View Full Version : Mixing Systems to shoot a wedding?

06-08-2013, 12:23 AM
Hey all,

For those of you who shoot weddings, do you usually try to stick to one manufacturer or are open to buying multiple camera/lenses and bringing them all? I'm currently Nikon 35mm (documentary style photographs) with Pentax 645 formals and a digital as a filler..... however, I'm thinking of using a mix of Pentax 35mm and Nikon 35mm film cameras and Pentax 645 and no digital (even a Fuji Instax for good measure). However, I'm somewhat more invested in Nikon but with two of my lenses going out of commission (developing problems), I'm contemplating my options as I see the repair bill.

Here's the thing: I'm all about the lenses. I love my Pentax DA*55 F1.4 as the results on film are quite astonishing but don't have a Pentax film SLR camera to use it with just yet (borrowing, and may purchase soon). I have a Nikon 35mm F1.4 that I use a ton (usually attached to a Nikon F3). Pentax 645 is my main instrument for formals. All else is kind if up in the air as to what I want to bring.

I know gear is a fickle thing and it's all about one's art and one's vision that makes great photographs... but I want to really just make an investment in the right film gear that will work well for me... as this will be client work... I want to invest further into something (one manufacturer... or mix?) that I know I can really use for a while to build up the business.

Anyways, just thought I'd throw that out there. Curious as to what people have done before (or are doing now) for weddings!

06-08-2013, 12:34 AM
Whenever I have shot events such as this, I am Mr. Fumblefingers. A basket of nerves. Or sloppy, negligent, or... something. No matter how you think through the upcoming event, it never works out that way. Walking in there mixing cameras is a recipe for disaster. Have you ever fouled up a wedding and had NOTHING to show the customer? I have--once. Never again. That was 1984. I never forgot it. You would do very well to pick your MF main camera, and a 35 MAYBE around your neck for those quickie candids. If you traipse in there as a walking camera store because you enjoy owning these gadgets, you will be very sorry.

Gerald C Koch
06-08-2013, 12:57 AM
Having done a few weddings myself I agree completely with Tom1956. A MF camera and a 35mm one for candids after the wedding itself. Remember you will be dealing with Bridezilla and if you are very unfortunate mother of Bridezilla. So keep things simple for your own sanity.

Check before hand where the wedding is to take place. Check the lighting, vantage spots, is flash permitted?, and other important things a week or so before the wedding.

It's a good idea to only provide proofs, so marked, until you are paid. For my second wedding the bride took my photos and then failed to pay for them.

In addition it is good to have a legally binding contract as to what you will be providing and what the members of the wedding party will NOT be doing. Particularly annoying are people like uncle Harry who will try to shadow you around with his cell phone and steal your shots. Put it in the contract that only you will be allowed to take photos during the service itself. You do not need extraneous flash when you are trying to do your job. Make sure that all attendees know of this restriction. (They will have ample opportunities at the reception.) If the bride will not agree then walk away from the job. If I sound hardnosed, you betcha. Remember as photographer you are considered beneath the caterer!

I finally decided that photographing weddings was the worst possible way to make money! Good luck, you will need it. A Xanax or two might help. :)

06-08-2013, 01:02 AM
I've shot over 300 weddings.
Go simple. The D700 is so versatile with its Auto-ISO it's all you'll ever need. Start with that...

06-08-2013, 01:16 AM
You don't want to mix systems - if you are switching between bodies and using various lenses you need to have stuff that works consistently and works together.

For weddings, your equipment needs to have a consistent feel - adjustments need to be simple and intuitive.

If I was mixing film and digital, it would be critical that I be able to use the same lenses on all bodies - that way if a body malfunctions the other body is available to immediately fill in.

06-08-2013, 01:24 AM
I've shot over 300 weddings.
Go simple. The D700 is so versatile with its Auto-ISO it's all you'll ever need. Start with that...

You know what's really sickening? Today you could walk in there with a cellphone, since the quoted poster has broached the subject of a digital camera. Perhaps in a year you could walk in there wearing a pair of google glasses. And to think that all Captain Kirk had in the year 2450 was a hand communicator that he had to flip open to expose the antenna, and twist the knob to stop the RF noise.
But to be fair to the OP--I'd say the same as was said before. On weddings, KISS. Just good heart-attack prevention.