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03-07-2014, 02:17 PM   #1
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Pentax Kx

Hi everyone! So I am not new to photography, but I am new at owning a Pentax Kx. I had a istD in the past, and loved it. I have always done photography as just a side hobby, but now I have decided to go against my better judgment and photograph a wedding for a dear friend of mine. They have had a hell of a financial struggle, and she came to me in hopes I could still capture her wedding the way many professionals do. Any information techniques, equipment information as in what lenses I should use, lighting etc. is greatly appreciated! The ceremony is in a small naturally lit church, and the reception hall is quite long, and dark. Thanks!

03-07-2014, 03:15 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Welcome to the forum, I can understand your wishing to help with this daunting task.

As long as your friend understands that you will do the best you can as an amateur, I'm not a wedding tog so I'll let others assist you with kit choices etc.

Good luck on the day.
03-07-2014, 03:24 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I've photographed pretty much everything in every situation possible, except weddings... People are too demanding and I don't think I ever saw someone really happy about their wedding pics, either they were not good enough or if they were, the photographer was too expensive... Those photos will be memories that they'll want to show off and cherish until death do them part... I just don't like that kind of pressure

Back to your challenge. First off the technicality: You'll have to check with the priest what is their policy regarding wedding photographers is, I've seen some churches were the priest acted kind of like the director, no photos unless he said so. (inquire about flashes while you're at it). You should "Survey" the church ahead of time to find good spots to shoot from and check the lighting in different weather conditions (take some test photos too). Also, the Kx is not known to be the quietest camera, the shutter and the mirror clap can (and will) get very annoying during the ceremony.

For the shooting itself, a naturally well lit church may still be very dark, especially if it's overcast outside. This will be very hard to predict and even harder to work with. You may have to use artificial light and the popup flash although practical, IMO it will not give you anything looking professional. Unless you're some sort of wizard with it. So consider using external flashes (if allowed). The same will be even more true at the venue where the reception will be, you will need artificial lighting.

For your lenses, I'll let the wedding photographers of the forum answer this one. One thing I can say for sure, get the best lens you can afford...

For the technique, whenever I was presented with a photoshoot I never did before, I would go online and look at thousands of pictures of similar shoots. I'd check the focal length, camera settings, lens used etc to try to have a rough idea of what others would do. Not to copy them, everyone has a different style. But it will give you an idea.
Also, talk with the bride-to-be. She has more than likely went though a million wedding photographs while planning her wedding... Ask here to show you some photos that she likes and take notes, try to figure out how the photographer got his shot, what distance he was standing, etc. Again, you don't have to copy the shots, it's just to give you a good idea of what she is expecting and what she likes.

If you can, try to do at least a preliminary casual photoshoot with them. And if you can, try to snap some candids of them too. This way, you'll be able to figure out if they have a better "side" and at what angle they look good (not everyone look their best and every angle) and you'll get some practice of taking pictures of them together.

Last edited by fgaudet; 03-07-2014 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Added more stuff
03-07-2014, 03:31 PM   #4
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Do you want AF or MF lenses

03-07-2014, 04:03 PM   #5
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pentax kx

It definitely is a daunting task, but luckily the bride is in love with just the simple snap shots I have taken. So hopefully she doenst turn into bridezilla on me! As far as flash photography goes I am looking into purchasing a YongNuo YN560II which I am also going to have to work with to understand. I have always just used natural lighting. As far as the lenses goes I am looking for "bang for my buck" I have heard that a fast f 2.8 lens is necessity. I am open to either type of lens. I just don't understand some of the compatibility issues with manual lenses and my digital Kx
03-07-2014, 05:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kkaat1 Quote
I just don't understand some of the compatibility issues with manual lenses and my digital Kx
True fully manual lens (focus and aperture) will limit you to manual exposure or Av mode (nothing wrong with that but it's not always practical for an event like a wedding, where you can't just keep everyone in position while you're adjusting your settings). Auto-aperture lenses will allow you any mode. ("A" and newer series pentax lenses and most "auto" lens from third parties). I'd go for that if you're on a budget.

Nothing wrong or limiting with manual focus lens. AF may be faster than MF depending on your handling of the manual focus but with practice you'll get the hangs of MF and you could get fast enough.

I've got a pretty good 28mm Tak 2.8 MF and a Deitz 135mm 2.8 MF, for a whopping $80 not long ago and I love them when I'm in the manual kinda mood. Not knowing anything about the location, I can't recommend a specific focal length. So if it were me, I'd bring a wide*ish 28, a nifty fifty, a short tele 75mm or so and something like the 135. F/2.8 are nice IMO since you probably won't want to deal with a very shallow DoF of a 1.4/1.8. And you can get great MF 2.8 on the cheap. At 2.8 you can get a decent bokeh too.

