mm may cause some distortion of group photos and my 50mm is certainly not up to the task of taking group shots. My other concern is I dont have a second body to shoot on. The last wedding i did i managed with one body but the usual of ("I cant believe you didnt take a backup" haunts me and im sure i missed opportunities through my frequent lens changing).

    I've been eyeing off the 17-55mm 2.8 for quite a while and also on the edge wanting to upgrade my 550D for a 7D....but lacking in funds.

    Luckily i won't need any flash gear other than my reflector because it's an afternoon wedding in the middle of summer. The other problem would be renting- the wedding is in albany (a good day's drive from where I live) and i would be down there unable to return the lens/body for at least 5 days i would say...which makes it not as cheap as it could be if i did rent it).

    My questions to you guys are-
    1. Should I make do with the gear I have, which I have had for a long time and am comfortable with
    2. Should I grab the 17-55mm 2.8 for more of an overall lens that would ultimatley replace my 50mm and my 10-22mm
    3. Should I use the lenses that I have and buy the 7D body and attach the 10-22 on one of them and a different lens on the other and carry both around.

    choices, choices.

    thanks guys!
    Canon 6D, Canon 550D, Canon 24-105mm, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 85mm f/1.8, Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8 IS USM, Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-5.6

    www.imogenbrandrakers.wordpress.com

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    Assuming "amateur" means "No Remuneration", then:

    Should I make do with the gear I have, which I have had for a long time and am comfortable with
    Should I grab the 17-55mm 2.8 for more of an overall lens that would ultimately replace my 50mm and my 10-22mm


    A 17 to 55/2.8 would be generally more useful at the Wedding than using a 10 to 22mm and then a gap (and lens change) to 50mm.
    IF you are implying that you intend to buy a 17 to 55 anyway . . . then what better reason than to do it soon.

    ***

    Should I use the lenses that I have and buy the 7D body and attach the 10-22 on one of them and a different lens on the other and carry both around.

    You still have 23 to 49mm inaccessible – and I believe that would be limiting EVEN though you stated you like shooting wide.

    ***

    You should be able to borrow a Canon Body from a friend or family member to use as a backup Body: especially if this is a gratis exercise.

    ***

    I would NOT choose to go sans Flash for the Wedding you describe.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 03-10-2012 at 8:02am.

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    Can you rent a body in Albany? why not ring Camera house Albany (seems to be the only store there) and ask them - they may know of someone. They can only say no.
    Odille

    “Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky”

    My Blog | Canon 1DsMkII | 60D | Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 AF AT-X PRO | EF50mm f/1.8| Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM | Fujifilm X-T1 & X-M1 | Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XC 50-230mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS | tripods, flashes, filters etc ||

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    Camera House albany wont allow me to rent one.

    Which do you guys think is more important- a second body, or a different lens?

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    A 2nd body.

    Scenario - Lens fails, switch to different lens. Body fails.......no back up body to continue shooting. Possible lawsuit and reputation destroyed.
    Commercial/Editorial/Wedding work - www.jackietranphoto.com
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    Your top priority is a different lens. I have the 10-22 and the 17-55 2.8 IS. The 10-22 is too distorted near the edges at the ultra wide range. The 17-55 is a Very Noticeable Improvement in convenience and range appropriateness.

    In fact I have successfully covered a wedding with only the 17-55 f2.8 IS. However, if I were you and I didn't have full access and needed to be more in the background at times, your 85mm or 100mm lenses will be very handy.

    I also endorse William W's comment and urge you to take a flash unit for any wedding. An "afternoon wedding in the middle of summer" is a recipe for (a) sunlit photos ruined by excessive lateral contrast and heavy shadows under hats, eyebrows and noses; (b) photos in the mottled shade of trees ruined by dappled shadows on faces; and (c) photos in open shade exhibiting a rather flat and low-contrast look. All of which can be addressed to varying degrees with flash photography -- not to mention getting a nice sparkle in the eyes.

