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Old Jan 26, 2008, 11:06 AM   #1
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I am a new SLR user. I would appreciate any help I can get on shooting a wedding. At this time I can only get clear pictures using the auto function on my new Nikon D40x. But it doesn't seem to take continues pictures. I can get it shooting a little faster when I use the sports Digital Vari-Program but the pics are very very blurry. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have a Panasonic Z27 that takes clear pictures in movement at a much faster speed.

Also what would you suggest as the best setting to take wedding pictures??


I purchased the Nikon D40x with the 18-200mm AF-S VR lens.

I'velearned in another forum about nikon tutorials and other helpful suggestions and I will definitely use the wisdom given but the wedding I am shooting is on Feb 2nd and I need help as soon as possible.

Thank you, Kathy

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Old Jan 26, 2008, 1:55 PM   #2
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Are you going to be the primary photographer?? If so, I wouldn't want to be in your position. A wedding is not the time to be learn how to use a new camera. My advice would be to hire a pro.

If that's not possible, here is a list of a few things to consider.
  • First you'll need at least one Flash, preferably two, one of which needs to be an SB800, to control another Sb800 or SB600 off camera as the D40x doesn't have a commander mode. The second flash can be set up in a corner to help light the spontatneous reception shots. Ideally, you'll need a flash bracket as well to the flash well above the lens. The extra flash will be especially helpful for the group shots. Then you'll need to practice using it. I assume this time of year, the wedding will be mostly indoors, and without flash you're cooked. The onboard flash is not strong enough to get the job done.[/*]
  • I would typically shoot in Aperature priority, and wide open, except for the group shots, which you'll need to stop down to about f/8.[/*]
  • I'm not sure why you want to take continous pictures, and I probably wouldn't use this mode. As to why your shots are blurry, it could be a result of shutter speed and/or motion blur or less likely a focus issue. You don't say whether your shots have been indoors or out so its difficult to say what the issue is. Posting a shot or two might help us figure out why your camera is not performing the way you expect to.
    [/*]
  • As to what other settings to use, that depends on your style and what your trying to accomplish. There are no hard fast rules, and most of your settings will depend on your shooting environment.[/*]
  • Do you have a good understanding of Post processing? What software are you using. Will you be shooting RAW or JPEG. Given your lack of experience, RAW is probably your best bet as it gives you the most latitude for correcting mistakes. However, it also takes more space and requires more processing. Keep in mind that all your shotw will require some post work.[/*]
  • Bring twice as much memory and batteries as you'll think you'll need. At least 4-8 gb of memory, and two sets of every battery you need. A backup lens and camera are also a good idea. If your one piece of equipment fails, you're done.
    [/*]
I understand you're on a short timeline, but again, I (and I think most that frequent these forums) would strongly recommend that you don't do this given your lack of experience, especially with a new camera. Weddings are very difficult and you've only got one chance to get it right. They are also a lot of work...that means if this is a friend or family members wedding, you won't be able to enjoy it...no drinking, dancing or fun for you, as you will need to be preparing for each shot and what else needs to be captured. I don't mean to sound negative, and I'm sure you've heard this before.

Another thing to consider, is using your old camera....you say you've gotten crisp and good results from it, so you understand how it works. You'll need to bring it anyway as a backup should anything go wrong with your D40x.

Good luck
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Old Jan 26, 2008, 5:36 PM   #3
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rjseeney wrote:
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.....................I understand you're on a short timeline, but again, I (and I think most that frequent these forums) would strongly recommend that you don't do this given your lack of experience, especially with a new camera. Weddings are very difficult and you've only got one chance to get it right.
THIS ADVICE IS GOLDEN, TAKE IT!

Nicholas


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Old Jan 26, 2008, 6:13 PM   #4
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Kathy, I've read some very vise words from rjseeneyabove! Actually, by experience, I'd say being the volunteer photographer means missing the fun :-)

Anyway, I use the D40x as a back up camera. However, forparties itbecomesthe primary one thanks to its lightweight and unobtrusive size.Fill flash is really required when shooting people in such occasionsat whichthe continuous shooting mode would not work with the on board flash. I'dselect theManual modetoset the shutter speed to 1/80 or sthenough to avoid motion blurr while being able to adjust the Aperture between the widest possible to f/8 as suggested above, while the ISObeing as low as 200. I've beeninvariably pleased about theshots with flash which have appeared neitherwashed outor dark so far: )


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Old Jan 27, 2008, 6:14 AM   #5
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Hi Bahadir,

I would prefer 1/160 sec and use ISO and Aperture to allow this speed.

1/80 can lead to some motion blur at times.

Nicholas
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Old Jan 27, 2008, 6:19 PM   #6
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nickphoto123 wrote:
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Hi Bahadir,

I would prefer 1/160 sec and use ISO and Aperture to allow this speed.

1/80 can lead to some motion blur at times.

Nicholas
Dear mate,faster shutter speed is preferable, of course,providing that you agree the price ; )Assuming thatthe event willtake place indoors, therecould be scenes for which youwill have to crank upthe ISO to H1 (3200) so as togain a shutter speedyou speak off, which meanssacrifice in IQ. Relying on the flash and keeping the ISO low,on the other hand, would yield more 'flashy' looks and lower flash rangeas you gohigher shutter speeds. So, optimizing things, that is, thelowestpossible shutter speedat an iso value not surpassing 400, would work best with the flash, IMO. Below is a considerable crop from a busy candid shot to show even what 1/60'' is capable of with on board flash concerning motion blurr: )
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Old Jan 28, 2008, 9:19 AM   #7
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Hi
Check ISO setup. Increase it to 400 and try again. Calculate, for hand shooting, focal lenght in mm = 1/shooer speed. (55mm exp should be min 1/60 sec)(55m for 35mm film!!). If object is moveing increase shooter speed.
You did not say about blury. Is it out of focus or slow shutter?
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Old Jan 28, 2008, 9:24 AM   #8
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Hi
Simple school. Set ISO 100, P program. With dial change combination od aperture and exp, and make 100 pics. Transfer pic in PC and analise it. You should see all what you need.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 1:22 AM   #9
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I'm very new to wedding photography, but I've practiced over important aspects for weeks before my first wedding.

You must learn what each function of your D40x does and how to handle every kind of conditions.

I had to go to the locations and found out which shutter, aperture, and iso are needed. You won't have 5 seconds to configure, but 1/2 to a second!

For example,
Sunny, 1/500 f5.6
Too sunny, 1/1000, f6.3
Supper, varies too much. It's the most difficult situation!

It's the barely the basics.

I needed 4 more batteries, 2 tripods, 2 flashes, 6x2gb, D40 as backup, and getting in the zone.

Best advice in your shoes is to practice a few shots upon arrival of each location. Hardest part is keeping consistent exposure, framing, and timing. And never turn off your camera when you have spare batteries since stand-by mode drains it in a week!

Kinda sad that people say it's just point and shoot.
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Old Feb 4, 2008, 6:06 PM   #10
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I know you've now done the wedding and I think all of us would like to see how you did.

For anyone who is reading this as they are thinking they would like to get into wedding photography there are some tips (for these I'm assuming you are the main photog, if you are not then the pressure is off).

Have at least 2 of everything (camera, flash, lens - each focal range you want to cover), more batteries for flash than you think you will need, I usually take both flash units already with batteries in, then another 6 sets of 4 ready to go. I take 16Gb memory as well as a Jobo Giga 1 just in case I do run out of memory (I haven't yet). My shooting style is to have two cameras with different lens options, as this is the case I like to have a 3rd camera as a backup to the main camera covering the standard focalrange so if something goes wrong you can go straight away. If you like to shoot with just a single camera then you can get away with two, but I've heard stories of people having 2 bodies go down. Remember you this day can't be repeated, make sure you can cover it!

More details on lenses I generally use at a wedding are 50 and 85mm f1.8 when in the ceremony and lighting is poor, or 24-105mm f4 (if using a crop camera then go for 17-50mm or similar) and 70-200mm f2.8 when lighting is better. I don't shoot flash in the ceremony as it's not usually allowed until the signing of the register. Portraits are done with the 24-105 (same as above is using crop).

You need to be able to set the camera without thinking as there are lots of other things going on. You need to be able to pose people quickly, for the bride and groom you need plenty of ideas how to pose them to get the most out of the limited time you get with just the two of them. You need good people skills and a clear idea of any group shots that will be covered. Can you work/think/adapt under pressure doing all of these things while people just want to talk and drink rather than have their photo taken? If so then give it a go.

Personally I love weddings as much as I do shooting sports as they are fast moving and always a challenge so I'm not trying to put anyone off, but be aware there is a lot to take in if you want to make the B&G's day a good one.

Mark


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