Configuring D300 for a Wedding

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by dazza74, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. dazza74

    dazza74
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    13,037
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,394
    Been asked to take some pictures at a friends wedding next Saturday and boy do I need some help and advice :)

    First of the bat lenses, I'm thinking the most useful lens on the day will most likely be my tamron 17-50 2.8, does that make sense? they are getting married in a windmill so reckon the 12-24 could come in handy for that and group shots?

    Any tips on max ISO to select, would 800 be about the upper limit on the D300 or could it be pushed to 1600 if needs be.

    Focusing, what's the best approch for captuing a non static object during the day I'd be interested to know whether to go with Dynamic area or Auto area and how many point to set this to 9,21,51 is the 3d motion tracking any good?

    Focusing in general in say AF-S mode do I focus then recompose or select one of the 51 points available?

    I appreciate it's a long list so any help even to answer one of the above questions I'd be grateful, having only done landscape and macro photography since I've had the camera I'm completely out of my depth here.
     
  2. Dave

    Dave
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    11,496
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Ratings:
    +3,401
    I've only ever done one wedding so my experience is very limited but I'll offer what I can.

    Lenses, go for the fastest you have and in this respect the tamron is a good bet. An external flash that you can bounce would be a good addition but you may not be allowed or want to use flash during the ceremony so speed is paramount.

    Don't worry so much about the wide angle if you can get further back, if you're thinking of group shots in front of the windmill then try and bring the group further away from the windmill and have the windmill in the background rather than the group right in front of the windmill.

    ISO, no idea as I don't have your camera but remember you can always convert noisy high ISO images to B&W which look a lot better.

    Auto focus again, I can't help as I don't own that camera.

    The main thing you need to try and do is if you're a guest at the wedding try and enjoy the day because you'll find you're that worried about the photos you tend to forget that it's someone close to you is actually getting married.

    My top tip is my mantra, take loads and at least 1 will be good. Make sure you have plenty of memory and batteries and try to anticipate those candid moments that make wedding shots so good to look at.
     
  3. ryanyboy

    ryanyboy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Dazza,

    I'll offer my thoughts but they are only mine - someone might have a different idea but we'll see.

    1) Having looked at your lenses I think the 17-50 will be favourite for 90% of the shots. On your cropped sensor it's the equivalent to 25-75mm so it's going to be fine. The 12-24 will give you chance to do some wider shots and maybe something a bit different for the disco (for instance). But personally I'd only put the 12-24 on if I had to. For the shots that matter (formal pictures, close ups of the bride abnd groom, etc) I'd stick with the 17-50.

    You might want to put the 70-300 om if you fancy shooting some candids and want to stay out of the way? I wouldn't favour it when the light drops though as the max aperture is quite small compared to the 17-50.

    2) ISO. From what I've heard of the D300 the max you should use would be 1600 but ONLY if you must. Noise is better than no picture after all. In general stick to 800. However don't forget your flash gun (if you have one) - you can use it combined with the ambient light when the light drops or during the evening do. Between now and next weekend it may be worth checking out some of the noise reduction programs out there (noiseware, noise ninja, meat image etc) and possibly treat yourself to one if the money allows.

    3) Focusing. Firstly, for anything that may move I use the continuous focusing mode (a "c" on the front of the camera") This will enable the focus to shift if the subject moves slightly. I don't like the focus recompose method as I prefer to use one of the 51 focus points (that's what there for after all). The focus recompose method is ok when using a small aperture (F8 for example) but when shooting wide open (F2.8) as you will be I think the focus recompose/method could lead to a few more OOF shots. I also use the dynamic area auto focus (as opposed to the single point focusing) with the 21 assists point option. I NEVER use the auto-area option as I don't like too leave to much to the cpu. The 51 point option is ok but I don't think your subjects will be moving that much that I'd risk using it. Bear in mind that the central three columns of focus points (15 in total) are the most sensitive.

    I hope these tips help. I'm basing all of this on my experience with the D700 and have assumed that the functions you have mentioned are the same on both cameras. (Logic tells me they are).

    There you go mate. I'll sit back now and wait for someone to tell me I'm wrong ;)

    Ryan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2009
  4. kBm

    kBm
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    8,491
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    North West
    Ratings:
    +2,277
    I did a wedding last summer with the D300.

    ISO - noise was an issue higher than 800. I have a couple of formal shots (indoors) which are pretty useless for printing due to noise. (i'll put it down to user error though!:rolleyes:)

    Focus- i used the 51 matrix for the group shots and formals. Kept is simple. I used single spot for the candid hide-in-the background-stuff.

    As for lens - i used the 18-200 VR all day as it's the only decent lens i have! I would of loved a prime 50mm or a super wide, but hey ho, i'm not made of money!. I did use a D50 with the 18-55 kit lens for the big group shots (as i needed to be in the shot and I had the remote control)

    FlickR Set is here if you are interested.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  5. dazza74

    dazza74
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    13,037
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,394
    Thanks to everyone who's posted to date on this thread. Any help with regards shutter speed e.g. minimum for the day would be appreciated I was thinking personally to try and not drop below 1/60 second regardless of focal length but can this be pushed slower? I do surf other websites and forums for advice but there's nothing like getting advice from fellow forum members who's pic I've seen.

    One final thing any good advice on choice of aperture for the day, I'm thinking that in a lot of cases the weather on the day will dictate this to some extent my current plan is try and shoot out of F4 / F5.6 light permitting maybe F8 for group shots?
     
  6. Zone

    Zone
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    6,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Barnsley
    Ratings:
    +2,632
  7. senu

    senu
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    19,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Denham, South Bucks
    Ratings:
    +2,811
    And perhaps get Radiohead ( Guy) involved!:rotfl:
     

Share This Page

Loading...