Welcome back! Now we need to set you up with a cheap lense in order to make your camera something more than a fairly expensive paperweight.
So we actually need a disclaimer here. I’m going to just say this. Your lens is way more important that the camera. You can shoot a dimly lit wedding on a with a lens with decent enough low light performance (working with your camera’s low light performance). So why did I send you for a camera first? Because you shop for the core of the system, which is the camera.
The image quality, once you pass what we are going to call the pro-sumer threshold, is set primarily by the lens. You may have a camera that does better or worse in low light, but the focus, light quality, depth of field and all the things that make a decent image are decided by the multiple layers of glass which that light passes through to make your image.
Wait, what the hell is Pro-Sumer?
The threshold where the camera sensor is more or less capable of doing decent work is often a matter of opinion and level of willingness to accept noise in your images. For me, at least for the purposes of a site designed to just help you get working and refine your gear later, that threshold happens somewhere around the Canon T series midpoint. We’ll say for this discussion the Canon T3 (or competitor equivelent). Now, a dozen dudes are going to shoot me emails and tell me that if I go and shoot a wedding with a I’m reckless and giving my clients poor quality images and blah blah blah.
Clearly a T3 is going to under perform a , but keep in mind, and pro photographers don’t often admit this because its uncomfortable, there are low level clients that are just happy to afford to hire a low level photographer. And thats not a thing of shame for anyone involved. That couple who hired you while you can only afford a Canon T3 are likely thrilled to be able to afford someone. They already looked at the amazing work done by the Photographers out of their budget range, but they had to settle for you. That is your environment right now. That’s your social strata.
Under skilled and under equipped photographers get cheap clients or those in need. You are not stealing clients from the better photographers, even though they sometimes act like your existance is diminishing the professionalism or damaging the culture in the area and whatever other nonsense they spout when their target is too poor to hire them and goes to you. They were never going to be a client to that guy. Budget conscious clients are for you.
These clients are entry level clients and you are an entry level shooter using Pro-sumer level gear. Uncle bob has your gear. You just have to be better than him.
Tangent! Get back to the topic already, I need a cheap lens.
We are assuming you are on a Canon for most discussions, but a simple google search will help you find the competitors equivalent of whatever I suggest. Just do your part of the work. C’mon.
So you have a Canon, we will assume APS-C level and not a full frame. So you have an EF-S mount as opposed to an EF. This is important, don’t fuck this up or you can’t use the lens you just purchased. EF for Full Frame. EF-S for everything else.
You can go two different ways. A kit of maybe three cheap lenses to be well rounded enough to get what is needed, or you by one zoom lens and just get closer when you need to.
Let’s break these two down into suggestions.
Small Cheap Lens Kit
I would suggest three lenses.
You need a :
This is a great little lense for the price and capabilities. Some guys brag that they only shoot weddings woth these things. Tha’ts all. Crazy. If that one is still bit pricey, try the equivalent.
Pretty damn close in image quality and dirt cheap. Plastic fantastic.
Now you need a zoom. Because you can’t always be right up in the action, and some wide shots are good too. I am a big fan of the Tamron 24-70mm 2.8.
You may be stuck with a not so cheap purchase here. Go used. Check local camera shops and pawn shops. Check Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Find a cheap one.
If, after those two, you can squeeze another in, try for extra distance.
Something like this. Maybe you can’t afford the 2.8 version and you have to do the 5.6. Better than nothing. Upgrade when you can. It’s about affording to get all of your bases covered at this point.
Nope, can’t get all that. Go Cheaper.
I have shot weddings for years only using a single lens. The .
If you are really hard up and can only get one lens, I would make it this one. Now remember, that other dude only shoots on the 50mm. This can all be down to personal style. But I prefer some versatility and if I can’t afford the 70-200, this is the one. Craigslist that shit. Find a decent pawn shop. Sell a child. Whatever.
Or go back and get that 50mm. Maybe that’s your thing. Even cheaper really. Just zoom with your feet.
Next topic we need to get to is probably memory. That one should be easy, right?