    Have fun! P.S. ask around for a spare body

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arg View Post
    Your top priority is a different lens. I have the 10-22 and the 17-55 2.8 IS. The 10-22 is too distorted near the edges at the ultra wide range. The 17-55 is a Very Noticeable Improvement in convenience and range appropriateness.

    In fact I have successfully covered a wedding with only the 17-55 f2.8 IS. However, if I were you and I didn't have full access and needed to be more in the background at times, your 85mm or 100mm lenses will be very handy.

    I also endorse William W's comment and urge you to take a flash unit for any wedding. An "afternoon wedding in the middle of summer" is a recipe for (a) sunlit photos ruined by excessive lateral contrast and heavy shadows under hats, eyebrows and noses; (b) photos in the mottled shade of trees ruined by dappled shadows on faces; and (c) photos in open shade exhibiting a rather flat and low-contrast look. All of which can be addressed to varying degrees with flash photography -- not to mention getting a nice sparkle in the eyes.

    Have fun! P.S. ask around for a spare body


    Why would you rate the top priority being another lens when a 2nd back up body is more important? Im curious to know.

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    Hay Imogen, Mate if you really get stuck, I'll help you out, PM me and we can talk lens and Bodies. I have my 50D and a 1D, also a couple of L's that you can use.

    On a second note, the sigma 24-70 might be a good option price and IQ wise, yes it's for FF, but it will give you, I believe anyway, a good working range. I have the Canon 24-70, and it's bascialy my goto lens. I also have teh 70-200 mm L 2.8. A good friend shoots weddings with the Sigma range on a Nikon D700 Body and gets great results. Main lenses are teh 24-70 and 70-200 + a wide angle Prime.

    Being Albany, I would take a flash, the place has it's own Mirco Climate. You Never know, the slight increase in weight, may be well worth it.

    Imogen, you could also try Stu at Quality Camera ( http://www.qualitycamera.com.au/ ) I have loaned gear off him before, he's in the Seceret harbour area, so you could get the stuff on the way down. Not as expensive as you may think, and all new gear.
    Last edited by Roosta; 04-10-2012 at 10:46am.
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    A second body is a must for any important (cannot be repeated event). I am on a holiday in Thailand at the moment travelling with my trusty 5d when the worst possible thing has happened - i have had equipment failure (first time in 30 years). With no back up (apart from my iphone), and a tour booked tomorrow, I am lost with no back up body (this body is one of my back ups when i am working on assignment at home).

    Regardless if you are being paid for this wedding or not - the event is a one off for the bride and groom and either would not be happy to hear the excuse "sorry my equipment has let me down".
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, 5DsR, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-300 f4-5.6L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 16-35 f4 IS, 11-24 f4L, 85 f1.2L II, 500 f4L IS, 300 f2.8 IS, ∑50 f1.4 A


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    Thanks everyone for your very helpful comments- and Roosta! Wow youre a legend! Nice to know i've got someone to help me if i get stuck thanks heaps!

    I think i'll go with buying a second body and possibly renting a lens. Who knows what might happen between now and feb I just wanted to get my priorities in order.

    Thanks again!!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arg View Post
    ...... I have the 10-22 and the 17-55 2.8 IS. The 10-22 is too distorted near the edges at the ultra wide range. The 17-55 is a Very Noticeable Improvement in convenience and range appropriateness.

    ......
    (I know close to nothing about Canon lenses, but!....)
    The 10-22mm lens will (almost certainly) produce much less distortion @ 12-14mm, than the 17-55 lens will @ 17mm.
    Hence it will be the more appropriate lens for shooting very wide vista's of people in a group scene.
    Other rendering qualities aside(and considering the aperture differences), I'd be inclined to use the UWA lens slightly zoomed in for group shots.

