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wedding shoot

I have been asked to shoot a wedding. I am very out of practice and my equipment is pretty old. Luckily the bride isn’t looking for fancy or hi-fi. She would be happy with decent snaps I think. I would know the difference though and need to do well. It is a good practice for me. I need to choose the single most useful camera and a couple of lenses. I chose the old Pentax K1000 and the wide angle lens and the normal lens (55mm). I prefer to use the wide angle throughout as I believe it is a good portrait lens and would catch all that a normal lens would also. What do you think about this?
I am studying films also and appears that either Fuji 400 or 800 iso would be a good bet. The church is pretty dark, so this seems like a good choice.
I will probably drag out the 2 ¼ also to use for a few of the staged group photos and bride and groom, etc., provided we can go outside. Otherwise, I have no flash or lights for this medium format.
Any ideas or comments? Thanks.

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6/5/2006 7:59:07 PM

Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  With all due respect, I think it is insulting to the bride and groom to use the most important day of their lives to pratice on. I think the practicing should come beforehand. I personally don't feel a wide angle is a good portrait lens. It distors the picture too much unless you're far away. A mid-tele would be a good lens for portraits. Wide & normal for candids. 2 1/4 might be good for formals outside but you said you're very out of practice so how fast can you operate using the 2 1/4? MF's are usually slow machines anyways and being out of practice might not be the time to frantically race around. Outside try Fuji Pro 160S or 160C. Inside stick with the 400S or 400C and jump to NPH 800 IF you need to. Honestly a bride can say whatever she wants and no matter what she pays, mediocre images are never good enough. Not saying that you're images are mediocre but "decent snaps" won't cut it. This is the day she commits herself to ONE man for eternity. This is the day she leaves her father. This is the day she becomes more of a woman than she was. She will not accept "decent snaps" no matter what she says upfront. I don't mean to sound harsh but it's the honest-to-God truth, I believe whole-heartedly. Get some practice in before-hand, and listen to the advice from everyone else that will unfold below my answer. Good luck.

Nothing personal at all.


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6/6/2006 1:33:38 AM

Kerry L. Walker   My first suggestion would be to say no. I don't care how old your equipment is because that really isn't important. Old equipment in the hands of a competent photographer is better than the latest auto everyting gizmo in the hands of a tyro. (I have equipment that makes the K1000 look new by comparison.) However, the statement that you are out of practice sends up a red flag big time. Weddings are a one shot deal and can't be re-done if the results are bad.

Since you will probably do the job anyway, I suggest you ditch the wide-angle lens. They are terrible for portraits as they can cause way too much distortion, especially when you get close. I shoot weddings with a couple of Pentax 645s and I don't even have a wide angle lens for those cameras. If you need a wider angle, just back up. Use the normal lens, and, if you have one, a short telephoto. A short tele is a much better portrait lens.

I would suggest you get a flash for the MF camera, or use the same flash you are using on the K1000. If I remember correctly, the K1000 doesn't have TTL technology so the flash you would be using for it would be a regular auto flash, which should work well on the MF camera too and operate in the same manner. If you are using manual flash, it would definitely work the same for both cameras.

As for film, I can't comment on the Fugi (except for the 800 which I have used in low light situations) but for Kodak, I recommend the Portra 160NC for outside and the Portra 400NC for inside. When shooting outside, either shoot in full shade or use fill flash to eliminate shadows on their faces and clothes (especially on their faces).

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6/6/2006 6:05:42 AM

Jaydee    Thanks to those of you who made response. You have no reason to believe that I am a qualified photographer or even a conscientious individual. I unintentionally portrayed myself as a schmuck with no experience. The truth is that I am an award winning photographer, but I also don't do weddings. I want to do so now for the sake of a friend in this case. I know what she would get if I decline. It would literally be snapshots with a medium good digital camera from one of her friends. She trusts me, and I wouldn’t ever let someone down, whether on the wedding day or some other day. I also know enough to ask others to come along as back-up to duplicate the photos that I am taking.
Yes, the K1000 is an excellent camera, and so is the wide angle lens. I have used if often for portraits and it does a very fine job. I am surprised at the number of people who find otherwise. Nevertheless, I will concentrate on the 50mm. Thank you for the suggestions re. film. If you have any other comments, I will gladly receive them. Try to refrain from verbal abuse (smile).

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6/6/2006 7:34:54 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Jaydee, I think you misunderstood our comments a bit. In the first place, I don't believe you portryed yourself as a schmuck or as a person who is not conscientious at all. Nor do I think anyone verbally abused you. (You should see some of the comments I have seen on various sites.) We were simply giving advice to the best of our ability. You may be an award winning photographer in another field (would love for you to create a gallery and post some examples) but shooting a wedding is different than any other type of work. If someone asked me to cover an NFL game, I would have to turn them down as I don't have the proper equipment and I haven't shot sports in so many years that my rust even has rust on it! Weddings, however, are my cup of tea. You have to be a photographer, wedding coordinator, psychologist, you name it. It's hard work but it is a lot of fun if that is the type of work you like. I would suggest you practice a lot beforehand and have fun when you shoot the wedding.

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6/6/2006 12:39:52 PM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
  K1000 old? My srT101 just rolled over in my gadget bag.

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6/9/2006 4:16:43 AM

Kerry L. Walker   My 50's era Yachicamat, which has shutter speeds of 1/10, 1/25, 1/50/ 1/100, etc. thinks that "old" K1000 is just a kid.

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6/9/2006 6:29:30 AM

Jaydee    Well, I see that Yashikamat and raise you one Wardflex 2 1/4 along with a Pentax Spotmatic F. :)

By the way, I talked to the bride and her mama and told them what I felt comfortable with was one small segment of the wedding. It would be good experience for me and they are very glad to have me involved, so I was pleased. Together we are getting the assistance we need for the many other pictures they will have done.

I had hoped the 50mm from the spotmatic would fit on the k1000 but will take an adaptor. Otherwise the best I can do is 80mm. So I mayjust go buy that adaptor.

I am feeling much better about the whole thing now that I found my niche and noone was offended but rather pleased "at anything at all that you can do", as they put it.

Now I am trying to decide whether I am gonna use high speed film to deal with the low light or choose an asa 400 film and add a flash. I am gonna visit the church with an eye to the type of lighting and ambience in general. They said they are flexible and I can have a say in the rooms they choose for these before preparation pictures. There is one area with nice wood floors and some windows I think at least.

Thanks for your input. Appreciate it.

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6/9/2006 4:35:26 PM

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