Shooting wedding with primes only

Started Aug 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
terence_boylen Regular Member • Posts: 402
Re: Shooting wedding with primes only

Jacques Cornell wrote:

terence_boylen wrote:

Michael Thomas Mitchell wrote:

They are just tools. Nothing more. In the right hands, primes can work just fine. In others, they might not. I've done hundreds of weddings using a standard zoom for 95% of the shots. Frankly, I know I'd suck with primes. At least initially. And then through experience, I'd learn to use those new tools, as well.

kormendi_adam wrote:

I wonder if any of you pros think it is possible to shoot weddings with primes only.
I ask this strictly from curiosity.

Yesterday I attended a friend's wedding and had my D300s with me, with 35 and 85 primes. I took 4 photos in total (so I really did not intend to 'play the pro' there).

I had the feeling that, if I had been the hired photographer, I really would have a hard time changing lenses and I think I would have missed a lot of shots.

Do you think it is possible to use primes only for weddings?
From what I have seen yesterday, I would say it does not make any sense...

I disagree. They are tools, but you can't use a screw driver to hammer a nail. Example - you want a close up of the ring going on the finger; you have an 85mm on (and 35mm for arguments sake). If you were in an orthodox church, the closest you could get would be the altar rail - no shot for you.

For this, you don't need a zoom, you just need a long focal length.

That's my point - you wouldn't normally carry that. How many cameras are you suggesting you would carry? A standard wedding ceremony has wide shots for the whole party (around 25mm), head and shoulders (around 100mm) and close-up (200mm, or even 320mm on aps-c). To my mind you must be carrying at least three bodies at a wedding (or not doing your job right) and cropping all your photos in post rather than camera (which would mean throwing away a lot of pixels).

The main drawback with primes is the 'zoom with your feet' aspect which would disallow you from getting a lot of shots.

Only if you lack the experience to plan ahead and you don't bring the right primes. I use zooms alongside primes now, but I shot all primes for many years in the way-back days when zooms sucked. It can be done. And, it's immensely valuable learning experience. Besides, nobody makes an f1.4 zoom.

Again, this is just crap. You can't/shouldn't be changing lenses during a wedding ceremony. It's not about planning, it is about covering all the shots which you're being paid to get, as well as those you can't plan for. And this isn't 'back in the day' - its now, when a good quality zoom is practically as good as a prime.

I would also argue that a wedding is not an opportunity for a 'learning experience.'

Finally, why would you need a 1.4 prime at a wedding? Take for example the 200mm prime lens that I use for close ups of rings. The difference in depth of field between f/1.4 and f/2.8 wide open at four meters is 2cm - less than an inch. It only starts to make a difference below 100mm where the nature of the photograph changes anyway with depth of field necessarily increasing.

If its about light gathering then the point is moot. A 6D will shoot at ISO12800 happily, and with an image stabilised 2.8 zoom you should be able to shoot at upwards of 1/125 at 3EV. And also there are these things.

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