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02-04-2019, 01:36 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Need help for amateur wedding and equipment.

Hi everyone,

I need some advice.

I currently have a K5ii and a K3ii which I use about 99% of the time for birding pictures.

My daughter is getting married this summer and asked me to take pictures at her wedding.

Keeping in mind the newer generations are not into full blown wedding albums and that all they want are several "decent" souvenir pictures, I accepted.


Now, with my cameras I have the following
- a 35mm 2.4 plastic fantastic: my be useful for group shots
- a 50mm 1.4 FA: maybe a few portrais with some bokeh
- a 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 DA DC: may be good for general shots where space is small
- a 100mm macro: pretty much useless for a wedding I imagine
- a 300mm f4 which is my favorite lens but will be basically useless for a wedding.
- a 55-300mm DA zoom which would most likely not be useful.
- a METZ 52 AF-1 is on the way.

I have a shot-list of minimal pictures that must be taken.

I have a second photo hobbyist to take shots I will not be able to take.

Keeping in mind that I am by no means a pro but would like a minimum of success.

Opinions everyone..... can I do anything half decent with this equipment.


PS: I am toying with the idea of borrowing some $$$ (it is my daughter after all) for a K1ii with a 28-105.

02-04-2019, 01:43 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by devouges Quote
and asked me to take pictures at her wedding
Don't you think you should rather take part in the ceremony and enjoy the wedding? Someone else can take pictures. As per gear, I did similar gig with K-S2 and 18-135, newly-weds were very satisfied with results. Of course every excuse is good to buy K-1
02-04-2019, 01:51 PM   #3
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I've shot my friends wedding using only a 50 mm f/1.7 on aps-c with good success!
I really needed the fast aperture for indoor and lowlight night shots.

If you need to shoot wide open, make sure everyone is standing in a line as any depth to the picture will become blurry.
Make sure to check your photos before everyone leaves - zoom in and make sure eyes are open and everyone is in focus.

Make sure to practice with that flash ahead of time and do test subjects. Bounce the flash off the roof whenever possible. Flash can be tricky if you're not used to it. However, it will allow you to stop down and get more in focus for sure!
Try to get to the venue ahead of time and take test shots and you'll do fine!
02-04-2019, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #4
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135mm maximum focal length does mean you'll need to be relatively close to the couple a lot of the time. But the 100/2.8 macro is not as useless as you think. It doubles up beautifully as a sharp and fast portrait lens, and the bokeh on it will be what sets the images it produces apart from the 18-135. If the 300/4 is an autofocus lens, you may be surprised that it may be useful if you have to be far away from the action at any stage. Problem with it will be weight management. The flash will be necessary to fill the subject with light. Good luck.

02-04-2019, 02:02 PM   #5
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I’ve shot many weddings and would recommend the following:

A 17-70 or equivalent faster zoom. I used the DA17-70 f4 which worked great.

A 70-200 or 50-135, my favorite was the DA50-135.

It’s hard to get into position all the time with a prime, but I do use them for certain shots (when I want a faster aperture).

I have used the K-1 for weddings, but add the full frame glass and it gets heavy. If I were in your position, I would probably get the two zooms I mentioned, put one on the K5 and the other on the K3 (actually I’ve done that same thing).

Good luck and enjoy yourself! Congratulations to the newlyweds!
02-04-2019, 02:03 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by FozzFoster Quote
I've shot my friends wedding using only a 50 mm f/1.7 on aps-c with good success!
I really needed the fast aperture for indoor and lowlight night shots.

If you need to shoot wide open, make sure everyone is standing in a line as any depth to the picture will become blurry.
Make sure to check your photos before everyone leaves - zoom in and make sure eyes are open and everyone is in focus.

Make sure to practice with that flash ahead of time and do test subjects. Bounce the flash off the roof whenever possible. Flash can be tricky if you're not used to it. However, it will allow you to stop down and get more in focus for sure!
Try to get to the venue ahead of time and take test shots and you'll do fine!
Pentageek: YES, I will be part of the ceremony for sure, this is why I have a second helper and he will have a shot-list also. He will do a lot of training before summertime.

---------- Post added 2019-02-04 at 16:07 ----------

I am lucky, part of the actual ceremony will be OUTSIDE on a terrace if the weather permits. This should take care of some lighting worries.

