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Thread: Wedding gear and tips

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Wedding gear and tips

    Ok guys, so Ive shot my first paid wedding last weekend (as a videographer) and Ive got my mind set on shooting weddings on a more regular basis. While I look for another photographer with a similar style and objectives to partner up with, I want to go over gear to check if there is something missing or too much of:

    Cameras
    - Sony A7 (if the A7S ends up costing us$1800 Ill replace my A7)
    - Sony A6000

    Acessories
    - Flash
    - 8 batteries (the A7 eats up battery, so Im not sure if this is enough)
    - A7 Grip (does anyone know if it will work on the A7S?)
    - Shock and water proof sd card case
    - Cleaning kit
    - Portable tripod (I have an amazing mefoto that I love to death)

    AF lenses (sadly Sony doesnt have many fast primes or zooms)
    FE 70-200 f4
    FE 55mm f1.8
    35mm f2.8
    FE 16-35 f4 (when it comes out)

    I was thinking of taking some manual lenses as backup if one of the AF lenses breaks, but since I plan to ALWAYS shoot weddings with another photographer, it may be overkill:
    Canon FD 24-40mm f2.8 (f2.0)
    Canon FD 50mm f1.4
    Pentax 85mm f2.0

    If I take the manual lenses too I would need a big bag to be able to carry everything .


    So, what do you guys think?

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    You'll need more than one flashgun if only for backup.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Depending on your style I'd take a fast ultrawide, normal, short telephoto and/ or medium to long telephoto for my primes. A monopod may not be a bad idea either.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    I'd like to but Sony won't let me They seem to think that F4 is as fast as people need

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    I'd like to but Sony won't let me They seem to think that F4 is as fast as people need
    I meant for adapted lens choices.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    That is THE big question I've been struggling with. So far I only have the 55mm 1.8, so I will have to invest in the other lenses. I've been torn between getting e-mount AF lenses or other alpha lenses via adapter. The alpha lenses route will force me to loose the AF speed unless I get ultra expensive SSM lenses...it will also ad A LOT OF BULK since fast full frame lenses are a lot bigger then the e-mount ones. There are also some off-brand non AF full frame lenses (Rokinon, Samyang, etc), but they're manual focus, which is not ideal for a wedding.

    I do have a speedbooster to go with the A6000 and a Canon FD 20mm 2.8...which would become a 2.0...so that's not bad. The Canon fd 24-40mm 2.8 would also become a 2.0.
    Last edited by Rawfa; 5th May 2014 at 15:29.

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    But weddings are about planning and quick thinking, not about kit. Aren't they?

    I've shot them with two M9 bodies, 28,59,75 lenses and no flash. But the crunch comes when you get back to the house to do the group shots just before dark, it starts to rain, and some bastard has moved the bollards, so the porch where you planned to shoot the groups has 2 BMWs and a Porsche parked in front. . . . . And everyone heads for the drinks!

    The best wedding photographer I know shoots with a Canon 5d and 24-120 zoom and he never fails.

    But there's nothing quite like the adrenalin.

    I've stopped now, but if I were to do another I'd have a D800 with 24-120 zoom and a Leica M with a 50'lux...

    I can't imagine shooting one with the shutter lag of a Sony A7.

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    They're about planning and quick thinking, but your gear will allow you the versatility and flexibility to achieve these goals and to avoid the best way possible to miss those crucial shots.

    You've made a good point regarding rain. Since I've moved to Brazil I've thought a lot about quick weather changes and what I would do in these situations....hence the need for an ultra wide to be able to shoot everybody in a small interior.

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    No FE 24-70/4?

    If asked, most wedding photographers will tell you that they build their kit around 24-70 or 24-105. Most will also tell you that they can do an entire wedding with that key lens. If you prefer primes like a 21, 35 and 50, the 24-70 then acts as back-up to all of them.

    As Ben mentioned, at least two speed-lights. Modern speed-lights have a nasty habit of shutting down due to thermal limiters when they get too hot, and Sony is no different (their 60 is notorious for doing this). When they go down, it takes 10 to 15 minutes before you can use them again.

    As Jono implied, shooting creative stuff is one thing (we all like that), it's the must have client expectations, and changing circumstances that you have no control over, that can bite you on the rear-end.

    As soon as you can, become familiar with off-camera lighting, and consider implementing it for weddings to help separate your "must have shots" from the guest snaps of your set-ups they will load to Facebook before you even finish shooting the wedding.

    In fact, IMO, skip the dump truck full of lenses and get some lighting because it'll have a greater effect on quality and being able to handle all the situations that WILL come up, than most anything else.

    Good luck, and best wishes

    - Marc
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    I shoot weddings using the A7s. My kit is as follows..

    2xA7
    1xa6000

    24-70 f4
    70-200 f4
    55mm 1.8
    Zeiss 135mm f 1.8 and LEA4
    Alpha 16mm fisheye.
    CV 21mm f1.8 and Leica adaptor.
    3x HVL60M flashes.

    I also have a 70-400 GII that I don't usually take to weddings.

    My notes...

    1. The LEA4 allows alpha lenses to focus just as fast on the A7. There is no focus speed issues although I've had to calibrate the lenses just as you would on a DSLR.

