All primes viable for wedding/event/portrature photography?

Started Oct 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
roby17269
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Re: All primes viable for wedding/event/portrature photography?
In reply to Sovern, Oct 30, 2012

Sovern wrote:

So I started out with my kit lens on my Rebel xsi but I shortly purchased a 50 1.8 thrifty fifty not too soon after that I feel in love with the high quality, high contrast, and beautiful bokeh that this lens was capable of. Not only that but I noticed that it forced me to think about my photos more, move and really think about the back drop, perspective, and the metering was spot on compared to my zoom lens.

I really want to get into more portraiture photography a long with event and wedding photography and I was wondering if it would be viable to just shoot with say, a 28mm 1.8 USM Prime, 50mm 1.8 USM Prime, and a 85mm USM Prime instead of getting one expensive zoom such as the Canon 17-55 which is not only pretty big, but the image quality, bokeh capability's, low light capabilities, focusing, and exposure evaluating won't be as good as those three primes that I listed plus the very expensive price tag on the cheap plastic body that it comes encased in vs the metal durable body's that the prime lens that I listed come with.

I've been doing a lot of research and most people are saying that you can't shoot weddings with just primes or events but I really feel like Primes are the way to go for me. I was wondering if anyone else feels the same way as I do and knows of any professional wedding/portrait photographers that shoot exclusively with primes?

I sold my kit zoom lens and compared to my 50 1.8 the different in image quality is night and day......I'd love to go with all primes as I tested it out and even walking a few steps forward or backwards can make up for the small MM distance compared to the zooms.

So my question is, right now I'm stuck with a kit lens that I borrowed off of a friend (sold the 50 1.8 due to the harsh bokeh and sold my kit lens) and I'm debating buying a 28 1.8 or 50 1.4 right now and learning the in's/out's of these prime lenses vs saving up around $1,000 for a plastic body Canon 17-55 2.8 and possibly buying another zoom after that.

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated. By the way I've already looked into the offbrand lenses such as the Sigmas and Tamrons but I want to stick with Canon because I've read about too many horror storys about both Sigma and Tamron Len's and Canon makes better glass than both company's.

So how well do you think that a 28 1.8, 50 1.8, and 85 1.8, all in my jacket ready to be switched on camera within a few seconds would fare vs having one expensive zoom lens that isn't as high quality optically?

As an "ambitious amateur", as I like to think I am , who has recently done his first wedding as the hired photog (and who would not care much to repeat the experience!) I can offer some of my experience, which matches with what many have written here.

In short: get someone to assist as second shooter with a second camera!

Having a second photog is invaluable to ensure a good coverage of every moment of the day. Having a second camera can be a lifesaver. Funnily enough, I hired a friend (who's a micro-stock photog) to be my second shooter, mostly to have a second camera around. But then, while my camera (5D mkII at the time) kept shooting happily for the whole 11 hours, my assistant's camera (450D, same as yours) gave up the ghost in the middle. MY assistant brought 1 battery and was surprised that it was flat after something like 1000 shots. I brought 2 batteries in the grip and the AA tray for emergencies. Luckily, all the formals were done and we were just capturing candids and the dancing. But apart from the hiccup, having a second shooter was great for my mental sanity

So get an assistant, at least 2 bodies and at least 2 batteries for each body!

As per your questions, I used primes + the 70-200 f/2.8L IS mkII. For the ceremony I think the zoom is invaluable, since you're not totally free to move usually. For the formals and candids primes are great. I used 35, 50 and 85 on my FF camera (I also brought a 17 and a 135). My assistant used the nifty-fifty most of the times and borrowed some of my primes from time to time.

Yes you can shoot a wedding with only primes, I think, but different venues may make your life easy or difficult if your movements are restricted.

You'll probably need something in the 35mm-equivalent range for group shots and a normal prime and a short tele as a minimum set. For a crop camera, this means something like 24mm or wider, plus a lens around 30-35mm and a lens between 50 and 100 mm.

Plus flashes, spare batteries, spare memory cards, and possibly a light modifier such as reflector.

Did I mention a second body and a second shooter?

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Ciao!
Roberto
My photos: http://www.robertodemicheli.com

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