Sony A7III Wedding photography advice

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
NoNayNever New Member • Posts: 12
Sony A7III Wedding photography advice
1

Hi everyone,

First of all I'm brand new to Sony gear. I have agreed to be the photographer at the wedding of my wife's friend in 9 months time. I'm mainly a landscape photographer and it's going to be my first wedding shoot, as well as using a new brand in Sony (no pressure, then!)

So I'll get to my point. Which lenses would you recommend? I'm currently waiting for delivery of the Sony A7III and at this rate the wedding will arrive before the camera. I have a budget of around £2,500 for new glass. I know I'm going to need decent low light capabilities. So far I'm thinking the 24-70 G Master and the 55 1.8 Zeiss. Once the camera arrives I imagine I'll have around 7 months to practice and hopefully give them some half decent shots (again, no pressure!)

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers!

Sony a7
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
tripler6 Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice
4

Tamron 28-75 2.8 ($1000ish)

Sony 85 1.8 ($550)

Sigma 35 1.4 for E mount ($900)

just my 0.02

BarnesPhotoInVT
BarnesPhotoInVT Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice

24-70 GM, and 85 1.8 FE for sure.

Edit: I should note that includes lenses currently out that are available for purchase.  The Above poster noted the Tamron 28-75 2.8.  Which may well be awesome, and affordable, lighter weight and allow you to get an additional lens.  However, its not in any reviewers hands yet and hasn't even had a price released so I'm not going to include it.  In the next 9 months there very well may be even more Tamron lenses and maybe even some Sigma zooms.  Who can predict!

-- hide signature --
 BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list:BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list
Nikon D810 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +7 more
MattPointZero
MattPointZero Contributing Member • Posts: 812
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice

NoNayNever wrote:

Hi everyone,

First of all I'm brand new to Sony gear. I have agreed to be the photographer at the wedding of my wife's friend in 9 months time. I'm mainly a landscape photographer and it's going to be my first wedding shoot, as well as using a new brand in Sony (no pressure, then!)

So I'll get to my point. Which lenses would you recommend? I'm currently waiting for delivery of the Sony A7III and at this rate the wedding will arrive before the camera. I have a budget of around £2,500 for new glass. I know I'm going to need decent low light capabilities. So far I'm thinking the 24-70 G Master and the 55 1.8 Zeiss. Once the camera arrives I imagine I'll have around 7 months to practice and hopefully give them some half decent shots (again, no pressure!)

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers!

I formerly shot weddings with Nikon gear, and have recently switched to Sony - I am shooting one wedding for a friend (I stopped doing them commercially as they drive me mad!) and for that I have bought the 24-70GM, the 85mm GM as my main lenses (the 85 1.8 will do fine and come in at your budget).  I also added a samyang 14mm because I love wide shots for drama, but this is the non-essential lens.

 MattPointZero's gear list:MattPointZero's gear list
Sony a7R III Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 FE Voigtlander 65mm F2 Macro APO-Lanthar Rokinon AF 35mm F1.4 FE Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 III
BarnesPhotoInVT
BarnesPhotoInVT Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice
1

Matt2134 wrote:

NoNayNever wrote:

Hi everyone,

First of all I'm brand new to Sony gear. I have agreed to be the photographer at the wedding of my wife's friend in 9 months time. I'm mainly a landscape photographer and it's going to be my first wedding shoot, as well as using a new brand in Sony (no pressure, then!)

So I'll get to my point. Which lenses would you recommend? I'm currently waiting for delivery of the Sony A7III and at this rate the wedding will arrive before the camera. I have a budget of around £2,500 for new glass. I know I'm going to need decent low light capabilities. So far I'm thinking the 24-70 G Master and the 55 1.8 Zeiss. Once the camera arrives I imagine I'll have around 7 months to practice and hopefully give them some half decent shots (again, no pressure!)

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers!

I formerly shot weddings with Nikon gear, and have recently switched to Sony - I am shooting one wedding for a friend (I stopped doing them commercially as they drive me mad!) and for that I have bought the 24-70GM, the 85mm GM as my main lenses (the 85 1.8 will do fine and come in at your budget). I also added a samyang 14mm because I love wide shots for drama, but this is the non-essential lens.

