View Full Version : Wedding picture advice

04-28-2008, 12:28 PM
I have a wedding this weekend and would like to know which lens would be better to use my Minolta 35-70, Sony 18-70 or my Quantary 70-200 lens?

04-28-2008, 01:07 PM
Will it be indoors? (wha-hoo - post # 4000!)

04-28-2008, 01:37 PM
Yes indoors. I tried taking some pictures at a dinner theater my children took me to for my birthday and I couldn't get any good shots. I just used my on camera flash then, but will be getting a flash before the wedding. Finding the right light setting was tough I forget what setting I used. I will check the pictures and post back. Thanks again Don

I set the iso to 400 and the speed 1/125

04-28-2008, 02:41 PM
If you get the upper end flash SONY HVL-F56AM ... set to "M" ... this will lock the flash to full (1:1) power and make the lighting consistent.

If you allow the flash mode to go to "TTL" ... you will be playing a game that is often hard to win. The A700 has better control over the flash than the A100 does ... so you can adjust, but to be honest ... I won't play with it. I just set the darn thing to Manual ... and regulate my MANUAL settings on the camera to go with its consistent burst.

Like you said:

Shutter-speed fixed at 1/60 or 1/125
ISO: 400
Aperture : depends on the shot and effect, but usually f/5.6 (unless the lens has f/2.8 or wider, for fuzzing out the background. To counteract the exposure value (EV) change, that requires the ISO to go to 200 or maybe 100, for the compensation. You can also dial down the external flash power to 1:2 or 1:4)

Good luck ... and watch to make sure the camera doesn't toggle the flash back to TTL mode when you turn it on or off, or change the camera's operating mode (Auto, P, S, A, M).

On other thing about these external flashes ... they provide little warning when they are about to give it up. The last three flashes will take quite a while to charge ... then, it is over.

04-28-2008, 03:38 PM
Yes indoors. I tried taking some pictures at a dinner theater my children took me to for my birthday and I couldn't get any good shots. I just used my on camera flash then, but will be getting a flash before the wedding. Finding the right light setting was tough I forget what setting I used. I will check the pictures and post back. Thanks again Don

I set the iso to 400 and the speed 1/125

spend some time reading this.

i dont recommend shooting in manual mode until you have a little more experience with flash or get in alot of practice before hand. shooting with full flash power will blacken backgrounds and blow out the foreground, especially the brides white dress. you will liekly lose all detail in it which is the most critical part of a wedding shoot.

shooting in TTL or with a higher iso, slower shutter speed and TTL mode will also dramatically improve your flash battery life and recycle times. shooting full power will see you struggle with battery life especially.

04-28-2008, 07:10 PM
Thanks everybody I will post some of my photos good or bad.

04-28-2008, 07:43 PM
Okay, scratch everything I said ... I shoot manual as a matter of course, but not everyone likes doing it. I just spent about twenty minutes checking what-ifs. Based on Rooz's ideas concerning the white dress, blown out highlights and all ... I suggest going with the 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens for the bulk of your work.

You probably will get the best result from the A100 with the flash, if you use the AUTO mode. Yeah, I know ... but, it's important to get as many "winners" as you can ... and I believe the AUTO coupled with that particular lens will work out.

An important aspect of using AUTO is the "+/-" switch, (Exposure compensation / Aperture)

In all exposure modes except Manual this button acts to change the exposure compensation. The adjustment is to press the "+/-" button then turn the control dial. In manual exposure mode this button is used set the Aperture (or Shutter speed if the function of the control dial has been customized).


It is located on the rear, right side, near the top of the camera. If the images are dark ... press it and take the EV up a step, with the thumbwheel. I'm not a big AUTO guy, but this will work ... if you judiciously use that feature.

Anyway, using AUTO ... you have the luxury of moving fast without a lot of thinking about settings. If you need speed because of movement blur, goto "S" Mode, set for 1/160 sec and let the camera do the rest.

I've tried it out with mine, tonight ... I had a blushing bride stop by (okay, maybe not ... :p - but, she wanted to) it does seem to work, though ... based on that lens.

