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01-06-2010, 12:54 AM   #1
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Wedding & Portrait Photogs - I Need Your Help

Hi, I am hopeful that I am placing this in the right forum. I just finished my first year of professionally shooting weddings & portraits with a Canon 5D Mark II. I found that it is a great camera but one thing that seemed to be looming on each of my weddings with the exception of one was rain. While the 5D may be sealed along with the lenses I realize that it is not a seal that would hold up in steady rain for long periods of time and I always want to be able to deliver for my clients without regard to the weather. This thought process has lead me to Pentax and Olympus as the contenders for an all weather kit.

So I am looking to gain insight from those of you whom shoot weddings & portraits with Pentax and find out if it is a good and reliable kit. Also if anyone could comment on the SDM failure issues I have read so much about.

For anyone who has switched from Olympus I would love to gain some insight as to what you thought of the switch as well.

Also in case your interested the kit that I would be looking at purchasing is:

K-7
DA* 16-50
DA* 50-135
DA* 55
AF540FGZ Flash
Possibly a LTD or two

I would also have a k-x or k-7 as a backup as well as a second flash.

Thanks for the input!

01-06-2010, 06:45 AM   #2
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I'm sure some of the Wedding pro's will respond, but there are probably hundreds of threads discussing what you are looking for. May want to search.
01-06-2010, 07:15 AM   #3
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in the Canon ecosystem, wouldn't a 1DmkIII satisfy your needs? If you have a lot of lenses, that might be less expensive? Just being pragmatic :-)

The Pentax setup you listed should work well for weddings and portraits. I use my K20D in rainy/snowy conditions w/o problems.
The SDM issue was supposedly a quirk with a screw holding a part being loose or misaligned and the new lenses don't have this issue.
That said, even Nikon's AFS lenses seem to fail after 10yrs. I prefer screw drive lenses myself, though the 60-250 has been nice so far...
01-06-2010, 08:19 AM   #4
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Anyone doing weddings with pentax gear is stark raving mad IMHO.

- AF is still a step behind the opposition (thought better than it used to be)

- SDM on the classic wedding lenses (16-50 and 50-135) is unreliable at best

- no pro support

- Archaic, unreliable and fussy flash system

I mean go ahead, but why?

01-06-2010, 10:24 AM   #5
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The Canon 7D's weather sealing is supposed to be pretty good. What Canon lenses do you have?
01-06-2010, 10:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Anyone doing weddings with pentax gear is stark raving mad IMHO.

- AF is still a step behind the opposition (thought better than it used to be)
A wedding isn't exactly the Serengeti.

QuoteQuote:
- SDM on the classic wedding lenses (16-50 and 50-135) is unreliable at best
What I find puzzling is the fact that 16-50 extends to zoom. I'm not sure how that's supposed to be weather sealed.

QuoteQuote:
- no pro support
This is *the* problem.

QuoteQuote:
- Archaic, unreliable and fussy flash system
Yeah, there are a lot of Nikon users who notice this.
01-06-2010, 10:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Anyone doing weddings with pentax gear is stark raving mad IMHO.

- AF is still a step behind the opposition (thought better than it used to be)

- SDM on the classic wedding lenses (16-50 and 50-135) is unreliable at best

- no pro support

- Archaic, unreliable and fussy flash system

I mean go ahead, but why?
I agree to disagree with your comments. I occasionally do weddings with a K-7 and K20D with absolutely no problems. Peter Zack also does weddings with Pentax gear, and he doesn't seem to have problems with his gear.

Generally, when people post "problems" with a system, it seems like the problem is more related with what is behind the camera.

AF on Pentax is slightly slower than otehers, but it often is more accurate than the competition.
SDM is NOT unreliable.some people have had problems with the SDM, but I've seen Nikons and Canons with similar problems.
As for the flash system, I don't see what problems you're having. I use three Sigma flashes in P-TTL mode with no issue, unless there is something reflecting the light back toward the camera. Canons have similar problems.
01-06-2010, 10:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
What I find puzzling is the fact that 16-50 extends to zoom. I'm not sure how that's supposed to be weather sealed.
The 60-250 does as well...

01-06-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The 60-250 does as well...
Yeah...is there a HEPA filter in there?
01-06-2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
- Archaic, unreliable and fussy flash system
Alfisti: have you tried the K7? Sounds like p-TTL flash exposure has been fixed w/ the new 77 segment metering...

Of course, I still use auto-thyristor mode w/ non-Pentax flashes
01-06-2010, 12:42 PM   #11
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First of all, to the OP: Yes, that would be an excellent setup. Please note that the flash, as far as I remember, is not weather sealed. I assume you would continue shooting Canon indoors, and use Pentax predominantly outdoors.

Quite frankly, I am puzzled with the posts in here.
Fast AF for weddings? It is not like the focus goes all over the place. You shoot frame after frame, and very little changes. Accurate focus is important, and Pentax does well with that. Now, sports photography is a different story. But I have rarely seen a bride do a diving tackle of the best man to get at the rings.

I think SDM complaints are a little exaggerated in the forums, but it is a failure mode to keep in mind. In that regard, a K10D as a backup may be interesting, since it can keep using the 16-50 and 50-135.

For the flash, I would like to suggest the Metz 58, since it has a pretty good auto mode that avoids all the P-TTL "trouble".

Either way you decide, I wish you good luck with pursuing your career and hope not too many brides will have to deal with a rained-on wedding that makes you pick the Pentax system.

D.
01-06-2010, 12:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Anyone doing weddings with pentax gear is stark raving mad IMHO.

- AF is still a step behind the opposition (thought better than it used to be)

- SDM on the classic wedding lenses (16-50 and 50-135) is unreliable at best

- no pro support

- Archaic, unreliable and fussy flash system

I mean go ahead, but why?
C'mon now !
Maybe just a little mad...
Seriously, though, the points you made are somewhat exaggerated and the said gear wouldn't fair badly in wedding situations. It's sports that the system may struggle considerably.

Nevertheless there are a number of pros even on this forum that shoot weddings exclusively with Pentax, and have done so for years. After getting accustomed to the nuances of the system, particularly with flash, good reliable results can be the outcome every time.

Certainly don't expect the ease of use to be comparable to the 5D MkII.
01-06-2010, 12:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
What I find puzzling is the fact that 16-50 extends to zoom. I'm not sure how that's supposed to be weather sealed.
Weather sealing doesn't require internal focusing.
The seals could conceivably be at the base of the extended tubes.
Any water settling on the tubes while extended wouldn't enter the lens mechanism if retracted, but I make it a point to wipe water off the tubes before retracting, just in case.
01-06-2010, 12:58 PM   #14
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The only thing I would change is: add another K7 for a backup body, and add two, or even three more flashes (one for each body and two sidelights)...

depending on how much canon gear you have you can pull it off in a trade in.

@Alfisit:



QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Anyone doing weddings with pentax gear is stark raving mad IMHO.

Now where is that durn straight jacket....

- AF is still a step behind the opposition (thought better than it used to be)

I think you mean competition there is no other camera out there in opposition to my work. Also, my AF is fine even in very dark situations.

- SDM on the classic wedding lenses (16-50 and 50-135) is unreliable at best

Hmmm...Thats my lens setup right there. One on each K10D body....and have been quite reliable the entire time.

- no pro support

PPS, Pentax Professional Service. You have to make at least 50% of your income from photography and to register you need to give them an account that they can charge up to $250 bucks on for speedy turnaround. Turnaround is 72 hours. Thank you very much.

- Archaic, unreliable and fussy flash system

Statements like these are funny. One of the responses I often get is 'oohhh I love the lighting!'

I mean go ahead, but why?
Do you work for Canikon?
01-06-2010, 12:59 PM   #15
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I shot my last wedding with the K20 and the 16-50/2.8, the FA 50/1.4, some outdoor shots with the 70-200/2.8 Sigma and some available light shots with primes like the FA 85/1.4 or 24/2.0. Everything worked fine and the couple and guests were and are very happy with the results. It rained a bit outside, but that was of no concern.

P-TTL flash can be unreliable and is probably one generation behind E-TTL II, but you can always simply use Auto-mode on the flash (that's why I use only Metz flash guns, they have an excellent Auto-mode). AF speed is no issue. In many situations - and many typical wedding must-have-shots can be prepared, I use manual focus anyway, pre-focus and wait for the the moment to push the trigger.

In any case, I never found the AF a limiting factor for these occasions - and the K7 and K-x seem to have a noticeably improved AF over my older K20/K10 and K-m cameras.

So, all in all, I have no doubts myself that the Pentax system can deliver anything a wedding photog might wish for. BUT if I'ld already have a cupboard full of Canon or Nikon equipment, I in all probability wouldn't switch, just for the added weather sealing of the Pentaxes. It sure is a nice feature. But switching a complete system is so expensive, that is sure a lot cheaper to add a sealed Canon body to the outfit.

That's my view from a professional point, which is ruled by achieving a viable bottomline.

Ben

Last edited by Ben_Edict; 01-06-2010 at 01:50 PM.
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