What lens for a wedding?

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#1
My son gets married in a couple of months and I am wondering what would be the best lens for the day. I only want to carry one lens so whatever I use would need to double up for both the formal group shots and also candid shots taken during the day and also at the evening.

I am looking for Canon EF fitting but not necessarily Canon lenses. At present I have the Canon 70-300L F4 and the Canon 16-35L F4. Neither of these strikes me as being suitable for the day.

Any suggestions.
 
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#3
Thanks for the quick replies but I should add I don’t like prime lenses preferring the versatility of zoom. I also want the candid shots to be less in your face so something with more reach than the two above.
 
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#5
My son gets married in a couple of months and I am wondering what would be the best lens for the day. I only want to carry one lens so whatever I use would need to double up for both the formal group shots and also candid shots taken during the day and also at the evening.

I am looking for Canon EF fitting but not necessarily Canon lenses. At present I have the Canon 70-300L F4 and the Canon 16-35L F4. Neither of these strikes me as being suitable for the day.

Any suggestions.
You are photographing your sons wedding?

You want to buy a lens for this purpose?

Why would you just not pay for a wedding photographer and enjoy your sons day instead?

If you are not photographing the wedding and they already have a photographer. why on earth would you be taking group photos etc.
 
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#7
You are photographing your sons wedding?

You want to buy a lens for this purpose?

Why would you just not pay for a wedding photographer and enjoy your sons day instead?

If you are not photographing the wedding and they already have a photographer. why on earth would you be taking group photos etc.
I never said I was the only photographer.

We have a professional photographer but I want my own photos partly as insurance and also to supplement the professionals.

I have no doubt there will be others with cameras there. The more photos taken the wider the choice to choose from.
 
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#8
You're shooting full frame and already have a couple of decent lenses, I would gather from this that you're competent enough to know what kind of lens precisely you'd want on the day. A 24-70 2.8 is the obvious choice, and go for more stealthy candid shots as opposed to worrying about the boring group shots. Leave that to the paid photographer, they're being paid to do a job so best not get in their way.
 
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#9
I never said I was the only photographer.

We have a professional photographer but I want my own photos partly as insurance and also to supplement the professionals.

I have no doubt there will be others with cameras there. The more photos taken the wider the choice to choose from.
So what are you plans here, shooting over the real photographers shoulder? How do you think they will react to that?

You mentioned group photos in particular, my advice is don’t be that guy.

Take your camera if you must, stay out of the way maybe bring a 50mm or something inscospicious for candid shots and leave the rest to the person paid to be there. You will make their job much easier and your son will get much better photos as a result and you will be able to enjoy the day as you should without using it as an opportunity to play with your camera.

You mention more photos to choose from, do you mean for their wedding album? If they have bought a proper album from their wedding photographer none of your photos will be included so you are just wasting your time, spoiling the day for yourself and making it difficult for the actual photographer to do their job properly.
 
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#10
Decent compact that'll fit in a jacket pocket without showing an unsightly bulge. Enjoy the day and trust the pro to get the shots.
 
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#11
I am sure that wedding photographers are used to others taking photos alongside them and I am wise enough not to get in their way.

I have already dismissed the 50mm prime above. I hardly think that has the reach to be inconspicuous.
 
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#12
I am sure that wedding photographers are used to others taking photos alongside them and I am wise enough not to get in their way.

I have already dismissed the 50mm prime above. I hardly think that has the reach to be inconspicuous.
No, we are used to telling people to put there camera away while we are working. Your a wedding togs worst nightmare.

Just bear in mind your sons photographer won’t be happy will likely complain to the bride who will complain to your son. Best of luck. :D
 
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#13
Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8 L MkI or MkII seems the ideal choice.
For less money you could get the Canon EF 28-70 f/2.8 L.
I had the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 at some point. Very compact and IQ was great but I had lots of shots with missed focus when using AF on a 5DI & 5DII - may have been my lack of skills at the time to get the best out of the camera.
 
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#14
I appreciate people taking the time to post but let me be quite clear. I am taking my full frame camera, I enjoy taking photos and any posts that suggest I don’t take photos or use a compact are missing the point of my original post.

It is quite simply what lens would be most suitable for me to use with my Canon 5d mark 3 to capture group and candid shots on the day.
 
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#15
I appreciate people taking the time to post but let me be quite clear. I am taking my full frame camera, I enjoy taking photos and any posts that suggest I don’t take photos or use a compact are missing the point of my original post.

It is quite simply what lens would be most suitable for me to use with my Canon 5d mark 3 to capture group and candid shots on the day.
Am sure your son and his new bride will be delighted that your hobby is more important than their wedding.
 
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#17
Tommy

I rather got the message that you were a wedding photographer from the tone of your posts.

I have seen examples of so called “professional” wedding photographers who have made a real pigs’s ear of the day. Having others take photos discreetly alongside them gives insurance against the photographer messing up or their equipment failure.
 

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#18
I have seen examples of so called “professional” wedding photographers who have made a real pigs’s ear of the day.

Make sure that the photographer(s) the couple choose have a good portfolio and reputation. Then let them do their job while you enjoy the day.
 
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#19
I am regretting posting this as some people have chosen this to go on a rant about wedding day photography or comment about my role on the day.

I am really not interested in the views of others about who should take or not take photos on the day or what I should be doing. It is not welcome or relevant to my original post.

My question was simply about what equipment to use on the day. Please keep all posts on point.
 
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#20
Tommy

I rather got the message that you were a wedding photographer from the tone of your posts.

I have seen examples of so called “professional” wedding photographers who have made a real pigs’s ear of the day. Having others take photos discreetly alongside them gives insurance against the photographer messing up or their equipment failure.
What Nod said.

The stories you see in the daily mail etc could all have been avoided by doing a little research on the photographer.

You could potentially cause issues based on the posts on this thread for the photographer.

You run the risk of causing issues on the day all so you can enjoy your hobby.

That’s your call to make of course. Feel bad for the poor sucker that is photographing this one though.
 
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#21
24-70 and another body with a 70-200 then. Enjoy!
 
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#22
I am regretting posting this as some people have chosen this to go on a rant about wedding day photography or comment about my role on the day.

I am really not interested in the views of others about who should take or not take photos on the day or what I should be doing. It is not welcome or relevant to my original post.

My question was simply about what equipment to use on the day. Please keep all posts on point.
You got the answer from a few above. 24-70 or 28-75 2.8. The rest is advice, you don't have to take heed but I would take on board the advice not to get in the way. I'm no wedding photographer but I have shot a bunch for family and friends, and there was nothing worse on the day than Aunt Biddy or Uncle Ben elbowing me in the sides as they tried to muscle in with their cameras when I was posing the couple for shots. As Tommy said above, don't be that guy, I think that's sound enough.

For one wedding , my sister's, she gave strict instructions to both families that I was the photographer and for any group shots they were to pay attention to me only - I still had her hubby's Aunt get in my way every 5 minutes. I could have kicked her, but we were in a church :D
 
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#23
Tommy

Yes it is my call and no my comments are not based on stories in the Daily Mail but on real life observations during my long life.

You are making a lot of assumptions including that my sole objective in taking the camera is to enjoy my hobby. If you bother to read the posts you will see there are other reasons behind my thinking. But then that would not suit your agenda would it.

Enough now. Leave it at that.
 
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#25
Am sure your son and his new bride will be delighted that your hobby is more important than their wedding.
I really can't see your problem. Are you the wedding photographer for this wedding? Do you know who the photographer is for this wedding?
The op asked for advice on equipment, in the equipment forum.
 
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#26
The 24-70 f2.8 is the best all round solution for weddings. Wide enough for groups or getting the scene inside the church but long enough to get candids and f2.8 will be useful in a dark church or to blur out the background. I've shot a wedding with a borrowed 24-70 f2.8 L Mk1 and it was great. The Mk2 is even better and a touch lighter too.
Don't dismiss the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 VC and the Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Art either.

I'm not a wedding photographer and I totally understand the desire to shoot at a family wedding, you have a different view. "Oh look that's Aunt Mabel talking to Uncle Jim, they haven't seen each other in years", a family memory caught.
Whilst chatting to Granny Mildred, your 5yr niece jumps on her lap; "Can I take your photo with Granny?".
You're not going out hunting for the official album, but for your own memory shots. Anything nice you get can be given to the happy couple later.

There is the option of a high-end compact or mirrorless. I took a Fuji X100 to a family wedding once, I wasn't happy with the images. The next family wedding, I took my 6D with a 50mm, the results were much better, I was happier and the photographer wasn't bothered about me.

It's about how you approach the day though, which is entirely your choice.
Personally I'd stay out of the way, not stand next to the photographer when they're doing posed shots, I'd look for another shot or be in the group shots.
It's not a case of "doing it because it's my hobby", it's a case of "doing it because I want my own memories".
 
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#28
Thanks Alastair

The comments on lenes are appreciated as are the comments about making one’s own memories. At last someone who shares my perspective!

The lenses that you mentioned are welcome I also wondered about the Sigma 24-105 Art which although slightly slower at F4 does have that bit extra reach.

As far as the wedding photographer is concerned, as I said in post 12, I am wise enough not to get in their way. I have found that standing behind them, to one side and with silent shutter mode set I can get formal shots without causing them any distress.
 
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#29
Gotta love threads like this. The assumptions are comical. How dare you want to take photos at your son's wedding! What a ridiculous thing to want to do.

I know you don't like primes but personally I'd go for an 85mm for what you describe.
 
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#30
Gotta love threads like this. The assumptions are comical. How dare you want to take photos at your son's wedding! What a ridiculous thing to want to do.

I know you don't like primes but personally I'd go for an 85mm for what you describe.
Thats not what he said he's doing. He's shooting the wedding because he's second guessing the pro, who he thinks will foul up or have terminal equipment failure, or, or.

I will take some shots at my lads wedding in June. A few candids probably.

I wont be doing group shots and photographing the wedding. Big difference.
 
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#31
If it’s only 1 lens I’d go for the 24-70 2.8 rather than a bit more reach. Personally I be reaching for a prime, probably sigma art 50 1.4 if it was only 1 lens.
 
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#32
Gotta love threads like this. The assumptions are comical. How dare you want to take photos at your son's wedding! What a ridiculous thing to want to do.

I know you don't like primes but personally I'd go for an 85mm for what you describe.
I shot a whole wedding using a 35mm and 85mm, as a guest the 85 is perfect if OP can adjust to a prime. There's an 85 1.8 in classified right now going for £165
 
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#33
My son gets married in a couple of months and I am wondering what would be the best lens for the day. I only want to carry one lens so whatever I use would need to double up for both the formal group shots and also candid shots taken during the day and also at the evening.

I am looking for Canon EF fitting but not necessarily Canon lenses. At present I have the Canon 70-300L F4 and the Canon 16-35L F4. Neither of these strikes me as being suitable for the day.

Any suggestions.
A Tamron 24-70 F2.8 G2 will be good. £800 from Panamoz. I have the lens myself, great bit of kit.
 
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#34
I just love people who try to interpret all my motives from a few comments in posts. I wish I was so good at reading people who I don’t know and have not met! A rare and unique talent indeed.

There are many reasons why I will take photographs. I don’t really see my motives are anyone’s business but for those who are pontificating about my reasons let me list a few in no particular order.

One I enjoy taking photos.

Two I enjoy the post processing in photoshop (cannot do this with the photographer’s photos)

Three it does give me my own personal memories of the day.

Four I might just get those special candid photos that the photographer misses.

Five I do get pride when my photos are better than the photographers

Six my photos give the bride, groom, bride’s parents and other guests more choice of any photos they may like copies of.

Seven having prints taken from my photos is a lot cheaper than paying for them from the photographer.

Eight and yes this is the least important it does offer insurance against, admittedly rare but not unknown, poor performance from the photographer or failure of their equipment.

Finally if anyone who charges for taking wedding photos cannot accept others will be also be taking photos at the same time as them I suggest they are in the wrong business. It goes with the territory.
 
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#35
I just love people who try to interpret all my motives from a few comments in posts. I wish I was so good at reading people who I don’t know and have not met! A rare and unique talent indeed.

There are many reasons why I will take photographs. I don’t really see my motives are anyone’s business but for those who are pontificating about my reasons let me list a few in no particular order.

One I enjoy taking photos.

Two I enjoy the post processing in photoshop (cannot do this with the photographer’s photos)

Three it does give me my own personal memories of the day.

Four I might just get those special candid photos that the photographer misses.

Five I do get pride when my photos are better than the photographers

Six my photos give the bride, groom, bride’s parents and other guests more choice of any photos they may like copies of.

Seven having prints taken from my photos is a lot cheaper than paying for them from the photographer.

Eight and yes this is the least important it does offer insurance against, admittedly rare but not unknown, poor performance from the photographer or failure of their equipment.
You really shouldn't have to justify all of the above! It's up to you what you photograph! Ignore the silly comments and enjoy taking the photos. I hope you get some great shots!
 
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#36
Thanks but I am not trying to justify the above. I really could not care less about the opinion of others on my motives.

However I am trying to educate the unenlightened - perhaps they will be less ready to jump to conclusions in future.
 
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#37
Thats not what he said he's doing. He's shooting the wedding because he's second guessing the pro, who he thinks will foul up or have terminal equipment failure, or, or.

I will take some shots at my lads wedding in June. A few candids probably.

I wont be doing group shots and photographing the wedding. Big difference.
See what I mean about assumptions? The OP has not said the wedding photographer WILL foul up, he said it's possible, which it is. He also didn't suggest that was the only reason to he wants to shoot. This sort of thread is what can make forums such a pain. It's clear the OP just wants a little advice on lens options but instead gets a character assassination and is accused by you of being incapable of enjoying the occasion.
 
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#38
See what I mean about assumptions? The OP has not said the wedding photographer WILL foul up, he said it's possible, which it is. He also didn't suggest that was the only reason to he wants to shoot. This sort of thread is what can make forums such a pain. It's clear the OP just wants a little advice on lens options but instead gets a character assassination and is accused by you of being incapable of enjoying the occasion.
I suggest you read his earlier posts where he makes it very obvious why hes doing it.
I pity the pro.
 
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#40
I did thanks. I just chose not to insert I own agenda into the gaps.
I have no agenda.
I would if I was the pro. Finding the right light/composition, ushering the groups and managing the situation. Then realise someone standing next to me is duplicating my shots to flog off undercutting me.
 
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