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Best zoom lens for weddings?


acuriousman

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But he's right. Get out of weddings before you even begin.

 

Why? I was thinking of getting into this. Is it because it doesn't pay well and if you don't get it "right" according to the couple, they will lynch you for screwing up their perfect day?

 

Just guessing here :D

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I shoot wedding and think they are total blast. Its always a happy day, you get damn good free food, cake, and a chance to seriously improve your skills. There seems to be a negative stigma surrounding them which I simply don't get. 

 

If you're using the GH2, the Panasonic 12-35 is a great choice. On the cheaper side of things I'm not sure

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I don't think you should be shooting a wedding..

 

 

But he's right. Get out of weddings before you even begin.

 

 

I wholeheartedly disagree.

 

You are not a professional, you are an amateur, and perhaps you consider yourself a skilled amateur?

 

Then the best way to prove it is to film and edit a wedding. Don't raise the expectations of your clients too much, but assure them they will be happy with the video. 

 

Know, that filming a wedding confronts you with considerable challenges. You spend maaany hours with the family and friends, you can't be tooo much in the way, you can under no circumstances lose or botch important moments, you have to film them in clean images, beautifully, without shaking or trembling (but also very often without tripod), you have to get usable sound (in the beginning you will probably not wire the pair, but be aware you have to capture their voices really well!), you have to control the light for perfect exposure, in an environment where very often your only way to influence light is how you position yourself (and keep in mind, don't be in the way tooo much!). There may be no noise, there may be no clipping, but there may very well be creepy darkness. Or, almost worse, a parc in the harsh sunlight, with beautiful green treetops that cast green shadows on the faces of the lot, alternated by veeery bright stripes. You get blinded, hands sticky ...

 

Perhaps you have a talent to master all these problems or never experience the worst. You produce excellent images.

 

But having technically good images, perhaps even with glamour to them, is not enough. A good videographer is very rarely also a good narrator, let alone editor, and vice versa. Finding images is fundamentally different to arranging them. So if you are not a very good camera operator, but a good editor or the other way around, you have to find a way to become good enough.

 

You have to know where the moment you witness and record fits. You have to realize the moment. Often you have to make it fit. People react to you. They act to you. They know their expression and their remarks will be seen by their hosts, they absolutely have to come up smiling. You have to be charming. You have to direct them. You are not 'an eye', you are not a participant with a camera, you are the Ghost of the weddings past.

 

You really learn a lot about how people like to be, to be seen or to become. You are their magic mirror. An invaluable insight if you ever wish to do something dramatic.

 

This is so much more than an industrial image film. Who never made weddings doesn't know.

 

Next step is editing all that. The first time you will curse the day you said 'I do it', and you rue to have followed Zach and me and not Moongoat and /p/.

 

The second time you will try to follow a concept.

 

The third time you will talk with the pair in advance, find funny stories, write down a draft. You will get your clients to accept that you keep it short, you will have enough experience to face difficult situations calmly. You will edit in one day, in a relaxed mood, seeing that your preparation fruited.

 

The fourth time you will say, allright, I like you, that's why I charge only $1000. 

 

Its always a happy day, you get damn good free food, cake ...

 

And if you have improved your skills the first three times, you can actually enjoy it.

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I wholeheartedly disagree.

 

You are not a professional, you are an amateur, and perhaps you consider yourself a skilled amateur?

 

Then the best way to prove it is to film and edit a wedding. Don't raise the expectations of your clients too much, but assure them they will be happy with the video. 

 

Know, that filming a wedding confronts you with considerable challenges. You spend maaany hours with the family and friends, you can't be tooo much in the way, you can under no circumstances lose or botch important moments, you have to film them in clean images, beautifully, without shaking or trembling (but also very often without tripod), you have to get usable sound (in the beginning you will probably not wire the pair, but be aware you have to capture their voices really well!), you have to control the light for perfect exposure, in an environment where very often your only way to influence light is how you position yourself (and keep in mind, don't be in the way tooo much!). There may be no noise, there may be no clipping, but there may very well be creepy darkness. Or, almost worse, a parc in the harsh sunlight, with beautiful green treetops that cast green shadows on the faces of the lot, alternated by veeery bright stripes. You get blinded, hands sticky ...

 

Perhaps you have a talent to master all these problems or never experience the worst. You produce excellent images.

 

But having technically good images, perhaps even with glamour to them, is not enough. A good videographer is very rarely also a good narrator, let alone editor, and vice versa. Finding images is fundamentally different to arranging them. So if you are not a very good camera operator, but a good editor or the other way around, you have to find a way to become good enough.

 

You have to know where the moment you witness and record fits. You have to realize the moment. Often you have to make it fit. People react to you. They act to you. They know their expression and their remarks will be seen by their hosts, they absolutely have to come up smiling. You have to be charming. You have to direct them. You are not 'an eye', you are not a participant with a camera, you are the Ghost of the weddings past.

 

You really learn a lot about how people like to be, to be seen or to become. You are their magic mirror. An invaluable insight if you ever wish to do something dramatic.

 

This is so much more than an industrial image film. Who never made weddings doesn't know.

 

Next step is editing all that. The first time you will curse the day you said 'I do it', and you rue to have followed Zach and me and not Moongoat and /p/.

 

The second time you will try to follow a concept.

 

The third time you will talk with the pair in advance, find funny stories, write down a draft. You will get your clients to accept that you keep it short, you will have enough experience to face difficult situations calmly. You will edit in one day, in a relaxed mood, seeing that your preparation fruited.

 

The fourth time you will say, allright, I like you, that's why I charge only $1000. 

 

 

And if you have improved your skills the first three times, you can actually enjoy it.

 

That was strangely beautiful.  Thanks.

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I started out with a GH2 and a 28-90mm Vivitar zoom, varifocal with manual focus and thought at the time I got some great, artistic results. Looking back its a mess: blurry, out of focus shots with a few seconds of usable footage. I edited together clips in slow motion and added music and the video became some sort of abstract memory of the event. The one thing that saved it was the interviews: after the ceremony when everything had calmed down I set up my tripod and shot two talking heads, one of the groom and one of the bride where I asked them how they first met. This spliced together with the ceremony in slow motion made them very happy!

Since that first shoot I've tried many different combos on the GH2 and found out two things: 1. SLR magic 12mm and voigtlander 25mm make for really good cinematic footage, switching lenses on the go, but its too slow to nail the shot if stuff happens fast. 2. Sony CX7xx series camcorders are a really nice option with incredible stabilization and a versatile zoom which is as good in low light as a 3.5 lens on the GH2. And clients actually prefers deep focus to shallow "I can't see grandma in the background" focus ;)

Make sure you have the high ground, either by stepping up on stuff or by getting a tall (2 meters) monopod. In the beginning I always cursed how stuff got in the way of a clean shot. My preferable combo these days is a Sony CX740 with a 64gb card, the largest VF100 7 hour battery and a DvTec Junior rig. Add a Zoom H1 close to the action and you're sorted.
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