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Setup for a (my first) wedding

ntz

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Hello,

I am going to photograph my first wedding in the mid of August .. I never focused on photographing an events including weddings, basically I do not photograph a people. Thankfully I will be a secondary photographer and they are my friends but I don't want to fail that of course. It will probably be mixed reportage and wedding genre for me because 100% wedding photographer will be there also.

I would like to ask for recommendations about the gear and setup. My idea is to have there two bodies so I won't need to change the lenses .. My original idea was to have 24-70mm and 70-200mm and I ws thinking about renting the FX camera because I have only DX cameras. However I tend now to think that it would be nice challenge to use the gear that I have already and do it without renting additional gear .. I have this gear

Nikon D7200, Nikon D7100 and Nikon D5100 + Fujifilm X100F

my glasses are:

Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 (equivalent of 35-105mm on FX)
Tokina 70-200mm f/4 (focal length after applying crop factor is 105-300mm)
Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 DX - there's nothing particularly wrong with this lens when used outdoors, it has superuseful and universal zoom range (27-210mm after applying crop factor)
Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX - coold be indoors lens, ~ 50mm equivalent on FX
Fuji 35mm f/2 (on X100F, which is on paper 23mm but after crop factor it's prime 35mm)

If I look on this list I believe that I have enough gear now ... I've tried to shoot some events already (for training and practise purposes) and I believe that 24-70mm on DX is really useful, more useful than if on FX for events .. Then I have two primes (35mm on Fuji and 50mm via my Nikon 35mm f/1.8) + zoom lens .. My only concern is if I could/should use a rented body for 70-200mm or if I should use 18-140mm lens ..

Question:

Do you think that what I have is sufficient or should I rent for the event one FX body ? my plan is:

Nikon D7200 + 24-70mm f/2.8
Nikon D7100 + ?18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 OR 70-200mm f/4
Fujifilm's 35mm on X100F
+ eventually Nikon 35mm f/1.8 mounted on D5100

(I have also some other lenses of less importance that I don't mention here like wide Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 and some other nikon lenses like 70-300mm and 55-200mm, + few more older primes)

thanks for help and regards !!

~dan
 
ps. I don't have an external flash so perhaps I should consider to rent or borrow that also ... but I am not familiar with working with flash
 
I don’t know how well your gear does in low light situations. You might try that out before hand. A speed light might be a good idea and learn how to use it. I use the SB-600 in fill mode most of the time with good results.

visit the venue if you can so you can get an idea of where to shoot from.
 
Discuss this with the primary photographer.

You NEED to work as a team, not as two individuals.
And he is the primary, so he calls the shots.
Your job is to add to his shots, not to replace him.

Example, he may shoot at the front of the church with a 24-70, and he may want you in the back with the 70-200.


Indoor or outdoor?

Outdoor at my nephew's wedding, I used the 18-140 on my D7200.
Indoor at the reception, the 18-140 with the pop-up flash worked just fine.

KISS
If you rent something, can you use it?
You know how to use your D7200.
If you rent a FX camera, you have to learn how to use it. It might be easy, or it might be difficult, depending if the controls are similar or different. Same with lenses, you know how to use your lenses, and you have a decent kit.

The only concern is the 70-200/4. If you are indoors, that might be a bit slow, and you would be better off renting the faster f/2.8 lens. But it is bigger and heavier.

I would not carry more than two cameras on you.
I find that even two cameras can be difficult for me to handle.
Or have an assistant holding the other gear for you.

Warning, the cell phone people will sometimes get in your way.
Cell phones have a wide angle lens, and if you use a longer lens, they will sometimes get between you and your subject.
So you may be forced into using a wider lens, just to deal with the cell phone people.
The lead photographer should be able to help you with this.

Whatever kit you decide on, I would do a few dry runs with the kit, to make sure it works as you want it to, and to figure out when you need to switch from camera-A with the 24-70 to camera-B with the 70-200.
If you can't use the church, set up a "fake" church, with the same layout of the church, so you can practice. Get a few friends to be the wedding party and the priest. You may have to go to a few weddings at that church, to see how they do it at that church.

Agree about the speedlight. If you are in a dim church or reception hall, you may/will need it.
Warning, do NOT shoot FAST and long. You can overheat the flash and it will either shut down or fail.
Figure out how many flashes you can take, before you need to change batteries. And have a set of spare batteries.
And practice with it, so you are comfortable and confident with the flash.

Discuss fast events with the lead photographer.
Here in the US, there is a particular event that has always been a problem; the garter toss and bouquet toss. The toss is over in seconds and can be chaos. Many flashes will not be able to recycle fast enough for more than one shot. So you have to plan which shot to take: the toss, the garter/bouquet in mid air, or the catch. With two of you, you can split the job; one shoot the toss, the other shoot the catch.

You also need to plan when to change batteries, if you need to. Usually after the church/before the reception, so that you shoot both with fresh batteries.

Tip: Go to the rehearsal. You can see exactly what will happen at the wedding, and that can help you plan for it.
When you are at the church, talk with the priest to find out where and when you can take pictures. Some are strict and some don't care. Some will let you shoot, but NO FLASH during the ceremony. So ask.
 
Discuss this with the primary photographer.

You NEED to work as a team, not as two individuals.
And he is the primary, so he calls the shots.
Your job is to add to his shots, not to replace him.

Example, he may shoot at the front of the church with a 24-70, and he may want you in the back with the 70-200.

he will be a paid professional photographer .. I don't know this guy .. I am just a friend of the pair, I just do it for free - say my gift to newlyweds - and I really don't want to bring any hassle or tensions on theirs weddings because I DO NOT WANT to have any clash with theirs pro photographer so less likely I am going to co-operate with him ..

majority of the event incl. the main ceremony will be outdoors so the light should not be a major issue ... I bought my 24-70 f/2.8 lens because of this event and because I want to do my job good ... I dare to say that I (vaguely) understand to the technical part of photography and I know my gear well ... this thread here is just my first use of this lens, shooting under the most harsh lighting conditions on ISO 6400 and f/2.8 on DX camera ... Also if I will rent any new camera it will be a Nikon and I am very familiar with Nikons, they are all same (and anyway, I do not need anything special, I need back-button-focus, I am always shooting on A with +/- exposure adjustment on demand rather than in M mode and I am shooting in 99% with AF and I need an ISO control handy so I can fit into my desired shutter speed range)

I will probably use D7200+24-70mm (eq of 35-105mm on FX) and I believe it will be 80% of shots .. for the reset I will have handy a secondary camera D7100 with 70-200mm equipped (105-300mm on FX) and also I will have somewhere in the pocket a small discreet X100F with which shoots 35mm f/2 but probably I will not need that ...

another option is to somehow employ the 18-140mm lens which has really useful zoom range and they have VR but I absolutely felt in love with my new Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 so not sure about use of 18-140 ... My only limitation will probably be that I won't be able to quickly go wider than 35mm (on FX), I can bring with myself my superb Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 (~ 17-30mm on FX) but I think that two good DX cameras with 24-70 and 70-200 should be enough ...

still thinking about renting the FX camera but nah, I will accept the challenge and use the gear that I have ... only will rent that flash
 
he will be a paid professional photographer .. I don't know this guy .. I am just a friend of the pair, I just do it for free - say my gift to newlyweds - and I really don't want to bring any hassle or tensions on theirs weddings because I DO NOT WANT to have any clash with theirs pro photographer so less likely I am going to co-operate with him ..

majority of the event incl. the main ceremony will be outdoors so the light should not be a major issue ... I bought my 24-70 f/2.8 lens because of this event and because I want to do my job good ... I dare to say that I (vaguely) understand to the technical part of photography and I know my gear well ... this thread here is just my first use of this lens, shooting under the most harsh lighting conditions on ISO 6400 and f/2.8 on DX camera ... Also if I will rent any new camera it will be a Nikon and I am very familiar with Nikons, they are all same (and anyway, I do not need anything special, I need back-button-focus, I am always shooting on A with +/- exposure adjustment on demand rather than in M mode and I am shooting in 99% with AF and I need an ISO control handy so I can fit into my desired shutter speed range)

I will probably use D7200+24-70mm (eq of 35-105mm on FX) and I believe it will be 80% of shots .. for the reset I will have handy a secondary camera D7100 with 70-200mm equipped (105-300mm on FX) and also I will have somewhere in the pocket a small discreet X100F with which shoots 35mm f/2 but probably I will not need that ...

another option is to somehow employ the 18-140mm lens which has really useful zoom range and they have VR but I absolutely felt in love with my new Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 so not sure about use of 18-140 ... My only limitation will probably be that I won't be able to quickly go wider than 35mm (on FX), I can bring with myself my superb Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 (~ 17-30mm on FX) but I think that two good DX cameras with 24-70 and 70-200 should be enough ...

still thinking about renting the FX camera but nah, I will accept the challenge and use the gear that I have ... only will rent that flash

You need to check with your friends.
Some pros have an exclusive contract, and do NOT want anyone else taking pics. Yes it does not make sense, but if that is in the contract, that is what your friends agreed to.

If the pro is going to take the usual pics, you can concentrate on candids of the couple, family and guests.

When you go to the wedding, meet the pro and tell him that you will stay out of his way. And do stay out of his way.
When I've shot weddings for family, I would shoot from a different location, so that I am not in the way of the pro, and my pics are different than the pro's pics.
Example if the pro is at the front of the church, I shoot from the back or the side.

As for your lenses.
I recommend you do "dry runs." That will tell you how and when to switch between your cameras with the 24-70 and 70-200. And you do have to practice switching between cameras, as it can get clumsy.
And plan for different scenarios. If the pro is here, I will go there.
And what lens you will need to use from the different positions.

The nice thing about the 18-140 is that you don't have to switch between lenses.
And if you are outdoors, you don't have to worry that it is not a fast lens.
 

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