Former Nikon shooter switching to Sony this year and went with that exact lens setup minus the 14mm

-- hide signature --
 BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list:BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list
Nikon D810 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +7 more
tripler6 Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice

BarnesPhotoInVT wrote:

24-70 GM, and 85 1.8 FE for sure.

Edit: I should note that includes lenses currently out that are available for purchase. The Above poster noted the Tamron 28-75 2.8. Which may well be awesome, and affordable, lighter weight and allow you to get an additional lens. However, its not in any reviewers hands yet and hasn't even had a price released so I'm not going to include it. In the next 9 months there very well may be even more Tamron lenses and maybe even some Sigma zooms. Who can predict!

He said the wedding was in 9 months, so I figured including (good) lenses that will be available within a month or two should be fine. The Sigma is a known quantity, it's just a mount change, and Tamron has a recent record of quality lenses, so I expect them to hit this out of the park. I love my 24-70, but what this is doing (on a budget) is trading 4mm at the wide end for a 35 1.4! Not bad.

BarnesPhotoInVT
BarnesPhotoInVT Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice

tripler6 wrote:

BarnesPhotoInVT wrote:

24-70 GM, and 85 1.8 FE for sure.

Edit: I should note that includes lenses currently out that are available for purchase. The Above poster noted the Tamron 28-75 2.8. Which may well be awesome, and affordable, lighter weight and allow you to get an additional lens. However, its not in any reviewers hands yet and hasn't even had a price released so I'm not going to include it. In the next 9 months there very well may be even more Tamron lenses and maybe even some Sigma zooms. Who can predict!

He said the wedding was in 9 months, so I figured including (good) lenses that will be available within a month or two should be fine. The Sigma is a known quantity, it's just a mount change, and Tamron has a recent record of quality lenses, so I expect them to hit this out of the park. I love my 24-70, but what this is doing (on a budget) is trading 4mm at the wide end for a 35 1.4! Not bad.

Not disagreeing with you, just wanted to make sure I pointed out the mindset I was getting my version of the suggestion from

My Nikon setup i'm switching from included an 85mm art, and tamron 24-70 and 45mm 1.8 OS as well as some Nikkor lenses, so I'm not against Tamron and Sigma glass by any means.

-- hide signature --
 BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list:BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list
Nikon D810 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +7 more
PWPhotography Senior Member • Posts: 5,677
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQhDnqoi9K8

These two lenses, plus FE 85 GM (expensive however), Batis 85 or Batis 135. And Sigma FE Art lenses are releasing to market such as 35 Art, 50 Art, 85 Art, 135 Art all will be great. Tamron 28-75/2.8 FE seems excellent, light compact, half price of 24-70 GM.  FE 70-200 GM will be great too but expensive and heavy.

 PWPhotography's gear list:PWPhotography's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark III Sony a9 Sony a7R III Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L +13 more
OP NoNayNever New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice

Thanks for all your suggestions so far! Definitely going to purchase the 24-70 GM and I'm now leaning more towards the 85mm 1.8 rather than the 55.

BarnesPhotoInVT
BarnesPhotoInVT Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice
1

NoNayNever wrote:

Thanks for all your suggestions so far! Definitely going to purchase the 24-70 GM and I'm now leaning more towards the 85mm 1.8 rather than the 55.

You won't regret it.  the 55 1.8 is a nice lens, but you have good coverage in that focal range.  Having a dedicated portrait lens will make a big difference!

-- hide signature --
 BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list:BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list
Nikon D810 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +7 more
tesilab
tesilab Veteran Member • Posts: 3,001
I would practice dealing with moiré
1

You might want to be prepared both in avioding capturing the moire and in dealing with it in post-processing when you do have it. The A7III has precious little AA.

It could be a factor in wedding photos, especially with veils. Eye-AF could help save you here, avoid critical focus on the fabric.

