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Messages - bdunbar79

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So I've decided to get into the pro wedding business for real. I got to know a guy who - if my luck persists - will tell me the tricks of the local trade and coach me through my first contracts.

Until now, I shot purely for fun and learning, and now have a general idea where the shutter button is located. But in the future it'll business all over, at least that's the idea. And while it'll take a while to set me up, I'll have to get my new working gear now to become familiar with it, while keeping the cost-income relationship somewhat sane.

  • Conditions: From what I'm hearing, the basic idea when starting out is to get the job done, capture the important moments, the atmosphere and to get shots of all guests and esp. the relatives, so everyone is happy. The clients I'll be acquiring when starting off won't be concerned with corner sharpness, complicated flash setups or life-size prints.
  • My current gear: I've got the 60d as a backup body and the 100L for portraits, might be nice as a 160/2.8 on the crop body, too. I don't think the 70-300L is adequate for weddings, but from what I'm hearing, the local conditions don't necessarily call for a $2000+ 70-200 anyway. I'll have to get an uwa & some 24-70 lens and might ask about this in a separate thread - but with what body/flash?

BODY: I'll need a somewhat affordable high-iso ff body, so a 5d seems to make sense.

  • 5d2. It's half the price of the successor, and if using focus/recompose people seem to have used this successfully for wedding occasions.
  • 5d3. It's said to have higher iso performance, but looking at the raw samples I hardly can see an improvement? Is better awb, more fps (or quiet shutter), dual cards and the updated af system a noticeable improvement for weddings?

FLASH: For wedding run & gun, I guess I'll need one fast recycling flash with a battery pack, so my 430ex2 won't suffice. While shooting w/o flash might be preferable, as far as I understand it there's hardly any way around it.

  • 580ex2. Isn't sold new anymore, and obsolete ir technology. Seems to have a bug when using hss extensively. But great if combined with 3rd party triggers, esp. since these can trigger dumb ttl flashes, too.
  • 600rt. This is currently the must-have choice for the 5d3, but seems to be compatible with the 5d2 as well - and except the price there are no drawbacks (it can work with 3rd party triggers too)?

My personal recommendation is to keep your 60D as a backup camera and definitely use it at some point during the weddings.  I would buy a 5D Mark II and get either the 580 or 600 flash (I just ordered the 600 yesterday).  You will certainly need the 24-70L zoom lens, which is why I recommend the 5D Mk II.  In weddings, from my experience, the 5D Mk III would be a diminishing returns type thing.  If you shoot RAW don't worry about white balance so much.  That is a minor issue.  In an ideal world, you'd have the 5D Mk II with 600EX-RT flash, 24-70L zoom lens, and I would strongly encourage you to get a 50mm lens for the 60D and USE it.  50mm on a crop body is 80mm.  Or, you could get an 85 f/1.8 to use on both cameras.  It depends on your style of wedding shooting.  I prefer a photojournalistic type approach more, but I would take 3 primes and the zoom lens, 2 cameras, and the flash.  If you have any more questions please keep asking because there a LOT of people on here who do or did weddings.  As long as you have the equipment described above and you know how to use that equipment, AND you get the exposures correct, you will be taking some awesome wedding photos!  Good luck.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DMKIII Autofocus help required
« on: June 16, 2012, 09:14:01 AM »
I use AF on my 5D Mark III.  In the manual you'll see that you can choose ONE of any of the 61-AF points if you like.  I still use only one point, but I move it around the viewfinder.  Sometimes I'll use 4 point expansion (top, left, right, bottom) but mainly I move the AF point around where I know or want my subject to be in the frame.  I actually haven't had a photo yet where I missed focus.  Like the poster above said too, watch your DOF.  If you need to use higher ISO with a narrower aperture, do it!  The camera will handle it nicely.

Even a 5D MK II and a 60D or D7 as a backup is still good insurance.

