Latest (Wedding) Gear Conundrum

ooheadsoo

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I've agreed to shoot a wedding day early next year for a friend. As a favor, not paid, and no pressure (yeah right.) This isn't my first wedding, but it's been a few years since the last time I was asked, so I'm definitely a bit rusty. I don't think they have too many demands of me though that may change as the date draws closer. I believe the primary focus will be the wedding ceremony itself rather than all the other "prep" shots that are the bread and butter of most wedding photographer gigs.

Here's my gear conundrum.

Gear list:
Nikon D750
Samyang 14/2.8
Nikon 20/2.8d
Nikon 24-120/4
Tamron 35/1.8
Nikon 50/1.8
Nikon 55/1.2 ai
Lensbaby 80/2.8 tilt
Nikon 85/1.8d
Nikon 105/2.8
Nikon 180/2.8d

Panasonic G9
Olympus e-m5.1
9-18
12-100/4
20/1.7
25/1.4
45/1.8

No flashes (stolen a few years ago, never replaced)
On the other hand, flash would be frowned upon during the ceremony anyway.

I recently sold my m43 2.8 zoom pair for the 12-100. Boy am I kicking myself now! I'm concerned that the 12-100 will be too slow for the indoors wedding with m43. Should I stick my 24-120 onto my D750 and use the g9 w/ 25/1.4. I've been shooting exclusively with my m43 gear for the last year and will now need to reacclimatize myself back into the Nikon interface and lack of face detect. On the other hand, 3d tracking with bbf is a joy as long as the focal point stays within the small sensor cluster.

Any other loadout suggestions? If I'm bringing my FF gear, I will likely bring most of the primes just for the heck of it, but am not likely to carry them on my person. I would expect to use the 24-120/4 as the workhorse except for portrait sessions or if I do get to take some prep shots. Can the 12-100 be viable as my primary? I can also mount my 85/1.8 onto m43 (with or without .7x focal reducer) and shoot manual focus, if needed. D750+24-120 and g9+adapted 85/1.8?

According to some past shots I've taken at the church, in the worst case scenario, I will need approxmately iso 6400 to hit 1/80s at f/4.
 
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ooheadsoo

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Renting is a possibility, but one I'd like to avoid. The rental shop is an hour+ away and avoiding cash outlay would be great. I just helped out at an out of town wedding this weekend that put a small dent in the pocket book (not photography help).

Good point about the noise from the d750. The g9's shutter is so quiet, I might not even use electronic shutter, but the d750 does give a nice mirror slapping thwack. It does have a "q" mode that lets you control when you let the mirror come back down, but I've never really used it. Hm, I'm not sure how big an issue noise would be. G9 definitely preferable in terms of noise.
 

davidzvi

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I shot many events with a D750 and 24-120 f/4. As long as you're within the range were 120mm on the D750 is enough than I'd put that on the D750 and leave it there. You could shoot the whole thing with that alone. But since you have them......

I'd put the 9-18 on the E-M5.1 for wide environmental shots to get the feel of the ceremony, reception, etc. Shot around f/5.6 even the slower AF it should be fine given the overall DOF you'll get since you wouldn't really be focusing on any one thing or person. Then I'd use the PL25 and O45 on the G9 shooting f/2 or wider for the creative stuff.

The noise of the D750 is louder than the silent modes of mirrorless, but it really shouldn't be an issue unless you're one of those machine gun shooters.:cautious:
 

ooheadsoo

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I appreciate the advice. Any thoughts on the metering mode? I used to shoot almost exclusively with highlight protection metering and boost shadows from the RAWs. However, to be honest, things usually looked best to me when overall exposure levels were brought back up to where matrix metering would have chosen in the first place. The previous few weddings I shot were all on my stolen DX kit from several years back, so I don't actually have any event shooting experience with the D750, strangely enough. As for being a machine gun shooter...:whistling:

As for the 9-18, I will almost certainly take wide environmental shots with it, but I don't really see myself taking that many ultrawide photos in the grand scheme of things. The church space is rather utilitarian and very familiar to all involved, and further, I understand the decoration budget is somewhat minimal. This could leave the em-5 free for another lens. (I forgot, I also have a Nikon 20/2.8d for the same reason (and an old sigma 10-20 for dx that the thieves had the good sense to leave behind.))