I use an RX1rii for 35mm FOV, which at least has the world’s only variable (Off-Med-High) OLPF to switch between ultimate sharpness, and more anti-aliasing.

 tesilab's gear list:tesilab's gear list
Sony RX1R II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Sony a7 III Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +1 more
OP NoNayNever New Member • Posts: 12
Re: I would practice dealing with moiré

tesilab wrote:

You might want to be prepared both in avioding capturing the moire and in dealing with it in post-processing when you do have it. The A7III has precious little AA.

It could be a factor in wedding photos, especially with veils. Eye-AF could help save you here, avoid critical focus on the fabric.

I use an RX1rii for 35mm FOV, which at least has the world’s only variable (Off-Med-High) OLPF to switch between ultimate sharpness, and more anti-aliasing.

Ah, is this where the A7RIII would be better? I did consider getting it but couldn't justify spending the extra money for just essentially a better pixel count. I'm considering going full time as a wedding photographer and I've heard many times that 24mp is the perfect amount for wedding photography. Maybe the A7RIII would be worth the extra £££?

noggin2k1
noggin2k1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,023
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice
3

24-105 f4, 85mm f1.8, and a second hand A7II.

 noggin2k1's gear list:noggin2k1's gear list
Sony a9 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR Zeiss Batis 25mm F2 +5 more
cjgent
cjgent Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice
1

A good 24-70 and a 50ish prime would be fine. I am very new at weddings myself. My wife and I did a wedding last year together. She had a 24-70 and I used my Loxia 50. I would ask the couple to pick out sample wedding photos they like to see what look they want and use that to judge lenses as well.

-- hide signature --

Instagram @cjgent

 cjgent's gear list:cjgent's gear list
Sigma DP2 Merrill NEX-5T Sony a7S II Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Zeiss Loxia 50 +1 more
Mordi
Mordi Senior Member • Posts: 2,304
Your experience (or lack of it) will control your results
15

With all due respect, the LAST thing you need worry about is equipment. The fact that you even have to ask suggests you aren't ready to shoot a wedding.

You stand on the precipice of an opportunity to break the heart of your wife's friend, break their friendship - and make you regret you ever thought of accepting the wedding photographer role.

Most experienced event photographers will tell you that wedding are just about the most difficult kind of photography. The stress level even on an experienced wedding photographer probably equals that felt by an athlete about to compete in a major race. They know they can do it, but crap happens, and when it does, only the experienced survive.

I put myself through college shooting weddings in the film era, and when I needed money in the early digital era, I did them for extra cash. I still do them for family and friends.

While others may talk to you about equipment - I believe that's the least important factor - let me tell you what I believe you really need: experience as a helper.

1. You need to find a wedding photographer that will allow you to tag along and watch for a few weddings. No gear in your hands, except the stuff you hand to the photographer when s/he asks for it. Take note of the shots, the composition - and most of all, how to courteously but firmly direct people as you need.

2. Today, it's popular to shoot weddings sort of like covering a social gathering - fun candids and funny stuff. But just fail to get good shots of the bride's mom and dad and extended family, and be prepared for unhappy clients. Brides often talk one story about candids and then are upset when they don't see the traditional poses, too. Do you have a list of all the people who the couple DEFINITELY wants to be photographed? Do you have someone in the family identified who can point them out to you?

3. There is more than the wedding ceremony itself to plan. Where will it take place? What will the lighting be like at that time of year? What is the weather likely to be? Where will you pose groups? What's your backup plan if it rains - or worse? What's the lighting in the church or synagogue? - is it LED? - if so, you can't easily shoot silent shutter - you will need a long fast lens. Are they Catholic? Have you scoped out the church so you can shoot their faces when their backs are to the pews? Have you plotted how you will get from there to be in position to photograph the couple coming down the aisle? Where is the reception? Will there be dancing? If it's going to be dark, how will you illuminate the dancing couples (not a single on-camera flash)?

4. How will you handle the many people with smartphones who constantly step in front of wedding photographers today? And the people who show up with cameras as good or better than yours, and intrude on your setups?

5. You will have a second A7III body with you, right? Because your whole effort and your commitment fails if one of the many issues reported here on the forum occurs with your one camera. I would not even agree to shooting backup for a family wedding without two bodies. And remember - both bodies have to accept your lenses and batteries.

