What equipment do I need to be a wedding photographer?

 

I was thinking today about what I would have liked to known when I was first starting out as a wedding photographer in Tampa and realized that, despite the wealth of information available to the newby, I don’t recall ever seeing a detailed breakdown of the equipment a typical wedding photographer carries to a shoot. So, with that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the equipment in my bag with comments about how I use it. This is, by no means, a definitive list. It’s just what I am carrying right now and could change at any time.

(2) Canon 40D – The Canon 40D may not be the best that Canon has to offer but it will certainly get the job done. Don’t get too caught up in the rush to buy the newest and most advanced camera available. The cheapest DSLR on the market is still light-years more advanced than every camera that came before it. Personally, I prefer two identical camera bodies. It’s a comfort to me that I can grab either camera and get the same results.

(4) Camera Batteries – One battery in each camera body and two backups. I don’t use a battery grip with my camera. I’ll admit I envy the convenience of the added controls so that you can hold the camera in portrait mode the same way you do in landscape but I’m put off by the extra bulk and weight. If I found myself frequently changing batteries during a shoot I would probably get a grip, but I rarely have to use my backup batteries.

(1) Black Rapid Strap (1) standard strapI’ve written about this before. When I feel it necessary to carry both cameras, I have a second strap around my neck. Both my camera’s have Manfrotto tripod mounts on the bottom and I attach the straps there with speed clips. Typically, I will wear both straps during the ceremony and sometimes during the reception. I just attach the camera’s as needed.

Lenses:

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Sigma 18-50, f2.8 – This is my main lens and is on my camera 90% 0f the time.

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Wedding Photography and the Zoom Lens

If you get a bunch of wedding photographers together in a room (like AA), talk will eventually come around to lenses. A bunch of photographers talking about lenses makes watching paint dry seem glamorous. Everyone has a favorite lens and everyone has a particular style and it can be tough to decide on what your style and lens choices will be. It’s really just trial and error. Eventually, you will find yourself reaching for the same lens again and again and suddenly, before you know it, you have a style!

So, let’s talk about the almighty zoom lens.

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Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Photo Zone

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM IS is a very good lens but not a stellar one. The resolution characteristic is excellent at 70mm and 135mm but at 200mm it disappoints – more so regarding its price tag. The results are still very good here (just at f/2.8) but when putting things into perspective (e.g. vs the superb EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS) the delivered quality is not overly impressive. Based on the performance at 200mm the potential with tele converters seems “limited”. Lateral chromatic aberrations (CAs) are relatively well controlled but, again, inferior to the in-house competition (inc. its predecessor). Distortions are nothing to worry about as is vignetting. The build quality of the lens is superb and the IS as well as the very fast AF makes it a joy to use. If only it was better at 200mm. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 USM L IS EF Review Round-Up

canon-28-300-f35-56If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens

Photo Zone

The Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L IS is an impressive extreme range zoom. The optical quality is on a very high though not exceptional level. The resolution figures are generally very good without any major flaws. Vignetting, CAs and even distortions are very well under control. The build quality is exceptional though some may not like the push-pull zoom design. … The 3rd generation IS is a significant and highly welcome addition to the feature list. On the downside the lens is heavy and not exactly small especially when used at 300mm – not exactly a low profile lens. The price lifts it beyond the reach of most amateurs but then this is true for many L grade lenses out there. … So if you can live with its limitations and the price tag it is surely worth a deeper look! READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM Autofocus Lens

Photo Zone

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS is a very good performer with few weaknesses … that’s assuming you get a good sample – the first tested sample was mediocre whereas the second one performed very fine. The resolution of the lens is on a very high level throughout the zoom range with only a marginal performance penalty at 400mm. Vignetting, distortions and CAs aren’t really field relevant on an APS-C DSLR. Typical for Canon L grade lenses the build quality is great. However, you may need to get used to the push-pull zoom mechanism which is a bit unusual these days. Regarding the sum of its characteristics the EF 100-400L is THE still portable super-tele zoom for Canon users. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS EF-S Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras

Photo Review

A general-purpose lens with an extended zoom range for Canon’s DSLR camera bodies with ‘APS-C-sized’ image sensors. Designed to provide a wide zoom range in a compact and lightweight form factor, Canon’s EF-S18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS telephoto zoom lens can only be used with cameras that have ‘APS-C-sized’ image sensors. Supporting a zoom range of approximately 11 times, it covers a focal length equivalent to 29-320mm in 35mm format but weighs only 595 grams. Built-in image stabilisation provides approximately four f-stops of shutter speed advantage and the stabilisation system can detect when the camera is panned. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Photo Zone

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L proved to be a worthy representative of the pro-grade lens league … if you can get a good sample. During the last two years four lenses has seen the lab with only one within specs – this is disappointing especially for a lens of this price class. If you ´re lucky enough to get a decent sample you can expect a very high performance level, especially when stopped down a bit. Distortions, vignetting and CAs are well-controlled. The build quality is superb with only the reverse zoom extension as a minor downside. Even so the 24-70mm range is not all that attractive on APS-C DSLRs (39-112mm) – the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 USM IS is a better and cheaper bet except regarding build quality. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 EF IS USM Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get more information and user reviews for this lens at Amazon:
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

Photo Review

An affordable long-zoom lens with two effective image stabilisation modes. Released concurrently with the EOS 5D, Canon’s EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom lens replaces the 10-year-old EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens. We tested it on Canon’s new EOS 30D, where it covered a focal length range equivalent to 112-480mm in 35mm film format. The new lens combines ultra-low dispersion (UD) and aspherical lens elements and includes an improved optical image stabiliser (IS) that allows users to shoot at approximately three shutter speed increments slower than a non-stabilised lens. This is a one-stop improvement over its predecessor. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM EF Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

Photo Review

A high-performing lens for general photography. A superb general-purpose lens, Canon’s EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM is equally at home on the EOS 400D and the ‘full frame’ EOS 5D cameras, giving a focal length range equivalent to 38.4 to 168mm on the former. Compact for its specifications, it is relatively light and comfortable to use as well as being very well built. The lens barrel carries switches for IS (on/off) and AF/MF (Autofocus/Manual Focus). They are recessed into the lens barrel itself, which means you’re less likely to re-set them inadvertently. READ FULL REVIEW

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Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM EF-S Review Round-Up

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If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLRs

Photo Review

A first-rate wide-angle zoom for DSLRs with ‘APS-C’ sized imagers. The ‘EF-S’ designation is Canon’s way of labeling lenses with Short Back Focus, which indicates the distance between the sensor plane and the rear element of the lens is shorter than in an EF lens. Such lenses are designed exclusively for EOS cameras with ‘APS-C-sized’ sensors and cannot be used on Canon’s 35mm SLR cameras – or on the EOS 5D. The new EF-S 10-22mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens covers fields of view equivalent to 16-35mm in 135mm format. An excellent partner to the EOS 400D we used for our tests, its wide angle of view is great for landscape and architectural photography, especially indoor shots. “¦ READ FULL REVIEW

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