Wedding Photography Gear

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by SirGianny, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. SirGianny

    SirGianny TPF Noob!

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    Hello,
    I'd like you to give your opinion about the gear that i want to buy for wedding photos. If you have any suggestions about what should i add or change to the list, i would be very thankful. My budget is ~3.000$.
    Here is the list:

    [FONT=&quot]1. Canon[/FONT][FONT=&quot] EOS 50D SLR Digital Camera Kit with Canon 18-200mm EF-S IS Lens more info [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $1,599.95[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]2. Canon[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Normal EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Autofocus Lens more info [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $399.00[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]3. Canon[/FONT][FONT=&quot] BG-E2N Vertical Grip/Battery Holder more info [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $156.95[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]4. Canon[/FONT][FONT=&quot] 430EX II Speedlite TTL Shoe-Mount Flash (Guide No. 141'/43 m at ... more info [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $270.00[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]5. SBM[/FONT][FONT=&quot] #0106 Supreme Flash Diffuser for Canon 430EX Flash more info [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $14.95[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]6. Canon[/FONT][FONT=&quot] BP-511A Lithium-Ion Battery (7.4v 1390mAh) more info [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $49.95[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]7. Canon[/FONT][FONT=&quot] FS-72U 72mm Filter Set (Circular Polarizer, Neutral Density .8, UV, ... more info [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $109.95[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]8. Tiffen[/FONT][FONT=&quot] 58-72mm Step-up Ring (Lens to Filter) more info [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $24.95[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]9. Delkin Devices[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Pop-Up Shade for Canon 50D DC50D-P[/FONT][FONT=&quot]more info[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $19.95[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]10. SanDisk[/FONT][FONT=&quot]16GB Extreme III CompactFlash Card[/FONT][FONT=&quot]more info[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $101.95[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]11. Lowepro[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Fastpack 250 Backpack (Black)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]more info[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]·[FONT=&quot]Our Price: $89.95[/FONT]
    Total: $ 2,837.55

    Also, if you know some other DSLR online shop from US/CA with lower prices, please tell me.
    That being said, i thank you in advance and i hope that someone will be able to help me.

    SirGianny
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  2. smyth

    smyth TPF Noob!

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    Couple things:

    First you need back up gear if you don't already have it. You need a second body and a second flash unit at the very least.

    Second, I think it would be near impossible to shoot an entire wedding with a 50mm prime and a 18-200 consumer lens. You will probably need something fast and wide (17-40 f4L, 16-35 f2.8L, 24-70 f2.8L) for group shots and something fast and longer (think 70-200 f2.8L) for shots at the alter as well as decent candids during the reception, among other uses.

    Also instead of buying a 16gb card, buy 4 separate 4 GB cards, that way if something happens to memory card A) you have a back up and B) you don't lose every single photo you took.

    I'm sure other photographers on here who are wedding shooters will be able to be a little bit more help, especially those who shoot Canon. (I'm a Nikon guy)
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know you or what you can and/or cannot do but judging from equipment you listed it doesn't seem that you're familiar with wedding photography & the reasons why I said that are these:
    GREAT camera but you need a backup body @ least a 20D. 18-200 lens will be a matter of debate thus you really need to know and understand its limitations. You'll need a backup lens. Just because equipment is new, Murphy's Law holds true a lot of the time. 50mm as a back up isn't the best choice unless you'll eliminate your 18-200 and will shoot primes. If talking primes only then you'd need to have an ability for close ups and wide angles - that is 2-3 lenses right there.

    OK.
    do you REALLY need it? It is a nice piece of equipment but really think if you need it. It's great for portraiture and very comfortable but indoors based on your lighting equipment you'll get ugly shadows on right side of the subject.
    as a back up maybe, NOT as the main. 430 will work and will do the job but if you're 15 feet away you might feel a bit limited thus 580 II will be better.
    Matter of preference. Some will use that along with a bounce card, and others won't even put that on just the bounce card. Really a matter of preference.
    OK
    Nice features but in wedding photography, on the gig you have to find a balance b/n what you want, need & have time to get PLUS you are bounded by Caterer, clients' moods (B&G aren't necessarily maybe paing for it thus who ever is paying has to be happy with your on-the-job performance), B&G, etc.

    Waste of $$$. It's a nice feature on paper , but after using it on both Nikons and Canon it was really a waste of money.
    A debate will probably be on this. But many folks will rather shoot with 4 or 8 gigs and change them. Others will stick the card into the body and will use camera's USB cord to get the images out - all to NOT scratch and damage the card.
    try it before you by it. Personally, I'm a tamrac fan.

    I'd also ask where the strobe lights are Or will you be shooting at ISO 3200 at f5.6? Nothing against f5.6, but ISO 3200 I don't believe 50D does a GREAT job (like 5DMII does) thus if you're shooting 3-4 weddings a week (not everyone is getting married on weekend) with about 500-700 images per job & then need to spend lots of time for PP where does that leave room for working on the albums, meeting new clients, various workshops to improve the skill?
    I also didn't see insurance for your equipment. Friend of mine shot a job two weeks ago where during dancing she was pushed and dropped her camera. Repairs cost her nearly a grand and thank G-d insurance covered it. How about if someone sues you because they'd claim they TRIPPED on one of your lightstands (not that it is in your equipment list) but you'd need to have your insurance company deal with it.
    Which all brings me back to my point before: wedding photography BUSINESS isn't the same as being a guest at 3-4 weddings a year. It requires lots of work, time and money for equipment. A good wedding photographer and assistant, will make the job look easy but these are only impressions into what actually goes into producing quality image while maintaining professionalism when all hell is braking loose.
    But the good news, if you want to get into wedding photography you should try to tag along with a wedding photographer, or get a job as an assistant to one. Do some research into NEEDed equipment vs what looks good (Having a big-camera and looking professional, doesn't make you a professional). Learn lighting, photography means drawing with light, thus learn lighting, composition.

    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  4. SirGianny

    SirGianny TPF Noob!

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    First of all i want to thank you for your pertinent opinions and suggestions.
    From what you write here, it is clear that you know your thing.
    But i have to give you some info about what i have in mind.
    I live in Romania, and i plan to take photos only in my town, at local weddings. I looked over the local "competition" and i didn't like what i saw. For example, at my wedding, i contracted a team of photo/video from the capital of Romania and all the photos were made with Canon 30D with EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, a little flash with bouncer. The photos were a lot better than other weddings where local photographers shot the photos.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't want to get the gear that a NYC wedding photographer would have.
    In this fall, i'm invited at 4 weddings and i want to try my skills (if i have any) and if they'll like the photos, i will try to get some contracts, if not, i will have my hobby gear.
    About the time, here we have weddings only on Saturdays and Sundays and i plan to make a contract with a local photo lab for the printings.
    As for the risk of getting sued for accidents during the wedding, no such thing in the history of Romania. The law is not like in the US.

    As i said i'm on a budget. If you can tell me what is the best equipment i could buy with $3.000, i would be very grateful.
    By the way, in my town the prices for a wedding photo package starts from $400 (700 photos, 100 prints, 1 album, 10 photos with effects printed and 1 large framed portrait).
    So, as you can see, the expectations here are not that big.

    Thank you again for your posts and i'm waiting for other opinions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  5. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As I typed another one up, I saw your post above, thus to read THAT ONE, just scroll down.
    I don't have a price list in front of so I'm guestimating and I hope other will correct me if I'm wrong. All in USDs
    For 3Grand Going with Canon:
    Canon 50D 18-200 - $1600
    Canon 50D 28-135 lens - $1300
    Canon 17-40mm - $750
    Canon 18-55
    - $140 not the BEST solution b/c it is on the slower end and also not the sharpest of the bunch.
    Canon 17-85 f4-5.6 is another choice - about $450
    Canon 18-200 is about $600 but you'll need to boost the sharpness up in the camera.
    None of these glasses are of the BEST quality but it'll do the job. Used lenses that are higher grade might something to look into.
    Canon 30D USed - $500

    Flash, 580s are better choice. About $500.

    So a combo of 50D with 18-200 ($1600) + 2nd backup 18-200 ($600) + USED 30D (500) + 580EXII (500) = 3200. What you could do initially is see if you can burrow someone's lens and a flash as a back up and eliminate the 18-200 thus with $400 to spend you get 2nd camera batter (a MUST have) and Get two 8gig cards. If buying from reliable source, you might even buy USED 40D and be very happy with it.

    Many Wedding photographers I know, have bought used equipment and with time upgraded to "better" new ones.



    BELOW is what I wrote up as you posted your comment above.
    Alright, so I feel like a JackAss since I mostly gave you the negative aspect rather then helpful solutions, so here are some with budget in mind. Since you decided on Canon 50D:
    1. Canon 50D with 28-135mm lens. (Two Canon photographers that I work with use that lens as the main lens for portraits and reception)
    2. Second Battery for 50D
    3. 28-135mm backup lens - perhaps :)
    4. Canon 17-40mm Lens as a wide angle.
    5. Used 20D or 30D.
    6. Two Batteries for either 20D or 30D. If they are same as for 50D then you just saved some $.
    7. Canon (2) 580 EX II flash OR One 580 and one 430
    8. LOTs of AA batteries for your flashes. Rechargeable batteries are great but the more you use them the more you loose them. Thus it is a preference issue.
    9. 2-3 8gig cards, or 4-5 4gig cards.
    10. Strobes: Dynalite are great - a kit like this Dynalite | MK10-1222 Roadmax 1000 Watt/Second Kit | MK10-1222AlienBees: B800 Flash Unit or 1600 AlienBees: B1600 Flash Unit. I use them both on regular bases and they are great.
    The advantage of alienbees is that flash and power control are all in one thus can be placed far apart to light up the room and for portraits. What I don't like about them is when you raise them high up on 9-10 foot stand, all of the weight is on top and it isn't greatly balanced like dynalytes.
    What I like about Dynalites is they are more secured when are raised high - most of the weight is on the bottom with the power pack that you can attach to the stand, they are great for illuminating the room and great for portraits. HOWEVER, if you need to have the lights in opposite sides of the room and have only one power pack you're limited.
    11. Lightstands. The ones that are in the kitt are ok for small studio but aren't great for living the light in one corner of the room since they aren't as tall and as steady as the bigger ones.
    12. Umbrellas, softboxes.
    13. Camera bag, Lightstand/light bag.
    14
    . Remote control methods to set of the strobes, i.e. pocket wizard, quantum radios. You can use the built-in electric eye but it also means that every person with a camera will set off your lights.
    15. PC-Cords to connect your radio receiver/transmitter to the camera and to the strobe.
    16. Gaffer Tape. Don't use duck tape to tape anything that you don't want to be permanent ;). Gaffer tape will hold object (or wires) in places but when removed will not remove the pain job from the floor, wall or w/e you're taping UNLIKE duct tape.
    17. Extension Cords. At least one per strobe light.
    18. PC or Mac for post processing and editing. Ideally though, you shoot things PERFECTLY, delete the junk files and send the images for proof printing.
    19. Editing software. Photoshop is a big hitter for many pros. Lightroom is another one. Both available on Mac and PC. I'm more familiar with PC. The cheaper alternatives are ACDSee, photoshop elements, GIMP (free).
    20. Liability insurance.

    This so called list isn't conclusive, nor is it written in stone as a must have. Many will likely add and/or subtract from it based on their shooting style, need and of course budget.

    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009

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