MF primes vs SEL lenses in weddings and parties

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by bruzzo, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. bruzzo

    bruzzo New to TalkEmount

    Aug 23, 2012
    Not sure if any of you have similar struggles but recently I have attended two weddings, both have hired an official photographer so basically my friend and I are there to snap some shots to provide other angles and perspectives. My friend uses a Nikon DSLR (D3X I think) and I thought my 16mm and 18-55 kit lenses won't be able to compete with her 24-70 and 105 VR in terms of sharpness and clarity. So why don't I bring some lenses that's more fun and creative to provide a unique perspective of the wedding, rather than the business crisp clear photos in which she was responsible for.

    So the 1st wedding I brought my 35mm 1.7 Fujian and Helios-44-2 for the blurry and swirl bokeh effect. Turns out that in weddings and perhaps parties in general, ppl tend to request for photos whenever they see you with a camera and it's very hard to work with the helios (87mm) when tables and ppl are in your way and you just don't have enough space to work with. The Fujian is better but doesn't look that good when ppl see that your photos are only sharp in the centre lol (Given indoor and not enough light). Most ppl are fine but some elders like my grandma would like it to be crisp clear.

    Knowing this, the next time I brought my 16mm kit lens and the Helios and ended up using the 16mm most of the time and the Helios only for portraits of the new couple lol.

    So my struggle is, I like MF primes they are fun and allow more creativity but are hard to work with in these situations. In the end it often comes to the conclusion: why don't I just use the 18-55 and 16mm? Any thoughts on this? What lenses do you guys use in parties and weddings? Any experience to share?

  2. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    The SEL1855 is a lot better than you might think...
    NEX 5N - samples of 18-55 at 24 V. ZA 24 - FM Forums

    Speed and versatility is key for wedding photography candids so the SEL1855 would be my choice... and I'd make full use of the various SCN shooting modes.

    The SEL16 will be handy in really tight indoor spaces, but has to be used with a little extra care and avoid placing people near the corners of the composition.

    I would also permanently switch on to AUTO the "Lens Comp: Distortion" feature, in the Setup menu. Both lenses will benefit from this feature.
  3. Halka

    Halka TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 11, 2012
    Ľubomír Brindza
    I'm attending my cousin's wedding this weekend. I was originally planning on taking my Nikkor 28mm and either a Helios 44 or Oly OM 50mm f/1.4 with me, but reading this reminded me I have a perfectly good zoom lens in my drawer. I was just having so much fun shooting MF that I kind of forgot about it.

    Oh well, the Nikkor is sitting this one out :p

    Also I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new (battered new) Nikkor 85mm f/2, sadly it seems the courier will not make it in time for the wedding.
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    My general thoughts on manual versus automatic are thus.

    Do you want the shot? Shotting manual tends to lead to a few more missed shots than with an automatic lens. So I always feel if it is an important enough event, I take the automatic lens.
  5. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    I think some people can pull off wedding candid shots with MF (I mean that's the only way it was done before AF came out). :)

    But I'm not too good at multi-tasking so my MF although accurate most of the time, is too slow... and if I speed it up, my accuracy suffers.

    What I like about AF is that I can concentrate on frame composition (standing at the right place at the right time) and that golden split-second decision of when to press the shutter to capture the best facial expressions.
  6. simonclivehughes

    simonclivehughes TalkEmount Rookie

    Aug 8, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I did some additional photography at a relative's wedding recently with NEX 5s and Voigtländer glass and even with focus peaking, was disappointed with the results. For the ceremony, many were fine, but reception pix tended to be OOF, generally due to low light and most of all, people moving around. If I was to do it again, I'd go for the AF lenses.

    I just picked up the Sigma 30mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.8 lenses and although I LOVE my Voigtländers, these are much better suited to capturing fast action.

  7. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    I prefer the AF, a friend of my wife invited us to take some pictures of the christening of his daughter, so I took my old Minolta F1.7, thinking I would have more fun but it was the opposite,I'm no expert in MF, a little slow to focus and as DIOPTRICk says, each second it's very important at this time to press the shutter at the right time
    , was a disaster at first, so I ended up using the kit 18-55 and got good results, to judge the kit is not too bad and I am very pleased with the results.


  8. CWL

    CWL TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    Cumbria UK
    Hi Bruzzo, I was at my cousins wedding over the weekend and decided to take the 18-55mm and Fujian CCTV. I've used the 16mm and CCTV in low light before and knew it would perform well however I thought the 18-55mm would be more versatile. Not sure if it was just me but the 18-55mm really struggled in low light under the same conditions and settings as the 16mm. I also had minor issues with focusing while taking outside portrait in overcast sky.

    I ended up using the CCTV lens 90% of the time and found it extremely fun, the results aren't to everyone's cup of tea but the majority love the photos. Focusing can be a little tricky so I took a few shots of the same scene while trying to fine tune the focus. I was able to use about 70% of the shots taken.

    One thing I have discovered using the camera heavily at the wedding and sight seeing in London is I need a EVF and I prefer MF. Need to try the 28mm Vivitar lens for the next wedding.

    Just a few samples:





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