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Wedding photography with micro 4/3

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Pfilly, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Pfilly

    Pfilly Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    I currently have a GH2 and am using it for film. I am also looking at getting into wedding photography so I'm purchasing an extra body and a 35-100mm f/2.8 vario lens but I wonder if anyone had an opinion on using the older manual lenses like a 20mm, 28mm, 50mm, and 85mm to supplement a 12-35mm or a 7-16mm autofocus lens. Thx!
     
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I tried it with several Leica lenses with the GH2 and it was really hit and miss. And a t a wedding you just can't afford to have 50% of shots outof focus. Think you'll have reconsider the 25mm 1.4 and 75mm 1.8 at least. Probably a macro as well.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I agree with Gordon that adding the native 25mm/1.4 and 75mm/1.8 would be a better way to go. I also agree with adding a macro lens (you gotta have those ring shots at least!), but will add that there is no reason to stick with native lenses for that. For the macro, go legacy if you want to save a few bucks. You won't be using AF for the macro shots anyways.

    Now personally... I can shoot everything with MF and do it with sufficient accuracy and speed, even with action... but that takes a helluva lot of practice. I'm not just a weekend photographer, I shoot for a living full-time, every day of the week. Like Gordon, I also think it would be too much of a risk for you to go without AF - and that's from the viewpoint of somebody who's biased towards MF.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Nov 16, 2010
    hey all...I do it for a living at the moment fully with micro 4/3s. I use to bring the GH2 and an slr, and with time found that it can be done no problem with m4/3s. I use a gh3 with an OMD as main cams, with a GH2 as a B (C?) cam. The 35-100 is on the GH3, 12-35 on the OMD and 25mmf1.4 on the GH2. I use the fl600 on the OMD and a metz 58 af2 on the GH3 (a vey very awesometastic flash), I also have a 52 af1 on the GH2 and an assortment of slaves (a few of them are flashes too :) ). Other lenses are only used on the mini session of the wedding, a time of about 1 hour between ceremony and reception that we go somewhere and do something nice. Ive tried the legacy thing with success, but as soon as the 42.5mm f1.2 comes out I see no need for it. The native lenses are hard to beat.

    7188991347_bdaf0ef786_b.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 8
  5. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Nov 16, 2010
    And if there isnt a thread about it yet, I could contribute a lot to one...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Sep 28, 2012
    SE Essex, UK
    Les
    I don't think there is one, start one up!!
     
  7. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    So the Metz 58 af2 vs the FL600r whats 'awesome' about it and what's not?
     
  8. Pfilly

    Pfilly Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 31, 2013
    Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately the budget doesn't allow for a GH3 (I'm jealous lisandra) so the OMD sounds like a good main camera and the GH2 as a backup. As for macro; couldn't I just use the 35-100mm?

    I'm just going to reiterate that a 12-35 and 35-100 is a must and then should I get the 7-14 or the 75mm 1.8? I've read that photographers have gotten away with just a 50mm and a 70-200 during wedding shoots but I'm not that good yet.

    Another camera body option I was considering was the G5 but I don't know it compared to the dynamic range of the OMD.

    How does the GH3 and OMD compare in image quality and dynamic?
     
  9. Pfilly

    Pfilly Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 31, 2013
    Actually, I can make this easier. I have a GH2 and a $3000 budget. How would you spend that money?
     
  10. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Buy a Nikon D600. Just kidding :wink:

    I am not speaking from experience, but from all sources I've read the G5 outperforms the GH2 in stills. How much it outperforms is another question. The only major issue would be the short battery life, and that's pretty serious in my view if you are doing weddings. You don't want to run out of juice in the middle of a shoot and miss some important shots.

    I would seriously consider going for the GH3 not only for better image quality but it has the added advantage of the battery grip.
     
  11. Pfilly

    Pfilly Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 31, 2013
    I don't mind buying batteries or a battery grip for an OMD.
     
  12. Pfilly

    Pfilly Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 31, 2013
    My friend is going to get the 12-35 and I can borrow that from him. As far as I see it going it would look like this:

    Panasonic G5: $500
    Panasonic 35-100mm: $1200
    Lights/studio props: ?
    Flashes: ?
    Another lens: ?
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Is that your complete list? What lenses are you using currently on your GH2?

    You will need a flash. Wedding photography is shooting an event so your main flash bracket or flash grip mounted unit will be your most important. You may not be able to set up other lights too often. Because of your reliance on a single flash on the move, I would go for something larger like the Olympus FL-50R or anything in its equivalent range. If you can, add 2 or 4 more lights on stands with radio triggers and softboxes, and add those when the opportunity arises. Your bracket-mounted flash is your primary concern though. Make sure you have a good light modifier for it. I would suggest a soft-box style for directional control and even un-bounced lighting.

    I wouldn't worry about studio lighting and props. A studio photographer (like myself) might want to take some formals in the studio, and do some formal setups with studio lighting. However, if you're not set up for it don't piddle around with a half-assed effort. On your budget, you will not be able to get studio quality and if you're starting from scratch then I assume you don't have the experience to properly use studio lighting either. So concentrate on making the most of what you have, which would cover event style photography. Bracket-mounted flash, bright autofocus lens, ambient light, etc. A wedding is not a time to start new things out of your field.

    For other lenses, that's why I asked what you're currently using on the GH2. From what you've told us, after the set purchases you'll only have a 35-100mm/2.8 and the ability to borrow a 12-35mm/2.8. I would add a tele-macro lens (for things like rings and memorabilia) and a fast mid-telephoto (ie, like maybe the 75mm/1.8) for getting those bokeh filled shots that some brides will demand.

    Also, reading back to your first post I think you mentioned filming as well when you asked about manual lenses. If you use one body for filming and one for photography, then use the AF lenses for photography and the manual lenses for video. Manual lenses are the ideal lenses for video, and I would use them over any AF lens for that purpose.
     
  14. Pfilly

    Pfilly Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 31, 2013
    I have a 50mm 1.8 canon fd that's a little soft wide open. I few old fd mount tele lenses but nothing worth mentioning. Thanks so much for the input and tips! I'll definitely have to sort out priorities and see where the money can best be spent. The same guy I'm borrowing the 12-35 from already has soft boxes so flashes and more lights are a great suggestion! I'm reading as much as I can about wedding photos and am practicing as much as I can with as many subjects and lighting situations as i can.
     
  15. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I would LOVE to see a gallery of :43: wedding images. I have no question that the format and bodies are capable for the formals and such. My concern is around the crazy parties and black hole churches and venues.
     
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Ok, I'm going to try and be nice here. But please tell me you're planning on second shooting for at least a season. Please. In order to be a first/primary shooter you need much more than you have or are thinking of getting currently. But as a second what you have, are thinking of getting is great. 12mm - 100mm on m4/3 with a flash and a few primes for creativity, done.

    I shoot mainly Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, to really handle any function you need experience and the right equipment. For events I shoot Nikon FX. This is my event equipment list, 3 FX bodies, 4 flashes, and around 20mm - 200mm 2-3 times over in zooms and primes.

    I'm NOT saying m4/3 can't, I just started with and have way too much invested at the moment. I also would like a few variable f2.8-4.0 zooms like 4/3's has so I don't need to go out and buy 2 each of the 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8s. Give me a m4/3 version of the Zuiko Lens ED 12-60mm f2.8/4.0 SWD and Zuiko Lens ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD and then we'd talking. And that's the main reason I'm still waiting.
     
  17. Pfilly

    Pfilly Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 31, 2013
    I was actually planning on doing both. When I was between 15-18 yrs old I went on wedding shoots with my father. In college I took black and white photo classes but its been awhile since I've picked up a camera until recently. Lately I've been doing sports photos for the kids basketball games and although I think I may have quite the eye for it, I really do need more experience. Any hints, tips, or tricks? Any ideas on what I should practice on?
     
  18. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Any gear can shoot weddings. I know a top end photographer who shot with nothing more than a single M6 and a 50mm for several years. I know of photographers shooting exclusively with the Fuji X system and other photographers shooting weddings with m4/3 (including myself).

    The real trick is to know which choice is the best for the particular way you shoot. Do you want super versatility (a set of zooms), thin DOF ( a set of primes) or a mix of both. Do you prefer to shoot long or wide? Do you shoot a classic or a candid style? Then choose the gear you need. You'll need to balance between having everything you need and not enough that it simply gets in the way. And you'll have to have the gear to meet the expectations of your clients.

    There's a few things you'll have to have. Backups. Bodies and lenses. If a camera goes down you'll need a spare. If you usually shoot with two bodies you'll need three. For lenses you'll need a zoom that covers the focal lengths you use the most. It doesn't have to be fast. It just has to be available at a moments notice. You'll need lighting. On camera flash is fine. You just need to know how to bounce it and maybe a short TTL cord to get it off camera. It will have to be powerful. A single FL600R isn't going to cut it in the wedding world. A macro for ring shots and reception details. It also doubles as a backup.

    For a lightweight kit:
    2x bodies (with grips preferably)
    FL50R (plus a backup)
    12-35 2.8
    35-100 2.8
    60mm macro.

    There's not much you can't shoot with this. No super thin DOF but that's not a requirement.

    Additional Gear:
    - 12, 17, 25, 45, 75mm primes. If you have the 12-35 the 12mm doesn't make a lot of sense. I'd look at the 25mm first, 75mm second.
    - 7-14mm or 9-8mm.
    - specialist MF lenses like the 25mm 0.95.

    Mandatory accessories:
    - 4 to 6 batteries. Plus lots of batteries for your flash(es).
    - 64GB of memory cards. Smaller is better with a camera that has a single card slot. Too many eggs in one basket and all that.
    - Polarisers or ND filters for each lens. m4/3 is aperture and shutter speed limited. You won't be able to shoot wide open in bright light at ISO200, 1/4000. Without them you could be forced up to f8 in some cases.
    - A easy access bag or case.
    - Lens cleaning cloths, asprin, bandaids, ibrobrufin.

    Optional Accessories:
    - Wireless flash triggers, stands.
    - Additional flash modifiers
    - gels for your flash
    - LED lights
    - larger studio type flash heads

    So simply put. Start with how you intend to shoot and get your gear based on that.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Pfilly

    Pfilly Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Jan 31, 2013
    Excellent points and thanks to everyone for your contribution. You should all write a book!
     
  20. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    So your father is or was a pro?

    Equipment, insurance, etc are all things you can control and Gordon breaks it down well. Backups available at a moments notice is key.

    Experience shooting is nice and you get that as a second shooter. But just as important is experience dealing with the day. Weather, delays, bride, groom. parent etc zillas. Weddings can be easy when everything goes right, but when something doesn't? What do you do when the limo is late and the time line STARTS 1/2 behind? I've had the fun of 2 weddings that were suppose to be out doors, hurricanes kind of changed plans a bit. Had a wedding in an old church with no AC and temps over 100. Had a bride that I was not sure if she was going to faint, run, or faint while running.

    One thing I always tell couples, as the photographer I'm the only vender that's with them from start to finish on their wedding day. I'm their only vendor that can help or hinder every step of the day. I look at it as part of my job to help them through the day if I can. That's what experience give you.

    Sorry if this seems over the top. I guess I've just run into too many "I'll pick up a DSLR kit and go into the wedding photo business". :redface: