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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Lens question for the wedding photographers out there?
Eric Jones, Photographer
Greenville | NC | USA | Posted: 11:18 PM on 07.30.10
->> I'm booking more weddings this year than I thought and I'm looking into purchasing another lens. That would be between the Canon 50mm 1.4 or Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro.
There isn't that much of a difference in cost but not sure which lens I would like to purchase first. Right now I'm shooting with a 70-200is 2.8 and 24-70 2.8 lens and I'm doing pretty good so far, but I would like to add the 50mm 1.4 for the indoor shots but not sure I want to push to the 100mm other than the ring shots.

Any thoughts?
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 11:37 PM on 07.30.10
->> Eric,

For a macro, look into the Canon EF-12 II Extension Tube. Use it with your 24-70f2.8L or the 50f1.4. Very inexpensive easy to stuff in your bag without the need to buy and carry an extra micro lens for one or two shots a night.


I carry two EF-12 extension tubes to allow maximum benefit with a single tube on a short lens or the tubes stacked for a longer lens.
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Nick Morris, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 11:56 PM on 07.30.10
->> +1 Steven!
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Travis Haughton, Photographer
Crystal Lake | IL | USA | Posted: 12:07 AM on 07.31.10
->> I'd say the 50 as well. The 24-70 focuses decently close on it's own, with the tube(s) you'll be all set. Then start saving for the 28 and 85 1.8s. Those are pretty good lenses for the price also.
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Wes Hope, Photographer
Maryville | TN | USA | Posted: 1:19 AM on 07.31.10
->> The two lenses I use most on weddings... 50/1.4 and 16-35/2.8. I have a 50 macro, but it only gets used for about 6 shots a wedding (in other words, a macro isn't a necessity at all).

But what it all boils down to is personal preference and shooting style.
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 2:31 AM on 07.31.10
->> |Actually, I would take half of what Steven says, get the extension tubes, but get the Kenko three ring extension tubes, you get the 12, 20, and 36 for almost the price of the 12, and guess what, Kenko MAKES the one for Canon! So its not like you lose anything because Canon doesn't make it anyway! Save your money. Now, you do lose sharpness on the edges compared to a Macro lens, but I prefer the dropoff myself.

And to be honest, I tried the 50 1.4 and way preferred the 1.2! It was worth it to me! I shot a video of a poker chip for a client with the 36 ext and the 50 and from near to infinity, the rack focus took from one end of the chip to the other with such a narrow razor of sharpness, it shimmered!
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Neil Turner, Photographer
Bournemouth | UK | United Kingdom | Posted: 8:44 AM on 07.31.10
->> I have only ever shot one wedding as a professional so haven't got too much to add except to say that I absolutely love owning extension rings. I have an aftermarket set as well as the genuine Canon 12mm and there doesn't seem to be any difference between them.

The new 100m f2.8 IS macro is amazingly good but the price is a lot higher than the non IS version.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 9:17 AM on 07.31.10
->> Scott

I don't disagree about the Kenko Tubes. As an extension tube has no glass, there is no optical clarity to worry about. I had the Kenko tubes when I shot Nikon and they were fantastic.

I actually bought the Canon EF-12 tube due to the Kenko tube being out of stock when I needed a tube for my Canon kit, then ended up with a second one because I needed one ASAP for a project where it was buy a 25mm or buy a second to get the macro look I needed from a longer lens.

On a completely subjective note, I have the 50f1.4 and love it. I used the 50f1.2 and it didn't really wow me the way I expected it to. I have the 24f1.4 and 85f1.2 and prefer both of them as my ultra-fast lenses over the 50f1.2. This however is completely subjective and up to the photog.

...that said, extension tubes on the 85f1.2 are fantastic, and oddly tubes on the 85f1.8 are even nicer due to the size, weight and minimum focusing distance of the 85f1.8 over that of the 85f1.2.
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Thomas Campbell, Photographer
Houston/San Antonio | TX | USA | Posted: 11:32 AM on 07.31.10
->> There have also been a lot of rumors floating around that the 50mm 1.4 is going to get a refresh in the near future. Take that for what its worth. I'm holding out.

My wedding kit:
24-105L on 5D Mark II
70-200mm 2.8L IS I on 7D
Tokina 11-14mm 2.8 (this works on the 5D2 from 14-16mm and the 1D series from 13-16mm) for about 10 shots (wide of ceremony, wide of reception, outside of the buildings, etc)
Sigma 150mm 2.8 Macro. I absolutely love this macro. I can get ridiculous DOF with it. Again, really specialized, so I only use it for a handful of ring shots.
Handful of speedlights. I light the hell out of those dark reception halls in a way that would make Joe McNally proud.

