In my very hectic wedding photography business, I use advanced equipment to achieve the results my clients demand. I use a 6 x4.5 cm digital single lens reflex camera and a number of expensive lenses. Most of the lenses are imported from Germany and are very high end. I insist on lenses that meet the highest standards of optical lens design and engineering. The lenses I buy were built without cost constraints, which is why they are so expensive, but as they say, you get what you pay for.
I look for top performance in my lenses, including:
- Highest image quality: they factor in a number of parameters within the lens designs, such as modulation transfer function, encircled energy, Strehl ratio, reflection control and aberration control.
- Best physical performance: I demand light weight yet extremely rugged designs. The lenses need to be small and properly weighted for my camera.
- Sturdiness: my lenses must stand up to harsh environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures, high humidity or rain, vibrations, pressure and electromagnetic radiation.
My clients often express particular requirements that call for some lens other than my old standby. One couple insisted that all of the pictures be taken with a fisheye lens! After several rounds of negotiation, they agreed to allow me to take half of the pictures with a normal lens. Needless to say, they were so incredibly relieved when they saw the results that they paid me double my fee.
Another client wanted the wedding to take place in a swimming pool. Luckily, my camera is waterproof and I was able to locate a waterproof lens as well. While optical quality was not at the pinnacle of performance, it was certainly good enough for this job. The bride and groom were dressed in traditional garb, but were married standing in three feet of water. To this day I cannot understand the motivation, but everyone was quite happy with the pictures.
The wildest shoot I ever did was a skydive wedding. The bride, groom and a rabbi were each hooked up to a professional skydiver. Since I already have a lot of experience in this area (thank you, Marine Corps! ) I was a natural for the job. I knew the shot distances would vary wildly, so I mounted my telephoto zoom lens and jumped out a second before everyone else. I must have taken 200 shots before we all landed safely, and it was a first-class hoot. The pictures came out great because I was able to quickly adjust the zoom to fill the frame. That has got to be my favorite lens!