Wedding Photography

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Zak, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Zak

    Zak Guest

    Could I have some views on what would be the best focal length Lens to use on a wedding photo shoot ?
    Zak, Jan 21, 2012
    1. Advertisements

  2. Zak

    Robert Coe Guest

    : Could I have some views on what would be the best focal length Lens to use on a wedding photo shoot ?

    You may suspect this already; but if you have to ask such a general,
    unspecific question, you are in no way ready to try to shoot a wedding.

    That said, from among the lenses I have, I'd use two CA zooms: a 17-55mm f/2.8
    and a 50-150mm f/2.8. (On two cameras; a wedding is no place to be juggling
    lenses.) I hope to soon get my hands on a 70-200mm f/2.8; and I guess I'd use
    that, if for no other reason than that every wedding photographer I've heard
    from on the subject seems to think it's a must-have lens. I might also bring
    along my 30mm f/1.4, depending on the lighting conditions I could be facing,
    especially if I expected restrictions on the use of flash.

    If you do decide to go through with it, don't make a nuisance of yourself by
    getting in the way of the professional photographer who's actually been hired
    to cover the wedding. But pay attention to what lenses (s)he uses.

    Disclaimer: I'm far too gutless to do weddings myself. But I do a fair amount
    of event work, so I'm more or less familiar with what's involved.

    Robert Coe, Jan 21, 2012
    1. Advertisements

  3. Zak

    DanP Guest

    A direct answer just for the heck of it would be 80mm, no perspective distortion, enough room to find a shooting spot and a 80mm fast lens is affordable and easy to handle.

    A better advice is to go on site with a friend and rehearse.
    See where the light is coming from, where will your subjects be, where can you be, then pick the focal length accordingly.

    Wedding photography is tough, exposure has to be spot on, high expectations and no chance to reshot, you must not mess it up. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

    For wedding shots anything between 18mm and 200mm can be used and it should if you have the time. Zoom lenses on the move, fast prime lenses for the ceremony.

    I think you are not the main photographer, watch how the main one works.

    I am just an amateur, others would disagree with me.

    DanP, Jan 21, 2012
  4. Zak

    dadiOH Guest

    It depends upon how you want to shoot it.

    When I did them over a period of 50 years my interest was in getting the
    "money shots"...those I knew from experience that the customer wanted. I
    always used whatever lens was normal for the format; in my case, that was
    75+-mm for 120 film.

    The time available to me to do my thing was always limited so swapping
    lenses around was not really an option; additionally, the movement of one's
    feet can easily overcome the need for different focal length lenses.



    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at
    dadiOH, Jan 21, 2012
  5. Zak

    Mort Guest

    I am an amateur photographer, and am occasionally asked to do weddings
    for family or friends. I always tell them to hire a professional
    photographer for the main pictures. I do additional pictures, little
    things that may be overlooked otherwise, e.g. a close-up of the cake, a
    close-up of the invitation and of the menu, close views of babies or
    small children, and spontaneous occurrences that can't be predicted. Of
    course, I do the usual poses as well. I use a 5:1 zoom lens (24-120 mm.
    equivalent), as I do not wish to miss anything while changing lenses.

    If the ceremony is in a house of worship, I always speak with the
    clergyman beforehand about any restrictions regarding picture taking.

    I put the JPEG numbers on the back of the prints, in case the couple
    need more prints.

    Good luck.

    Mort Linder
    Mort, Jan 21, 2012
  6. Zak

    Alan Browne Guest

    Why ask here? There are dozens of books and websites on the subject and
    "what focal length" is about item 3,422 on the list of things to consider.

    I can't resist though: you will need more than a single given FL for
    most weddings - indeed 2 bodies would be the strict minimum if for
    backup reasons alone.
    Alan Browne, Jan 21, 2012
  7. Zak

    Zak Guest

    Sorry guys did my question sound like a noob ? I was just trying to find out what my fellow professional photographers used on there wedding shoots. Iwasn't asking how to shoot a wedding. I shoot with 2 Nikon D700's 70 - 200mm is my favorite and various other primes. Thanks for your replies
    Zak, Jan 22, 2012
  8. Thinking lenses are the least of your problems looking at the portfolio...
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Jan 23, 2012
  9. Zak

    PeterN Guest

    You show all the tranquility that Buddhism teaches.
    PeterN, Jan 23, 2012
  10. On 35mm film or full-frame digital, I've rarely needed wider than 24mm for
    a wedding, and fairly often wanted longer than 200mm (at least 300mm).
    Luckily APX-C sensors make the 70-200/2.8 give the FOV of a 300mm.

    If you're doing formal portraits as part of it, you might neeed your
    portrait lens (if you don't use the long zoom).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 23, 2012
  11. Yeah, I considered that view, too. But people often open with questions
    stated to avoid biasing the answers, rather than questions stated to
    impress us with their prior knowledge. I gave him the benefit of the
    doubt there.
    Fast lenses are sometimes absolutely vital -- a longer one, too, if the
    ceremony happens in the dark as is too often the case.

    I definitely used 200mm on a DX body when I did weddings with it, so I
    support your aim to get a 70-200/2.8.
    The technical issues are very similar.

    I've done a double-handful of weddings over the years, not as a big
    business obviously. Haven't had a wedding photo disaster yet -- but man
    the horror stories there get exciting. It'd cost a bundle to fly
    everybody back, rent the venue, and restage the wedding.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 23, 2012
  12. Zak

    Vance Guest

    I only looked at this question because I was curious about the answers, however I'm compelled to ask why you made that comment, Charles?

    Looking quickly at the images on the linked to site, my impresion is that they would meet a level of quality which I would call 'Commonly expected in the trade.' They appear competent and are visually consistent within the portfolio so that a potential customer could get a sense of what they would get re style, etc. and would have a basis to follow-up further (or not).

    Since I'm here, I know from experience thaT I'm going to be shooting prettymuch in the range of 24-135mm. Canon makes a lens that, with Canon's 1.6 crop factor on the 7D, virtually covers that exact range. It's limitationsare that it is variable aperture and slower than optimum. I can take careof the inherent slowness of the lens through upping the ISO and the 7D's noise characteristics are such that it isn't going to be a problem.

    The increased DOF that comes with the small sensor and the variable aperture thing I will deal with through composition in-camera as much as possible and handle anything else in post.

    In the real world, I'm going to cover that focal length range with a coupleof zooms with fixed apertures of 2.8. A specialty shot, like macros, I'm going to use a lens specifically meant for that.

    I don't carry two bodies with different lenses because changing lenses isn't a burden. Weddings are not fast paced things. I'm working from a set shot list, so I know where I will be shooting from for everything and I can work that in zones.

    Vance, Jan 24, 2012
  13. I'm not going to slate the guy for doing the job to a price which as you say
    meets all the criteria for that type of job. What I do have an issue with
    stepping through the portfolio is they're missing a beat on some level.

    Some of the poses are dud, exposure is dud, and the composition runs from
    borked to "hey look at me I'm a Hollywood director". Just doesn't feel
    right. Biggest problem is people look like cardboard cut-outs dropped into
    place. There's something flat about them. Very unflattering.

    People under stress in strange surroundings are odd anyway as they fall back
    on archetypal behaviour which can be OTT and awkward. Think this shows that
    once you put formula and equipment aside the most important issue is your
    relationship with people. These photos lacked that for me.
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Jan 24, 2012
  14. Zak

    Vance Guest

    Thanks for clarifying that very cleanly, Charles. It filled in the hole left by he missing 'Because ...'

    Vance, Jan 24, 2012
  15. Zak

    Vance Guest

    Yes and no.

    I just scan to identify what may be interesting to me and I immediately thought 'noob' and moved on. When there were some answers, I checked the thread because I was interested in the answers. I don't answer these kinds of questions from a 'noob'. I'm not elitist, it'e just not productive on either end.

    In rereading your question carefully and in light of your explaining your intent, it changed from a 'noob' question to an example of how not to fromulate a question. Even now, with a more accurate understanding of your intent, it doesn't strike me as a very experienced pro asking a question.

    Vance, Jan 24, 2012
  16. Zak

    Joel Guest

    Could I have some views on what would be the best focal length Lens to use on a wedding photo shoot ?

    There should be no rule what lens you can or can not use for wedding or
    whatever. You just want to use whatever works best for the lighting
    condition, your shooting style, knowing the limitation.

    Wedding is more complicate than just point and shoot, I can't list them
    but few basic requirements you may need. In wedding you may have to deal
    with low lighting condition, moving object, quick reaction etc.. so

    - You need camera does well with low light situation

    - Lens with fast focus. Or lens with at least f2.8

    - Camera, you may need 2 cameras

    a. A backup camera as insurance (most professional photographers do)

    b. 2 cameras with different lenses so you don't have to change lens for
    different situation. You may be able to get around with some zoom lens
    (range) but in general a wide angle <-> long zoom = JUNK (often)

    - And you just can't go without good *post processing skill*

    Other than that you need to be prepared by studying the location of the
    wedding ceremony (church for example), studying the couple you going to
    photograph (dark vs light, short vs tall, skin vs fat, and the combination).

    You also need good external flash (I have 3 flashes and can be used as
    wireless), and I can photograph using wireless device. In general, if you
    don't have *good lens* (f2.8 or better for example) and *post processing
    skill* then you may wanna snap some just for fun as it may not worth the

    - During wedding ceremony you may need long zoom lens. I have 70-200mm f2.8
    which I rarely use except when I have no other option. The 70-200mm f2.8 is
    a good lens except the zoom rage is so odd for normal use (to me it's only
    good for closeup)

    - My lenses are from 15mm -> 500mm, and I often use 3 lenses between 15->75
    (mostly) and some 200mm (if needed)
    Joel, Jan 30, 2012
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.