New set-up

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jor133d, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. jor133d

    jor133d TPF Noob!

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    Ok, let pretend here. You are the salesman at the camera store. I just walked in and I am looking for a professional set-up (but I have a lower budget, I’m a college student). As a salesperson with experience taking photos personally, what would you recommend to me for a set-up to purchase? and why? I will primarily be focused on weddings and graduation portraits.

    Thanks,
    Jordan
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    What do you mean by 'set-up'? Are you looking for a Camera? Lights?

    What's you experience level? What have you used in the past and what do you have now?

    Lower budget...lower than what? The cost of a house, a car or a big mac? ;)
     
  3. jor133d

    jor133d TPF Noob!

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    what I mean by set-up is camera and lighting. I am assuming the lighting for documenting a wedding would be more of just advanced flashes.

    I don't have a lot of expirence. I have been using a point and shoot camera as a hobby. I would just like to expand on my hobby and have good enough equipment for the wedding photos that a friend asked me to do.

    http://destreedesign.com/blog/index.php?showimage=7

    What I mean by lower budget, $2000 or less. Is that's possible.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I assume you are thinking about digital...but perhaps a 35mm film SLR?

    Most wedding photographers that I see now...shoot with digital SLR camera...and those aren't cheap.

    The thing about shooting weddings...is that they are once in a life-time events...or at least they should be. Which means there there is very little margin for error by the photographer. I would never recommend for someone to shoot a wedding without at least two cameras, two flashes, two lenses (don't have to be the same, but at least two that can be used in most situations). Then there are all the other things like film or digital memory...that you will need plenty of. Extra batteries, cords and anything else that may run out or stop working for no apparent reason.

    As for lenses...in good lighting, most lenses will be sufficient...but you can't be guaranteed good lighting...or even that you will allowed to use flash. In which case you will need 'fast' lenses (big maximum aperture). Prime (non-zoom) lenses usually have large maximum apertures...but zoom lenses with big apertures are quite expensive.

    So getting around to my point (if I have one)...you could buy some decent gear and shoot your friend's wedding for $2000...but it's not something I would recommend. Buying new (& unfamiliar) gear, just to shoot a wedding...is also something I would not recommend. Even if you have all the best gear...shooting a wedding is not something to be taken lightly...it can be a very stressful undertaking. Do you have any experience in this area?

    That being said...back to the question. What kind of camera are you looking for? A digital SLR?
     
  5. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, for lower budget but high quality, film is really the way to go.

    I'd recommend a Pentax K1000, an L flash bracket, a Pentax 50mm f/2 lens, a Vivitar 2800 flash, and a 28-105mm zoom lens. You can probably get a setup like this on ebay for around $200. With a high quality digital setup? Not bloody likely.

    Last but not least, read a good book on general photography, including the technical and composition aspects. If you are coming from a point & shoot, you likely don't know much about exposure, lighting, etc.
     
  6. jor133d

    jor133d TPF Noob!

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    I want Digital. Any suggestions with digital?
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    OK. I'm going to recommend a Digital SLR camera. They are almost always much better and certainly more versatile than a non-DSLR camera...especially if you want to get into this business.

    I'll concentrate on Canon, because that's what I know...but the other brands are good as well. Go to a store and hold them, see which feels best to you.

    The Canon DSLR cameras start with the Rebel XTi (400D) and the next model up is the 30D. Either camera will allow for great image quality, so it may be better to get the lower model and put money toward other pieces of the kit. You could also consider older models like the Rebel XT (350D) or the 20D.

    For a lens, I usually recommend the kit lens (18-55) that comes with the camera because it's only $100 more. It's not a great lens that's a great price. That lens won't be very good for weddings though. I would recommend either the Sigma 18-50 F2.8 or the Tamron 17-50 F2.8. The advantage to those lenses...is that they have a maximum aperture of F2.8 for the whole range...which is almost a necessity in a lot of wedding situations.

    I would recommend that you have a flash...the Canon 430EX would be the ideal choice to go with either of those cameras..on your budget. If you are a whiz with flash photography, you could get by with an off-brand Auto flash...but if not, the Canon flash will probably be most helpful.

    I would also recommend a fast prime lens. The Canon 50mm F1.8 is a great deal at about $70 US. Depending on your style...you could consider a shorter or longer prime lens. The 85mm F1.8 is superb. There are also 24mm, 28mm, 30mm (sigma) and 35mm lenses that would be ideal for low light/shallow DOF.

    You will need plenty of memory. I suggest 6-8 Gigs at least...it will depend on your style and how much you shoot...but more is always better.

    At least a couple batteries for the camera (check out www.sterlingtek.com )
    and batteries for the flash.

    You might want to consider a flash bracket, so that you can keep the flash above the camera while turning the camera to portrait orientation...but that will cost a fair bit, once you figure in the bracket and connecting cord(s).

    You will still need back up...but you won't be able to buy two of everything with your budget. You can rent (or beg/borrow/steal) but you will at least need two cameras and flashes...those tend to crap out the most.

    I'm sure there are other things...but this should be a start.
     
  8. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    If you can't rent a second digital body buy a film SLR with the same lens mount as the dSLR, they cost virtually nothing these days and you really, really need some kind of backup.
     
  9. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I shoot Nikon, so i'll go ahed and tell you what I'd go with if I just started anew and had 2 grand with the intention to do portraits.

    Nikon D80 (body only) $925

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=449061&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 $250

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...13&is=GREY&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

    Nikkor 80mm f/1.8 $360

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...51&is=GREY&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

    Nikon SB-600 $180

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=323882&is=USA&addedTroughType=search

    TOTAL: $1715

    You might have to get a little close in, but it would be a dynamite sub $2000 package.

    You could also skip both lenses and get an f/2.8 standard zoom.
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    And you could then get an F80 with the spare cash... but I think in the case of a wedding, more important than a second camera, second lens or flash, is a second photographer. Shooting your first wedding, and being solely responsible for recording that (hopefully once in a lifetime) event, without any kind of assistance or backup, is not what I would call fun.
     

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