What's the ideal setup for Wedding photography?


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shmott

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HI guys,
Just interested to know whats the ideal setup for being a wedding phtographer? Im currently using Nikon F70.Just curious what else i need to have.Thanks.
 

Jed

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There really isn't an "ideal" setup. It's whatever does the job that you're comfortable with.
 

shmott

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Hmm... i mean personal preferences.. like what u use if you shoot wedding? lens especially
 

ckiang

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Originally posted by shmott
Hmm... i mean personal preferences.. like what u use if you shoot wedding? lens especially
Personally, I use a F100 + Nikkor AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5. Useable, but something to the likes of a 28-70/2.8 would be a better choice as it's "faster".

A good flash is a must too, unless you shoot on film that is faster than ISO 800. For that, a SB28, SB28DX or SB80DX is a very good choice. F70 should be able to do it, after all, I've even covered friend's weddings with a humble FE.

Film wise, my personal favourite is Fuji's NPH 400. Gives smooth, pleasant skin tones, has a wide exposure latitude, very fine grain and can hold detail pretty well in both highlight and shadow areas.

For a faster film, you can try Press 800 (note: I have not tried this on a wedding yet).

Regards
CK
 

Darren

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Agree with ckiang - moderate wide-angle to tele zooms work very well for weddings.

I have shot using 35-70f/3.5 (with a 28mm prime as backup) as well as with a 28-105f/3.5.

Not really necessary to have a fast f/2.8 zoom either as most of the time, you would be at f/5.6 or slower; and would be using flash 95% of the time (except for the obligatory outdoor car shots).
 

ckiang

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Originally posted by Darren
Agree with ckiang - moderate wide-angle to tele zooms work very well for weddings.

I have shot using 35-70f/3.5 (with a 28mm prime as backup) as well as with a 28-105f/3.5.

Not really necessary to have a fast f/2.8 zoom either as most of the time, you would be at f/5.6 or slower; and would be using flash 95% of the time (except for the obligatory outdoor car shots).
Advantage of having fast zooms and primes is that you can lower the ratio of flash vs ambient lighting. This gives a much more natural effect.

Regards
CK
 

Larry

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i usually switch to nikkor 24mm f/2.8 for those table group shots, which comes in useful especially in cramped table arrangements. i've previously used a 28mm telezoom before and sometimes i have trouble squeezing all the people at the table into the frame, especially with large families...

just my 2 cents... :D
 

skf

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The 24 mm end of the Nikon 24-120 would be quite handy for the cramped table shot.

Also, a Quantum Turbo battery so that the flash recharges fast so as not to miss any shots. Use rechargeables for your flash, that helps for a quicker flash recharge too

Apart from that, it would be good to carry backup equipment just in case Murphy 's Law strikes..

And add a good dose of tact, patience and diplomacy - sometimes you do run into guests who are extremely inconsiderate
 

Jed

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Well I use a whole range of equipment. I reiterate again that the "ideal" setup is what works for you. For example, while I use what I use, for someone else the ideal might be a camera with 28-200mm zoom.

The following is a list of equipment that I have used at weddings or intend to use at my next wedding.

F5
D1
D1x
14mm
17-35mm
28-70mm
80-200mm
85mm
300mm
Metz 45CT4
SB28
SB28DX

Personally all those lenses have constant f2.8 maximum apertures, except for the 85mm which has a 1.4 maximum aperture. To me, I need the ability to play with DOF, as well as to shoot with more ambient light or solely with ambient light.

Alternatively, I also run with a medium format setup at times.

ETRsi
40mm
75mm
150mm
Metz 45CT4

If you asked me to put down a dream list of what I'd want to cover a wedding, I wouldn't know what to put in. Everything is a compromise. I'd probably lean towards a trio of f1.4 prime lenses, but there is also something to be said for zooms. A fast zoom is halfway between wide range and fast aperture.
 

rochkoh

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oh gosh! i certainly hope you don't intend to carry all these equipment along with you on every wedding shoot. I mean part and parcel of wedding photography is being able to capture that fleeting/magic/precious few moments. Wouldn't luggin' these around be more of a burden than anything else? But hey, if you feel comfortable with that, i will stand corrected.

:)

personally, and from the comparatively sparse experience that i have, i feel that shmott's F70 would make an excellent camera. he might want buy/beg/borrow/steal a decent bounce flash, get some spare batteries, lotsa film and he's on his way.

unfortunately there was no mention of his shots being indoor or outdoor.. both might require slightly different setups/film etc.

much might also depend on the type of shots he intends to take. ie. style. traditional VS photojournalistic VS streetphotography etc. heck, you might even decide to use only Tri-X. :) and that might work for some.


most importantly, enjoy your shoot!

:D
 

Larry

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fwah Jed you are one scary photographer... you've got the most equipment i've ever seen. hopefully some day i'll have close to the same setup... *dreaming dreaming dreaming...* :D
 

T

Trevor_Tan

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Originally posted by ckiang


Advantage of having fast zooms and primes is that you can lower the ratio of flash vs ambient lighting. This gives a much more natural effect.

