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10-09-2008, 09:58 PM   #1
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To event photogs: Post your lens and setup of choice

I'm planning on doing weddings in the future, so I'd like this thread to be like a poll, with added comments:

Format:

-Notes
-Events
-Body(bodies)
-Lenses
-Setup *(new)
-Pros/Cons of your kit
-Comments


I'll start:

- Notes: Kit as planned when I start shooting weddings.

- Events: Weddings / Other events

- Bodies: K20D + backup

- Lenses:
Zooms: DA12-24 / DA*50-135
Primes: DA*30 (or FA31) / DA*55 (or Voigt 58) / DA15 (or 14)

- Setup:
Body#1 to have wide zoom and Body #2 to have tele zoom.
Having 2 bodies allow for 2 specialized lenses, and if one fails the other is the backup.
Both with flashes and all accessories and backups of accessories.
Additional primes near the zoom's range: backups and available light lens.

- Pros: Similar setup to the popular wide zoom + tele zoom

- Cons: No zoom in the normal zoom range. No wide lens backup, no medium tele
backup. No long tele.

- Comment: A new top of the line flash with good quality and quality control would be sooo nice, and let's wish for a K30D with improved AF.

Edit:
To avoid confusions, added the setup category, to describe how you will be using your equipment.


Last edited by ariahspam; 10-10-2008 at 02:13 PM. Reason: Added a new category, polished post
10-10-2008, 10:15 AM   #2
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I cant help you with your list, since I've only done one wedding coverage (last weekend by the way) and I realized how much fast and dynamic things happen.

It was too much pressure and, i hate to say that, I dont think the K10D was the most suitable equipment for it.

I was actually photog #3 and I had the chance to see how photogs #1 & #2 worked... and both had a f/4 24-105mm on the body all the time (never changed lenses, at least for that day) and a bounce flash. That was it!


I had the DA* 16-50 that I particularly rented for this wedding, and only took a very few shots at that speed...


Good luck,


BB
10-10-2008, 10:41 AM   #3
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-Notes
-Events: Weddings, Commercial, family portrait, Events.
-Body(bodies): K20D, K10D, *istD
-Lenses: K20D/Da16-45mm/Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, K10D/FA50mm f1.4/Sigma 105mm f2.8, *istD/backup and flash work with AF400T any of the above lenses.
-Pros/Cons of your kit. The main weakness is the flash system. I find AF540/360 to be somewhat inconsistent. It's why I have the AF400T/*istD setup. I'll use it when flash work is needed and find the TTL setup better than P-TTL. I've spoken to other brand shooters and they report the digital flash metering is not as good as the old TTL systems as well.
-Comments. Eneloops batteries. They are a must have. Also even though they are expensive, I would recommend using only Pentax brand camera batteries as well. The Ebay aftermarket ones do not hold up IMO. Have a backup for everything. That means camera body, flashes, cords, lenses and any other critical part. You can't say to the bride 2 weeks later that your primary lens crapped out and you couldn't shoot half the day. I carry 4 spare lenses that will sub in if needed. Another example is that i have a backup for each flash and own 6 now. Don't ever do this on the cheap. One camera and one flash is not a wedding shooters kit. Any pro I've meet or worked with has a full backup in the car trunk. You might only use 1 camera setup 85% of the time but it needs to be taken as seriously as any other business.
-Extra gear: Flashwaves radio triggers. Indispensable.
10-10-2008, 10:45 AM   #4
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i've never had to do it professionally but i'd assume that the best setup would be
2xK20D
DA* 16-50 + DA*50-135 + FA31
2x540 flashes

primes are probably not the best for actual ceremony because you never know what focal length you'll need. but the FA31 will be good for any studio type shots.

10-10-2008, 11:02 AM   #5
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I don't disagree with that kit. I've opted for the DA16-45mm only because it's been too difficult to get a good 16-50mm (I've tried) and the 16-45mm is an excellent lens even if it's slower. I prefer the length of the 70-200mm because if affords better candid shots at receptions etc. The extra length is nice to have. But the 50-135mm would do fine and optically is a superb lens.