    But as already said, the 20-50mm focal length seems to be quite important for wedding shoots.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    Why would you rate the top priority being another lens when a 2nd back up body is more important? Im curious to know.
    Read my PS re the body issue. It's a risk management issue. If the happy couple want zero risk they should engage a professional wedding photographer, don't you think that's pretty obvious? The risk of a known reliable camera suddenly breaking down on one specific afternoon is actually very small. There is genuinely a much higher risk of ice tripping over a root or step in the first half of the event and spraining an ankle, or worse, and not being able to continue. Are we advising her to wear knee and ankle braces and headgear to protect herself from this risk? Certainly not. I also think it's pretty cheeky for the happy couple to not only not pay the 'official' photographer, but to expect her, a known amateur, to spend whatever it takes so as to perfectly cover their wedding even in the event of a rare equipment failure. They have placed a value of $0 on their wedding photographs, so anything more than 0 photographs is a bonus. We are talking about a small risk, anyway.

    I think a bigger risk is covering a wedding with effectively no coverage between 35-80mm (equivalent), especially for group shots.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    ....The 10-22mm lens will (almost certainly) produce much less distortion @ 12-14mm, than the 17-55 lens will @ 17mm.....
    I have both these lenses and I have not done any comparative testing, but my subjective impression is the opposite.

    Also, using a 10-22 for all group shots, it will be too easy to accidentally zoom out into the distorted area (lets say 10-15mm), in the heat of the many moments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arg View Post
    Read my PS re the body issue. It's a risk management issue. If the happy couple want zero risk they should engage a professional wedding photographer, don't you think that's pretty obvious? The risk of a known reliable camera suddenly breaking down on one specific afternoon is actually very small. There is genuinely a much higher risk of ice tripping over a root or step in the first half of the event and spraining an ankle, or worse, and not being able to continue. Are we advising her to wear knee and ankle braces and headgear to protect herself from this risk? Certainly not. I also think it's pretty cheeky for the happy couple to not only not pay the 'official' photographer, but to expect her, a known amateur, to spend whatever it takes so as to perfectly cover their wedding even in the event of a rare equipment failure. They have placed a value of $0 on their wedding photographs, so anything more than 0 photographs is a bonus. We are talking about a small risk, anyway.

    I think a bigger risk is covering a wedding with effectively no coverage between 35-80mm (equivalent), especially for group shots.

    - - - Updated - - -



    I have both these lenses and I have not done any comparative testing, but my subjective impression is the opposite.

    Also, using a 10-22 for all group shots, it will be too easy to accidentally zoom out into the distorted area (lets say 10-15mm), in the heat of the many moments.

    I disagree. I would like to know how many weddings you have done, as a professional or hobbyist altogether?

    I am at around 73 weddings or so since 2008. I have had 2 camera malfunctions.

    TWO MALFUNCTIONS. Pretty good ratio, but not really, STILL TWO. STILL HAPPENS.

    I dont care if the said person is there as a professional photographer or doing a favour, having a back up IS IMPERATIVE. So what, camera breaks down, you have no back up, and walk away laughing because you have zero responsibilities since you are not the 'professional' photographer? Do a job, or any job, and do it right - especially at a wedding. Or dont do the job at all.

    Who said the OP has to spend big in buying or renting gear to cover? Hes got sufficient lenses, he can still borrow a camera as a 2nd body if he needs to.

    I would love to post up your response on a forum like fredmiranda where there is a high percentage of wedding photographers posting, would love to see their response to your comment above!

    [QUOTE]I think a bigger risk is covering a wedding with effectively no coverage between 35-80mm (equivalent), especially for group shots./QUOTE]

    As mentioned already by others above, he can easily shoot group shots at 20-22mm without much distortion. If you are experienced in weddings you know that group shots form a tiny, tiny percentage of the overal photos taken from the day, as most couples and ppl prefer candids and natural photos. How big of a group are you talking about anyway, 20-50 ppl group shots?

