D200 Wedding Photography

Started Aug 5, 2014 | Discussions
Allen1025
Allen1025 Regular Member • Posts: 104
D200 Wedding Photography
1

Hi All and Thanks in advance for everyone's input.
I'm a lurker here on this forum reading most posts but not commenting.
I'm scheduled to do wedding photos in the last part of Sept for a couple in an informal small church.
This is not my first paid wedding. I have done several and I have pro mono heads and soft boxes but the church is small and has a lot of clutter and unsightly and distracting pictures on the front wall so we will only do the ceremony and a few shots inside without setting up the mono heads.
My question to the forum is about shooting in manual mode inside using on camera (non TTL) flash.
There are large windows on camera left with evening sun shining in with no way to block that light off.
I'll be shooting D200 Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens with Vivatar 285 flash. I'm not comfortable shooting over 800 ISO
Could you recommend some settings for the inside ceremony photos. They are ok with flash during the ceremony. The ambient lighting should be the same through out the 1/2 or less ceremony.
I'm thinking 4-5.6 @ 60-125th and if I need more light open up a stop? Don't know?

n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,897
Re: D200 Wedding Photography

Allen1025 wrote:

Hi All and Thanks in advance for everyone's input.
I'm a lurker here on this forum reading most posts but not commenting.
I'm scheduled to do wedding photos in the last part of Sept for a couple in an informal small church.
This is not my first paid wedding. I have done several and I have pro mono heads and soft boxes but the church is small and has a lot of clutter and unsightly and distracting pictures on the front wall so we will only do the ceremony and a few shots inside without setting up the mono heads.
My question to the forum is about shooting in manual mode inside using on camera (non TTL) flash.
There are large windows on camera left with evening sun shining in with no way to block that light off.
I'll be shooting D200 Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens with Vivatar 285 flash. I'm not comfortable shooting over 800 ISO
Could you recommend some settings for the inside ceremony photos. They are ok with flash during the ceremony. The ambient lighting should be the same through out the 1/2 or less ceremony.
I'm thinking 4-5.6 @ 60-125th and if I need more light open up a stop? Don't know?

Do you have access to the church for some test shots? That would be the best bet ...

I have had success with the D200 and SB800 in churches, but every situation is different. Hedge your bets by shooting RAW, yo should be able to recover with PP.

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

 n057's gear list:n057's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 995 Nikon D200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +7 more
Allen1025
OP Allen1025 Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: D200 Wedding Photography

Yes I plan on shooting raw. I guess maybe I should have asked my question a little differently. I have shot weddings before on Aperture priority and auto setting on a SB800 and a D80 but this time I will have a D200 with only a vivitar 285.
Would there be an advantage with this set up in M mode vs A mode?

David Lal Veteran Member • Posts: 9,782
Hire a SB800?

Allen1025 wrote:

This is not my first paid wedding. I have done several and I have pro mono heads and soft boxes but the church is small and has a lot of clutter and unsightly and distracting pictures on the front wall so we will only do the ceremony and a few shots inside without setting up the mono heads.
My question to the forum is about shooting in manual mode inside using on camera (non TTL) flash.

OK, so you've shot weddings before and we don't need to warn you about your responsibilities and the irrepeatability of the occasion?

Firstly you need to check out the voltage the Vivitar 285 presents at the foot terminals. Some  variations of the 285 had very high voltages which could fry your camera. check out this website:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

Best of all, get a cheap volmeter and measure the voltage yourself. The 285 is not iTTL compatible. That means you will be using it in autoranging mode most likely and therefore manual mode on the camera is appropriate. If you can, I'd recommend going to the venue beforehand and experimenting.

I have to say, if you are going to be the principal photographer, you seem underequipped to me and maybe under-experienced also. Could you beg/borrow/hire/steal a SB800 and preferably a second backup body too?

Good luck

David

Allen1025
OP Allen1025 Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: Hire a SB800?

I'm shooting as #2 shooter as my wife is primary using D80 with D800 flash.
My flash is 285HV which means it has a voltage cut off circuit that will protect my body from being fried.

arachnophilia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,362
Re: Hire a SB800?

I'm shooting as #2 shooter as my wife is primary using D80 with D800 flash.
My flash is 285HV which means it has a voltage cut off circuit that will protect my body from being fried.

budget part of your contracted fee for equipment. make sure the down payment covers that part of the budget.

if you do a lot of weddings, use it for buying and maintaining gear. if you only do it once in a while, use it for renting.

if you are not charging enough to pay to rent the appropriate gear for a day, then someone has made a serious mistake; either you, or the bride, or both.

 arachnophilia's gear list:arachnophilia's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D300S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +3 more
Allen1025
OP Allen1025 Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: Hire a SB800?
1

Ok Guys. You can't tell me that back in the day that the D200 was what everybody was using to do weddings and all types of professional work that they didn't get quality images shooting manually with manual flash!?
So! Back to the original question, how was it done? Not what I need to buy to meet today's so called standards.
I know that everybody has different standards. So D200 fans help me out here.

samfan Senior Member • Posts: 1,003
Re: Hire a SB800?

