What beginner lens for a wedding?

Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
44
Location
Michigan
My sister has asked me to take pictures for her wedding in three months. I will be the only photographer :eek:. I'm a beginner and I don't know anything about photography but I'm working on it. I am shooting with a D50 on Auto mode right now. I hope to know so much more by September. What lenses would you suggest?
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
904
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
You should also think about a second body.

Definitely, lighting is extremely important. You may want to think about an SB-800 since your D50 doesn't have wireless flash control and an SB-600 for off-camera.

But your budget will dictate how much you can get.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
966
Location
Nottingham, UK
As Dianne says, get the Gary Fong light sphere as if you're outdoors or in a tall building you won't get the chance to bounce the flash off the ceiling.

I would also suggest you take your camera out and practice taking pictures of people "on the street". You'll want to be completely familiar with your camera so try to use it as much as possible. Also start trying out aperture priority mode (A) as usually you'll want to use the fastest aperture for weddings.

In terms of lenses, most pros use a mix of f/2.8 zooms, ncluding the 17-55, 28-70 and 70-200VR. The fast apertures will let you throw distracting backgrounds out of focus, and will be very useful if your sister doesn't want you to use a flash!

Perhaps rent the 70-200 for a week to get used to it before taking it to the wedding, and then rent a second body and plonk your 18-200 on it (or ideally rent the 17-55).
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
2,410
Location
Houston, Texas
I agree with Ed

Get the SB-800 and check out Joe Demb's Flip-it and bracket. If need be, you can get by just fine with your current lenses, but you need light, diffusion and off-shoe capability. Also, don't feel shy about postong in the flash forum, there are a lot of folks here who have shot a wedding or two, and they are most helpful.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
1,120
Location
Myrtle Beach, SC
I would

bring a friend (if possible) who also has a DSLR as your backup, i found it less stressful shooting weddings with someone else (and more enjoyable I might add). The 18-200 is a marvelous proven lens and combined with a nice flash such as the SB600 you should be able to take stunning pictures. VR, IMHO, was very important during the last wedding I shot (non-professional) - i brought my 50 1.8 for low light candid’s and found that the church lighting was so low than even at apertures of 2.0 and ISOs of 800 I just could not get stable shots (we could not use flash during the ceremony and there was no place with a view of the bride/groom to mount a tripod). I pulled out my 70-300 VR in a pinch and was able to pull of several shots at very low shutter speeds. Now of course having a fast aperture combined with VR would have been even better, but even with a slow lens some of my best candid’s at events were only possible because of VR (which I am still amazed after having doubted it's usefulness for so long).

Just remember VR doesn't stop action and reception halls have some really low light. While 90% of the pictures you will shoot at weddings will be stills (outside the church group shots, people sitting at tables, etc), some shots such as people dancing, etc will require a flash such as the Sb600 for best results.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
722
Location
Hartsdale, NY
I have to agree .. with the 18-200 and a fast 50mm ... you have everything you NEED as far as glass goes. What you need is a good flash and the skill that goes along with using it properly.
 
N

Nuteshack

Guest
start shooting in "A" and "M" mode and never ever shoot in AUTO mode again
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
538
Location
Belgium
It's been discussed on forums over and over again. Shooting weddings can ruin a friendship VERY fast when something goes terribly wrong :eek: Especially as you mention that you're a beginner...
Knowing the ceremony and not missing any of the critical shots, not overexposing the dress of the bride, Masses of storage space, shooting RAW, plenty batteries, knowing your camera settings and check them on a regular basis, a second body with another lens... Also finding the right mix between portraits, group shots, action, shallow DOF, etc...

IMO shooting weddings is a delicate job which requires a lot of experience...
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
2,434
Location
Bournemouth, UK
It's been discussed on forums over and over again. Shooting weddings can ruin a friendship VERY fast when something goes terribly wrong :eek: Especially as you mention that you're a beginner...
Knowing the ceremony and not missing any of the critical shots, not overexposing the dress of the bride, Masses of storage space, shooting RAW, plenty batteries, knowing your camera settings and check them on a regular basis, a second body with another lens... Also finding the right mix between portraits, group shots, action, shallow DOF, etc...

IMO shooting weddings is a delicate job which requires a lot of experience...
def, it depends on what kind of results they require,. perhaps take them out on an environmental portrait shoot and see if they like what you do,. bare in mind a wedding is generally fast moving and the lighting conditions are extreme so the portrait shoot is very simple compared to the actual wedding,. it depends on the client and their expectations and whether they will give you time to figure stuff out (and not mind if you mess up some parts)

Sil
 
Y

yrrek

Guest
I shot a wedding once with the stuff i have now. And we're not that far apart. Only diff between us is the cam body and my sb-600. My shots came out pretty good given that like you, i am on the uphill climb in getting my technique down.
 

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