As I wrote above: "I've got the 60d as a backup body", so that's covered. It's certainly nice of people answering, but reading the original post does help :-p ... I just don't know if I'll prefer to shoot with two cameras simultaneously or just keep my 60d for backup.

The advantage of a 5D MK III is the dual memory cards, but two bodies, each with their own memory card can prevent total disaster.

Indeed - but my question was about experiences of the other added advantages of the 5d3 for weddings, too. If it's only the dual memory cards, double the price of the 5d2 would clearly indicate "not worth it" for me.

I put a prime on my backup body and main zoom lens on my main body.  Then instead of changing lenses I just shot away.

My primary camera is the 5D Mark III.  I leave sharpness setting at 1, everything else 0.  Shoot RAW and with these settings, you'll see what I mean.  Give it a try!

Lenses / Re: Canon's new 24-70 2.8L II ship date
« on: June 15, 2012, 09:33:51 PM »
I didn't really "need" it, but I thought how cool it would have been had I a 1D X at the OHSAA State track meet in Ohio on June 2.  I shot it with a 1D Mark IV but I just kept wondering :)

I'm wondering if you lower the price slightly, they may go much quicker.  There is a market out there who wants a fast 1D body but don't want to go all the way to the 1D X.  In the U.S. right now, used are from $4000-$4500 and new $5000-$5100.  In UK I'm sure higher.  I think you can make a lot with the 1DX being priced where it is and how good the 1D Mark IV is.  Good luck to you.

EOS Bodies / Re: 4 More DSLRs Coming in 2012? [CR2]
« on: June 15, 2012, 07:25:45 PM »
I love it - I say what my 'opinion' is - and I get accused of stating it as fact

I ask a simple question and I get quoted the Canon marketing release - so obviously no opinion there then.

dilbert, what's the deal?  You don't know any more for fact that anyone else on this forum.  Afterall, did you not notice the word "rumors" in the website title?  I enjoy opinions personally.  If you want just cold hard facts, you're in the wrong place.

Now what I'm really curious to see is the 1D body they mention.  Or will it not be a 1D, maybe a 3D?  Who knows.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: BG-E11 in Stock at Norman Camera
« on: June 15, 2012, 06:12:16 PM »
My BG-E11 just shipped from Adorama today, so they have them in stock at least today that is.  Really looking forrward to it!

EOS Bodies / Re: CANON 1Dx - Action images - UEFA EURO 2012™
« on: June 15, 2012, 04:35:43 PM »
I would probably not use the 1D X for weddings, personally, if I also owned a 5D Mark III.  I don't know about anyone else, and sorry if I'm pushing too far here, but in my photos I will certainly notice the 22 vs 18mp.  It matters, trust me.  You can get good enough lenses and the ISO performance on that camera is superb.  That's why I think the 1D Mark IV causes some problems for some people.  I like the absolute most details in my photos because I print large and I crop for super detail.  22mp will benefit me here.  I'm not at all suggesting that 36mp is necessary (D800) but I can notice 22mp vs 18mp vs 16mp. 

However, the 1DX vs. 1D Mk 4 for photojournalism and sports will be unmatched.  You can be assured I will buy a 1DX after it's been out a few months, if I can get one, so I'm obviously all for the 1D X.  Looking at a lot of my sports photos I was wishing the 1D4 had been higher mp, because in some cases I had to crop in too far, even with a 300mm lens that I could see the detail loss.  I agree with Mark that the 1D4's auto focus tracking could be improved, and I believe the 1DX does just that.  Let's see how it goes!!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Looking for backup camera body
« on: June 15, 2012, 11:28:54 AM »
I think I will go for second 5D Mk III body with the battery grip.  Instead of buying a 1D X then, because I'll have 2 Mk III's and still a 1D4, the money I saved for the 1DX will go towards a 200mm f/2L lens.  Oh so looking forward to this!  I think having two Mk III's will help immensely for weddings.  Thanks for the advice.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Looking for backup camera body
« on: June 15, 2012, 01:08:43 AM »
There is someone that has offered me his 1Ds Mark III that was his backup body for $4000. 