Well people didn't usually use D200 with a manual flash. A SB-800 can do almost everything for you surprisingly well. Those who did (or do) use manual flash, usually had a lot of experience with it prior to doing weddings.

But to the original question - if you insist in doing this setup, I'd personally bring a fast lens (i.e. 50/1.8 or 17-55/2.8 or whatever), use it as wide open as possible, with some reasonable ISO (800 or less) and shutter speed (say, 1/125) to get the ambient lighting, and use the flash on low power to bring in the light. The problem here will be mixing natural and flash light so it's a good idea to have some gel filters for the flash.

I also highly recommend to use a diffuser for the flash. It may be possible to use bouncing but that is usually difficult in churches and may be almost as annoying as a head-on flash.

Either way if you're not used to using manual flash, you need to get there before everyone else and try some settings to get what you want.

If you only have a slow lens and aren't that sure what you're doing, then I say forget it and rent a real flash. Seriously. I've used bounced manual flash for low-end product photography and it's still a massive hassle, I wouldn't dream on using it for people, much less without tons of practice (not talking about strobes here).

Either way, after you're done with the ceremony or something changes don't forget to switch to camera to the appropriate settings.

-- hide signature --

Don't quote whole posts - your keyboard has the Delete key!

Allen1025
OP Allen1025 Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: Hire a SB800?

Thanks. That was the answers I was looking for. And I'll be using a 2.8 lens and I also have a 50 1.8 that I can use if needed and looks like I'll try to locate a TTL flash.

photoeng Senior Member • Posts: 1,142
Re: Hire a SB800?

I use SB-26 in manual mode all the time at 1/4-1/8 power, F8, ISO200, speed = 1/125 and get decent results. It takes a lot of practice. Ofcourse, off camera flash is best. Bounce flash also works.

I don't have any experience with the Vivitar 285.

Check out this link.  Most of the time, the strobist info is also posted:

https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=relevance&text=vivitar%20285%20D200%20strobist

Allen1025 wrote:

Ok Guys. You can't tell me that back in the day that the D200 was what everybody was using to do weddings and all types of professional work that they didn't get quality images shooting manually with manual flash!?
So! Back to the original question, how was it done? Not what I need to buy to meet today's so called standards.
I know that everybody has different standards. So D200 fans help me out here.

-- hide signature --

David
My gear list: D40 / D70s / D200
A bunch of lenses

 photoeng's gear list:photoeng's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Nikon D70s Nikon D300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G II +7 more
arachnophilia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,362
Re: Hire a SB800?

Ok Guys. You can't tell me that back in the day that the D200 was what everybody was using to do weddings and all types of professional work that they didn't get quality images shooting manually with manual flash!?

i don't know that the D200 was ever what everybody was using to do weddings. wedding photographers were a fickle bunch in that era, and would frequently trade systems back and forth when canon or nikon offered an incrementally better camera or lens.

in the D200's heyday, most wedding photographers i saw were using the canon 5D, because it offered substantially better ISO performance.

So! Back to the original question, how was it done? Not what I need to buy to meet today's so called standards.

your clients live in today. they have today's standards. it's not about the gear; it's what the gear can handle. the D200 makes pretty nice looking images under controlled lighting, or lots of natural lighting. not so much in the dark. and flash is not always an option, never mind the best option, for aesthetic reasons. better gear gives you more choices, and at a wedding you never want to find yourself without any choices.

I know that everybody has different standards. So D200 fans help me out here.

this may surprise you, but i'm a D200 fan. i owned one for many years, and shot lots of things on it, including a wedding. i know exactly what it's capable of, and what it's not capable of. and i know that it's a whole lot easier shooting a wedding on something better.

but my statements above are not just about the D200. it's about everything. one camera, one (manual) flash, one zoom, and one prime is no way to shoot a wedding. you need back ups for everything. you cannot afford to have your only camera break, malfunction, etc. you need to have the proper equipment if you are going to shoot weddings. these are not photo jobs to be taken lightly; you do not get a second chance, and you frequently do not get any control over your situation.

 arachnophilia's gear list:arachnophilia's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D300S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +3 more
Canadianguy Senior Member • Posts: 1,501
Re: D200 Wedding Photography
1

No, we cannot recommend any settings for you because:

1) We don’t know the room setup – how high are the ceilings, what colour is the ceiling, are there walls for bounce, what colour are the walls?