That's really all I use. Sometimes, I bust out the 16-35, but not often.
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Wes Hope, Photographer
Maryville | TN | USA | Posted: 12:05 PM on 07.31.10
->> I have to agree about the 50/1.2, Steven. It was my lust-for lens for a long time, so I borrowed one from CPS right before pulling the trigger... I'm glad I did because it didn't really knock my socks off like I thought it would. Kind of like meeting your childhood hero only to realize he's really the king of douchebaggery. So I stuck with my 1.4 and my bank account thanked me.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 12:22 PM on 07.31.10
->> Get the 50/1.4 and turn it backwards for macro. Or extension tubes work too :)
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Anantachai Brown, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | | Posted: 1:27 PM on 07.31.10
->> I'd do what Steven said with the ext. tubes...not sure what bodies you are using, but if are using a 24-70 and a 70-200. I'd get an ultra wide angle lens. my 16-35 was used A LOT. you find it very useful for tight spaces while the bride is getting ready and large pano types at the church. the images especially look great for albums.
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 5:25 PM on 07.31.10
->> Hey Steve, wasn't dissin ya! Just that I had found out a couple years ago that Kenko made the tubes for Canon, so I was much happier knowing I got more bang for the buck buying the set rather than the individual with the Canon name on it. My only problem with the 50 1.4 is that, at least four years ago, I knew many, including one I used to borrow from a friend, had issues of falling apart, so I opted for the 1.2, which to me, has been absolutely terrific!
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 6:47 PM on 07.31.10
->> Scott,

I have had my current 50f1.4 since around March-April-May of 2005 (I know spring was coming when I got it). The lens has been a stellar performer. Its not a beefy lens, like the "L" lenses but it takes its bumps and bruises.

The 50f1.2 is a nice lens, but I think my expectations might have been set quite high having owned and used the 24f1.4 and 85f1.2.
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Tim Snow, Photographer
Montreal | Qc | Canada | Posted: 7:03 PM on 07.31.10
->> In 90% of my wedding work the receptions are shot exclusively on a 5dII and the 50 f/1.4. It's a great combo! I also suggest the extension tubes, they help a lot.
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Andy Rogers, Photographer, Photo Editor
Seattle | WA | | Posted: 4:53 PM on 08.08.10
->> Just want to throw out another recommendation for the 50mm 1.2, if you have the budget. This thing is amazing on a full-frame camera. It will focus in the dark, is a perfect focal length, focuses close (you can't frame a face with the 85mm), and is just razor sharp. I have a 50mm 1.4 that I never use. If I could only take one lens to a wedding, it'd be the 50/1.2. Throw the extension tube on and you have your macro.
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 5:06 PM on 08.08.10
->> I'd go for the 85/1.8 followed by a 28/1.8 and THEN a 50/1.4.
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Joshua Brown, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 5:20 PM on 08.08.10
->> I started out in weddings with these (on 1.6 crop cameras)

17-40 4.0
28mm 1.8
50mm 1.4
85mm 1.8
135mm 2.0
1.4 Teleconverter

I now use these on the 5D

14mm 2.8 II
24mm 1.4 II
50mm 1.2
85mm 1.2 II
135mm 2.0
70-200 2.8 II

zeiss 50mm 1.4 (for video)
zeiss 35mm 2.0 (for video)

But to answer your question, yeah, I would grab the 50 1.4 or the 85 1.8 for now.

As far as the 50 1.2 vs 1.4, its all about the focusing ring for me. about half of the weddings I shoot are video only now, and the manual focusing is MUCH easier to deal with. (and the zeiss lenses take it up another notch)

I would definitely factor in video for the long term though. Clients are expecting it more and more.
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Joshua Brown, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 5:54 PM on 08.08.10
->> This is a good video to watch

http://vimeo.com/13140360
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Eric Jones, Photographer
Greenville | NC | USA | Posted: 8:03 AM on 08.09.10
->> Just received the 50 1.4 this past Friday and used it at the wedding on Saturday...Love it!!! Ext. tubes are coming next. The 50 1.2 is not in my budget but thanks for all the feedback guys, that was great.
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 1:38 PM on 08.09.10
->> A good 50mm is always a staple. They're small and can go anywhere.

It's no wonder why they're been around for a while.
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Thread Title: Lens question for the wedding photographers out there?
Thread Started By: Eric Jones
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