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Archive 2013 · Dual Wield question for weddings.
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Dual Wield question for weddings.


Once again I'd like to appeal to the collected knowledge of the FM forums, you guys give great advice.

My (as of two weeks ago) wife's photography business is starting to take off a little bit finally, and she's got a handful of weddings in the pipe for the first half of the summer, so we're looking at doing some gear purchases / rentals so we can deliver the best performance for our customers (I'll be putzing around as a second just in case as well).

The question we're mulling is what lenses to buy vs rent as our standard kit for her to carry.
She currently shoots with a 7D, and we plan on renting a second 7D for her to carry to avoid lens switching. She normally shoots primarily with an 18-55 and a 50mm for portraits, but for weddings we recognize the need for some extra reach. Looks like our budget will allow for one lens purchase, and a one rental per wedding until later in the summer so we're trying to get the best bang for the buck on the purchase.

She's torn between buying either the 24-105 or the 17-55 and then renting the 70-200, and a 7D body.

I think renting the 70-200 is a solid choice because having the extra reach could be important (first venue in three weeks is fairly large). The sticky bit is the lower focal range lenses. I worry that the 24-105 doesn't have enough reach, or enough angle to be useful, but then again the 17-55 is pretty narrow as well.

We've been going back and forth about it all day so I figured some third party input could help us finally make a decision.

May 16, 2013 at 02:52 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Dual Wield question for weddings.

The 24-105 would suit for smaller venues, it was the main lens used by our wedding photographer.

I would recommend, unless bokeh is extremely important to her style, that you sport a 24-105 on the main body, and a 70-200 on the second body.

May 16, 2013 at 03:14 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Dual Wield question for weddings.

I would not want to show up without a 24-70 F2.8, 70-200 f2.8, a backup of the 24-70 which could be a lower cost non canon 28-70 f2.8 or anything else in case of lens damage or failure. You can make most anything work as long as you are allowed to move around. One bump and the lens can be damaged. Not only bodies when you think about back-up.

Will the venue force you to stand in back? Many will so a 200 or longer can be required. The 7D makes the 200 longer which is good for all but giant venues.

I would not want to use any lens that is f 3.5-5.6. Just a mess to deal with and way to slow for low light rooms. I assume the 18-55 is such. Keep for back-up.

Also at least one back-up flash. They will burn out. good to have 2-3 for wide formal shots in a dark room.

May 16, 2013 at 07:13 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Dual Wield question for weddings.

70-200 was the first lens I bought, and I don't shoot any events/weddings without it. The 24-70 i can do without, lately I've just been going with the 35L/85L combo during dual wields, and I switch out to the 70-200 if need be or if I need to go wider then switch out again. Safest bet is 24-70 on one and 70-200 on the other. Done.

But this question I had debated early on. Is it cheaper to rent the lenses and do the events, or purchase the lens, write it off, and eventually the gigs will pay for it. Ultimately, (well at the time lens rentals were pretty expensive in California, and I decided I would rather have the gear and know that I can trust the lens during a shoot. vs, the random variables like: does the lens need to be calibrated? did the guy who rented before me shift or bust it somehow? So I opted to just purchase all my equipment.

May 17, 2013 at 08:09 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Dual Wield question for weddings.

If you need a 70-200, I'd buy it (rather than renting). Lenses hold their value, and the difference between what you buy a lens for now and what you sell it for in several year's time would only pay to rent the lens for one or two weddings.

Definitely get the 17-55 over the 24-105. The 24-105 isn't wide enough on crop, and the 17-55 is a stop faster. And you've already got 70mm+ covered by the 70-200.

Do you have a speedlite? Highly recommended equipment. 430EX will do the job, but go for the 580EX if you can afford it

May 17, 2013 at 08:47 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Dual Wield question for weddings.

We have a 430EX already for the flash, I think we'll end up renting a backup of that as well. When we originally purchased we didn't think we'd need the extra reach of the 530, she's starting off with lower budget weddings right now, so the venues we have lined up are all pretty tiny.

Here's the lineup right now: we purchased the 17-55 (we decided the extra angle will be good for the reception, and she'll use it a lot for portraits) We're renting the 70-200 ISII and a 7D body and probably a second flash.

At the reception I'll be using the rental 7D with our 50mm 1.4 to get some crowd shots and things like that, and she'll use the main camera with the 17-55.

Thanks for the advice on renting vs buying, I've been going back and forth with that for a while, we just had a wedding ourselves though and financing another $3k right now for a second body and the 70-200 ISII just isn't in the cards, at least not until she starts booking a lot more weddings

May 19, 2013 at 01:21 AM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Dual Wield question for weddings.

17-55 is a good general lens on 7D. I would not recommend 24-105 for weddings - especially for a crop sensor. 70-200 is necessary if the church or venue will not allow access - generally speaking its only a concern in churches.... Definitely make sure she has a second body... Equipment fails and you really don't want to find your only camera died when the bride is walking down the isle... Not only you will ruin someones memory - its a liability concern. Also make sure you have spare batteries. For the reception you are better off with something wider then 50mm - especially with 7D. One of the beginner mistakes is cropping too tightly - and you have to remember that outside of couple portraits everything else will look better if there is context - after all you are telling the story of the day - its hard to do if you crop very tightly.... If you do rent 70-200 - its a better lens for portraits then the 17-55 - the optical compression of the longer lens is simply more flattering, not to mention much better DOF control and much better bokeh... I would also recommend spending a little money and getting a course from creative live.com on posing - either from Bambi Cantrell or Sue Bryce

Good luck with new business !!!

May 19, 2013 at 01:52 AM

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