2) We don’t know the ambient light level – is it only window lighting, will there be lights on inside the church?

3) We don’t know if you want to balance the ambient with your flash or do you want to nuke it so that no ambient shows up?

If you have shot with mono-lights or in studio before, these are the same decisions / questions you would have asked yourself before – there is no difference for on-camera flash. The only difference is the direction of the light – you have no choice on the direction – unless you take it off the camera.

Have you read the strobist site before?

http://strobist.blogspot.ca/2007/09/lighting-102-31-balance-flashsun.html

Short version:

Shutter speed and ISO controls the ambient light levels

Aperture and flash power controls the light levels from your flash

Adjust and balance to taste.

But if you are telling me there are in a Church with large windows with dusk light coming in – that sounds amazing to me – don’t know why you want to use on camera flash for that?

Allen1025 wrote:

Hi All and Thanks in advance for everyone's input.
I'm a lurker here on this forum reading most posts but not commenting.
I'm scheduled to do wedding photos in the last part of Sept for a couple in an informal small church.
This is not my first paid wedding. I have done several and I have pro mono heads and soft boxes but the church is small and has a lot of clutter and unsightly and distracting pictures on the front wall so we will only do the ceremony and a few shots inside without setting up the mono heads.
My question to the forum is about shooting in manual mode inside using on camera (non TTL) flash.
There are large windows on camera left with evening sun shining in with no way to block that light off.
I'll be shooting D200 Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens with Vivatar 285 flash. I'm not comfortable shooting over 800 ISO
Could you recommend some settings for the inside ceremony photos. They are ok with flash during the ceremony. The ambient lighting should be the same through out the 1/2 or less ceremony.
I'm thinking 4-5.6 @ 60-125th and if I need more light open up a stop? Don't know?

Peter Damroth Contributing Member • Posts: 651
Give this a try

Take an ambient reading of the church interior, say it say's f5.6 at 60th sec. ISO 800. Drop the exposure by one stop, f8 at 60th or  F5.6 125th sec. Then set the strobe to your aperture selection. This can work. Don't reinvent your style too much , unless you can do test shots. As a post script an ISO of 640 or 400 may look sharper on the D-200. Good luck.

-- hide signature --

Peter Damroth Photography

 Peter Damroth's gear list:Peter Damroth's gear list
Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n Nikon D300 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +14 more
Allen1025
OP Allen1025 Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: Give this a try

Thanks for your suggestions and I will try these settings.
As for all the other posts and comments I will consider them. Even the ones that suggest I get out of the business cause I lack experience and equipment.
I also understand that the information was vague and it would have been hard to base concrete advice but I was just trying to get an idea where to start.
As to the church and beautiful golden evening sunlight coming thru the windows that is not the picture. There are windows on one side only the other is completely windowless so there is strong sidelight of which some sort of artificial light must be produced to match. Which you will have mixed lighting. I can bring studio lights and blast the abient light if necessary but I was hoping for something else or a better solution.
Also this is rural WV and the building is not some magnificent cathedral in NYC.
The wedding couple are aware of the poor lighting and unsightly clutter inside the building and they are aware of my lack of equipment.
I could go on and on with explanations to some remarks but I will save everybody's time.
I'm writing this from my phone and don't have the ability to quote each post as I would like. I appreciate all the time and thought you all have put into the questions.
I will post the results here with a link to Flickr at the end of Sept. When the wedding takes place and you can comment.

arachnophilia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,362
Re: Give this a try

Thanks for your suggestions and I will try these settings.
As for all the other posts and comments I will consider them. Even the ones that suggest I get out of the business cause I lack experience and equipment.

that was not my intention at all, i apologize if you took it to mean that. i meant what i said: you should be putting part of your income from this job (and ones like it) towards necessary equipment. this is what any professional, in any industry, does.

 arachnophilia's gear list:arachnophilia's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D300S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +3 more
Allen1025
OP Allen1025 Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: Give this a try

Ok apology accepted. I didn't realize that this would turn into such a lengthy and detailed post.
I / we are getting paid a small fee for doing the wedding and we don't do weddings for a living or even side income. We done this girl's senior pics several years ago and she didn't (couldn't) afford a (pro) photographer so we agreed to do the wedding for a small fee. We are out of the studio business now.

arachnophilia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,362
Re: Give this a try

Ok apology accepted. I didn't realize that this would turn into such a lengthy and detailed post.
I / we are getting paid a small fee for doing the wedding and we don't do weddings for a living or even side income. We done this girl's senior pics several years ago and she didn't (couldn't) afford a (pro) photographer so we agreed to do the wedding for a small fee. We are out of the studio business now.

not everybody can afford a professional photographer; that's totally fine.

but even as an amateur, gear rentals aren't exactly expensive. it's like $26 to rent an SB910 over at lensrentals for a day. $60 for a D700 (takes the same batteries as your D200). a 70-200 is $65. you can easily rent adequate (maybe not top of the line) equipment for the day for less than $200. even as a favor, with a "small fee" i really sincerely hope you're charging more than that.

i would strongly recommend having:

  • more than one camera per photographer. you may be able to get away with one per, serving as each other's back ups, but it's really better have both of you covered so you can do independent things (eg: wife with the bride getting ready, you with the groom)
  • at least one camera with better noise performance than your D200 and your wife's D80, because sometimes it can put you in a really bad position. i am saying this from experience. the D200 is a fantastic studio camera, but a mediocre event camera at best. sometimes you're forced into using direct flash (ceiling to high, painted black, etc) and even if you have an assistant following you with a strobe or monolight on a stick, it really does give you less control and fewer options.
  • a fast telephoto zoom, which is useful for the posed portraits and the ceremony.
 arachnophilia's gear list:arachnophilia's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D300S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +3 more
Stacey_K
Stacey_K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,373
Re: D200 Wedding Photography

Allen1025 wrote:
I'll be shooting D200 Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens with Vivatar 285 flash. I'm not comfortable shooting over 800 ISO
Could you recommend some settings for the inside ceremony photos.

I love my flash meter, takes so much guess work out of this stuff when using a manual flash.

I'd be using the lens close to wide open, use manual mode on the camera and see if you can stay at iso400. Meter for ambient, go down 1 or maybe 2 shutter speeds, trying to keep them above the blur point, and use the flash to bring the exposure back up. If the shutter speeds get too low to capture some ambient, up the iso a bit. Given how you describe the side lighting, get a cheap optical trigger, have someone hold the flash to the side and use the on camera flash (set at lowest setting) to trigger it might be a good solution. You don't have to be at the church to practice this and get -close-.

-- hide signature --

Stacey

 Stacey_K's gear list:Stacey_K's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Sony Alpha a7 +16 more
Allen1025
OP Allen1025 Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: D200 Wedding Photography

Allen1025 wrote:
I'll be shooting D200 Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens with Vivatar 285 flash. I'm not comfortable shooting over 800 ISO
Could you recommend some settings for the inside ceremony photos.

I love my flash meter, takes so much guess work out of this stuff when using a manual flash.

I'd be using the lens close to wide open, use manual mode on the camera and see if you can stay at iso400. Meter for ambient, go down 1 or maybe 2 shutter speeds, trying to keep them above the blur point, and use the flash to bring the exposure back up. If the shutter speeds get too low to capture some ambient, up the iso a bit. Given how you describe the side lighting, get a cheap optical trigger, have someone hold the flash to the side and use the on camera flash (set at lowest setting) to trigger it might be a good solution. You don't have to be at the church to practice this and get -close-.

-- hide signature --

Stacey

Thank you Stacy for your help. I have got a lot of ideas and input for this wedding. And I'm going to consider everything that all of the posts have recommended. I may even bring my large mono heads and put a soft box on them. I have radio triggers for them. I haven't decided yet.
But getting back to your idea of metering and dropping the shutter down and using fill light seems to be a good idea and I will try some test shots with this to see how it looks.

Allen

Alan Brown
Alan Brown Veteran Member • Posts: 5,532
+1

Stacey_K wrote:

Allen1025 wrote:
I'll be shooting D200 Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens with Vivatar 285 flash. I'm not comfortable shooting over 800 ISO
Could you recommend some settings for the inside ceremony photos.

I love my flash meter, takes so much guess work out of this stuff when using a manual flash.

I'd be using the lens close to wide open, use manual mode on the camera and see if you can stay at iso400. Meter for ambient, go down 1 or maybe 2 shutter speeds, trying to keep them above the blur point, and use the flash to bring the exposure back up. If the shutter speeds get too low to capture some ambient, up the iso a bit. Given how you describe the side lighting, get a cheap optical trigger, have someone hold the flash to the side and use the on camera flash (set at lowest setting) to trigger it might be a good solution. You don't have to be at the church to practice this and get -close-.

-- hide signature --

Stacey

plus if the shutter speed is so low as to let the ambient light 'interfere' with the flash exposure you can get the awful double exposure effect that can look like lens blur or worse two images overlaid but out of alignment.

As Stacey says up the ISO if that's the case.

-- hide signature --

There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness.' :'!':

 Alan Brown's gear list:Alan Brown's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads