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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-21-2015

Rebel T3i Lens Suggestions

I have a Rebel T3i and am looking to purchase a new lens. I consider myself a  "momtographer" and have only shot portraits of my family, as well as a few family friends.  Recently, I was asked to shoot a wedding. However, I currenlty only shoot with a nifty fifty and have no experience with other lenses. What are the best lens options to use for wedding and portraits? 


Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,513
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Rebel T3i Lens Suggestions

Unless the event is in the fairly distant future, buying a new lens for a specific photo shoot is asking for trouble. You have to take the time to learn to use any new equipment effectively.


And unless you're already an experienced event photographer, shooting a wedding for the first time is asking for a lot more trouble. So I'll assume that there will be a professional wedding photographer on the job and that you're just tagging along to look for family-related shots that the professional might overlook. In that case, my advice is to watch carefully what the professional does and what equipment he/she uses (without, of course, being a pest or getting in the way). Then use the experience to decide what, if anything to buy for the future. If you're lucky, the pro might even find the time to give you some pointers.


Just to be clear: There is not one (1) person in this forum who would recommend that a person with your level of experience take on the responsibility of being the principal photographer at a wedding.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 790
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Rebel T3i Lens Suggestions

[ Edited ]

@RobertTheFat wrote:


....There is not one (1) person in this forum who would recommend that a person with your level of experience take on the responsibility of being the principal photographer at a wedding.



Wedding photography is one of the most challenging and demanding specializations. A lot of planning and preparation goes into it, you need at least two of everything (cameras, lenses, flashes, etc.) because something always breaks and you can't let that stop you from shooting. It's also critical to know how to use your gear without stopping to think about it, then you have to deal with a lot of stressed out people and get the shots the B&G want in a very short period of time, all without disrupting their special day any more than necessary.  


A rather minimum kit of gear for wedding photographers would be:


A pair of EOS 5D Mark III cameras

16-35/2.8 Mk II




85/1.2L Mk II


70-200/2.8L IS Mk II

Three 600EX-RT flashes


Most successful wedding photographers have some additional, specialized gear to be able to create unique types of shots that are sort of their trademarks.


A couple years working as a second shooter for an experienced wedding pro is a good idea too. It's not  a type of photography you can "learn from your mistakes", because that will ruin someone's memories of one of the most important days of their lives.


If shooting as a second or just for fun, use the lens you've got (though I'd prefer an EF 50/1.4 USM instead, for it's better focus performance primarily). You also might want something wider for the reception (EF-S 10-18mm, Tokina 12-24/4 are a couple of the more affordable possibilities). An 18-135 or 28-135 might suffice for portraits and some other types of shots, though a 24-70/2.8 would be much better.Either of those also is capable of making close-ups of the rings, cake, centerpieces, etc, too.


Good luck!



Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories

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