First Real Photo Job, need advice on what equipment to rent

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by jonahr, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. jonahr

    jonahr TPF Noob!

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    Hello all, I was just offered my first real paying photo job. I will be shooting a Bar Mitzvah in early march. The client would like me to shoot the ceremony itself with the stipulation that i do not move around and do not use flash. She also wants me to shoot candids at a family luncheon at her house afterwards and then candids at the party that night. No formal portraiture is involved. For the ceremony itself i was thinking about renting the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR. My real question comes for shooting the luncheon and the party. I am unsure on whether or not i will be able to use flash at the luncheon. At the party i will certainly be able to. I want to have the most natural/soft light possible with on camera flash, what would you reccomend? Additionally, Can anyone reccomend a fast zoom with a focal range of something like 18-70? Lastly, I have a D80, given that i will primarily be shooting in relatively low light, do you think it would be worth it for me to rent something like a D700 or D3 that will be better at high ISOs?


    Thanks!
    -Jonah
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My first thought is that if you have to ask questions like this, are you really ready to be accepting paying work? That aside, I would suggest that the ideal set-up would be 2 D3/D700 bodies, one with 24-70 2.8 and the other with 70-200 2.8, and both with SB-6/8/900. Now, the question is: Is this commission worth the cost or renting that much gear? Could you do it with a single D80? Your D80 might do the job, but I'm not familiar enough with the high-ISO performance to say for sure.

    In any event: Good luck!
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A backup camera is a must for a job like this.

    A 70-200 F2.8 VR would be a great lens for shooting a ceremony with no flash. I'm not sure how well the D80 is at high ISO...but you may need to shoot at ISO 800 or 1600. But really, everything depends on where you are allowed to shoot from and what the lighting conditions are.

    For the luncheon and party, you will probably be OK with whatever 'normal range' lens you have, provided you are allowed to use flash. If you are indoors, I'd point the camera mounted flash up to the ceiling for nice soft light. You could add something like a bounce card, Omnibounce or Lightsphere if you like.
     
  4. bwlergh

    bwlergh TPF Noob!

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    Go out to the venue before hand at the same time of day you will be shooting, check out what the lighting is like and whether your D80 will scrub up alright. If not, hire a D700 as your primary and use the D80 as your secondary.

    D80 is not very good for shooting in low light, it comes out with incredible amount of noise even on ISO 400.

    If you can't afford (or it's not worth) hiring the D700, get a tripod and shoot at slower shutter speeds.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Couple of problems with this: (1) Even if tripods are allowed, they're often difficult to position in this type of venue, and frequently get in the way. (2) assuming that you need a tripod to compensate for slower shutter speeds, this means that you're probably shooting below 1/60 of a second. At these speeds, you're going to see lack of sharpness / blur from movement.
     
  6. jonahr

    jonahr TPF Noob!

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    I will probably be shooting with a tripod or at least a monopod, as they want me not to move during the ceremony itself, and i will be shooting with the 70-200 and yeah, slow shutter speeds would solve one problem but create another
     
  7. bwlergh

    bwlergh TPF Noob!

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    They won't be running circles around the photographer! I've shot live bands at 1/60 and my photos turned out fine (even when the lead singer was bouncing all over the stage).

    jonahr, I think it's a wise decision to go with the tripod/monopod option.

    :wink:
     
  8. Holy Ghosted

    Holy Ghosted TPF Noob!

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    Ok I would like to point out a few things to help your decision.
    The First is that you should never use unfamiliar equipment at a paying job. It just leaves to much open for error and spending to much time looking for functions and so on. So I you plan on renting do so with enough time that you know the new equipment as good if not better then your D80 That may take a week or two. The next thing is you should not shoot below a 60th of a sec. no matter what the advice you get that a tripod / mono pod will help they only help for movement on the cameras end.
    Here is a photo of a singer semi low light at 1/100 and if you click on the image you can see that there is motion blur. So this would not be a great candidate for a large print.

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    Most of the time renting equipment only pays off if you need to cover a piece of equipment of yours that is in repair, using it to review it for purchase,. As for trying our new equipment that you are not familiar with is not always a good Idea. However I do think a D700/D3 would give better results then the D80 even if you are not as familiar with them. It is hard for me to believe that this job could pay enough to cover all the equipment you need to rent as well as all of your expenses and add some profit to boot. from what I have seen so far you would need to be getting around $2,000 + for the day.
    I hope this is helpful and not taken in a discouraging way.
    Corey
     
  9. jonahr

    jonahr TPF Noob!

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    I could rent an SB-800, the 70-200 f/2.8, a D700, a 17-55 f/2.8 and a 50mm f/2.8 for about 500 dollars for a week. I will probably end up renting all of the above minus the D700, the synagogue is well lit enough that light should not be an issue
     
  10. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well with all of that for a week, That would give you time to get acclimated to the new equipment. If you use a tripod make sure it has a ball head and quick release.
     
  11. jonahr

    jonahr TPF Noob!

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    I was thinking i'd use the flash on a bracket, anyone here have one they particuarly like?
     
  12. Sarah23

    Sarah23 TPF Noob!

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    I would strongly recommend you not doing this if you are not already prepared. New situation, new equipment....not just a good combo. I would not shoot something like this unless you have second shot events or weddings. There are no do-overs. You will not get sharp images if you are shooting wide upen, at those lower shutter speeds if people are moving....or at least very few. If you arent very very familiar with your equipment, have backup equipment (this includes lenses, camera body, and flashes), its not a smart thing to do. You are just asking for something to go wrong, and everything to be missed.

    JMO
     

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