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Thread: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed

  1. #11
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    My standard answer: rent. In your case, my suggestion is to rent a lot.


    You need at least two cameras, You need two ways to cover the wide end, perhaps 17-55/2.8 and 24/1.4, or 17-55/2.8 and 24-70/2.8. If one lens dies/falls/goes swimming in paint, you need another way to get the shot. You need something long, perhaps the 85/1.8 as others have suggested, maybe also a 135/2 or a 70-200/2.8 of some form.


    You need to find out if you can use flash inside the venue, in writing. If you can use flash, you need to become an expert at off-camera flash, and train an assistant to move your lights with simple signals, so you should buy whatever you're going to use NOW and start learning FAST. If you can't use flash inside, you need to rethink all of your camera/lens choices. I'd be thinking 2-3 5D bodies, the 24/1.4, 35/1.4, 85/1.2, and 135/2 perhaps.


    My fiance and I shot a wedding two weeks ago. We don't do weddings, and we "did it for a friend". Since we weren't getting paid, she decided that we weren't going to rent anything, and just work with what we had. I shot with a 1D3 and 24-105, and 7D with 70-200/2.8IS. She shot with 40D and 16-35/2.8, and 7D and 28-135 kit lens, with a 580EXII on each. I used two 580EXIIs remote with PW Flex units. She wanted something a little better on the long end, but didn't seem to feel too cramped without. As the sun went down, shooting at the reception became increasingly difficult, and after the staff turned out the "christmas lights" criss-crossing the pavillion, it became essentially impossible to AF with the 7D/70-200.


    When we do jobs (not weddings) "for pay", our standard lens lineup is 16-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8, and 70-200/2.8IS for me, 10-22EFS, 24-105/4IS, and 70-200/4IS for her (she prefers lighter weight). If I had my druthers for this gig, I'd have rented at least our standard lens lineup, and possibly the 35/1.4 and 85/1.2.


    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  2. #12
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    My standard answer: rent. In your case, my suggestion is to rent a lot.


    You need at least two cameras, You need two ways to cover the wide end, perhaps 17-55/2.8 and 24/1.4, or 17-55/2.8 and 24-70/2.8. If one lens dies/falls/goes swimming in paint, you need another way to get the shot. You need something long, perhaps the 85/1.8 as others have suggested, maybe also a 135/2 or a 70-200/2.8 of some form.


    You need to find out if you can use flash inside the venue, in writing. If you can use flash, you need to become an expert at off-camera flash, and train an assistant to move your lights with simple signals, so you should buy whatever you're going to use NOW and start learning FAST. If you can't use flash inside, you need to rethink all of your camera/lens choices. I'd be thinking 2-3 5D bodies, the 24/1.4, 35/1.4, 85/1.2, and 135/2 perhaps.


    My fiance and I shot a wedding two weeks ago. We don't do weddings, and we "did it for a friend". Since we weren't getting paid, she decided that we weren't going to rent anything, and just work with what we had. I shot with a 1D3 and 24-105, and 7D with 70-200/2.8IS. She shot with 40D and 16-35/2.8, and 7D and 28-135 kit lens, with a 580EXII on each. I used two 580EXIIs remote with PW Flex units. She wanted something a little better on the long end, but didn't seem to feel too cramped without. As the sun went down, shooting at the reception became increasingly difficult, and after the staff turned out the "christmas lights" criss-crossing the pavillion, it became essentially impossible to AF with the 7D/70-200.


    When we do jobs (not weddings) "for pay", our standard lens lineup is 16-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8, and 70-200/2.8IS for me, 10-22EFS, 24-105/4IS, and 70-200/4IS for her (she prefers lighter weight). If I had my druthers for this gig, I'd have rented at least our standard lens lineup, and possibly the 35/1.4 and 85/1.2.


    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  3. #13
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    I would also add that an assistant or two would have been massively helpful. As it is, I went through three sets of batteries in each of two CP-E4s (so that's 24 batteries right there), and probably should have changed them twice as often.


    I don't think I'll consider doing another wedding without a budget to hire a helper for $50-100.


    Also, read http://www.lensrentals.com/news/2010.07.25/fwigtew-and-other-first-wedding-acronymss and apply those lessons before the gig. Be able to walk in knowing that no "little birdie" could mutter any of those acronyms in your ear about you. I pity anyone who asks what I'm thinking before I take a particular shot, as I know my gear inside and out. In my opinion, that's the way it should be.
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  4. #14
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    I like the idea of a 2nd body (5D MK II) and two prime lenses. Something like the 30mm f/2 on the 5D for group shots and a 85mm f/1.8 for portraits on the XSi.


    You will want to avoid the use of flash in many photos, and only a prime is likely to give you the ability to shoot in lower light.





    This will leave you with a vastly better setup for well less than $5,000. If you can, hire a helper to operate one camera. If you want a close focusing lens to photograph the ring, or other small items, consider a 100mm L macro.


    Even with the Macro, you will be well below the $5K Mark.


    Once you get to using the 5D MK II and see the difference in IQ, your XSi will get little use, even though it is a fine camera.

  5. #15
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Setters


    There is too much truth in this jest...
    <div style="clear: both;"]</div>


    Who said anything about being in jest?

  6. #16
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    Wow! Thanks for the great advice everybody!


    So this is what I plan on getting now:


    Canon 7D with grip,


    Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS,


    Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS,


    Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM,


    And rent a Canon Speedlite 580EX II.


    That is around $5200-$5300 with UV filters for each lens, 2 extra batteries for the 7D and two 16GB cards.


    So does that sound good to everybody?


    Is there anything I need to add to that?





    Thanks again for all of the advice![]

  7. #17
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    That's, in my opinion, not nearly enough cards for this sort of gig. We walked out the door two weeks ago with 66GB across 14 cards (granted, that's two photographers), and came home with two 2GB cards that were empty; all seven cards that I started with were full or filling fast (and I'd like to think I'm good at pacing myself).


    I would also advise against 16GB cards. You'll just have too many shots in one place; a failure will be absolutely catastrophic. The 7D will certainly fill cards fast, but 250-300 RAW shots on an 8GB is a happy medium. I would honestly walk out the door with at least four 8GB cards for the 7D and at least three 8GB cards for the other camera, preferably six and four respectively.


    Have you verified that you can use flash? Are you doing remote flash, or are you sticking to on-camera flash? If remote, I'd skip a lens purchase (renting a lens instead) so that I could buy the additional flashes NOW to learn them.


    Not that I'd advise against extra batteries, but I've done 12-14 hour shoots before and never saw my gripped 7Ds come home below 40% charged on their first pair of batteries. If you needed to move some money around, you could go with one spare for now.


    How many batteries do you have for your flashes? I have almost 120 Eneloop AAs, and sometimes I think that's not enough (for four 580s and two battery packs).
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  8. #18
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    Update:





    This is the gear I have now.


    Canon EOS Rebel XSi with grip,


    Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM,


    Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens,


    Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens,


    Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash,


    With about $1700 left to spend What do you think I should get?


    Right now I'm thinking about getting aRefurbished Canon 7D. I think I would really like the video, I think the wireless flash would be nice too.


    Or should I get a cheaper body and get another lens and/or flash?





    The Wedding is in the first weekend ofoctober.


    Thanks


    ~Elon

  9. #19
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    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    If you can fit it in, the 50mm f/1.4 would give you unique perspective type shots of wedding elements.

  10. #20

    Re: Wedding Gear Recommendations Needed



    I'm with Peety on this one, renting some gear might be in your best interest at this time. You seem to be working with quite a budget right now, is this because the wedding is a paid gig for you or are you doing this as a favor? If your getting paid for this, then you will be expected to deliver the goods and having back ups for everything is essential. As others have mentioned, there aren't any do-overs when it comes to wedding photography and you will have a very upset bride if you miss a shot because of equipment failure.


    The first wedding that I shot, I rented the 17-55 2.8 and it failed on me 1/2 hr into the wedding. Luckily I had my 24-105 as another general pupose lens that let me complete the wedding but if I didn't have another general lens I would have been shooting the entire wedding with a 70-200 2.8!


    The other question that you have to ask yourself is if you have any more weddings in your future. If you don't, then getting extra camera bodies or flashes might not be necessary and you would be better off renting for this event. The last kit you have listed is a good general kit to have, without a doubt (and as others have mentioned, a nice fast prime would be good as well) but if you have more weddings in the future, then another camera body like the 7D would probably be a good idea. Camera bodies tend to take up much of the rental cost if you end up doing it on a regular basis.


    If you do end up buying stuff or renting, make sure you do have plenty of time before hand to familarize yourself with it. The 7D isn't exactly like your Xsi, in controls or handling, so you want to make sure you know how to change settings on the fly when you need to (all it takes is just a few seconds of fumbling with the controls and you might miss an important shot!)


    Good luck!












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