June 26, 2018 at 12:59 pm #31636
This week, I was asked to do an hour grad photo shoot for my cousin, his mom, and sisters before his ceremony. While I do portraits on a small scale for family and have dabbled in event photography, it is far from my forte. Hence, I was curious as to any opinions on which lens would be best to use…I have a Canon EF 50mm 1.4 and a Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8 zoom lens. I have used both lenses for portraits in the past. However, I really don’t want to have to change lens in the middle of the photo due to time, weather, etc.
The downfall withe 50mm is that is doesn’t zoom or Image Stablization (and I tend to be a bit shaky), while the 70-200mm has the downfall of having to move farther away to get everyone in the picture (the technical term has momentary escaped me!).
Anyone have any suggestions on which you think the best opinion would be?
Thanks! 🙂June 27, 2018 at 8:33 pm #31686Lydia BParticipant
I can’t speak from experience here, but these are the things I think I would consider if I was in this situation:
– How much space is there at the location? Is there enough room for me to back up and get full shots with the 70-200mm lens?
– If I’m taking pictures of young children or elderly people who are either distractable or hard of hearing, respectively, I’m probably going to want to be somewhat close to them so I can communicate more easily while doing the photo shoot, so in that case I may tend towards the 50mm. On the other hand, if the people are able to be attentive to instructions and don’t mind if I have to “shout” to them, then the 70-200mm would potentially be fine.
– Do I tend to get better pictures with one lens vs. the other? I’d probably favor whichever lens that is.
– Presuming you have at least a general plan of what shots you are going to take, there might be a way to take them in an order that you could use the 50mm for the ones that you feel necessary, and then switch to the 70-200mm for the others. Obviously, yes, you don’t want to have to keep switching back and forth unnecessarily, but I think it would be ok to switch once (weather permitting??)
Hope that’s helpful! I’d love to know what you end up choosing to do and hearing how it works out! 🙂June 28, 2018 at 1:13 am #31687LukeVrableParticipant
although I haven’t done a lot of event photography, I have done some portraits indoors, using a 18-55 2.8f, and a 70-300, 4.0 f. you will usually get better results with your zoom lens, as you will get more blur behind your subjects. it also depends on what type of shots you are looking to get. if you will be shooting mostly candid shots, it may be better to be able to move back, and get your shot without interfering with your subjects. however, (as Lydia mentioned) if your are going to be working with your subjects a lot, and doing a lot of planned shots, it may be a bit hard (and disturbing to others) to be shouting at them. as far as stabilization goes, you should be alright since it is only a 50mm. depending on how long it takes to switch lenses, I think it would be ok to switch as well. so over all, if you can, I would go with the 70-200mm. James did an excellent post relating to this problem today. my computer is having trouble linking it, however, if you are signed up to the newsletter, it should be in your inbox.July 4, 2018 at 3:01 pm #31801
Thank you so much for your reply! I had just come home when your response came in, but you gave me some good food for consideration looking back on the shoot and looking forward for anything I’ll do in the future. 🙂 My group was thankfully in a more mature age range…14-70(ish) so they could all stay fairly still and not mind my “shouting” at them across the park. I ended up shooting all but one pose with the 70-200mm. I could have shot the 50mm pose with the 70-200mm lens, but another group of folks (12+ of them I think) were standing right behind me, so I couldn’t back up far enough without running into them. And I wasn’t just going to ask them to move for 5 minutes…too much outside my comfort zone, haha. 😉 Thankfully, it hadn’t started raining yet so lens switching was no problem!
Overall, the shoot went really well! The sun was shining when we got to the park (which was great minus having to compensate for the tree shadowing), then it got cloudy (even better!!), but then it started to sprinkle (not so great). There were lots of trees and arbours so no one got substantially wet. 🙂 The hardest part was getting everyone to look at me at the same time, hence, I’m glad I was shooting in Continuous Mode. I have a dramatic family so getting them to be serious instead of goofy was hard as well…the motto was “Keepin’ in real.” So there were plenty of candid shots!
Thanks again, Lydia! 🙂July 4, 2018 at 3:02 pm #31803July 4, 2018 at 3:09 pm #31808
Thanks so much for your helpful insight, @lukevrable! I ended up doing a mix of posed and candid shots with the 70-200mm (only using the 50mm for one set of poses) and am happy with the choice. Thanks again!July 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm #31811July 5, 2018 at 12:17 pm #31829Lydia BParticipant
Hey @morganwriter1gmail-com, glad your photo shoot worked out so well! Sounds like your one lens swap was worth it.
I’m glad I was shooting in Continuous Mode.
I always shoot in Continuous Mode when I’m working with people. It’s just safer that way. Someone is inevitably going to blink, look away, yawn, who knows what else… just as you snap your picture.
getting them to be serious instead of goofy was hard as well
Been there, done that! Especially when I’m trying to get pics of my 3 brothers… But hey, you’re there to take pictures of people, and people have personalities, right? 😀
…And very nice pictures! 🙂July 9, 2018 at 7:13 pm #31927
Haha, yes, even with continuous mode it was amazing how many pictures still had the blink/look away/etc. factor! 😂
You are exactly right! 😃
Thank you; and thanks for your helpful insights!July 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm #31992James StaddonKeymaster
Glad the photoshoot went well! My quick answer to your question, from my personal perspective: indoor settings, 50mm; outdoor, 70-200mm, 2.8 for the background blur.
Looks like that’s sorta what you ended up doing. 🙂
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