Which camera to take to my brothers wedding?
Hi my Brother asked me to be the photographer at there wedding, I declined as Its far to important for someone who has never done a wedding before, plus I want to be there with my family not as the official photographer... saying that I'v always wanted to give it a go, and I'm sure the official photographer won't be shooting film or printing in a home black and white darkroom.
Therefore I am going to try and take some informal "real" pictures plus one or two formal medium formats... would love to show up the pros work!
My normal shooting is strictly as a serious amateur, normally Street and Landscape. I use a dslr for cataloging trials and some landscapes at work only.
I am tossing up which camera/s to take. My main choices are:
Zorki 4K - my favorite street shooter, but can have issues if not loaded carefully
Canonet QL17- sturdy and reliable, not quite as wide a lens as i normally work with but will fit in my pocket, i generally don't trust its meter but it does work, frame counter is missing.
Praktica BC1 - reliable has apeture priority mode and multiple lens' to pick from , though that means carrying a bag with me ... so i could also bring the spare body, but then i might as well have taken on the full job.
Mamiya Super23 - sort of a given this is coming with tripod, will take a couple of formal shots with it, then it will go back to the car.
Roliflex-T - name may say is all, but i do find the pictures from this a little soft... perhaps it needs a CLA.
Film i'm intending to use is HP5 which i love working with for mixed lighting (street) and either FP4 for the formal shots or something a bit finer grained like PanF for the Mamiya.
Any throughts Guys?
Would the Canonet be the best all rounder, or the Praktica? or should I risk my favorite (Zorki) and just be super careful with the loading (keep a film change bag in the car) and enjoy the head turns?
I will probably only shoot one roll, though over 7.5hrs the street photographer in me is going to be itching to shoot more...
Look forwards to all throughts and comments.
P.s I do have more cameras to choose from... perhaps my Ensign Folder...!
If the Canonet has a good fast lens and the rangefinders accurate use that, my camera of choice is a Leica with just a 50mm lens and 200 ISO Fuji film, that's worked extremely well at numerous family weddings as I've been able to shoot in the churcj & at the receptions hand held with no flash.
Use the Mamiya for some formal shots, but remember as immediate family you may need to help with the guests etc so need to be fast working.
Take whichever camera that is light weight, unobtrusive, quiet, and non-threatening to the hired photog. Then keep an eye on the hired man(discretely)and take mental notes of what he does, so that later on you might feel up to shooting a wedding yourself. You can ask questions, but be aware of the tone of the response(some of these people are primadonas)and by all means do not shadow them. Stay alert, you may end up with the better shots, and find out you are a good wedding photographer.
Perhaps try some sloooow photography with fine grained film and good printing. A few, well thought out images of the wedding couple might work better for you, since you also like to participate in the wedding yourself. Many wedding photographers seem to be bend on shooting hundreds of images and they forgot that tripods still exist.
If your Rolleiflex T is up to it, a square format would be a refreshing change over the conventional.
Set yourself apart, be different.
Last edited by Marcus S; 01-22-2010 at 01:20 AM. Click to view previous post history.
greetings and welcome fotopom, i was in a similar situation last year, too many cameras, which to take?
like you i was comfortable with a zorki but really wanted to use 120 even though i knew a 3.5 lens would not cut it. In the end i opted for the fastest lens, 1.4 50mm on an old minolta sr7 that i had not used for ages.Used xp2 at EI 250, this worked for me as like you i wanted to participate and not have the distraction of a complicated setup. Got some weird looks from the pro but i also got some great casuals which he did not.So i would sugest fastest lens. Zorki or canon? good luck
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Thank you for your responses guys, starting to get some ideas... maybe fp4 with a fast lens for the 35mm stuff and panf for the out door medium format stuff.
For the 35mm format stuff, i'm only going to use one lens. Which would you guys suggest ...? my canonet Ql17 only comes with a fixed fairly wide lens (40mm f1.7), otherwise the Zorki comes with a 35 (f2.8) due to design this has very little distortion edge to edge or 50mm (f2), my Praktica comes with 28mm (f2.8) 50mm (1.8) I also have a (something like) 35-70mm zoom but its crap and a longer 70-210mm (f4.5-5.6) which is good quality but to slow me thinks. I'm leaning towards the canonet more and more, however I do have an old canon RM with a sharp 50mm (f1.8) built like a brick s**t house thats good fun to use as well.
If I take the Mamiya I'll use its 100mm (f3.5) lens and a 6x9back.
Hope the extra info helps!
The more weddings I shoot, the more I appreciate the qualities of prime lenses instead of zooms.
Keep it simple.
Play to your strength (Street shooting) and don't duplicate what the hired pro is there to do. Therefore, I think the Zorki and/or Canonet would be best.
Not sure how you'd do the formals. The hired pro has a job to do and may not be comfortable if you're organizing you own formals unless he/she is done with those subjects. I might be tempted to use the Super 23 without tripod (certainly doable) to be as mobile as possible. It might mean sticking with a faster film, but a 6x7 HP5 negative is nothing to be ashamed of.
I'd vote for the Canonet if you were going to stick to one camera. It's small and non-intrusive, which is good for you as well as the event. If you're there mostly as a guest, you don't want to be dragging too much kit around.