Rather than a 1Ds3 for $4000 I'd way prefer to see you with another 5D3 with BG-E11 for a couple of hundred dollars less. It's new and will have full warranty. The 1Ds3 does have the 1-Series handling advantages, but will lose out in a big way on IQ, AF and ISO. You know this already as you have a 5D3.

I've always liked working with two identical bodies. There is no mental shift required when you move from one to the other.


That makes way more sense.  I was thinking the 5D Mark III was actually better than the 1Ds Mk III in that it is 5 years newer, higher ISO, Digic 5, etc.  Thanks for the tip.  I suppose too I could wait for the 1DX to be out awhile, but if I got a 1DX I'd definitely sell the 1D4.  But a second 5D Mk III with grip sounds better really, because I really am pleased with the way the 5D Mk III is working out for me.  Thanks guys.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Camera System
« on: June 15, 2012, 12:21:38 AM »
I use the 200 f/2 for portraits. Quite, quite stunning - makes the 135 f/2 look like a (v. good) budget lens

Of course, if you can afford the 200/2.0, you can probably afford a studio big enough to use it...
I've used a Zeiss Sonnar 180/2.8 for gigs, about 10m to the stage makes for nice head-shots on my 7D...

(but if I could get my hands on one of those Nikkor 300 f/2.0 instead of buying a house, that'd be a tough choice to make...)

Hey, the 200 f/2.0L is still cheaper than the 1D X.  Sorry, couldn't resist.

Lenses / Re: Battle of the 50mm's (1.2L , ZE 1.4, ZE 2.0)
« on: June 15, 2012, 12:11:37 AM »
bdunbar - did you shoot at all between f2 - f4?  As I understand it focus shift is most apparent in that range.  Others here can explain it better but by f5.6 or so DoF is great enough to mask the issue.

Oh I understand.  The posts made it sound like anything other than f/1.2.  Got ya.

Lenses / Re: Battle of the 50mm's (1.2L , ZE 1.4, ZE 2.0)
« on: June 14, 2012, 10:48:32 PM »
Neuro - based on your advice a while back I ended up picking up the 5D mark iii + kit lens along with the 50L.  I couldn't be happier.  I knew of the focus shift with the 50L and haven't been able to find an ideal solution to it so I've only shot wide open.  I might try Live View now that you mention it.  I just went through the "No Focusing Screens for 5D MIII" thread and came away a bit dismayed.  I guess I'll just continue to shoot only at 1.2 and use the kit lens for all other scenarios...

What does everyone mean by this focus shift?  I shoot the 50L all the time way down from wide open, as high as f/11 Wednesday.  I didn't see any focus problem ever, in any of the 100 shots I took at f/11.  They are tack sharp.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: right time to turn pro...?
« on: June 14, 2012, 08:49:49 PM »
i reckon i can get between 6-10 shots done, clipped and retouched per evening (7pm-1am) so maybe 10 evenings. Although product varied between real simple boxes and quite complex pottery and glass vases which require a little more thought with the lighting. i'm pretty quick at putting paths around stuff but sometimes I go a little over the top with the retouching so everything ends up a little hyper-real, which I guess adds to the charm but sometimes it just adds up the hours. there's no golden rule, some things just take longer than others and you pretty much only get out what you put in. my lighting techniques may not be the best in the world but they're not the worst and hopefully I'll learn a lot more as time goes on.

I'm itching to just hand my notice in and just go for it...

Well, the question I'd ask is can you do it right now financially?  Can you keep working and be happy while photographing?  If you can do it now financially, then you only live once, so do it and be happy.  If you need to work longer before you get a bigger business plan, you can always do that too.  Trust me, you don't know how badly right now I'd like to go to work and tell everybody to go to hell, quit, and start doing photography full time again.  However, I was not in the market you are in.  You can make a lot more money doing what you're doing.  Make sure also you have a plan for health care.  If you go for it I'm sure you'll have the board's full support, so do keep us posted!

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