Pentax needs to introduce a 16-50mm VII This has just gone on too long.
10-10-2008, 11:44 AM   #6
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-Notes: I also use Canon stuff but I actually use it only when I think I'll have to, or if I want to use dual bodies, which I usually don't

-Events: Formal Events, Graduations, Weddings, Receptions, etc

-Body(bodies): Pentax K10D w/grip

Lighting: 540 FGZ flash, 5FP cord, Demb diffuser, Lumedyne 200w pack, umbrellas, a cool 19 inch Octobox from SP Studio Systems. Super cool btw

-Lenses: Sigma 18-50, DA* 50-135

-Pros/Cons of your kit:
Pro= I can get by with only 2 Pentax lenses. If I leave the Lumedyne at home, I can easily cram EVERYTHING into a tripod bag, including the tripod.

Cons= No wide lenses. And I still cannot for the life of me, figure out how to use wireless flash on the K10D.???????????

-Comments:

It's great using the 540FGZ inside an umbrella. The 5FP cord works great. I don't see many Pentax strobists around, but they're there. The flash exposure system is pretty decent for me. I can shoot with the Pentax all day. Using the Canon 30/40D, it's just not the same. It's gets burdensome really quick. Regardless of what ANYONE tells you, the Pentax shutter is WAY quieter than the 30/40D shutters. Pentax is near silent. There are many flat out LIES about the sound of the K10D shutter. Pure baloney. It isn't an any way loud at all. Canon on the other hand... it's like gunfire.

This is a cool thread to exchange ideas.
10-10-2008, 11:52 AM   #7
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Marcus, if you wanna send me a PM I could walk you through it if you have an MSN account we can chat.
10-10-2008, 12:31 PM   #8
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Pentax K100D, Pentax SMC PENTAX-A 1:1.7 50mm, a few sets of Varta AA's, coupla Sandisk SD cards, a Hoya UV filter, and a set of cojones the size of Sulawesi.

Maybe, if I'm feelin' generous, an ME-Super with my f1.2 50mm on it, and loaded with - what else? - Tri-X, with ISO knod on the camera twisted all the way around to 1600.

Cons: There's never enough light. The K100D's viewfinder is a joke when you get down to stage lighting and bugger-all else. Sometimes I'm forced to use a Sigma flash. You try getting a fast-moving subject that's three feet away in focus with an angry f1.2 lens.

Pros: Cheap. Does the job. Lightweight. Concealable. Not prone to theft, like the big names are. And it all helps me create the images I want.

10-10-2008, 12:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
I had the chance to see how photogs #1 & #2 worked... and both had a f/4 24-105mm on the body all the time (never changed lenses, at least for that day) and a bounce flash. That was it!
Well, I am never sure what the hype is about this canon zoom 24-105mm f4L IS. It is usually repeated discussed how good it is with its focal length range following by the appraisals of its pristine quality by a lot of newbie.

Then things start to fall apart.

To me, it is a rip off from canon company and suck in the customers successfully, getting them to pay soooooo much for the lens of this caliber...

24mm has significant distorsion - not good for distorted for people's face in the weddings, and weak corners at f4 where off centre candids in low light wedding is absolutely critical. (To me, f2.8 is essential for any indoor wedding photography. Not to mention a pathetic f4 performance)

Beyond 70mm to 105mm, this zoom has a pentax signature all over it - purple fringe. Well illustrated through out user review and this could be a result of poor quality control. At 90mm onwards, the image becomes even unsharp in the centre until f5.6 is achieved.

This lens is not weather sealed and it is bulky. I just do not understand why every camera store I visit have to go on and on about this piece of crap for a premium price.


From your collection, I would just stick to Da* 50-135mm f2.8 and Da 14mm f2.8

These two lenses will add significant cost to your set-up. However, I believe that this is probably the best pentax wedding set up.


The primes you mentioned are probably going to be good lenses but I doubt that useful in a fast paced environment.
10-10-2008, 02:07 PM   #10
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I hope to try my hand at some weddings later this year...

