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09/12/2012 05:45:30 PM · #1
Here's the situation...this weekend I'm going to an outdoor wedding as a guest. I plan to take my camera and take some candid shots for no particular reason other than to take some advantage of an opportunity to take candid shots. I'd like to take only one lens to the wedding and to the reception. Among these lenses, are there any suggestions for what might be best?

28-135mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, 70-300. Oh, I do have an external flash as well.

I don't believe that there will be concerns about taking the pictures...this is extended family and I'm not going to be intrusive.

Suggestions much appreciated.
09/12/2012 05:49:45 PM · #2
I'd take the flash and the 85 f/1.8 ... Bounce the flash and shoot from f/1.8 to f/2.8.. This should produce some nice candid portraits, and if you stand back you should be able to get "street" type candid shots. Of course, the other advantage is at night, when that fast glass will open up more shooting possibilities than any other option - of course, the drawback is that you will get no wide shots of interiors, etc... Then again, you don't sound like you're looking to do architectural photography here... ;)
09/12/2012 06:36:17 PM · #3
I'd second the 85, lovely portrait lens ..... Personally I would take the 300 over the flash, the 7d will happily shoot 3200 iso and the 300 will allow some distance to your subject
09/12/2012 06:39:20 PM · #4
Thanks, Cory. You're right that I don't want to focus on architecture. Seems like sound advice. Another question...the wedding is at 3pm. Would you use the flash in that circumstance or just at the reception indoors? I have used the flash outdoors before and seem to get some nice fill light (if that's what you call it), but I've also received some constructive criticism for doing so.
09/12/2012 06:41:32 PM · #5
Originally posted by bobonacus:

I'd second the 85, lovely portrait lens ..... Personally I would take the 300 over the flash, the 7d will happily shoot 3200 iso and the 300 will allow some distance to your subject


I could do both if I take my bag with me. Might be worth the extra weight in the long run.
09/12/2012 06:46:52 PM · #6
Originally posted by PuppyDogMom:

Thanks, Cory. You're right that I don't want to focus on architecture. Seems like sound advice. Another question...the wedding is at 3pm. Would you use the flash in that circumstance or just at the reception indoors? I have used the flash outdoors before and seem to get some nice fill light (if that's what you call it), but I've also received some constructive criticism for doing so.


Personally, I would never use flash in a wedding ceremony, I would not want to be that intrusive .... often venues will not allow flash during the ceremony anyway. The 85 will be plenty fast enough wide open ... Just watch the shutter speeds and up the iso to keep it fast enough .... 1/80 would be about as low as I'd want to go without a very steady hand and little movement from the subjects
09/12/2012 06:47:16 PM · #7
Flash is not purely used to keep you from shooting high ISO, it's used to mitigate horrible lighting situations in general, like shooting receptions that are held in dungeons as well as mid afternoon raccoonism.
If you know how to use the flash, take it with. If you don't, it makes sense to take it and learn when you're not under so much pressure. See how the settings work and all that. Not knowing what kind of flash you have, it's difficult to really say definitively if you should bring it or not, but I'd edge towards yes and get yourself more familiarized with it.
300 is going to be really long unless it's a massive wedding, and shots that are taken when you're sniping like that really can kill the connection the viewer would feel otherwise. Good street photography is hardly if ever shot with a 300, and while this is not the same, it is still about feeling a connection to the subject matter.

The 50 is so small you might be able to take it along as well for a slightly wider lens, so I'd probably take the 50, 85, and the flash.

ETA: Robert does bring up a good issue, which is making sure it's okay to use flash, especially since it's family and you can readily find out. You don't want to be "THAT guest."

Message edited by author 2012-09-12 18:48:35.
09/12/2012 06:48:58 PM · #8
Rent the 24-70 and focus on the guests and interactions that usually get overlooked. If you can't rent I agree with the 85
09/12/2012 08:54:50 PM · #9
if you're looking to get one or two killer images (super sharp, nice bokeh) ... go with the 85. If you want to get a bunch of above average images ... 28-135 (more versatile)

I'd use the 85
09/12/2012 08:55:23 PM · #10
only one lens?

bring the 50 AND 85, they are both small enough, throw teh other in your purse. you'll be mad if you wish you had brought one or the other. leave the flash at home, you cant bounce outdoors, just set the on board really low for some fill if you need it.
09/12/2012 10:07:33 PM · #11
I hadn't intended to use the flash during the wedding. I might have misled on that issue. Duh.

The reception is going to be indoors. The flash I have is the 580exII. I haven't used it much so this would be a good, no pressure opportunity to do some practicing with it.

Consensus seems to be the 85 and the 50 with or without the flash. Am I interpreting correctly?
09/12/2012 10:20:09 PM · #12
Originally posted by mike_311:

only one lens?

bring the 50 AND 85, they are both small enough, throw teh other in your purse. you'll be mad if you wish you had brought one or the other. leave the flash at home, you cant bounce outdoors, just set the on board really low for some fill if you need it.


Agreed - if I had 85mm on a cropped body I'd find myself constantly saying "holy crap I'm too close" and stepping back...

I'd take the flash however, I'm sure it's going to get dark / move indoors at some point like ummm the reception?
09/12/2012 10:29:55 PM · #13
Originally posted by PuppyDogMom:

I hadn't intended to use the flash during the wedding. I might have misled on that issue. Duh.

The reception is going to be indoors. The flash I have is the 580exII. I haven't used it much so this would be a good, no pressure opportunity to do some practicing with it.

Consensus seems to be the 85 and the 50 with or without the flash. Am I interpreting correctly?


Turn the flash head 45-180 degrees, and point it up 45-90 degrees. Test before you shoot, I'd suggest f/1.8 and a shutter that is long enough to get some decent, but dark, environmental setting in the photo.
09/12/2012 10:37:21 PM · #14
Originally posted by PuppyDogMom:

I hadn't intended to use the flash during the wedding. I might have misled on that issue. Duh.

The reception is going to be indoors. The flash I have is the 580exII. I haven't used it much so this would be a good, no pressure opportunity to do some practicing with it.

Consensus seems to be the 85 and the 50 with or without the flash. Am I interpreting correctly?


Yeah, I agree with this approach.

There are a few ways you can mess around with your flash.
First, you can obviously use it on camera. I don't recall offhand if the 580exii comes with a diffusion dome, but if it does, the first approach I'd try is putting that on and aiming it up at the ceiling (assuming the ceiling is relatively neutral colored... since you flash becomes the color of whatever it bounces off) and using TTL.

If you have a TTL cord, you can attach the flash to that and hold the flash off camera left and aim at the subject like that. It is sorta awkward, but with just a 50 or 85 it shouldn't be too heavy. Also use TTL for this initially, but it isn't hard to manually set a power and keep your subject to flash distance constant if you do this. Use flash exposure compensation to increase or decrease how dramatic the flash power is and by zooming the flash head to focus the beam smaller.

If you don't have a TTL cord, you could do the same thing as I describe above, but using your onboard flash as a commander. Figure out where your 580 ex receives it's IR signals and you can handhold it off camera and keep that part of the flash facing the camera.

You'd be amazed how much better these two options look photographically compared to just firing it on camera, even though it's just a couple feet off to the side.
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