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Equipment Wedding photography and equipment dilemma...

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Cyprio, 11 Mar 2009.

  1. Cyprio

    Cyprio G5 Supermodder

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    Right here's my current dilemma…My brother is getting married in the summer and I have offered to do the wedding snaps, along with a good friend of mine. The wedding with be in Cyprus so we are looking at lots of sunlight during the day, a darker church in the late afternoon and a very dark dinner hall in the evening.

    I currently shoot with a D80 and have the following lenses:

    Nikon 50mm 1.8
    Sigma 18-50mm 2.8
    Sigma 50-150mm 2.8
    Sigma 10-20mm

    I have been saving up and probably have around £1500 to play with currently but could potentially go up to £2000 if I really squeezed things. The question I put to you guys is do I spend it all on some more top notch glass and use the D80 with a flash in the evening (saving some cash) or do I flog everything and invest in a D90/300/700 and stick to one top notch zoom the whole day?

    In terms of general camera usage wedding aside I would say I am a learning amateur, getting out about 2/3 times a month – hence think the D700 might be slightly overkill…

    Any ideas/suggestions welcome – especially from people out there who regularly shoot weddings.

    Thanks
     
  2. Atomic

    Atomic Gerwaff

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    Do you have any experience shooting weddings?

    I hate to say it, but your brothers wedding is a very special day to him and his soon-to-be wife and amateur photos aren't going to be the best way for him to remember it by.
     
  3. Cyprio

    Cyprio G5 Supermodder

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    :) Very good point. Had this discussion and they are OK with me doing it based on what they know of my experience and their civil wedding that i also shot.
     
  4. Darkened

    Darkened What's a Dremel?

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    Don't know about Nikon equipment too much, except for camera bodies.

    So, a possible scenario could be the D300 and your existing D80 as a backup/second body. Mount a fast prime to one and a decent zoom lens to the other. This way you won't have to change lenses and possibly miss some crucial situation. And of course with two cameras, you'll look professional :hehe:

    That would probably the way I'd go, cause let's face it, the D300 is a really good camera. Even for low-light shooting (of course the D700 would be better, but also much more expensive and as you said, a bit overkill). It will also be a good camera in a few years and if you're still long for that FF goodness then, then upgrade again (probably to a much better body than the D700 is now).

    This is about how I'd handle the situation and in fact I'm going to shoot a wedding in June myself, with Olympus stuff though. I'm thinking about getting the E-3 so that combined with my present E-520 with similar zoom/prime setup would be my choice for that.

    Darkened
     
  5. NzC

    NzC What's a Dremel?

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    I have to point out that you should NOT go with the D700 and your current glass. Two of your sigmas are DX lenses and so you would only be getting 5MP out of the D700....really silly IMO. The D300 would be a great investment but not necessary. I shot a friends wedding this summer with a D200 digital and a film body for some B/W. The D80 is going to get you results close to the D200 (in my experience). You might actually be better served picking up 2 SB-800s (or an 800 and a 600) for the low light. That way you can have one on camera (commander) and one off camera for nicer light.


    Just my 2 cents. Good luck. I dont shoot weddings except for friends. They are fun because you know them and therefore know the moments which will be great captures and important to them.
     
  6. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    or 3.

    Learn how to use CLS, and it will serve you better then changing all your kit. Buying all new stuff won't make you a wedding photog over night. At this point, your time is better spent on learning how to use what you have properly and what to look for in a wedding. Then learn how to add that pop you can get with better light. Call the church and ask if you will be allowed to use flash during the ceremony. Then see if you can get into a few churches and pre light the alter, if you will be allowed to. Then learn how to light a reception hall after you find out where it will be, and hopefully see a few images of it.

    I won't lie, I think this is a bad Idea. All to often I hear about people that thought they were ok with a family member doing the wedding, and then end up unhappy. It's a special time and wedding photogs are a breed apart. There is a reason they charge what they do. You're about to find that out. Personally, I wouldn't shoot a wedding if you put a gun to my head. But I do wish you the best of luck.
     
  7. Cyprio

    Cyprio G5 Supermodder

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. All food for thought.

    Darkened: Yes, i was going down the line of having a nice sharp prime on one and a mid zoom on the other. Still toying with the idea of a film body for B&W.

    NzC: Totally agree with the D700 and current glass. Flash is also something i am currently getting into. I would go for a 28-70 or 24-70 if i decide to break the bank. Refurbished D300s (with warranty) are coming onto the market for around £800 so not a bad investment i guess. I like the idea of film for B&W - I have a small Contax G1 rangefinder that i use occasionally for B&W thats very sharp or i might get a used F100 body for my 50mm.

    Johnny: Thanks for the warning - i might have another chat to them but i am pretty sure they trust me and want to save cash. :) I will definitely be looking into flash and the CLS. I have been to loads of weddings in Cyprus and they do generally light the alter with studio lights but its really intrusive and would much rather be disctrete as im sure my bro would want me to be as well. Planning is a huge part of it i know... luckily i will have easy access to the hotel where it will be as my uncle's the manager. :)

    Edit: I would also add that i am shocked by the number of crap 'pro' wedding photographers out there - do a google and see for yourself!
     
  8. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I'm sorry, but I don't understand what is so magical about the D300.

    Have you considered the D90? I know it is very close to your currrent model but if your only consideration of the D300 is low-light performance, then the D90 should do just as well.