    2. The HVL60M flashes are brilliantly designed except for the thermal circuitry. The shut down from overheat after only 25-30 shots in 10 minutes. Hopeless. That's why I have three, until Metz make a compatible one.

    4. The A7 has virtually no shutter lag (sorry Jono). The EFCS sees to that. With ECFS on the cameras are reasonably unobtrusive but not like a Leica M240. More like a D200.

    5. The 55mm and 135mm are stellar lenses. Nothing from any other AF lens manufacturer beats them. The zooms are great in the centres but the 24-70 is a bit off in the corners, especially wide. This is not an issue for weddings. You'll see it in landscapes but brides aren't usually framed in the extreme corners.

    6. The AF does slow down in low light. Turning OFF the AF assist and moving to a bigger square helps though. I've not had serious issues with AF yet.

    If you're planning to shoot with two cameras you'll need to have three. So I'd add an A7S and keep the A7. The grip will work on the A7S. I get about 400 still shots per battery. It seems that shooting frames isn't the real battery issue. It's how long the camera is on for. Shooting a few frames in an hour or a hundred doesn't make a huge difference. If you have a set of zooms and the two fast primes you don't need to carry all that extra Canon stuff.

    SD cards are already shock and waterproof. I have a bad habit of washing mine.

    SO far I'm really liking shooting with the A7s.

    Gordon
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Flash I hope you post some pics.

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Very very nice.
    I've just got the FE 55mm 1.8 and even though I haven't tested it very much I was surprised about all the hit and miss shots around the house with regular light.

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Flash, how to you configure your A7s's AF?
    Are you saying that you've had better results with the LEA4 than with the A7 with dedicated e-mount lenses when it came to AF speed?

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Use airplane mode setting and you'll get hundreds of pics from one battery.
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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Are you talking about the A7 or a cellphone?

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    A7 and A7r have an airplane mode which switches off the wifi and a few other bits. It gives a significant boost to battery life.

    Gordon

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    I thought you were kidding but I've looked around and there were several people saying the same thing. I've used the A7 today on airplane mode and the battery lasted WAAAY longer. Awesome tip!

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Never use wifi on cameras so I always have them in airplane mode.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    I ended up with an A99 and the A7 + LA-EA4. Any thoughts on how many batteries I should get for the A99 for shooting an entire day shooting?

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    I carry one in the camera and 3 extras in the bag for the A99. So far, I have never used more than two total for an 8 hour wedding. The A99 is one of three cameras I use at a wedding.

    I generally do not use live-view on the A99 except for overhead shots or odd angle shots with the wonderfully articulated LCD (note that you can turn the LCD inward when transporting/storing to protect the screen surface from bumps and scratches).


    I'm off to a wedding shoot in a couple of hours myself


    - Marc
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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Many thanks, Marc.

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    BTW, Marc, which AF mode and area you feel are the best for weddings on the A99?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Slight change of plans. Instead of having the old timers Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 and Minolta 70-210mm f4 Im planning to sell them both and get the new Sigma 24-105mm f4...plus the lenses I already have (Sigma 85mm 1.4, Sony 50mm 1.4, Pentax PK 35mm f2...might eventually get a faster 35mm and/or the new 24mm 1.4 Sigma is planning to release) and 2 flashes (F20M and F43M).
    Last edited by Rawfa; 19th August 2014 at 12:12.

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Guys, if you were to use 2 cameras during the ceremony, which lenses would you use in each camera?

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Depends on what part of the wedding I was shooting and what camera I chose to take at the time but for the Sony A99/A7R kit this what I tend to use and when:

    Ceremony: mid-zoom on one camera (24-70 or 24-105 type zoom) for processionals and wide shots of the venue, plus either a ZA85/1.4 or a ZA135/1.8 depending on how close I could get to the actual ceremony when flash is usually not allowed.

    Portraits and formals: Probably the mid-zoom again for group shots (at 30 to 50ish focal lengths to avoid distortion of people at the edge of the group shot), and the 85/1.4 for bridal portraits.

    Reception:
    I prefer faster aperture lenses for indoor receptions even if I am using lighting, and usually work with a ZA24/2, 50/1.4 or 85/1.4.

    In reality, 95% of a wedding could be done with 24-105, and in fact that is exactly what some pretty good wedding shooters use along with one fast lens like a 50/1.4 for low light ambient shots.

    Hope this helps a little,

    - Marc
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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Marc, that was very helpful. I would have guessed that the 35mm 1.4 would be among the go to lenses for when flashes are not allowed..

    Oh, since then I've sold my A99 and got 2 A7's with LA-EA4's to make things easier.

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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Marc, that was very helpful. I would have guessed that the 35mm 1.4 would be among the go to lenses for when flashes are not allowed..

    Oh, since then I've sold my A99 and got 2 A7's with LA-EA4's to make things easier.
    Yes, when I shot weddings with Canon gear, my most used primes were the 35/1.4L ad 85//1.2L.

    While Sony offer a 35/1.4 it isn't a ZA and I have been hoping for one but it never came.

    - Marc

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding gear and tips

    Guys, what is the highest usable iso for weddings with the A7?

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