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Hi Pat, thank you for your service here. I am in need of help in choosing camera lens, as I'm a newbie to photography. I mainly do video semi-professional wedding work. Now planning to do some wedding photography...I just got the canon 70D with the kit lense 18-135mm STM F3.5-5.6 and wondering what is the best option in terms of having few lense and meeting the most needs while having sharper pics (I guess a better balance without having to change lense often). I will also be using this camera as 2nd camera for videography as well (most likely not at the same wedding).

So right now, it's important to have good low light performance, good depth of field effect ..and some wide angle shots at the beginning or end of the wedding for poses. I will also be traveling this summer and thought wide angle would play well for that too. My budget is $2000 unless there is a very good reason to go higher, then I don't mind.  

1) CANON EF-S 10-22MM 3.5-4.5 USM LENS -$650
http://www.henrys.com/23933-CANON-EF-S-10-22MM-3-5-4-5-USM-LENS.aspx
2) SIGMA 18-35MM F1.8 (no IS)  -$850
http://www.henrys.com/78701-SIGMA-18-35MM-F1-8-DC-CANON-LENS-ART.aspx

3) CANON EF-S 17-55MM F2.8 IS USM LENS -$950
http://www.henrys.com/23935-CANON-EF-S-17-55MM-F2-8-IS-USM-LENS.aspx

4) SIGMA OS 70-200MM F2.8 EX DG HSM CANON -$1200
http://www.henrys.com/60469-SIGMA-OS-70-200MM-F2-8-EX-DG-HSM-CANON.aspx
5) CANON EF 70-200MM F2.8L IS II USM LENS -$2,200
http://www.henrys.com/59117-CANON-EF-70-200MM-F2-8L-IS-II-USM-LENS.aspx

So, when I was at the camera shop, they recommended #1 for wide, and #5 for all time usage
what do you think? Also, is it worth getting extended warranty on camera lens?

Sorry for the very long message, but wanted explain this fully..and your help will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks very much!!

Answer
Hello, Ramesh,

I am not familiar with Canon equipment. I have used only Pentax. So I am unable to offer you specific recommendations for which lenses you should buy. That said, I can offer you some suggestions on how to get the information you need. You can take the name of each lens and use it as a search term. Locate reviews on the lens, and then read them. Most reviews that are on review sites are done by experts familiar with the product line. Some people offer reviews on other sites, and they are simply giving their personal opinion about the lens, but their views can be valuable, too. If I want to know about a piece of equipment, this is what I do.

For wedding photography, you won't necessarily want a lot of depth of field. It depends on what you are shooting at the moment. Sometimes the background can be distracting and you want to minimize it. Other times you want it to be as much in focus as the people. But having the capability to get good depth of field is certainly worth having.

I am unaware of any Canon lenses that can be used on Pentax, so I have no experience with them. However, I have several Sigma lenses, and have been pleased with them. Please keep in mind that these days, many lenses are made in Asia, and the company simply buys something from Asia and puts its brand on it. I think for at least one of my Sigma lenses, this is the case. There are always trade-offs. I have one lens that I find very useful, for example, for bird photography because it zooms from 650mm to 1300mm. It tends to have fringing when I am shooting against a bright sky. But otherwise, it makes very nice pictures, and is easy to do a fine-tune focus, though I have to use my eye (the camera usually won't give me an indication the scene is in focus at such a distance), and bracket with focus, to get a sharp picture that I will have to crop significantly. Its advantages include the fact it weighs only 4.4 pounds and it cost me less than $300. With the light weight, in good light where I can use a fast shutter speed, I can hand-hold it. Its disadvantages are that it has a variable aperture, so I can't stop it down and it is not the highest quality. So this should give you some idea of what I mean.

A wide angle lens will give better depth of field, and as a general rule, at a wedding you can get close to your subject, so that using one will be appropriate. Your low-level light will be during the ceremony as a general rule, and you won't be able to use flash. Consider increasing the ISO setting on your camera for those scenes. The trade-off there is that the picture will have more grain. A wide angle lens will also usually take less light for a good exposure. The tube of a zoom lens does darken the picture. Looking at the first two you are considering, I don't know if you need a lens as wide as the Canon. It depends on how large the sensor is, and other things like that. It looks like a slower lens. If I had to choose between them, I'd choose the Sigma in that case, based on those considerations, but still make sure if you like the reviews. You can also get an extender you can use to get closer to your subjects if you want, but it will also cut down on available light. The third lens looks like it would somewhat duplicate what you already have, and if you get one of the other two lenses, that should cover the rest of the range, so you wouldn't need the third lens. With a budget of $2000, your final choice looks a bit pricey, and if the Sigma will perform reasonably well, I would choose it because the Canon is so expensive. You also need to keep in mind that with a brand like Canon, you are partly paying for the NAME, which doesn't mean the equipment is necessarily superior and worth the extra cost.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your shooting! You might want to take a look at the expertise of other experts here, and see who might have Canon knowledge as well.

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Pat G

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I can answer questions about the artistic aspects of photography, and tricks for shooting landscape, scenic, macro, and animal photography. I am familiar with Pentax SLR cameras, both film and digital. I have also done work in urban photography and creative photography, and I am familiar with creative uses of filters and lenses. I am familiar with composition and color theory, and know how to make use of light. I can answer questions about things like lightning photography and moon photography. I spend time studying the techniques of the well known photographers. I work exclusively in color. Although I travel anywhere and everywhere in pursuit of landscape and scenic photography, my main area of expertise is the American southwest, and I am familiar with many scenic areas. I also have familiarity with the plants of the Sonoran Desert, having studied not only their appearance but also their uses, including ethnobotany. See my educational credentials for other art that I do.

Experience

I have spent the last ten years as a semi-professional photographer, selling my work on the internet, and having won international honors. The gallery of my most recent work, where I usually post frequently is http://patgoltz.deviantart.com/ I will take questions about how I did various photographs.

Education/Credentials
The first prize I won for my art was when I was in third grade. I have a bachelor's degree in art from Ohio Dominican University, where I learned mainly ceramics and glaze calculation. I have also done various kinds of fiber arts. In addition, I do digital landscapes, abstracts, and fractal art.

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