This represents a small percentage the things you need to think about other than a few lenses. On a full frame body, the most useful lens for me is a fast 35mm - if you do the job right, you'll take about half of all shots with that one lens. To be prepared for the possibility that you can't use silent shutter because of pulsating lights, you will need a long fast lens, like 80-200 f2.8. With those 2 lenses, a spare body and a 2-flash radio-triggered package, you can get 90% of all you need. A 14-16mm fast superwide will also be nice, but I've made do with my 15mm f4.5 Voigtlander because no one moves fast when you'll use that lens, and the A7III is wonderful at ISO 6400.

But of all this, the experience working with an experienced wedding photographer is the most important. Someone who knows how to shoot a wedding and has an iPhone will easily outshoot some who has all the gear - and doesn't.

Good luck.

 Mordi's gear list:Mordi's gear list
Sony a7 II Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony FE 35mm F2.8 +7 more
BarnesPhotoInVT
BarnesPhotoInVT Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: I would practice dealing with moiré

The A7R3 actually has no AA filter at all, which would result in even more Moire than the A73.  I don't think you need to be too concerned with it, most cameras either have very light or non existent AA filtering these days in order to deliver optimal sharpness.  I don't think you need to concern yourself with it.  24mp files are definitely optimal for events.

-- hide signature --
 BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list:BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list
Nikon D810 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +7 more
BarnesPhotoInVT
BarnesPhotoInVT Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Your experience (or lack of it) will control your results
8

You make some valid points here, but this is definitely a bit harsh.

Not every couple has the budget to hire a high end seasoned professional, and they may be making the choice between hiring a friend or having guests take cell phone photos because that may be all their budget allows.  There is a time and a place for beginners to do things like this.  The key is to make sure that they know that you've never done a wedding before, and temper their expectations.

Because he said he is new to Sony, I am assuming he has an additional camera, with additional lenses he can use in the case of an equipment failure.  I don't believe that its necessary to have identical camera's and lenses that have the same mount as long as you have two systems that you both feel comfortable with.  I've been shooting weddings for a few years now and I have never owned two identical bodies.  This year I will have my A73, my Nikon D810 and D750 and enough lenses to support both sytems.

However, if that isn't the case, and he doesn't have a second body and lens system he can use, he definitely should have that.

He should be shooting with his raw files going to both memory card slot A and B so that each file is saved twice in case of a memory card failure, that is a certainty.

There is always some uncle or friend with a $6000 D1x or something hitting 16 shots a second off during the kiss, or people sticking their cell phones out.  Just be polite, remind them you are working, and keep in mind they probably spent a lot of money and have no idea how to use it.

-- hide signature --
 BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list:BarnesPhotoInVT's gear list
Nikon D810 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +7 more
tesilab
tesilab Veteran Member • Posts: 3,001
Higher res at least extends the moire-free envelope.
1

A7R3 while it has no AA filter still has one theoretical benefit in that the higher the resolution the more it extends the visible moire free envelope.

The AA on the A73 is weak enough to be thought of as also moire prone, and maybe more so due to reduced resolution.

At 1:1 you always have moire potential without strong AA. 1:1 is clearly more zoomed in in the case of a 42MP sensor than 24. And yes, it is still potentially bad news.

An original RX1 photo without Eye-AF, which could have saved this picture:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/tesilab/ZJcG63

(I resorted to B&W because even after Adobe moire reduction tool, it was still worse in color)

 tesilab's gear list:tesilab's gear list
Sony RX1R II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Sony a7 III Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +1 more
OP NoNayNever New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Your experience (or lack of it) will control your results
2

Mordi wrote:

With all due respect, the LAST thing you need worry about is equipment. The fact that you even have to ask suggests you aren't ready to shoot a wedding.

Damn Mordi! Go on...

You stand on the precipice of an opportunity to break the heart of your wife's friend, break their friendship - and make you regret you ever thought of accepting the wedding photographer role.

That's a risk I'm willing to take.