    FYI, my primary wedding lenses is 35L and 85L/85 Sigma, favoured by me and many other colleagues. Look how well we can do without something in the middle to 'try and cover everything'.
    Last edited by JM Tran; 10-10-2012 at 4:43pm.

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    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    And what is wrong with having a little P&S as a backup? And explain to the happy couple your approach to the shoot and resources you have including P&S.
    Cheers Brian.

    Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX. 580EX

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bricat View Post
    And what is wrong with having a little P&S as a backup? And explain to the happy couple your approach to the shoot and resources you have including P&S.

    It all depends on one thing:
    The OP has only specified in their original post that they have agreed to do another wedding, but no mention made of any remuneration for their time and services!!

    If the OP is doing it for love(and other catastrophes) then it could be argued that this second body will become a cost for the OP to bear! Do they want or need that .. is up to them to decide.

    If the OP is profiting from the event, then for sure .. you would do the right thing and ensure that you can continue shooting if something goes wrong with one or the other bodies.

    For an event such as this I reckon a second body is more important that the new lens too, if not for the peace of mind of backup purposes, then at least for the purpose of minimizing lens swapping.

    One body three lenses, by the time you're done swapping lenses about you've missed all the good shots!

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    Hi JM Tran, I agree, 2 bodies is better than 1.

    But it is still a matter of risk management. You are thinking risk minimisation, which is a different thing.

    I don't know if undergraduates still take calculators to exams, but when they did do so, as I recall, nobody took a spare calculator. The consequences of calculator failure were, frankly, catastrophic. But it was rare and they were expensive, once upon a time.

    That's risk management.

    PS I'm impervious to your browbeating manner, mate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arg View Post
    Hi JM Tran, I agree, 2 bodies is better than 1.

    But it is still a matter of risk management. You are thinking risk minimisation, which is a different thing.

    I don't know if undergraduates still take calculators to exams, but when they did do so, as I recall, nobody took a spare calculator. The consequences of calculator failure were, frankly, catastrophic. But it was rare and they were expensive, once upon a time.

    That's risk management.

    PS I'm impervious to your browbeating manner, mate.

    Risk minimisation or scientific calculators blah blah blah. I take pride in providing quality service to clients, and that includes providing a safety net for them and for my reputation. And if you think you can try to argue or convince someone who specializes in this particular industry, and has suffered 2 MALFUNCTIONS, in that another lens is more important than a 2nd body, then definitely walk on in to fredmiranda.com. Guess why we prefer cameras with dual card slots for data redundancy?

    FYI - from my uni days one is not permitted to take more than 1 scientific calculators in at the exam table at any give time, to prevent cheating such as pre-saved equations and formulas and diagrams on the 2nd scientific calculator. But I know of friends who keep a spare one in their bags, because its cheap and not that expensive anymore? I also took spare pens in

    P.S I dont need to browbeat, but would love to see more of your photos up, since you know what you are talking about and all in the industry Looking forward to it.
    Last edited by JM Tran; 15-10-2012 at 1:36pm.

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    Hey ice, let us know how it pans out. cheers

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    Agreeing to doing a wedding without a minimum of a backup body, be it paid or otherwise is irresponsible for those that should know otherwise and better suited to those whom refuse to know better or beginners whom have yet to learn better. The analogies used in this thread to justify the risk are nothing short of ridiculous.

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    Well, I have just been asked to do a Wedding in February. I have done a Wedding back about 15 years ago and it will feel like my first one!!

    I know I am going to try and borrow a body and lens from a friend, as my main worry isn't the failure but the switching of lens!! I can imagine in the church, or where ever, and getting a wide shot if of the couple and the area, then switching to a zoom to capture the ring exchange and the kiss. I KNOW I am not that quick in the lens changing department and I also don't want to be carrying my bag with me as I waltz around the place (hoping another friend will be my assistant! ).

    So, to me a second body would be more of an advantage than a lens! Just my 2 cents worth.
    Monika
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