Also, I have 6 months to sharpen up on "people" pictures as opposed to "bird" pictures. I do like the 17-70mm idea….. I will follow-up on that
02-04-2019, 02:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by devouges Quote




PS: I am toying with the idea of borrowing some $$$ (it is my daughter after all) for a K1ii with a 28-105.
The 28-105 could have some advantages, but will only be useful in relatively good light especially at the longer end, when it's f5.6. You'll need a fast prime for evening
02-04-2019, 02:23 PM   #8
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You didn't say whether the wedding is indoors or outdoors. That makes a huge difference. I shot an outdoor wedding with the K3 and four lenses a while ago, and of the 40 shots I rated 3-star or above, 15 were with the DA 16-85, 13 with the DA 55-300, 3 with the DA 70 Limited, and 9 with the Sigma 35mm Art. I also used Rogue FlashBender soft box on a Metz 52 AF-1 for gentle fill-in. So you may be surprised how useful a long zoom lens is.

In general, zooms are very useful for weddings, to get close without running in and out all the time. The long lens lets you get close and intimate without intruding physically.

02-04-2019, 03:29 PM - 1 Like   #9
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OK - first - there are many threads about this and all of them agree. Hire someone, don't shoot a wedding of a loved one. But if you insist on ignoring that wisdom...

Post your shot list, your plan for how many shots at a time in what order, distance that you will need to be from the action in each shot, and what shots you'll delegate out. Will your second shooter also be shooting backup gear?

---------- Post added 02-04-19 at 05:30 PM ----------

I will add that I shot one and only one wedding for a friend. I did it with a Nikon film camera and a 50mm f/2 lens. She was broke as a church mouse and the shots were her only option for pictures. I was happy to help but it was not my best ever work. I was 20'ish.
02-04-2019, 03:35 PM   #10
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Good to know you will have second helper to step in in crucial moments As others mentioned, longer zoom is definitely worth of consideration, I used Tamron 70-200/2.8 (indoors) and results were very good. During your practice on 'people' you may try 55-300 to see how it performs as portrait lens - I know it's pretty slow, especially at long end, but may turn out to be useful. Last, but not least, you can borrow (or buy) film camera, and pair it with FA 50.
02-04-2019, 03:50 PM   #11
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You've already got the best advice, find someone else to do it. At my daughter's wedding someone did not show up that was supposed to take cell phone snapshots of arriving guests. I stood in for a while and missed a lot doing that. However if you insist, zooms are the way to go because things move fast, and changing lens could be tough. Outdoors may or may not be easier. My nephew was married outdoors and the bright sunshine created lots of harsh shadows. Hope for a nice cloudy day. And even though you have scripted shots, wedding don't always follow the script and people don't always cooperate as you want them to, because they don't know the photo list.
02-04-2019, 04:18 PM   #12
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I have taken pictures for weddings although it was for my brother, cousin and a few friends. As for overall advice, if the you are one of the people normally in wedding images as parents, best man, maid of honor, grandparent etc. then do not be the photographer. If things work out, this should be the one day that will be looked back on for many years. If you are the father, who is going to get the image of you escorting the bride down the isle? Having the "last dance" at the reception, posing with the brides "family" in the group shot.

Selfies just do not cut it. Get someone else to shoot the images.
02-04-2019, 04:18 PM   #13
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Take some shots at the rehearsal, then you can look and see what you did well and what you could have done better or different. Hindsight is 20/20...
02-04-2019, 08:28 PM   #14
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I shot my son's wedding two years ago. Many people advised me to hire someone, while others even suggested I sell my equipment in order to hire a pro but the kids just wanted a low cost event. In the end, we all had a blast and the kids were elated with the pictures, even though I'm no where near a pro.

I had two cameras, a K-5iis and a K-3. I had a DA 20-40/2.8-4 mounted on one camera and a Sigma 70mm/2.8 macro on the other. I just switched cameras, as needed. As suggested in an earlier post, I used the rehearsal as a practice session and to evaluate the lighting in the church. Don't be surprised if they don't allow flash in the church, so be prepared with fast glass (f2.8 or faster). If you can shoot birds, you can shoot people. Just remember to have fun and embrace the moment. I'm sure the couple will cherish the photos.
02-05-2019, 12:14 AM   #15
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With birds you probably try to use the eyes as a focus point. That's what I do, whether I'm trying to take a pix of an American White Pelican in flight with my Sigma 150-500 or my fast moving young grandson with my Pentax 100mm Macro F 2.8.

I've only taken wedding pix once, and that was about 45 years ago, so I'm no expert but here are some thoughts.

I would suggest for really important shots, that your friend and you both take pictures at the same time (if possible) ...double your chance of getting a good picture.

Take extra batteries for cameras and flash.

Make sure your lenses are clean, batteries are fully charged up from the get go, that you review with the happy couple what particular pictures, events, groups of people they want you to get for sure.
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