Most experienced event photographers will tell you that wedding are just about the most difficult kind of photography. The stress level even on an experienced wedding photographer probably equals that felt by an athlete about to compete in a major race. They know they can do it, but crap happens, and when it does, only the experienced survive.

I feel I'm up to it. I won a gold medal for boxing when I was 7 years old. Pressure, smessure.

I put myself through college shooting weddings in the film era, and when I needed money in the early digital era, I did them for extra cash. I still do them for family and friends.

Where did you get your experience?

While others may talk to you about equipment - I believe that's the least important factor - let me tell you what I believe you really need: experience as a helper.

1. You need to find a wedding photographer that will allow you to tag along and watch for a few weddings. No gear in your hands, except the stuff you hand to the photographer when s/he asks for it. Take note of the shots, the composition - and most of all, how to courteously but firmly direct people as you need.

Good advice, that I will do.

2. Today, it's popular to shoot weddings sort of like covering a social gathering - fun candids and funny stuff. But just fail to get good shots of the bride's mom and dad and extended family, and be prepared for unhappy clients. Brides often talk one story about candids and then are upset when they don't see the traditional poses, too. Do you have a list of all the people who the couple DEFINITELY wants to be photographed? Do you have someone in the family identified who can point them out to you?

Yes I have a list and a helper from their family.

3. There is more than the wedding ceremony itself to plan. Where will it take place? What will the lighting be like at that time of year? What is the weather likely to be? Where will you pose groups? What's your backup plan if it rains - or worse? What's the lighting in the church or synagogue? - is it LED? - if so, you can't easily shoot silent shutter - you will need a long fast lens. Are they Catholic? Have you scoped out the church so you can shoot their faces when their backs are to the pews? Have you plotted how you will get from there to be in position to photograph the couple coming down the aisle? Where is the reception? Will there be dancing? If it's going to be dark, how will you illuminate the dancing couples (not a single on-camera flash)?

Are they Catholic?

4. How will you handle the many people with smartphones who constantly step in front of wedding photographers today? And the people who show up with cameras as good or better than yours, and intrude on your setups?

Did I mention the boxing?

5. You will have a second A7III body with you, right? Because your whole effort and your commitment fails if one of the many issues reported here on the forum occurs with your one camera. I would not even agree to shooting backup for a family wedding without two bodies. And remember - both bodies have to accept your lenses and batteries.

I have a second non-Sony camera, yes.

This represents a small percentage the things you need to think about other than a few lenses. On a full frame body, the most useful lens for me is a fast 35mm - if you do the job right, you'll take about half of all shots with that one lens. To be prepared for the possibility that you can't use silent shutter because of pulsating lights, you will need a long fast lens, like 80-200 f2.8. With those 2 lenses, a spare body and a 2-flash radio-triggered package, you can get 90% of all you need. A 14-16mm fast superwide will also be nice, but I've made do with my 15mm f4.5 Voigtlander because no one moves fast when you'll use that lens, and the A7III is wonderful at ISO 6400.

That's interesting, thank you!

But of all this, the experience working with an experienced wedding photographer is the most important. Someone who knows how to shoot a wedding and has an iPhone will easily outshoot some who has all the gear - and doesn't.

Good luck.

Thanks!

KE_DP
KE_DP Veteran Member • Posts: 4,774
Re: Sony A7III Wedding photography advice
6

Just my opinion, but if I shoot a wedding (not my regular client) - I'll carry  and use TWO bodies at once so I can switch on the spot for different ranges.  That combo would have top tier fast 24-70 and 70-200 lenses.  Zooms, because moments fly by in milliseconds you can't possibly run to every opportunity and set up.  I also use an assistant to follow me and carry extras, water and help organize the people.  If it's a medium or larger event, I'll automatically hire a 2nd shooter as well.

You need strobe(s) too - even outside.  The good news is you have a lot of time to prepare.  The bad news is - nothing can prepare you for it other than experience.   There are no breaks - it an all day marathon if you do the whole thing.  Besides the stress, it's a ton of physical labor which people don't really talk about.

Have fun!

 KE_DP's gear list:KE_DP's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony a7R III
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads