Nikon Wedding Camera and Lenses

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by unohuu, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    I am moving on to Nikon for my wedding and portrait work. I have held both the F5 and the F100. I have heard the pitch of the sales clerk who stressed that 35mm zoom lenses are better than my two primes for 645.

    I am thinking that I want one of these as primary and a second body for backup.

    Here is my question. If you are familiar with both bodies, which do you prefer and why? What are the advantages of the body you prefer? What is missing that you would want on that body?

    Q2- Are the 28-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 zooms enough for church weddings and perhaps some outdoor candids and formals? Any other lens you would recommend?

    Q3 - WA zoom or prime you would recommend?

    I currently have
    Maxxum 7 and 600si

    Tokina 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5
    Sigma 28-70 f/2.8
    Minolta 35-70 f/4
    Minolta 50mm f/1.7
    Minolta 85mm f/1.4
    Minolta 135mm f/2.8
    Tokina 100mm f/2.8
    Minolta 70-210 f/4


    I usually have the 20-35; the 28-70; the 50mm and 85mm with me for weddings and add the 70-210 as a zoom for portraits.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I shoot weddings with my minolta gear and have for years, my most used lens has always been my 28-105mm and the second lens in the vest is a 75-300 which sees very little use, this combination has worked for a good number of years for me. I shoot with Maxxum 9xi's or my Maxxum 9 with a 9xi back up, my wife, who shoots with me, uses her 7xi with the same lens combinations and she shoots B&W..I have never used the Nikons for work, but have had occasion to shoot both the F5 and the F100 and for a wedding I would prefer the 100 as it is lighter and quicker handling, I found the F5 to be better suited for tripod use as it is pretty heavy.

    R.
     
  3. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    I would use both bodies simultaneously; one with the 28-70 and the other with the 70-200.
    Then get one more body for backup..a N90 would fit that bill cheap enough.

    Changing lenses during a wedding shoot is not convenient for the most part.

    You'll have time to switch to primes for posed group stuff, other than that I'd stick to the zooms.
     
  4. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I've never used the F100, but I really like the F5 - it is a big camera, but easy to hold. I especially like the secondary shutter release - makes shooting vertical images much easier. Sorry, I can't offer any help with lenses, I don't shoot weddings.
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    I also don't have any personal experience, but the guy who teaches a wedding class for us, and is a very high end photographer (avg about $10,000 per) suggests a moderate tele very fast prime. I think he uses a Canon 85mm f1.8. He uses it for detail shots with extremely limited depth of field. Works really well.
     
  6. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    Roxi, I have also shot the weddings with the Minoltas. I just recently completed a studio lighting class in which the instructor and students were all shooting with Canon DSLRs. I don't want that but one of our models had a Nikon that worked well with the Pocket Wizard and the strobes. I was impressed enough to go grab an F5, N90s, and F100 and start asking questions about them. The Nikon system has these lenses and accessories that I have not been able to get with Minolta. While I love the flash system (wireless and almost flawless), I can't use radio slaves easily for studio flash. I thouhgt a look at Nikon would make some of the wedding work easier - grab my 2-3 lens kit with flash, etc and go.

    Paul, I would certainly miss the 85mm for those dreamy shots.

    Last but not least, I can rent Nikon and/or Canon lenses for special occassions. I can't do that with Minolta.

    Thanks!
     
  7. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I have only had experience with the F5. When I was choosing between the F5 & the F100, I chose the F5 because it fit my hand better. The bottom corner of the F100 sits wrong in my hand.

    As for Nikon lenses, you can get pretty much the same lenses you list above. Some that fit the bill are:

    20-35 f2.8
    17-35 f/2.8
    24-120 VR
    28-70 f/2.8(?)
    70-200 VR
    85 mm f/1.4 or f1.8
    105 mm macro (makes a nice portrait lens too) - I think they just came out with a VR version of this lens.
     
  8. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I currently have Nikon FM3a and F3. I don't shoot weddings except for friends (did 2 last year). In this type of shooting situation, I have found myself using 2 bodies, one with a 24 mm prime lens, the other with an 85 mm prime. Although I take another body as back-up with a 70 -> 210 zoom on it as a back-up, I usually find I never use it.

    Whenever I use a zoom, I instinctively want to close it down 2 or 3 stops to be sure of good edge definition (which is very critical with group shots). I don't think I could bring myself to use a wide-angle zoom for a wedding shoot unless it was a super-expensive Canon L series or something similar, however, as I have no experience of Nikon zooms (I have only prime lenses), I could be wrong!

    Regards,

    David

    PS: I wouldn't necessarily believe the sales clerk who's telling you that 35 mm zooms are better than 645 primes - that's a pretty big claim!
     
