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03-13-2013, 04:40 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Havnig a second body is more important than an extra lens.
this!

I couldn't believe how benificial this was for me.

for my weddings I usually have one K5 with a prime and the other K5 with the 50-135 mounted up. Depending on the venue depends on the lens selections. If I'm going in blind, 16-50 & 50-135.

But the second body both for switching between lenses quickly so you don't miss something, and more importantly as a backup.

the second thing I would recomend is get to know your full manual mode and how to adjust on the fly. Don't trust the auto modes to do what you want. If you must, bracket every shot and shoot in raw.

Here is my wedding bag after doing 5 weddings this past year. Its gotten smaller each time I go out...but this is what I run with:

2x K5
2x AF540FGZ flashguns (now replaced with Nikon SB700's, I shoot full manual, always have, on the camera and flash so I can use these superior guns)
DA*16-50
DA*55
DA*50-135
DA40 (will replace this soon with FA31 or FA43 on my next outing)
FA77 or Tamaron 90 Macro
DA10-17 (depending on venues)
1 Tripod
1 light stand
wireless trigger for flashgun (to prop on flash stand)
8-10 8gb SD cards
4-5 extra batteries for the camera
at least 2 changes of batteries for the flash guns (always Duracell high energy batteries for me)

All but the tripod/light stand fits in my Think Tank Urbandisguise 250 bag.


Why do I choose the lenses I do?
The DA* lenses are my main lenses, they provide 90% of my shooting, with the 55 and the 50-135 taking up the bulk of the work. My mind pre-frames images in the 50-135 range, always has, so its very comfortable for me to do it this way.

The DA40 is a backup lens for the 55mm and the 16-50. Its tiny so it takes up no bag space whats so ever, and its a reliable backup incase one of the other two lenses fail on me. My second shooter (using D7000) always thought her Nikons would never fail her. The one time she didnt bring a backup body or a backup lens... her main lens failed (HSM motor), and then the body soon after it)

The FA77 or Tamaron 90 macro depends on my mood. Usually I try and squeeze both in. But traveling light is huge, especially if your going to be hoofing it everywhere, and in some cases not near your vehicle where you can store extra gear (happened to me twice). I usually prefer the 90 Macro to be honest. This allows me to get nice close ups of the rings/fingers with the rings, detail in the boquet, without having to crop later. Chances are they will want big prints (and if your not selliing prints and just shooting and burning...no offence but your doing it wrong), and for me 16mp is not enough to allow me to do crops and still print 24" or larger prints. So macro wins in this case.

Fisheye creates neat effects, really fun if used properly. I did this one shoot where I had the whole wedding party on the steps of an old histroic building downtown. I got them to all jump in the air while I was down low and it looked like they were arching as they jumped. They loved this shot. I dont think it would have turned out as well on the 16-50.

As for the flashes. Really the primary use is one as a backup. but I like having one on the camera and one ready for a lightstand.


So if the question comes down too, what do I buy between the two lenses... I'd say get a good flashgun and a second body, they will save your bacon more than another lens. If you got some cash left over... a Gary Fong Lightsphere is perfect for the reception, and even outdoors as a fill light diffiusor if your wedding does something stupid and books outdoor photos for lunch time (like they usually do).


I should add, if you are comfortable shooting manual, and do not need the TTL modes of a flash, skip the METZ and grab the Nikon SB-700. Take some electrical tape to cover all but the center pin. This flash is around $300 and is probably the best flashgun I've ever used. I love this thing, the power it provides, recycle time, ease of use, the dispersion pattern, its bloody fantastic. Just turn off the "sleep" mode and you got yourself a pretty awesome gun. and its weather sealed and has a metal shoe. You can't be it until you goto the SB-910.


SO

If shooting weddings is not something you will be doing regularlly, and if your only looking for an excuse to expand your gear. Then FA77 and either the 540FGZ flashgun or the SB700 flashgun. Add those to your kit. Get both. Flashgun over the FA77 would be my preference.


Last edited by Wired; 03-13-2013 at 05:02 PM.
03-13-2013, 05:26 PM   #17
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Thanks all for the advice given so far. Looking through this collection on Flickr has convinced me the FA77 is the go.

Let me re-iterate....

1. This is a once off. I am no pro. No aspirations to be one... Well not really
2. This is a freeby favour for a family member
3. What I buy must have some use in the future

I would dearly love to have a 2nd body on me. I can totally see the benefits here. But I would not have a clue if their are other Pentaxians in my area to lend me one. Nor do I really know anyone with a suitable camera to borrow..... But this has got me thinking....
03-13-2013, 05:41 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcBear78 Quote
Thanks all for the advice given so far. Looking through this collection on Flickr has convinced me the FA77 is the go.

Let me re-iterate....

1. This is a once off. I am no pro. No aspirations to be one... Well not really
2. This is a freeby favour for a family member
3. What I buy must have some use in the future

I would dearly love to have a 2nd body on me. I can totally see the benefits here. But I would not have a clue if their are other Pentaxians in my area to lend me one. Nor do I really know anyone with a suitable camera to borrow..... But this has got me thinking....
You wont be disapointed. The FA77 unlocked photographic worlds for me, its been a goto lens whenever I need inspiration. I hope it does the same for you.
03-13-2013, 05:44 PM   #19
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As already mentioned, two camera setup is essential not only for backup but to switch lens quickly since the lens is already mounted on the camera.

For outdoor shots, it is not as critical, so your DA 18-135mm could be used. For indoor shots with flash, a DA*16-50 would be nice... but the 31mm would do the trick. If you are only interested in the bride and groom close-up shots, the 77mm would do. But then for everything you have to back off to get the shot which may not be ideal, my preference is 31mm.

That said, my wedding gears are K-5/K-7:
DA*16-50mm (go to lens for the party in general)
DA*50-135mm (mainly for the ceremony, then switch to FA31 or FA43)
FA31 for small group shots (and backup)
FA43 for two people shots (and backup)
2 PTTL flashses

03-13-2013, 05:45 PM   #20
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For an outside wedding, lens speed (I mean f stop) may be less important than for low-light inside events. I have many of the lens others in this thread have mentioned, except the 31 ltd, which I wish I had. I have the Sigma 30 mm f 1.4 instead. For the wedding you have described, I would likely go with my Tamron 17-50 f 2.8 to stick permanently on one camera, put a longer focal length lens on the second camera for portraits (77 ltd, my 100 mm Phoenix, the Helios 85mm, something around that focal length). Focal length may be less important at an outside wedding, because you will be better able to zoom with your feet, but longer focal length is still important for portraiture, single photos of bride and others. Your 35 mm takes the place of my Sigma 30 mm for group shots, but the Tamron 17-50 would serve about as well. I might be tempted to take along my Pentax fisheye (10-17 mm) for a few "trick" shots. I might try to find an application for my Pentax 50 mm f 2.8 macro just because it is about the sharpest 50 I have ever seen, but you cannot use every lens you own for one event. This is a confused posting, more musings about my choices than practical advise to help your choices! Everybody wants the 77 ltd, as do I, and I actually own it. However, I find myself not using it too much as that focal length is most useful for portraiture, really too long for easy use inside smaller rooms, because you find yourself backing up until your back hits the wall in an effort to frame the photo right. Any excuse to buy this lens is a good one, however, even if you do not wind up using it very much. Hope you find these ramblings interesting if not too helpful! Good luck with the equipment you decide to take. I hope you will post some of the photos to this thread so we can see your outcomes.
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