I plan to use my K20D, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8, 50-135mm f2.8, and both the 540 and 360 flashes just in case.
I also plan to bring another photographer with his Nikon D40, as a kind of asisstant, and back up..
I'll get another body when the K30D comes out in the summer, assuming I do well enough..

I'll probably get some enloops, or Rayovac hybrid batteries too
10-10-2008, 03:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Marcus, if you wanna send me a PM I could walk you through it if you have an MSN account we can chat.
Thanks! But right now, my K10D is in surgery. It's been in repair since... August.

I've looked at the instruction manual time and time again. Hours trying to do the thing. And it just doesn't do anything! Maybe it's just me. I hope so. I really do. The thing actually frustrates me.

Just totally confused. When it gets back, we can go through it.
10-10-2008, 04:14 PM   #12
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My best tip is to get a camera like the Canon G9 (now G10 I think) for your pocket. Its the best security blanket for shooting any event. I've seen plenty of photog's with gear problems - they've got 2 bodies; 3 lenses and 2 flashes and then the nightmare happens. The bride is walking down the aisle towards you... you're going to take a flash picture with your 16-50 lens... you snap the photo and OOPS. No flash. There is no way your going to be able to swap lenses and flashes and get it all fixed in time but you can have the G9 out of your pocket in a second and take a great photo with the onboard flash. Maybe not quite as good as you wanted but it'll get the job done (all the way to ISO 1600) and it'll shoot RAW so you can clean up the exposure later.

Personally I carry the G9 as my second body whenever I can. Carrying 2 full size DSLR bodies at an event is a supreme pain. I also take the grip off when possible for these events to stay as small and light as possible (its easy enough to just swap out the battery after a few hundred pictures - long before the battery dies at an embarrassing moment). Having tons of gear hanging off you draws a lot of attention and the point is to be as invisible as possible so you can just document the event.
10-10-2008, 05:34 PM   #13
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The P&S backup idea is a good one.....I may have to look into that.

I have a black tie gala event tomorrow night. I'll be armed with:

K200D w/Sigma 24-60mm
K200D w/DA*50-135mm
DA14mm
DA10-17mm
(2) Sunpak 433D w/DIY diffusers

I always bring the FA50/1.4 and sometimes end up shooting with it for an entire event. When things move quickly there's nothing like a fast zoom, but when I'm shooting random candids and have time to set up a shot, I love the FA50.
10-10-2008, 05:39 PM   #14
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by kunik Quote
My best tip is to get a camera like the Canon G9 (now G10 I think) for your pocket. Its the best security blanket for shooting any event. I've seen plenty of photog's with gear problems - they've got 2 bodies; 3 lenses and 2 flashes and then the nightmare happens. The bride is walking down the aisle towards you... you're going to take a flash picture with your 16-50 lens... you snap the photo and OOPS. No flash. There is no way your going to be able to swap lenses and flashes and get it all fixed in time but you can have the G9 out of your pocket in a second and take a great photo with the onboard flash. Maybe not quite as good as you wanted but it'll get the job done (all the way to ISO 1600) and it'll shoot RAW so you can clean up the exposure later.

Personally I carry the G9 as my second body whenever I can. Carrying 2 full size DSLR bodies at an event is a supreme pain. I also take the grip off when possible for these events to stay as small and light as possible (its easy enough to just swap out the battery after a few hundred pictures - long before the battery dies at an embarrassing moment). Having tons of gear hanging off you draws a lot of attention and the point is to be as invisible as possible so you can just document the event.
Nice point of view. BTW, what would you think of a k-m + DA40 for this role? acceptable?
10-10-2008, 06:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ariahspam Quote
Nice point of view. BTW, what would you think of a k-m + DA40 for this role? acceptable?
Anything small is good but I still prefer pocket size. the k-m is sure to be popular as a second body when that second body needs to be an SLR though. I would not hesitate to pick it up if that is what I was looking for. It may even be a good primary body for wedding event type settings. The last wedding I attended as a guest the photog was shooting a Canon XSi and a Leica M8 with one spare lens for each in a pouch on his belt. It was a very nice compact setup. I could see doing something similar with my G9 and the K-M when it becomes available (although I would probably have a second SLR body not too far away in that event)
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