You can also find some very decent zooms on the cheap but you'll lose some speed and/or sharpness. My Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 comes to mind, it's decent, not too expensive and not too slow. But you'll may end up with sharper images with cheaper primes. It's always a trade off. And if money is no issue, get the DA* zooms, they're very good. Or the the prime way and get a few limited lenses.

As I often say ... People will notice composition before they'll notice resolution. If you get the important parts looking good and the arrangement drawing the attention where it needs to be, you're golden. You could be using the crappiest lens and get incredible shots. They'll probably never look at their photographs at 400% zooms... So even a softer lens could give you very good photos, you won't get the "professional 3d pop" but if you get the composition and the exposure the way you like, it'll be good.
03-07-2014, 08:05 PM   #7
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Awesome thanks a lot for the help! I am definitely looking into getting a prime. Any suggestions? Something like a 28mm with a wide angle. I have really been looking at 17-70's as well. I don't want to break the bank just to shoot a wedding perhaps only one time, but I want to do it correctly. So thanks for the multiple lens suggestions!
03-07-2014, 08:54 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kkaat1 Quote
Any suggestions? Something like a 28mm with a wide angle.
For group shots that would work. As I said, I never did weddings but if I were to go right now, I would get my 35 and my 50-135.
The 35 for group shots and exterior shots and such... and at the party/reception to capture scenes with many people. With a 28 or a 35, if you want to get let's say the newly wed and they kiss, you're gonna have to stand only a few feet away, it will be awkward and you'll end up in everyone else picture. So in the church I'd try to stay out of the way and use the long end of my zoom.

It's always hard to suggest lenses. What I feel is best, might be the worst for you. And everybody will have an opinion. I love my 17-70. It's has a great focal range that you can use for pretty much anything and it is sharp. It takes some very nice shot too (IQ, colors, bokeh). It's not a limited, a DA* or a prime but for the money, it's hard to beat. Primes are nice but I don't know about using the set focal length in a place like a wedding where you may not have the freedom to move around as you please to get the proper composition. The few photographers I know usually bring two zooms, ultra-wide to wide (like 18 to 40) and a mid to long tele (70-200) plus a 50mm prime for the money shots.

03-07-2014, 09:28 PM - 1 Like   #9
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My thoughts on a bargain set of MF ZOOM lenses for a wedding. I have them all and they are very nice to use. Try to getting a pka adapter for each I don't like removing and installing the adapters. Im not sure how much time you have ..they take some getting used to
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 35-80mm F/2.8-3.8 (01A)

Tamron Adaptall-2 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 (40A)
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 80-200mm f2.8 LD BBAR MC (30A) This one makes you look like a pro BIG chunk of glass

(Get also a 50mm I recommend:Pentax-A 50mm 1.4, Pentax-F 50mm 1.7 or DA 50mm 1.8 they are great Bargain portrait lenses to keep in your bag)

for no flash shots I would shoot at 2.8-5.6 depending on how well you can focus, speed around 1/90 and figure out your Iso, if she is wearing white then use her dress as the exposure some test shots(once whites are blown you can't get them back).
If you do any sunny outdoor shots buy a lcd Loupe and shoot in the shade if you can.
Practice Flash Bounce or buy a Gary Fong thingy.
Very important Shoot raw and Use a good program for Post Processing them,Lightroom 5 is my favorite

Last edited by Sliver-Surfer; 03-07-2014 at 10:18 PM.
03-07-2014, 09:30 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kkaat1 Quote
she came to me in hopes I could still capture her wedding the way many professionals do.
The first thing you need to do is to disabuse her of the notion that you are capable of capturing her wedding the way many professionals would do it. Yes, you can create wonderful pictures. They'll be in your own style. That's not necessarily good or bad. Just different. If she has a couple photographers whose style she likes, you can certainly look at their website samples for some ideas & direction. But you'll still have your own, unique style.

The next thing to do is to perceive that naturally lit sanctuary as what it will really probably look like on D day. Candlelit or overcast or some type of soft, muted lighting. And figure out how you'll work with that.

I have a K-x. It's a good little camera. It's not bad at low light either. With good lenses, flash when appropriate & some good planning/practice, you should do just fine.

Last edited by dansamy; 03-08-2014 at 06:39 AM.

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