  9. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    Until about 4 years ago, I only shot street scenes, social documentaries, urban landscapes, etc... and I have only done two weddings - both were for close friends, both were done 'my way' and both were gifts - I insisted both hire a 'real' photographer to get all those line up the relatives and force a smile out of them pictures that I hate. And I don't do formals - culturally, this is still too wierd for me. :smile:

    So take what I am about to write with a grain of salt. Or more!
    I don't have either camera, but I have shot with the F5 several times. I'd go with the F5. It's the professional model for a reason - well built, fast AF, dials on the outside versus menus for ease of changing settings, lots of accessories, recent enough that there is 'residual' inventory of new accessories out there, a used one is really cheap.

    I use 3 Nikon F4e's each with one of three lenses - Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 28-70 mm f2.8D ED-IF AF-S, 80-200mm f2.8D ED-IF AF-S. I have found that these 3 kits, plus my TC20E AF-S teleconverter and 300 mm f2.8D ED-IF AF-S lens pretty much give me all the range I need for anything. I brought the three kits with me to the weddings.

    Since I wanted to shoot the wedding "pseudo reportage", I found these lenses provided me with the feel of a journalist, while I still had the ability to direct poses and style a bit.

    I'd recommend the WA (wide angle) zoom - Nikkor 17-35mm ED-IF AF-S f2.8D for the F5 - over any primes. It's very versatile and a fine lens.

    I have a whole bag full of primes that will never see the light of day again. I keep them just for nostalgic (and archeological) reasons.

    Regards, Art.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2006
  10. Amund

    Amund Member

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    The 17-55 is a digital only lens... Maybe you meant the 17-35mm?
     
  11. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    D'oh! Yes, I meant the the Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8D ED-IF AF-S.

    (I have the 17-55 and the 70-200 for my D2X)

    Sorry, Art.
     
  12. Ellenmarie

    Ellenmarie Member

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    I carry the F100, N80, and FM10... with usually the 85mm 1.8, 28mm lens although sometimes will change out to the 28-70mm and the 70-300mm for those times I'm banished to the balcony or just want to get some candids from afar. I bought the FM10 to replace my Pentax K1000 which I loved. Sometimes if some slow moments, may pull out my Mamiya for some photos.
     
  13. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    I really like and use the F100. It is just about everything the F5 is, and considerably smaller and easier to mount onto a flash bracket. And with the MB-15 accessory grip attached, you've essentially got an F5, with a vertical shutter release too. My main wedding glass is the 28-105 and a quality 20-40mm AF. I use lithium batteries in my bodies and in my SB-600 & SB-800. Extremely quick recycling time and they last much longer than alkalines. I've also got an N90s & FE-2 as backups. Both do very well for wedding work.

    Kiron Kid
     
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  15. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Here are the Nikkor lenses I use for 35mm wedding candids (I normally use medium format for the formal shots):

    a) 35mm f1.4 with shade
    b) 85mm f1.8 with shade
    c) 105mm f2.8 with shade (for individual portraits)
    d) 24mm f2 with shade (for large group shots)
    e) 180mm f2.8 (optional)
    f) 35-70mm f2.8
     
  16. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Nikon F5 verses F100 for weddings:

    1. With the F5, you can shoot ground level shots with a waist level finder or a right angle finder.
    2. With the F100, you can only use a right angle finder to shoot ground level shots.
    3. There are times when you may find it useful to use a sports/action view finder. This can be done with the F5 but not with the F100.
    4. Occasionally, the 100% viewfinder accuracy of the F5 can be useful for critical compositional framing.
    5. The heavier weight of the F5 may be useful for minimizing camera shake when shooting handheld in dim light without a flash.
    6. The smaller size of the F100 may attract less attention when shooting candids.
    7. I have never needed to use mirror lockup during a wedding but if you did, the F5 has it while the F100 does not.
    8. The smaller size and lighter weight of the F100 makes it easier to use for an extended period of time.
     
  17. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    unohuu,

    Instead of getting an F100 and an F5, have you also considered getting two F100 bodies or two F5 bodies instead?
     
  18. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    Hi
    I worked for years with an F5 and F100 and an FM2 Titan the last only for B/W.
    I used the older small and not havy 28-70 f 3,5 on the F5 and the heavier f 2,8 24-70 Sigma on the F100 and also the 2.8 80-200 on the F 100. I also used in the churches for large overviews a 20mm prim lens.
    2 F5s are to heavy for a whole day shooting in my opinion!
    Then I would prefer 2 F100 because I get older.
     
  19. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I have never owned an F5, however I did have an F100. The circuitry of the F100 is more modern on the F100 if you are planning on using any newer Nikon speedlights. It has a good weight as well which is great when having to hold the camera for 6 hours. It is a solid camera and the prices are dropping. You might be able to pick up a new F100 and a mint condition FM2 for about the same price you would pay for a mint condition F5. The FM2 is a must have in my opinion because it is the ultimate indestructible Nikon. No batteries needed when all else fails.
     
