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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-30-2013

Need help picking a new lens.....

hello I have a Canon T2i and am going to be taking pictures of a wedding in 3 weeks... I want a better lens that can zoom in and out. Does anyone know a good one to get??

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....

[ Edited ]
Hi,

What lenses do you have now?
What is your budget?
Are you shooting this for the couple as their official photographer or are you doing this on your own?

I will guess you have one or 2 of the kit lenses that are sold in packages with the Rebel cameras. 18-55? 55-250? 18-135? If you already have a kit zoom perhaps you would do better to get a fixed length (prime) lens rather than another zoom. The kit lenses are ok, but they will struggle in low light without a powerful flash. The built in flash won't be powerful enough unless you are very close to the subject (12 feet or so). And if you are just shooting as a guest they probably don't want you popping off a powerful speedlite unit during the ceremony.

A prime lens will generally give better image quality than a kit zoom lens in the same price range, and will be cheaper than a good quality zoom lens. The prime lens will also have a wider maximum lens opening ("aperture") and will thus be 2x or 4x better in dim indoor lighting. An EF 50mm f/1.4 or an EF 85mm f/1.8 would be a good choice at less than $400.00. Either would be excellent for portraits on a Rebel body, and the wide apertures will let you get a subject that pops out of a dreamy, blurry background, making your shots look more professional. 85mm will give you a little telephoto to bring things closer in for you but might be too much telephoto for use in a small room. The 50 mm may be the better choice for general use because it is less on the telephoto. A fellow named ebiggs will chime in shortly to reccomend a 35mm lens but in advance I will say it is too short for portraits, because it will distort images shot close up and will make people's noses look big.

Good luck!
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-31-2012

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....

[ Edited ]

As asked above, what do you have now for lenses and what's your budget?

 

From a tiny bit of my own wedding experience (never again, though!), you'll need light, light, and light!  A fast lens such as a prime (85mm might be a bit to narrow angle of view on a crop, a 50mm would be better) and an off-camera flash.  DO NOT EVEN THINK of using the popup flash on the camera!  The popup is too bright/too harsh on everything for the first 10 feet, then worthless beyond that.

 

If you'd rather go with a zoom, assuming you already have a fast prime, the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 is extremely well-regarded as near L lens quality.  In some lighting situations, the f2.8 would be sufficient for no-flash photography, typically required during the ceremony.  If the cost of the 17-55 is more than you can handle, the EF-S 17-85 F4-5.6 IS is also well regarded, but indoors, every shot will require a flash. 

 

You'll definitely want a decent flash.  Find one that allows you to rotate the head and can therefore be bounced off celings, etc, to minimize undesired shadows.  I'm thinking a 430EX i or ii. 

 

And don't be afraid of buying used.  Both B&H and Adorama as well as KEH have outstanding reputations and have quality used equipment available.  Ebay can be a good source for used equipment also, but only buy from very reputable sellers whose rating is 600 or better, with 99% rating, and has sold other high-ticket items as well, preferably camera gear.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....

My recommendation would be to leave the SLR at home and just take a point and shoot for some candids with friends.  Let the professional wedding photographer do his/her job.  If you’re the professional, and you’re on here asking a generic question like ‘what lens should I use’, then…  not to be harsh, but, it’s a wedding.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-30-2013

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....

I have the 18-55,  55mm and 70-200 f2.8..

 

I am the main photographer and only one taking pictures. I have done 2 other weddings with my 18-55 so far. I want a better lens that zooms tho so that I am not photo shopping every picture or most.

 

somone told me about the 17-55. I found a site that you can rent a lens. called 

BorrowLenses.com

 

This is side job I do for some ppl when they ask and I tell them I am new at this taking pictures for such a big event.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-30-2013

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....

almost forgot no more then 1000$ I am hoping to spend.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-30-2013

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....

DO NOT EVEN THINK of using the popup flash on the camera. 

 

I bought a flash that I have used in my last wedding and worked awesome..

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-30-2013

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....

My recommendation would be to leave the SLR at home and just take a point and shoot for some candids with friends.  Let the professional wedding photographer do his/her job.  If you’re the professional, and you’re on here asking a generic question like ‘what lens should I use’, then…  not to be harsh, but, it’s a wedding.

 

 

 

This is for a friend that is not taking a no for an answer.  Because she loved the pictures I did for my other friend. I just want better my self by learing more for her so that they turn out great.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....

The "bread-n-butter" lenses that most Canon wedding photographers use are:

 

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II

 

Note that the first one is really more geared to full-frame bodies such as a 5D series body and not an APS-C body such as your T2i... although the lens will work (it just wont have much "wide angle" capability.)  

 

The lens which is roughly equivalent but with a range suitable for an APS-C size sensor body like your T2i is the

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

 

This is nearly the same zoom range as your 18-55mm lens... except it's able to proivde a focal ratio of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range (which is 2 full stops faster or four times more light gathering power than the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 when zoomed to mid-range or more.)  It's a considerable difference.

 

f/2.8 zooms are not cheap, but there are lots of places that will rent them.  The one major caution I'd give is that if you DO decide to rent, it's a mistake to time the rental so that the lens only shows up the day before the event.  There are two risks... #1 you need time to learn to use the lens, practice with it, and make sure you're comfortable with the character of the lens before shooting something important and #2... packages don't always show up on time or undamaged.  If you time the lens rental to show up merely the day before and the lens shows up broken or doesn't show up on time, you've got no plan 'b'... there's nothing they can do to rush ship a replacement.  But if you time it to show up about 4 days before you need it, they can get that lens replaced and you have an opportunity to test and practice with the lens.

 

The alternative is to buy a prime lens (a prime lens is a lens which does not "zoom"), which are much more affordable in low focal ratios, and then "zoom with your feet".  There is, for example, a 28mm f/1.8 and a 35mm f/2 lens (actually there are a few choices.)  I mention these because these are "normal" focal lengths (the images from such a lens will neither appear to be wide angle, nor zoomed in... just a nice natural angle of view.)  When I did professional wedding photography back in the film days, we shot the entire event with a medium format camera that had a single prime lens with a "normal" angle of view -- the shots were always gorgeous.

 

You can visit pixel-peeper.com to look for images taken by a specific lens.  Basically they index Flickr images that have the EXIF data intact and show you sample images taken by that particular lens -- so you can see thousands of examples of what a lens can do.

 

As for flash, learn to "drag the shutter".  

 

When you take a flash exposure, consider that the room itself isn't technically completely black.  That means there is some ambient light contributing to the exposure.  When you use the flash, you are lighting the area ahead of the camera with the flash, but flash has a "fall off" effect... the farther away the subject is from the flash, the less light they get (because light spreads out as it travels) and thus the darker the background becomes.  If you take a very short exposure, then the image is lit primarily by your flash alone and very little "ambient" light from the room is collected.  But if you deliberately use a longer shutter time, you still get the exact same amount of light from the flash (so that wont be over exposed) but you allow the camera to collect more ambient light.

 

The difference is that flash exposures on their own show a brightly illuminated subject, and a very unnaturally dark background.  If you are, say, at  a reception hall, the image very obviously looks like a flash exposure.  But if you "drag the shutter" by intentionally setting a longer shutter exposure time, the background will fill in rather nicely with the glow of the room but your intended subjects wont actually be any brighter at all.  The result is nicely exposed subject scene in a room providing a nice atmosphere -- and overall a much better looking shot.

 

I might use ISO 400, f/2.8 and then set the shutter speed to 1/60th even though I could take the shot at 1/200th.  But that extra time pulls in a lot of the warmth of the room.

 

Good luck

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Need help picking a new lens.....


@alyce81 wrote:

 

This is for a friend that is not taking a no for an answer.  Because she loved the pictures I did for my other friend. I just want better my self by learing more for her so that they turn out great.


Fair enough, so long as your friend understands your experience, or lack there of.

 

It's the wedding guest that shows up with the 5d3 and 24-70 II blasting off 1000+ shots when there's a professional wedding photographer that I have a bigger issue with.

 

As far as lenses, all this 24-70 II and 70-200 II is bull**bleep**.  People were taking great wedding photos long before those came out.  You already have a 70-200 2.8?  It's fine.  Maybe add in a fast prime for when it gets dark and call it good.  By the sounds of it, your technique is going to have far more of an impact on your final product than whatever new equipment you get.  I'd even argue that getting a bunch of new stuff is just going to give you more to worry about and possibly cost you some shots.  Go shoot, try to have some fun.

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