Will anyone vouch for the G9+12-100/4? I do have DXO PL2 and can run prime noise reduction on it, if it may be a viable option...
 

kinlau

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24-120 on the D750, primes on the G9, ultrawide on the Oly.

Bring the Nikon primes in case you end up in a cave.
 

davidzvi

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I appreciate the advice. Any thoughts on the metering mode? I used to shoot almost exclusively with highlight protection metering and boost shadows from the RAWs. However, to be honest, things usually looked best to me when overall exposure levels were brought back up to where matrix metering would have chosen in the first place. The previous few weddings I shot were all on my stolen DX kit from several years back, so I don't actually have any event shooting experience with the D750, strangely enough. As for being a machine gun shooter...:whistling:

As for the 9-18, I will almost certainly take wide environmental shots with it, but I don't really see myself taking that many ultrawide photos in the grand scheme of things. The church space is rather utilitarian and very familiar to all involved, and further, I understand the decoration budget is somewhat minimal. This could leave the em-5 free for another lens. (I forgot, I also have a Nikon 20/2.8d for the same reason (and an old sigma 10-20 for dx that the thieves had the good sense to leave behind.))

Will anyone vouch for the G9+12-100/4? I do have DXO PL2 and can run prime noise reduction on it, if it may be a viable option...
Matrix mainly. I almost always used on camera flash, manual mode (f/4 & 1/60-100), auto ISO (limit to 3200), AF-C, and used exposure comp to push or pull the ISO. My setups were pretty basic and I tried to change things as little as possible during an event. BUT if I were going out to meet the limo and trailing the B&G in I'd switch to program and center for the transition. Then switch when in and I get a pause. You could shoot the whole thing in program, but I prefer to keep A/S constant.

The 9-18 and E-M5.1 probably aren't fast enough for wide shots on the dance floor, that's why I suggested just parking that lens on that body environmental stuff. They are probably your weakest link, but they also fill a need better than probably any other combo you have. I also try to think about albums when I shoot as well, a wide shot of the cake with a LOT of negative space on one side makes a nice album spread with a few detail shots of the cake cutting overlaid in the negative space.

The DX wide will turn the D750 into a 10mp DX, considering that I shot events with 6 and 10 megapixels images, that still enough. But I just wouldn't take the 24-120 off the D750. The only reason I might put the 10-20 on the D750 is if you wanted to get into the middle of the dance floor, in the middle of the action. But I don't know the Sigma 10-20, so I have no idea how well it AF's with close in / fast action.

The 12-100 on the G9 is an option if you need more reach. It's certainly an option during the ceremony when the action is pretty slow so you can drop the SS a bit to keep the ISO down. If you had the option of another FF body I'd put the 180mm f/2.8 on it for reach. I used one of those for reach instead of the 70-200 f/2.8 (before the f/4 was introduced) to save a LOT of weight.

I'm not saying there aren't other options. Just what I would do given you're gear list. I probably would at least rent a flash though. It may not be necessary (or allowed) during the service. But the red AF assist on the flash units also add a lot to focus speeds and where the on body assist can get blocked, the flash assist is less likely to be. I used SB-910s, but an SB-700 would be enough. Or B&H has a deal on a
Godox TT685N kit. (https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0...-pro-feature-that-no-mirrorless-camera-offers).
 

ooheadsoo

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Adorama has a sale on their flashpoint units so I just picked up a flash and transmitter for m43. With that, I should be set for non-ceremony shots, even with the 12-100.