04-28-2008, 09:18 PM
always, always, always meter for the bride. no one cares about anything else at a wedding. blow the blacks on the guys suit and no one will care, but you make a brides dress look like some big white sheet of paper with no detail...well, don't expect any accolades.

i've never shot a wedding officialy but every commision i've ever done when there is a chick involved, THEY are the ones that will want to look the best no matter what. they dont care about exposure difficulties or dynamic range, they just want to look good and they want the clothes they're wearing to have as much detail as possible. that includes their shoes, their jewellry, their hair, their flowers etc. so i'm just guessing that these general rules will be even more important for a wedding and a bride. etc etc

theres quite a few wedding photographers here, (canon forum), who can give some specific advice if you ask.

04-29-2008, 09:01 AM
Using the 70-200 will be a bit dicey ... because it is naturally a tight shot. If you are zooming in for "the kiss" or the exchange of rings, really watch the exposure (use "spot metering") ... because the camera can be easily fooled by the surrounding lighting.

Make sure you have your lenses out, safely watched or managed and at the ready for swap. I would recommend a twenty minute test of changing lenses between your 18-70mm and the 70-200mm, just to get a feel for the rhythm. Also, if you can get a feel for how the ceremony is going to play out ... go to the rehearsal, if possible. A photographic "dry run" if you will. You can test your shots out ... look for opportunities for better location, etc.

Just some ideas ... to make it simpler.

04-29-2008, 04:31 PM
Thanks again but, I am not taking pictures for the bride or groom. I am hoping there will be some NFL players there. My sons best friend (the groom) is on the Detroit Lions. I don't know who he invited just want to be ready just in case. I might even take a few of the them too. LOL He is always at my house that is why my whole family is invited.
Here is a shot I took with my old camera at his college game.(Harris)

04-29-2008, 04:45 PM
Go with the kit lens, then. It should be plenty. Effectively a 28-105mm lens.

04-29-2008, 04:47 PM
The lens you don't like. LOL

04-29-2008, 04:59 PM
Look ... if your buying a new lens, we're talking a different story. You are the photographer and if the "kit" works for you ... use it.

Personally, I didn't like the "kit" right out of the box. I shot a series of test shots with it ... and was severely disappointed, because, Frank, I knew what I could get with the TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DiII LD Aspherical (IF) lens. I had used it for 12-months with the Canon EOS 20D ... and it was terrific. I wanted that kind of result out of my SONY ... so I immediately scrapped the 18-70 ... and bought the SONY-mount version of the TAMRON. I got my shot back ... case closed. :D

If you opt to buy the TAMRON lens for the wedding, your results will definitely take a turn for the better. It's a great lens on the SONY and one I carry all the time.

Others subscribe to the purchase of the SONY Carl ZeissŪ Vario-Sonnar T DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5, but you will pay dearly for this lens. I'm about getting a good shot for a fair price. Should the economy take a turn upward ... then I might get elaborate.

04-29-2008, 05:13 PM
Don what made you switch from Canon to Sony?? I don't have any high end lenes right now. I am just starting to get back into photography. I have alot to learn. I try not to learn by trial and error anymore. I do alot of research and ask alot of questions as you can see. I thank you and everybody else for answering my questions. Someday I hope to return the favor.

04-29-2008, 06:01 PM
Don what made you switch from Canon to Sony??

Initially and for twenty years, I have been shooting Minolta cameras. I still have many of them ... the Maxxum 7000 (1985) and four Maxxum 9000 from the 80's, also. I had collected a significant amount of Minolta-mount lenses. When I finally decided to go digital, in 2005, Minolta got into financial trouble and sold off the camera division to SONY. This took about a full year.

I was not going to buy a KM-7D just to support my glass habit. It no longer had any support and they had even closed up the webpage for it.

No one was quite sure what SONY was up to, at the time, and I wasn't waiting around to find out. I had made my decision and chose Canon as the "next best thing". I looked at the Nikon D70s, initially, too, and was unimpressed. So, over the next year or so, I built up my Canon solution with several TAMRON lenses and the kick-butt Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens. Then, right after I bought that VERY EXPENSIVE lens ... SONY announces the α100!

