Wide angle lens choice for groups?


Rataegeoff

Link Posted 28/12/2014 - 22:05
I wonder if any wedding photographers have any views on the selection of lens for the family group shots taken outside a church. The question is prompted by my curiosity to learn from professionals. A friend purchased the images and the exif data was still there to be seen. The camera was a full frame C**** using a 28mm lens for a shot of just 5 people outside the church door. Are wide angle lenses the norm for these events, maybe to keep the photographer close to the subjects? In this case I should say that the client was totally happy with the photos taken and its only my curiosity that prompts this question.
K10D,KX, DA 18-55, DA 17-70 AL(IF) SDM, DA*50-135, Sigma 70-300, DAL 50-300mm, Kenko 1.5x, loads of SD cards and even more optimism

johnriley

Link Posted 28/12/2014 - 22:07
We don't want lenses that are too wide as the people on the edges may look quite distorted, so really the standard 18-55mm is as wide as we need to go.

For the odd special effects shot anything goes, so the 12-24mm or even the 10-17mm could be used in moderation.
Best regards, John

Rataegeoff

Link Posted 28/12/2014 - 22:15
Thanks John

So the 28mm on full frame is like the wide end of our standard zoom? As 2 of the adults were. shall we say, on the wider than average side I did wonder if it was the best choice. I used to think that 35mm was as wide as one would go back in the 35mm film days to avoid the risk of distortion but perhaps that's more when taking portraits?

Kind regards, Geoff
K10D,KX, DA 18-55, DA 17-70 AL(IF) SDM, DA*50-135, Sigma 70-300, DAL 50-300mm, Kenko 1.5x, loads of SD cards and even more optimism

davidstorm

Link Posted 28/12/2014 - 22:16
If you can get away with a fixed focal length lens like a K or M 28mm, that would be good because these lenses are very low on distortion. However, this doesn't afford flexibility which may be vital at a wedding. Failing this I would echo John's advice, but I would try to go a step up in quality above a kit lens and go for something like a Sigma 17-70, a Pentax DA*16-50 or a Pentax DA 17-70. You will get some distortion with these lenses, but nothing like what you would get with an ultra wide zoom. If at all possible keep the camera on the same level as the group you are photographing, i.e. don't shoot up or down too much if you can avoid it. This will minimise distortion and make the images more natural looking, although you may need a slight step up to ensure all heads in the group are visible. A set of step ladders is a very useful tool at a wedding for group shots.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

Rataegeoff

Link Posted 28/12/2014 - 22:25
Thanks for those pointers David. I have to say I'm not shaping up to do any wedding work and have nothing but admiration for the professionals who are brave enough to fight among the mass of phone snappers who must get under their feet the whole time. I think I'd want a couple of security guys helping if I had to be shooting professionally...!

Its great, of course, that pros will choose Pentax -perhaps shows their confidence in the man/machine partnership our marque offers?

Geoff
K10D,KX, DA 18-55, DA 17-70 AL(IF) SDM, DA*50-135, Sigma 70-300, DAL 50-300mm, Kenko 1.5x, loads of SD cards and even more optimism

vic cross

Link Posted 29/12/2014 - 09:41
In the days when I did weddings I used a Pentax 645. The standard lens on this camera was a 75mm. = 50 mm on a 35mm camera. = 35mm on a APS-C camera. The photographers who used TLR cameras also had the standard 75mm lenses. No one changed lenses very often all we used were our feet. (human zoom) If we were indoors with a confined space that was the only time we changed lenses to a 55mm = 35mm = 25mm approx. Also the cameras were usually on tripods and at approx waste level to avoid distortion.
Times they are a changing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CHEERS Vic.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.

richandfleur

Link Posted 29/12/2014 - 13:35
Rataegeoff wrote:


So the 28mm on full frame is like the wide end of our standard zoom?

Yeah roughly 18mm equivalent on our Pentax digital bodies. That's fine for large group shots with lots of people, but for more intimate/smaller groups you'd expect something around the 35 to 50mm range I would have thought.

However the other aspect here is that distortion can be addressed somewhat in post editing these days, so there are a few get out of jail aspects if it all turns to custard

The other other part is that the creative angle side of things is quite big at the moment, so some of the traditional rules are out the window with wedding photography. Personally I'd be aiming for safe keeper shots to fall back on, and then try some out there angles only once I was convinced I had a fall back position. It's interesting what gets the most interest with brides and their friends/family, and often it's the lay in a field of grass holding each others hands 'art' pieces rather than the standard formal group shots.

Good question though

Mike-P

Link Posted 29/12/2014 - 14:53
vic cross wrote:

Times they are a changing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CHEERS Vic.

I think they changed quite a while ago Vic
. My Flickr
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