I will need to find some time to re-gauge my distances at the church to confirm that my 24-120 will be long enough. After my vacation in October where I will only be using m43, I'll also need to dedicate some time to refamiliarize myself with the d750.

Thanks for the cake tip. I used to do one with side lighting from a bounced flash and a colored gel that contrasted with the room lighting for a hot/cool effect. I will add your cake idea into my shot list. Glad I just picked up the flash. I'm not sure the room will be particularly memorable.
 
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You can readily shoot 95% of your wedding with the D750, the 35, 50, and 85mm lenses, indoor and out. Those are the dominant wedding kit lenses I’ve witnessed. Might want a backup body, though, and take the zoom as reserve.
 

ooheadsoo

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You can readily shoot 95% of your wedding with the D750, the 35, 50, and 85mm lenses, indoor and out. Those are the dominant wedding kit lenses I’ve witnessed. Might want a backup body, though, and take the zoom as reserve.
Agreed (except for telephoto, 85 may not be long enough), but I'm not practiced enough to hit all the transitions and lens changes without dropping the ball. Would be nice if I were!
 
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ac12

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D750 + 24-120 (primary camera)
G9 + 12-100 (2nd camera)
The G9 + 12-100 could be used to reach up close, like for closer shots during the ceremony.​

I personally would not hassle with changing lenses (primes) during a shoot, when things are happening. Unless you do that often enough that you can do it easily and quickly, there is too much chance of an accident. And NIkon and m4/3 mounts turn in opposite direction, adding to the confusion.
It would be much easier to just grab the 2nd camera.
When you stop, ie for the formals, you can change lenses.
 

ooheadsoo

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D750 + 24-120 (primary camera)
G9 + 12-100 (2nd camera)
The G9 + 12-100 could be used to reach up close, like for closer shots during the ceremony.
Yes, I'm considering this for the ceremony, if only to have the reach for, say, the ring exchange.

Then again, I'm also toying with idea of adapting the 85/1.8 onto the g9 for that particular shot, if the distance calls for it. I'll have to look at the space and get a feel for it.
 

davidzvi

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D750 + 24-120 (primary camera)
G9 + 12-100 (2nd camera)
The G9 + 12-100 could be used to reach up close, like for closer shots during the ceremony.​

I personally would not hassle with changing lenses (primes) during a shoot, when things are happening. Unless you do that often enough that you can do it easily and quickly, there is too much chance of an accident. And NIkon and m4/3 mounts turn in opposite direction, adding to the confusion.
It would be much easier to just grab the 2nd camera.
When you stop, ie for the formals, you can change lenses.
I've never been a prime event shooter, but those that I know that are often have 2-3 bodies and change bodies, not lenses.

To be clear, Olympus m4/3 lenses turn in the opposite direction as Nikon. Panasonic m4/3 lenses turn in the same direction as Nikon.
 

pake

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I wouldn't be anywhere near comfortable shooting a wedding with a m4/3 camera with f/4 lens on it. F/2.8 yes (done it many times) but f/4? Heck no. But then again, I'm still shooting with the ancient E-M5... :p
 

Lenny

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I too wouldn't be comfortable with using the Oly 12-100 f4 for an indoor wedding, unless the lighting allowed me to shoot at my maximum tolerance of ISO 1600. Using your D750 for the darker conditions sounds like the more sensible option in terms of keeping noise levels to a minimum, but yes that shutter sound is obnoxious!
 
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In my time as a wedding photographer I photographed with the Hasselblad 6x6 with 2 backs filled with 220 film rolls. A total of 8 rolls good for 192 photos. ISO 100.
In addition, a Metz 402 flash set. 50mm, 85mm and 150mm lenses (full-frame 28mm, 50mm and 85mm). Did I miss something? No, being able to photograph everything that the customer wanted in peace and quiet. And often more. Total shots and close-up and everything in between.
Sound? yes very loud, bright lenses? no, zoom lenses? what are those!!
For example, I made a few hundred wedding reports.
So choose the camera you're familiar with, a few lenses from wide angle to moderate telephoto and a good flash + extra batteries.
 

ooheadsoo

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My hats are off to all of you good wedding photgraphers out there, saving important memories for the rest of us, with special nod to the prime and/or film shooters. You are masters of performance under pressure.

As for this particular wedding, I think I will keep it on "easy mode" (or at least easier mode) and use a zoom. Seems like the 24-120/4 is a foregone conclusion, and I will likely use A mode with matrix metering to keep things familiar and not have to post process a thousand shots to lift shadows because of highlight protection. I doubt the b&g would be happy with unprocessed photos that looked like inverted rorschach ink blots.

The FF 35/50/85/180 primes will come along just in case I want to take some impressionistic and soft photos with nothing in focus. The 20 and 14 will stay home. The 180 is questionable. I don't know that I have a use for it yet.

I guess the initial question in this thread boils down to what the role of m43 will be in this shoot. It seems that it will serve as a backup system rather than primary. I will want to have a full complement of lenses available: 12-100, 25, 45, 9-18.

This leads to an ancillary question. I don't think I want to carry all of this stuff on my person. The 3 body problem *heh* sounds good but I don't see how to carry it around practically. As for 2 bodies, I know there are a number of carry solutions, but they all mean extra cash outlay for something I will rarely, if ever, use again. I'm slowly aging out of the range where my peers are getting married, so I don't expect many more requests like these; in fact, this one was a complete surprise. Whatever I do, it's going to be awkward...this is shaping up to be really fun! :)

Ok, I've got it. D750 on shoulder strap, g9 on pd capture clip if I can find it on the opposite hip, and waist pack with e-m5 and a couple spare lenses...and batteries...for 3 systems...lol. Let's try this again...
 

ac12

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CAUTION On the D750, I would NOT use Auto mode. (corrected A to Auto)
I do NOT use Auto mode on my D7200, because I have no control over the focus. The camera will select "the closest subject" to focus on. This means the camera will focus on "anything" closer than YOUR subject, rather than your subject. I used Auto once, got burnt, and never again.
I suggest P mode, where YOU can select what to focus on.

Spare batteries for your m4/3. Having been burned by the comparatively short run time, compared to a dSLR, I am now always extra aware of power consumption of a mirrorless camera.

If you put the 12-100 on an Olympus and turn on Sync IS, the battery life will be much shorter than usual (about half).
I get only 2-1/2 hours with my EM1-mk1.​
I have no idea how the power consumption will be on a Panasonic body, but if you turn on OIS, it will likely be similarly short as well.
So don't wait for the 'battery empty' signal, plan a pre-emptive battery change at a pause in the program at about the appropriate time.
 
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ooheadsoo

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I mean A mode for aperture priority. I've never had issues selecting focus in any of the PASM modes. For focus, I always use 3d tracking with back button focusing. 3d tracking only uses a single focus sensor, but tracks it around the frame within the scope of the sensor cluster. I'm not certain why your A mode would affect your AF mode. That sounds odd.

I have 5 batteries for my g9 so I'm pretty safeexcept for bag space...if the g9 were to be my primary. I should have at least 2 batteries for the d750 as well, so it should be plenty, given I won't be shooting any video.
 

ac12

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I mean A mode for aperture priority. I've never had issues selecting focus in any of the PASM modes. For focus, I always use 3d tracking with back button focusing. 3d tracking only uses a single focus sensor, but tracks it around the frame within the scope of the sensor cluster. I'm not certain why your A mode would affect your AF mode. That sounds odd.

I have 5 batteries for my g9 so I'm pretty safeexcept for bag space...if the g9 were to be my primary. I should have at least 2 batteries for the d750 as well, so it should be plenty, given I won't be shooting any video.

Sorry, when you said A, I thought Auto. duh
 
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