Shooting friend's church wedding. 50mm f1.8 or kit 18-55mm


Jul 28, 2010
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#1
I have been tasked to take photos at my friend's church wedding. They know I'm an amateur but they wanna save some buck so they will take the chances.

I have the canon 550D and the 18-55mm kit lens, and I am going to buy a 50mm f1.8. I do not have an external flash.

As obviously I won't be getting any money, I won't be investing in any additional lens just for this. So the question is, which lens do you recommend me to keep on most of the time? The kit or the prime?

I am afraid that with the kit, the aperture won't be big enough for low light photos without flash. But with the prime, I won't be able to zoom in for shots.
 

Oct 19, 2009
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#2
Take both.

1. Buy a pop up flash diffuser

2. bring both kit lens and 50 1.8

3. best lens for wedding for me ? I feel its the 17-55 f2.8, go rent it and try. this lens cover both of yr 18-55 and 50 1.8 though its not 1.8, the 2.8 is actually pretty fast and for 550d body, the iso handling is awesome.
 

Jul 28, 2010
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#3
Take both.

1. Buy a pop up flash diffuser

2. bring both kit lens and 50 1.8

3. best lens for wedding for me ? I feel its the 17-55 f2.8, go rent it and try. this lens cover both of yr 18-55 and 50 1.8 though its not 1.8, the 2.8 is actually pretty fast and for 550d body, the iso handling is awesome.
Yah I will definitely be bringing both, but being such a slow po I am afraid I will miss moments if I wasn't using the right lens at the moment. Then have to swap will be too late le.

Rent ah ... hmmm
The pop up flash diffuser seems like a good idea !
 

sinned79

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2009
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#4
church wedding u definitely need a better external flash, please go rent one, it dun cost you much. :)

your pop up flash is not powerful enough to lit up the whole church area.
 

wootsk

Deregistered
Aug 12, 2007
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#5
church wedding u definitely need a better external flash, please go rent one, it dun cost you much. :)

your pop up flash is not powerful enough to lit up the whole church area.
Don't forget to get a bounce card, ommibounce or at least a diffuser cap for your flash. Also spare AA battery once you realise that your flash is slow in charging and doesn't seems to be able to fully charge.

My advice to first timer with totally 0 experience is to spam shutter (with some thinking) and control the temptation to look at the LCD screen for every shot except checking for lighting incase of moving elsewhere. Remember to bring spare card as you mostlikely will run out of memory.

Overall, I still advice people to not shoot wedding for friends or relative without a external photographer hired. Imagine you shot your brother wedding .Though the photo turns out nice, your brother in law doesn't really like your artistic approach and you still need to see her every year on CNY reminding her of the wedding photos.
 

KeefeSNAP

New Member
Feb 22, 2007
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#6
It really all depends on how much you can move around in the church. Most churches are quite well-lit. A prime will have its advantage in low-light. Zoom will allow you to move lesser. 18-55 is not much help. You still need to move around quite a bit with 18-55.
 

foxwagon

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Mar 13, 2005
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#7
I have been tasked to take photos at my friend's church wedding. They know I'm an amateur but they wanna save some buck so they will take the chances......
I thought wedding is a once in a life time event, cannot re-shoot.

Why want to save money on a professional photographer?
 

IsenGrim

New Member
Jan 28, 2008
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#9
if you're not familiar with weddings, there is one advice i can give you.

be well prepared!
you can already be as prepared as you can on the equipment by bringing everything.

Next you need to talk to your couple. Ask them to run through the day with you. If you are not sure, dont be afraid to ask for details like, whats the exact proceedings be like, how big is the church/room, whats the march in sequence, whats the signing/ring exchange/kissing sequence, you dont want to miss ANY of these. Using a lousy lens/wrong lens/bad exposure to get a shot is still better than missing the moment altogether.

Memorise the details and PLAN your shots. PLAN where you want to move to be there to get your shots. Always be one step ahead of whats happening, so you can already be there to capture when it happens.

Even on that day, when everyone is waiting, you can ask the bestman/groom to rehearse. and you can walk the ground and plan where you want to be.
 

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daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#10
I have been tasked to take photos at my friend's church wedding. They know I'm an amateur but they wanna save some buck so they will take the chances.

I have the canon 550D and the 18-55mm kit lens, and I am going to buy a 50mm f1.8. I do not have an external flash.

As obviously I won't be getting any money, I won't be investing in any additional lens just for this. So the question is, which lens do you recommend me to keep on most of the time? The kit or the prime?

I am afraid that with the kit, the aperture won't be big enough for low light photos without flash. But with the prime, I won't be able to zoom in for shots.
If you have good experience shooting weddings, a 50/1.8 will work well. But that is only if you have a 2nd camera body with a wide angle lens.

If you only have one camera body, I suggest you get a good flash, and use it with your 18-55. If you are very unsure of settings and flash, point you flash upwards 75 degrees and set your camera to P mode. And fire away. Don't try to be too creative and try funny funny shots at the wedding. You have capture the moments, so don't risk your friends' wedding by experimenting or changing lenses etc...
 