Regards
CK
This is what I want to achive but how do u acturally do that? Can it be done in camera's auto mode (P), and aperture proity mode (AP)? Cos Even in AP mode, the aperture also can't seem to be able to change with flash mounted. Is there a max or min aperture limited when a flash is on?
When you meter the scene, do you meter it with flash on or off? Cos with flash on, the shutter will stuck between 1/125 to 1/30 (or 1/60 can't remember), and the reading seem very funny to me.
Still lots of training and learning for me.
 

ckiang

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Originally posted by Trevor_Tan


This is what I want to achive but how do u acturally do that? Can it be done in camera's auto mode (P), and aperture proity mode (AP)? Cos Even in AP mode, the aperture also can't seem to be able to change with flash mounted. Is there a max or min aperture limited when a flash is on?
When you meter the scene, do you meter it with flash on or off? Cos with flash on, the shutter will stuck between 1/125 to 1/30 (or 1/60 can't remember), and the reading seem very funny to me.
Still lots of training and learning for me.
I never use [P]. :p

If you are using something like an F80/90/90X/100/5, the camera will automatically communicate the aperture to the flash and set it there as well.

In A mode (on the camera), you can still set whatever aperture you want to use. Shutter speed will be locked at 1/60 ~ 1/250 (for a F100) depending on lighting condition, but will usually be at 1/60 if indoors. Activating slow sync/rear curtain sync will allow it to be dropped way below.

What I do normally is meter the scene with the flash off. This will give a reading of say 1/15 @ f/4 @ ISO 320. Now, if you set to M mode on the camera and set 1/60 @ f/4 @ ISO 320, and set the flash to Matrix Balanced TTL flash, you should get a very pleasing balance. As long as the ambient exposure is not more than about 2 stops below flash exposure, the light balance will be pretty good, and Nikon's TTL system will handle the exposure very well.

If ambient exposure is > 2 stops from the flash exposure you're using, the resultant pic may be a little harsher (coz background will be dark).

Regards
CK
 

shmott

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Hi ckiang,
So you mean always set 2 stop (shuttle speed?) compared to the metered settings?

Matt
 

T

Trevor_Tan

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Originally posted by shmott
Hi ckiang,
So you mean always set 2 stop (shuttle speed?) compared to the metered settings?

Matt
I think shutter speed is quite limited to 1/60~1/125 (for F80) so you may need to change the Aperture also in order to maintain the 2 stop different?

But what 1 stop mean? To what I know, 1 stop a 1 step change in either shutter speed or aperture size?

e.g:
f4@1/30@ISO400 -> f4@1/45@ISO400 is -1 stop
f4@1/30@ISO400 -> f4.8@1/30@ISO400 is -1 stop
f4@1/30@ISO400 -> f4.8@1/45@ISO400 is -2 stop
f4@1/30@ISO400 -> f4.8@1/20@ISO400 is 0 stop different

Am I on the right track?
 

ckiang

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Originally posted by shmott
Hi ckiang,
So you mean always set 2 stop (shuttle speed?) compared to the metered settings?

Matt
Suppose without flash, your ambient exposure is 1/15 at f/4. Obviously you can't hand hold that, so you set it to 1/60 at f/4 and turn on your flash, and let the flash handle the exposure. The film will still be able to record the background properly despite being 2-stop underexposed now. The less the difference between flash and ambient exposure, the more natural it will be.

Regards
CK
 

ckiang

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Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

I think shutter speed is quite limited to 1/60~1/125 (for F80) so you may need to change the Aperture also in order to maintain the 2 stop different?

But what 1 stop mean? To what I know, 1 stop a 1 step change in either shutter speed or aperture size?

e.g:
f4@1/30@ISO400 -> f4@1/45@ISO400 is -1 stop
f4@1/30@ISO400 -> f4.8@1/30@ISO400 is -1 stop
f4@1/30@ISO400 -> f4.8@1/45@ISO400 is -2 stop
f4@1/30@ISO400 -> f4.8@1/20@ISO400 is 0 stop different

Am I on the right track?
Not quite.

1/30 @ f4 to 1/45 @ f4 is only 1/2 stop. 1 stop will be 1/60.
1/30 @ f/4 to 1/30 @ f/4.8 is also not -1 stop but -0.5 stop
1/30 @ f4 to 1/45 @ f/4.8 is not -2 stop but -1 stop
1/30 @ f4 to 1/20 @ f/4.8 is 0 stop difference.

Regards
CK
 

T

Trevor_Tan

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Originally posted by ckiang


Not quite.

1/30 @ f4 to 1/45 @ f4 is only 1/2 stop. 1 stop will be 1/60.
1/30 @ f/4 to 1/30 @ f/4.8 is also not -1 stop but -0.5 stop
1/30 @ f4 to 1/45 @ f/4.8 is not -2 stop but -1 stop
1/30 @ f4 to 1/20 @ f/4.8 is 0 stop difference.

Regards
CK
Thanks CK, I get it now.
So I suppose every step change in the shutter or aperture size in F80 is only 1/2 a stop rather then 1 stop.
 

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