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Advice needed on building out a wedding photography kit

  
 
chuck77
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Advice needed on building out a wedding photography kit


I have been shooting editorial style portraits for a number of years and recently wanted to pursue weddings more (without fully leaving portrait shoots).

Previously, I relied on my Fuji X series cameras but have wanted to change up the kit more recently. I love the usability and the Fuji colours on it, yet I have found it more limiting in low light and for other quirks like overheating during a previous wedding (stills only). The price of the lenses have also increased substantially for the APS-C system.

I picked up a Nikon Zf recently and very much enjoyed the clean output at high ISOs and its autofocus performance is top notch at this price point. I would have bought a Z8 to start with, but I recognized that getting a Zf (first) made more sense to let me feel out the system (and because two Z8's would be quite expensive to start), and so far I have been quite impressed.

Now I am wondering if it makes more sense to buy a second Zf or to buy a Z8 as the other camera. The Zf has the autofocus and ISO performance that I need already, but it is "only" 24 megapixels, which limits the ability to crop. Although the capabilities of the camera are excellent, the ergonomics are not the best, so I ordered the add-on handgrip for it to hopefully help with balancing larger and heavier lenses like the 1.2 primes or 24-70 f2.8 zoom which I tried out.

Does adding a Z8 as my other camera make sense for weddings? I don't actually need all the video features that come with it. However, it is a much more capable camera. I also enjoy using prime lenses (35/50/85) when shooting portraiture and wonder if I could get away with this combo for weddings as I haven't shot with a two-camera setup before and mostly relied on a 35mm and/or a standard 24-70mm zoom, which I vastly don't prefer since I frame far better and move faster with primes.



Oct 21, 2023 at 09:27 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Advice needed on building out a wedding photography kit


I shot with a full frame D3 12MP and seldom had problems with the image file resolution. The Zf provides 50% higher resolution than the D3. For me the sweet spot is about 30MP as it is big enough to allow plenty of cropping and it minimizes time spent in batch processing thousands of files after a wedding.

For a wedding one needs a 24-70mm f/2.8 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. For macro detail shots a +4 Closeup filter on the 24-70mm lens works very well.

And then you will want two speedlights and a bracket to hold the flash up and away from the axis of the lens.

It is a real time saver to crop the frame with a zoom lens instead of doing it manually in post. I need 24mm to 70mm focal lengths for group shots and reception shooting and for the wedding processional and first dances. No time to switch lenses and so having the 24-70mm on one camera and the 70-200mm on the second camera works the best.

I had a wedding where my camera died just as the processional was about to begin. I had to switch between the 24-70mm to the 70-200mm multiple times each hour and I missed a great many shots with either the wrong zoom on the camera or being busy changing the lenses. After that experience I began to bring a third camera as a backup.



Oct 27, 2023 at 04:48 PM
gheller
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Advice needed on building out a wedding photography kit


Being a full-time wedding photographer myself (but shooting Sony), I pre-ordered 2 of the Nikon Zf bodies and then cancelled.

Number1 reason was the (lack of) ergonomics. While the grip may help, the body is too narrow to fumble with all day simply for the cool retro look ~ which is quickly diminished once you add a grip and modern lens.

YMMV, but if were to jump ship to Nikon, I would choose a different body.

If I were retired (and they introduce a retro grip and lens lineup), I would *definitely* consider the Zf.



Oct 28, 2023 at 06:25 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Advice needed on building out a wedding photography kit


chuck77 wrote:
I have been shooting editorial style portraits for a number of years and recently wanted to pursue weddings more (without fully leaving portrait shoots).

Previously, I relied on my Fuji X series cameras but have wanted to change up the kit more recently. I love the usability and the Fuji colours on it, yet I have found it more limiting in low light and for other quirks like overheating during a previous wedding (stills only). The price of the lenses have also increased substantially for the APS-C system.

I picked up a Nikon Zf recently and very much enjoyed the clean output
...Show more

Have you considered a Z6ii? It would make a great companion to the ZF.

I think it's more of a question of do you need the additional megapixels, and if you do video, if 4k 120p and 8k are things you need for your workflow. If not, then the Z6ii all the way. The Z8 is great for weddings though, though I prefer the Z9 because the battery will get you through 1+ days on one charge



Nov 16, 2023 at 08:16 PM
 


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Daniel Smith
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Advice needed on building out a wedding photography kit


Have a friend shooting Weddings and portraits very successfully still using 12MP camera bodies. Prints up to 40 inches in size still look good.

Get a second ZF body and you will find yourself never having to try and remember a setting or where a button is when you have to quickly change a setting while shooting.

Master your lighting and technique. A lot more important than more expensive gear.



Dec 01, 2023 at 08:56 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Advice needed on building out a wedding photography kit


If I was still shooting weddings (I did for 20 years) I would shoot two Z8 with a harness system. Most of the day it would be a 35 f1.8 on the one body and the 85 f1.8 on the other. Then I would have a 70-200 lens in my kit for really big churches and for couple portraits. I would also have a 28 f1.8 for reception shooting where the dance floor is small and packed. 4-6 Godox speed lights and I would be set for anything.


Dec 09, 2023 at 08:59 PM
TJ Asher
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Advice needed on building out a wedding photography kit


All stellar advice so far.

+1 on having that third body, even if it is a "lower" model. You can use if for remote shots if you are in a position to not need for the ceremony. I've done that successfully and with newer absolutely silent cameras they don't distract folks in the wedding party.

Because you will have multiple camera bodies (you are not a pro if you show up to a wedding with only one camera body) make sure to synchronize the time in all the bodies. It makes your life much easier in post when trying to line up shots. Especially when you do the remote camera.

Cheers!
TJ



Jan 21, 2024 at 05:16 PM







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