I recently had the pleasure of photographing a wedding at the San Luis Resort in Galveston Texas. The weather was perfect, the bride was stunning, the groom handsome, and the entire event went off without a hitch. It was an awesome day, as all wedding days should be.
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I’m a list maker. This task helps me remember events, appointments, and what gear to take with me for various events like said wedding. As I reviewed my camera/lens list, I thought about how neat it might be to rent a really wide-angle lens to capture the guests, the ceremony, basically the whole wedding venue. So I went on to my favorite Lensrentals.com and reserved one Canon 14mm f2.8L II lens.
A couple of weeks later, as I was reviewing my gear list for the umpteenth time, the thought dawned on me that the two cameras I planned on utilizing during the ceremony would already each have a specific lens on them. Wedding ceremonies are one of those events that brook no do-overs of the day, and I sure as heck didn’t want to waste valuable time switching out lenses between the 14mm and one of the other two lenses (the Canon 24-70 f2.8L II and the Canon 70-200 f2.8L II). So, I went back to Lensrentals.com and decided this wedding might be a great opportunity (and also kind of fun) to try out the new Canon 6D full-frame camera onto which I would affix the 14mm and just leave it there.
Canon 6D Body
Ok, my bad: I did *not* think to take a photo of the 6D next to my 5D Mk III and 1-DX camera bodies. Mea culpa.
Out Of The Box:
· It takes a SD/SDHD card. Period. I figured as much, since Canon’s other small cameras have accepted only that particular type of memory card.
· Suffice it to say that the 6D is a little camera. It’s smaller than the 5D Mk III, and miniscule compared to the 1-DX. It fits my small hands perfectly, but I think anybody with larger hands might find it a little awkward to handle.
· The buttons on the camera back are positioned a little differently – I got a bit confused trying to find the delete button.
· The battery for this camera is the same as the battery for the 5D Mk II and the 5D Mk III (that was good, because I have a number of spares).
· It’s much quieter than my 5D III and literally silent compared to my 1-DX (one of the noisiest cameras I have ever used).
· It’s slow. Probably as fast as the 5D Mk II, but definitely slower than the 5D Mk III, so I don’t know that it would be so great for sports or wildlife action shots. If you used a flash, then sure it would probably be fine. Oh, and there is n0 built-in pop-up flash, btw.
· It’s got GPS and WiFi capabilities. I turned on the GPS menu function to tag my locations. I never used the WiFi function, but both are pretty neat, considering the lack of either on my other two cameras . I can’t believe the 1-DX doesn’t have at least GPS. Heck, for the amount of money I paid for that camera, it should be able to make me a cup of coffee in addition to taking pictures. .
· Because it is small, and because the 14mm lens is light and relatively small, too, the combo fit nicely into the Lowepro Slingshot 202 AW backpack I carried with me during the wedding day.
· The camera does a pretty good job with low-light situations but I still had to use noise-reduction software for those images.
· The AF points are like the 5D Mk II.
· It’s got in-camera HDR settings. Unfortunately, I could never get it to work correctly for me and I forgot to bring along the instruction booklet. Oh, and the 6D doesn’t let you make an HDR in Raw – it’s jpg only.
This is the kind of camera I would carry around with me in my purse. It would make a nice little back-up camera and would definitely make a great full-frame starter camera for someone wanting to make the leap to full-frame but not willing to fork over the dollars for a 5D Mk III or 1-DX. Of course, this camera doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that my other two cameras have, but this camera does have WiFi and GPS. The resolution is somewhere between the 1-DX and the 5D Mk III – well, allow me to amend that: the megapixel count is somewhere between those two cameras – resolution looks about the same what with all the improvements made to the newer digital SLRs nowadays. I don’t like the fewer number of AF points on this camera; I personally like the multitude of AF points of my 5D Mk III much better.
If you want a detailed review, try Ken Rockwell’s review (although I don’t always agree with everything he has to say about a camera or lens and I know some photographers get quite vitriolic over Mr. Rockwell’s reviews). DP Review also has a much more detailed, in-depth discussion of this camera which I really like. You can also check out Lensrentals.com’s short review of this camera.
Ok, so now, what did I think of the Canon 14mm f2.8 Lens?
I LOVE this lens! It’s fun! I have never used such a wide-angle lens before and I was able to get some funky shots with it on the 6D. I think I might have to rent this lens for one of my upcoming trips this year. The only caveat is that because of the curvature of the lens glass, I’ll have to use a special rear filter for any polarizer shots.
What is this lens like on a full-frame camera? You know the wording you see on a car’s passenger-side mirror: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”? Well, that’s true of the 14mm. I ’d have the camera/lens to my eye getting closer and closer to my subject, and when I’d bring the camera down from my face, I found I would be standing practically on top of my subject.
To get this shot above, I lay down on the dance floor (narrowly avoiding the feet of a couple of dancers) and aimed the camera up toward the bride, groom, the bride’s brother and his wife (who was also the bride’s matron of honor). Funny story which highlights the previous remark about objects being closer than they look. I was on the floor, snapping away and all of a sudden this little face looms large in my lensview. The bride’s 7-year old daughter was looking down at me intently (her face must have been practically on top of mine) and finally she said “Hey, did you know your face is red?!” LOL. I was hot and sweating, so I’ll bet my face was, indeed, red.
There is no image stabilization with this lens, so my modus operandi was to aim, focus, and hold down on that shutter button for 4-5 shots in succession. Of course, in good lighting (like outdoor lighting or flash), any lens shake shouldn’t be a problem as long as the shutter speed is high enough or the aperture is bumped up.
The color, clarity, and depth of images produced by this lens are really sweet. Take a look for yourself!
This is an HDR image of my hotel room at the San Luis. For this, I had attached the lens to my Canon 5D Mk III because I wanted to use a tripod and this camera had the L-bracket to fit onto my tripod. I had forgotten to bring a tripod plate for the 6D. Oh well, that was the only thing I forgot, so I was doing pretty well.
The resort’s entryway
Right outside of the resort’s glass-enclosed entryway
The bride’s procession down the rose petal-strewn grass aisle
The Officiant presenting the bride to the groom
Ceremony over. Cameras and cameraphones pulled out!
The reception hall
I’ll have a separate blog about my wedding session and the gear/lighting equipment I used for that day. Stay tuned!