    I agree with Johnny here about the flash lighting. My advice on what to invest in always favors investing in quality glass and lighting. I've wasted a lot of money thinking otherwise.

    Get to the venue as soon as possible, don't assume you can sort it out with just an hour head start. Get in there as soon as possible, (a day early would be great if possible given your inexperience) set up some lighting and figure out what works and take detailed notes. Stake out where you are going to be during crucial parts of the ceremony and don't forget that there will be people in the sanctary during the real deal. If you nail the ceremony you can be forgiven for fudging the reception, etc.
     
  9. Atomic

    Atomic Gerwaff

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    Are they having a wedding rehersal? If so it's going to be useful for you...
     
  10. Cyprio

    Cyprio G5 Supermodder

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    Agree about investing in quality glass - it will keep. :)

    Since posting above i have found out that i can most likely borrow a D90 for the day so that should sort out the second body. I'm currently toying with the idea of investing in a Nikkor 17-55 (around £550-600) for use on the D90 and having the 50-150mm on the D80.

    My mate will be helping me out with a Canon 40D and hopefully some L glass so still need to discuss that.

    Preparation is key and i will have a week beforehand to visit, scout around and go through the day with them. I have also been recommended a good book. :)

    Have i missed anything?!

    Cyp.
     
  11. Silver51

    Silver51 I cast flare!

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    If you're passing a Waterstones/library, have a look at a book called How to Photograph Absolutely Everything by Tom Ang. It's aimed at creative compacts and prosumers but has basic techniques on how to shoot different events... including a section on weddings.
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2009
  12. whisperwolf

    whisperwolf What's a Dremel?

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    and also check out Scott Kelby's books The Digital Photography Book vol 1 and Vol 2, both have good tips on wedding shooting, including the top tip of don't do it :D

    what about the nikon 70-200 f2.8 vr or the 50mm f1.4

    Good luck your a braver man than me
     
  13. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter Minimodder

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    I'd go with the 24-70 and the 85 1.8. You could use the 85 1.8 for the portraits, and the 24-70 for the church shots.
     
  14. Sifter3000

    Sifter3000 I used to be somebody

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    I've shot a couple of weddings for impoverished friends, and used the 85mm 1.8 - it's an excellent lens for a wedding as you can grab lovely portrait shots from a decent distance and thus get people looking natural (this one and this one are good examples of the way it delivers a great combo of sharp details and soft DOF/bokeh). In my experience, it was the shots I did like this that the couples really liked, rather than the posed stuff.

    I'd echo what others have said here about investing in quality glass rather than a new body - I'd also say that you don't want to be carting tons of lenses around. Weddings are long days, and if you're the photog you're on your feet for a long time, and not necessarily wearing the most comfortable clothes. Have two or three lenses you really know well - at certain points (the vows, the kiss, the speeches) you don't always have a lot of time to get set up and take the shot, and so being able to know "right, the 85 1.8 is ideal for this" is much better than opening your bag and spending minutes umming and arring over your kit.
     
  15. Cyprio

    Cyprio G5 Supermodder

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    I just cant bring myself to spend over a grand on a lens... :( Even if it is one of the best zooms out there. :) The 85 1.8 is viable however. I have used a 1.4 before and just loved the bokeh. As far as i know the 1.4 doesn't have quite the same creamyness but it looks pretty close.
     
  16. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I use the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and the nikkor 35-70 f2.8 (I got it for a bargain on ebay). Either of those could serve a a viable option. Neither equals nikon's 24-70 in terms of sharpness but they could serve as a good compromise.
     
  17. M_D_K

    M_D_K Minimodder

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    Don't know how serious your brothers wedding is but, I shot my brothers wedding last year. With a 350D 50f1.8, 28-135 IS & a 430EX.

    I got some good photos for being so new into the tog world, if I got the chance to do it again I now have far better glass which helps but most of all I think I have a lot more experience and knowledge then anything else.
    I have to say though there was a rather nice Field next to the reception which I had a Tripod set up and then took all the normal guest portraits etc... and it was very sunny day which helped.

    Sidenote - Bros wedding was done on the cheap its 1 day ffs its not that special imo & his and hers, total cost of the wedding inc reception and dinner £1500 :) bargain :p.
     
  18. Cyprio

    Cyprio G5 Supermodder

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    I actually had a 35-70mm till quite recently but sold it on as it had a fair amount of haze on the rear element so got sold it on (letting people know of condition of course!). Also probably not wide enough on a crop body for a wedding?

    M_D_K: Encouraging to hear! :) Preparation will be key i reckon.
     
  19. M_D_K

    M_D_K Minimodder

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    Preparation is all you need :), as above make sure you can get to the venue before hand depending on the venue be it church or reception room there should be a place for you to stand and get set up, I've not been to a church wedding so don't know the space but the reception had plenty of room around the seating area to stand and take shots but only till all the vows and such.

    Good luck mate and all you can do is your best :) if they wanted some pro photos then they should bite the bullet, if they are after some memories then I think some candid photography is fine :), photos only jog the memory they do not contain it :).
     
  20. Cyprio

    Cyprio G5 Supermodder

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    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    Just thought i'd let people know that in the end i stumbled across a great deal on a minty D300 and 17-55mm that i just couldnt refuse. :D It's in a league of it's own compared to the D80!! Very sharp lens as well. :)
     

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