Sep 27, 2010
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#11
Just a small pointer: dont leave out the friends and family too. They're there to celebrate n i cant see y they shouldnt get some attention. Shots of them interacting with e groom and/or bride would be good.

equipment wise. wide angle is useful for group shots, especially in tight places. 18-55.
 

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Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#12
which church? as different church have some rules on photography during the ceremony.

my suggestion would be the 70-200mm f/2.8 for the indoor ceremony and everything else with the 18-55 + fill flash with on-camera flash diffuser.

should cost about $70 for one day rental of a 70-200mm f/2.8 which i think is reasonable.
 

Jul 28, 2010
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#13
Actually is it a good thing to have the flash keep going off ? Wouldn't it be distracting ?

That is why I thought the 50mm f1.8 would be better since no need to use flash
 

Dec 8, 2009
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#14
Bring Both

And get a flash. Its the cheapest solution you can do.

I shoot a church event using 500D and 18-55/50mm last year and I would say it would work if thats your only option. The flash helps a lot though, so i suggest just get one.
 

ed9119

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Mar 11, 2002
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#15
if you are not experienced, seriously please just stick to one zoom with flash/bouncecard/diffuser

and IMHO they should AT LEAST pay for any lens rentals and gift you the 50/1.8 or a flash unit as a token of appreciation (still ALOT cheaper than hiring a wedding photographer)
 

Dec 8, 2009
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#16
jack up your ISO also up to 1600. A noisy picture is better than missing the moment :)
 

Sep 14, 2009
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#17
your friend better not regret the kind of photos that come out =/ not to say that you're lousy or anything, but hard to predict whats gonna happen.

rent a decent lens for this event. its good practice for you but not without proper gear to use. 17-55 2.8 + flash and you're good to go
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#18
Actually is it a good thing to have the flash keep going off ? Wouldn't it be distracting ?

That is why I thought the 50mm f1.8 would be better since no need to use flash
Question to answer your question:
Can you freeze time, so you have enough time to compose the picture or change lens?

If flash photography is allowed and you are the only (official) photographer, no one will mind your flash.

Taking photos in any event is about capturing the moments. They happen fast, move fast. You need to be ready all the time. It is hard for you to be ready if you only have a fixed focal length that equates to 80mm FOV, which is very very tight and only one camera body. How are you going to take the wide views of the crowd, at the buffet, in the private rooms, when they come out of the wedding car? I mean, do you seriously think people will get out of the way for you to shoot from far away? This is a wedding dude. Everyone will want to see the couple and crowd around. If you do not have a wide lens at ready all the time, you are just asking for it.

My serious recommendations:

1. Advise the couple of your newbie-ness and manage their expectations of how your photos will turn out. Don't lose friendships over this.

2. Just shoot with 18-55 + flash + diffuser/bounce card.

3. Borrow another camera body like 550D or 500D, from a relative or friend (or rent one). Fit your 50/1.8 on your own camera shoot on A mode (favoring wider apertures), fit the 18-55 and flash+bounce card on the other (shoot on P mode and e-TTL on flash). Cover the wedding with 2 cameras, 2 lenses and a flash. That way, you will be well covered.

4. Better to ask another shooter along as secondary photographer if you do not want to carry 2 cameras. Be sure who is to cover what kinds of scenes. One person on a fast prime, the other person on a standard zoom with flash.

5. Or decline to shoot this all together
 

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Jul 28, 2010
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#19
well they have another friend doing the same thing. Just some guy with a dslr and take photos. They are just hoping that out of the many we take some will be okay.

So that's why I won't be spending on it, as they really don't seem to be willing to spend a cent. This is just the rom for them, they have a banquet on another day. That's why they did not want to hire a photographer, coz they wanna save it for the banquet instead.

arggh i need to go find out the cheapest decent flash i can get then, since i think u guys are asking me to use the kit lens with flash.
 

hotwork77

New Member
Jun 21, 2009
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#20
I have been tasked to take photos at my friend's church wedding. They know I'm an amateur but they wanna save some buck so they will take the chances.

I have the canon 550D and the 18-55mm kit lens, and I am going to buy a 50mm f1.8. I do not have an external flash.

As obviously I won't be getting any money, I won't be investing in any additional lens just for this. So the question is, which lens do you recommend me to keep on most of the time? The kit or the prime?

I am afraid that with the kit, the aperture won't be big enough for low light photos without flash. But with the prime, I won't be able to zoom in for shots.
I've just taken photos at a church wedding just 2 weeks ago. using a 18-55mm kit lens and 35mm prime on a Nikon D60 as I was not willing to bring along a FF camera due to the weight. Canon 550D is not very far off.

Depending on whether your church is non-denominational or catholic or protestant will make a slight difference due to protocol. Catholic Churches will not allow you to use flash during the service whereas non-denominational churches will be quite flexible.

Assuming you can't use flash, then you would need to use a fast prime since you have indicated you are eyeing 50mm f1.8. With prime, while you can't zoom, you could still move around to your subject as long as you're not too obstrusive. Best preparation is to be there one week ahead during practise session to try out various camera settings and see how it goes. If you're more kiasu then go two weeks earlier, take some test shots and post here for feedback.

You won't go too far off if you put in some practice runs. Hope that helps.:cool:
 

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