I quickly picked one up, a few days after the release, to see how it performed with the in-the-body IS and was truly pleased, but I also knew ... I was holding a prototype ... a band-aid, if you will, until the α700 got built. The camera worked with all my lenses ... but my lenses were for film cameras, not digitals. The APS-C sensor's DCF changed all the focal lengths on me.

So, for about a year, I operated BOTH camera systems. An expensive venture, to be sure, but it gave me insight many others simply did not have. I could quickly compare the results from one system to another and offer opinion.

Now, I should remind you that during this period, "I had found religion ..." by going back to college and getting my Photography Certificate. I was able to focus and develop my techniques and understanding of the craft, in ways that explained why I was getting some results I was unable to appreciate before. I also was able to teach some techniques to others in ways that went beyond the standard presentation. The better equipment was a far cry from the standard faire, so it was a "win-win" experience.

Then, the α700 was announced at the PMA 07. Finally, the promise fulfilled. No prototype ... this was the true camera, the real deal, designed by Minolta and SONY.

Canon had a chance, at that point, to upgrade the Prosumer-grade camera with the improvement of in-the-body anti-shake technology. They had the EOS 20D and 30D frames in great shape ... but the 40D NEEDED to be improved with this in-the-body stabilization feature to be viable for people using PRIME lenses and lower end, non-IS-equipped lenses. Canon and Nikon refused to do this ... thus sealing their doom, in my opinion. Instead of wiping out SONY at their own game, they are now behind the curve and have been for about a year, now. Sure, they are release cheaper IS-equipped lenses ... but if you use PRIMES (fixed focal length lenses between 14 & 200mm) or the MACROs, handheld ... you are hosed.

As soon as the SONY A700 came out ... I sold off all my Canon equipment, short of my 35mm film body (EOS-3). I repurchased most of my Canon-mount lenses in SONY-mounts, with the sales proceeds, already knowing how well they performed, and rounded out my SONY bag. I even tried a pair of MACRO lens (90mm & 180mm) ... which I had been reluctant to commit to, until the α700 came out with dual-speed focus motoring (boy, was that a shot to the puss of many on the forum).

My biggest disappointment, though, was the SONY 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM ... which came to me defective from the manufacturer. It took a month to get that squared away ... and I was so mad, I returned it. $2000 lens ... defective. It cost me $50 in shpping to get that handled. It came broke and I wound up $50 poorer. Yeah, right.

Anyway ... I had rushed things a bit ... knowing that TAMRON was also releasing the SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD for a heck of a lot less ($700). I had wanted that range for the Christmas-season and wound up NOT getting it at all, because of the defect. Anyway, TAMRON still has yet to release the SONY-version of the lens ... I think we are looking at a June release. I believe their factory operations were waylaid by the upgrading of their other lens offerings by the introduction of the Nikon D40. That camera does not have a lens focus drive motor ... which means the lens must do all the work, so they retrofitted alot of TAMRON's newer consumer lenses to accomodate Nikon's strange decision. If TAMRON wanted to sell lenses to these low-end Nikon owners ... they'd have to do something about it. They did.

Anyway, to answer your question ... in-the-body-IS and my initial investment in Minolta-mount glass. The α700 is just about everything you could ask for, in a camera. Somebody at SONY took the time to listen to the customers and older Minolta shooters and turned out a wonderful release.

Yeah, it's a long story, but kind of sums up my tour of duty on the DCRP. Alot has happened since I joined the happy throng. Over 4000 postings worth ... :rolleyes:

04-29-2008, 06:19 PM
A very long winded answer but very interesting. I too started out with Minolta back in 1979 and then upgraded to the 400si. I was very happy with that camera until the wife tried to load it one day and push in the screen. So that was my chance to get a new camera. The A100 had just come out and I did some research and it looked good so I bought it only to find out that the A700 was coming out. I am happy with the A100 for now but had I know I would have waited and got the A700.

04-29-2008, 06:30 PM
Frank ... you asked for it. LOL

Anyway, it has been more fun than I have had in many, many years. This coming summer holds a lot of promise .. and then, in the Fall ... the A900, perhaps. ;)