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  1. #1

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    Nikon Wedding Camera and Lenses

    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!
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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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. #3
    blaze-on's Avatar
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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.
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

  4. #4
    roteague's Avatar
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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.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  5. #5
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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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. #6

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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!
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  7. #7
    colrehogan's Avatar
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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.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  8. #8
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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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. #9
    gr82bart's Avatar
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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.

    So take what I am about to write with a grain of salt. Or more!
    Quote Originally Posted by unohuu
    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?
    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.

    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?
    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.

    Q3 - WA zoom or prime you would recommend?
    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 gr82bart; 07-07-2006 at 08:35 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Corrected the zoom focal length from 55 to 35mm
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  10. #10
    Amund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr82bart

    I'd recommend the WA (wide angle) zoom - Nikkor 17-55mm 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.

    The 17-55 is a digital only lens... Maybe you meant the 17-35mm?
    Amund
    __________________________________________
    -Digital is nice but film is like having sex with light-

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