  20. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I love the canon 85 1.2L of the 50 f1L
     
  21. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Marko,

    Have you ever shot a wedding?

    R.
     
  22. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    No, but im going to with my uncle. he is usign a leica for it. unusual wedding camers.. i tryed out thses lenses and they are great
     
  23. Shane Knight

    Shane Knight Member

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    Hello Luke,

    You ask a great question, and based on your needs I would suggest the following:

    Hands down, F100 with MB-15 (vertical grip) vs. F5. The technology of the F100 is newer and one major advantage over the F5 is the 5 RED focus indicators within the view finder. The F5s do not indicate as well. This is a big advantage as you become familiar with using different focus spots. Compared to all F bodies, F5 was not out long before it was replaced with the F6 -- Reasons based on the lack of red indicators, battery consumption, weight, and noise.

    With the F5, you can lock up mirror, a bit stronger build, change view finders, more FPS; I do not believe either will have an advantage for shooting weddings.

    If I was given a choice between a free F100 and a F5, I would still choose the F100. (for weddings)

    Lenses,
    I have both the 28-70 2.8 AFS and 80-200 2.8 AF (non AFS). They are both great and I would suggest getting the US 5 Year Warranty. I have not kept up on the newer released lenses, but the 80-200 2.8 is a must have. For weddings, I would never use a lens slower at this focal length. There is a newer 70-200 2.8 VR and I have heard good reviews but very costly. There is a 80-200 AFS, but I don't believe the added cost is worth the extra 10% gain speed of focusing.

    For weddings, I would stay away from lenses slower than 2.8 and especially variable speed lenses which can make shooting with a flash a bit more challenging. I don't shoot much wide anymore, so I can't share much experience on current lenses. When I was shooting weddings, I hardly ever used my prime lenses except when I needed wide.

    Flash:
    Any Nikon Speed light works great. I would suggest the SB-28 with a Quantum Turbo Z battery pack. The newer costly flashes are designed for film/digital bodies which may have options that you will never need for film capture. If you become highly dependable on TTL (or other nice options), I would suggest 2+ Nikon flash heads; the hot shoe is made of plastic and is open to damaged (which can be easily repaired with parts). If you mainly shoot flash in manual power setting with occasional TTL, than I would suggest 1 SB-28 and 1+ Vivtar 285 (with Quantum pack).

    If you need any off-camera flash equipment recommendations, please let me know.

    I hope this helps,

    Shane Knight
    www.shaneknight.com
     
  24. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Hi Luke, I have shot many weddings and have progressed through many Nikon cameras starting with the F3, F4, and am now using the F100. Why not the F5 I hear you say? I compared the F5 with the F100 and prefered the F100 because of the more up to date features and it was also cheaper!

    I use the 24 - 120 VR zoom for most of the time but also have a 50mm 1.4 and 85 1.4 for low light and or shallow DOF.

    The zoom is very sharp once it is closed down a couple of stops and the range is extremely useful for wedding work. I don't like changing lenses on the run.

    The F100 has proved very reliable and has terrific metering. I do however keep a FM2 as a back up because as an old guy I still don't quite trust all electric cameras. Don't know why though as none of them has ever let me down!

    Noting Shanes comments on the SB28 I must concur as I have broken off the shoe on mine. I purchased a SB80dx and it has a much stronger metal shoe with a cam locking mechanism - Nikon have learnt from their mistakes.

    Cheers, Tony
     
  25. Shane Knight

    Shane Knight Member

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    Nikon's newer flashes which have a stronger/metal shoe and a better locking mechanism may not be much of improvement depending how you treat your equipment. I believe we all can agree when shooting weddings, it is unavoidable at times that small and large accidents happen to your equipment. For example, you turn to look at the bride and you smack your camera flash into a child who was below your vision (ouch), or you smack your flash into a door jam, a little here and a little there. When an accident(s) happen, after a while something has to give. The newer metal/stronger hot shoe actually sends the breaking point to your cameras body/shoe loosening it from the camera over time. I had to send my cameras in to have repaired which is more expensive than fixing the shoe on the flash.

    The key words above are "depending how you treat your equipment". Myself, I use my equipment almost everyday (not weddings) and I am brutal and show no mercy on my Nikon setup.

    Shane
     
  26. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I think you actually have to handle both camera, and see which you can handle easiest. I have an F5 as well as an N80 (with the accesssory battery pack), both are different cameras. The N80 has some features the F5 doesn't, but overall I prefer the F5. I have big hands, so a big camera handles better for me. You can't take good images, if you aren't comfortable with the equipment. I have a 24 - 120 VR lens as well, it is a great lens.