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What makes sense?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by NickCyprus, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    After doing my 2nd wedding as a second shooter (and my third next month!) and getting a basic idea of what to expect/what gear to have etc, (Like a sheep led to the slaughter - Anxiety caught on me - My first wedding (assisting/second shooting) - few thoughts )

    I can't stop thinking of what my next lens should be...
    (Disclaimer #1: I totally blew my photography gear budget for this year, so this thread is theoretical because what I will end up buying, I'll be getting it next year
    Disclaimer #2: no manual focus lenses please :D
    ).

    The way the lead photographer wants me to shoot is more or less from a distance.
    He usually handles the "artistic" shots with his Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 (occasionally he uses a 70-200 and a 50 1.4 and even rarely a 24-70) and moves a lot and I cover the "traditional" posed and un-posed portraits more or less stationary. If I cover my "missions" off course I shoot other moments too - basically I'm free to shoot what I see and like :)

    I have the Zeiss 55mm 1.8/ 70-200 G f/4 combo which I'll use for the part where the groom and bride get ready/dress up, the details/decoration, the ceremony inside the church and the moments that happen outside of the church before and after the ceremony. I never for once used the 28-70 kit lens.
    Disclaimer #3: Since this isn't my full time job and my budget it tight, I try to shop "smart" and get lenses that would serve me to my other photography types as well (landscape, family etc) and basically buy lenses that I would have probably bought even if I didn't second shoot weddings
    A wide normal lens: I originally thought of the Zeiss 35mm 1.4 but I'm having second thoughts now since it wouldn't make sense to cover the same FL with the lead photographer... (the 35 2.8 is out of the question cause its slow since we have the option of the 1.4)
    A classic portrait lens (85mm): I thought about the 90 macro since its also a double purpose lens (macro and portraits) but the way I shoot I don't think it would be used a lot thus justifying the cost.
    An ultra wide lens: I'd love the 16-35 for my landscape photos but I'm not sure how useful it would be for weddings. The other idea (and cheaper!) would be the FE 28 f/2 but honestly I can't imagine its a useful lens for weddings. Same case with one of the Batis 18mm or 25mm which are also expensive.
    A normal zoom lens: Lately I'm seriously thinking of the 24-70 f/4. Weddings is all about versatility regarding lens choice from my experience so far and I'd love the idea of a 24-70 to cover my wide and normal FLs. But my problem here is: 1) since I have 70mm covered with the 70-200, 50mm covered with the excellent Zeiss 55mm do I really need to spend the amount for basically 24mm-40mm??? 2) I'm scared that f/4 will be again too slow for low light scenarios.

    Or just stay with what I currently have and maybe buy a flash?

    The problem I have is basically with the low light indoor church shots.
    Disclaimer #4: I know that the perfect wedding lenses would be the GM 24-70 2.8 and GM 70-200 2.8 but honestly I don't have the budget for those and even if I did, I don't think I would want to lug around so much weight/big size lenses (they totally beat to purpose of mirrorless to ME)
    We have lights set up but with an f/4 lens that still isn't enough I feel. I'm shooting wide open with the 70-200, don't want to have a lower shutter speed of 1/200 and that leads my ISO to iso2000 (I did some shots at iso3200 and those were too noisy so he advised to stay at iso2000 max). I'd like to use the same specs (f4, 1/200) but iso1000 would be ideal.
    Do you think the A7 has too much noise at iso2000? I remember the max limit of my Nex-6 was iso800 for ME. I don't think an on camera flash will help me here cause 1) of my distance from the subject and 2) there isn't anywhere to bounce the flash of to inside a church. Or maybe I'm wrong???

    I'd love to hear some thoughts :)
     
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  2. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Veteran

    402
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    I am not experienced or exposed enough to make a recommendation. But I had this crazy, expensive, out-on-a-limb idea... how about an A7Sii instead of lens? Crazy, I know. True, lower 12mp sensor, but insane ISO, silent shutter, IBIS, and 4k video which could be useful say during a reception. But it is expensive, even used.

    Another idea would be to rent some of your options and see if they really do anything for you.
     
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  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    My take: pick up a good, used 24-70 f/4. It'll be useful at (well-lit) weddings, and super useful for landscapes. Those 4mm between 24-28mm are huge. The 55 will still get use in low-light situations, or whenever you need maximum sharpness and/or narrow DOF. I think ISO 3200 is still useable for good images with the A7, especially for prints. So I'd leave the flash images for the main photographer. Free advice! And worth every penny!
     
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  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Same situation with the expensive lenses-unfortunately my budget is limited :)

    Forgot to say, that we don't have lens rental places around here - if we did this decision would have been more easy :)
     
  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Thanks David! I'm really seriously thinking about the 24-70... :D
     
  6. SamSS

    SamSS TalkEmount Regular

    166
    Oct 11, 2014
    Use what you have and get a flash.
    Use your flash as bounce even though there's not much of a ceiling to bounce off. But, do raise that little white reflector card but close off that translucent wide angle diffuser.
    FE 16-35 is useful for scenery with the couple. Don't use its ultrawide on the people posting unless they're in the center frame.
    I've the FE 16-35 but not too happy for taking group pictures...even at 24mm. Asian they love group picture at a wedding. :)
    Since you've a 55mm, I think it's safe to skip a 35mm and go for a 24mm or 25mm Batis prime that you can use in low light.
    I've never use a Batis but a Sigma 24mm is alright without much of facial distortion.
    SAMPLE @ 24mm f3.2
     
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  7. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Thank you @SamSS@SamSS !!!

    Can I ask more on the above? Would an on camera bounced flash help me lower my iso from say iso2000 to iso1000 while maintining the same aperture and shutter speed?
     
  8. SamSS

    SamSS TalkEmount Regular

    166
    Oct 11, 2014
    Just my opion, I don't like using anything above 400 iso...but I would occasionally gone to 800 or even 6400.
    Yes, that bounce flash with that little bounce reflector really helps lower your iso. (no need to use the add-on little white cup diffuser unless shooting directly)
    I've never shoot flash directly head on less way the subject is way too far.
    Also, it gives a little catch light, and especially better colors for your photo. You may even notice background noise is reduced as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
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  9. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    651
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
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  10. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    651
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    On bounce flash, on camera

    Black foamie thing - Tangents

    In his book " Direction and quality of light " Niekerk speak against using the bounce card.
     
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  11. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    651
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    That depends on the inviroment your shooting in.
    This is the SB26 off camera to the left and the pop up bounce off wall right @640ISO
    DSC04294.JPG
    Same technique @1250ISO
    DSC00671.JPG
    And off-camera TTL bounce flash camera left balanced with ambient @100ISO
    DSC07444.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
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