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  1. Craigus

    Craigus

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    459
    Name:
    Craig
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    Yes
    What do people do when it comes to backup lenses? I'm thinking lenses specifically, and in-particular people who are doing paid work.

    Reason for the question is I have recently done some product and other general photography for my sister in law's small business, some of her suppliers who are also quite small local suppliers apparently like what I've done and may want me to do some bits for them too. But this raised the question for me as when I was doing my sister in law's stuff I wasn't overly concerned about things failing as I wasn't being paid, nor was it high pressure or time sensitive. But if I'm doing it for someone else and potentially in their environment, even if I'm not doing it in a professional capacity they'll no doubt expect that of me so it is something for me to consider. (I'd rather not get into the professional, contract, charging debate in this thread if it can be helped, I've read enough threads in the business section to understand the issues here!)

    I'm not after advice on my situation, more wondering what peoples strategies are, the higher stress the more important this is to consider so, for instance you wedding shooters:

    If you use mainly primes say 35, 85 and 135, do you all have the usual two zooms (24-70 & 70-200) in the bag just in-case one of your primes fails or gets broken?
    Do these have to be f/2.8 versions for you if they are getting hardly any use?
    If one of your zooms fails, do you just switch to a prime within that range and make do?
    Do you have a selection of say 6 primes and if one fails, just accept it and use the others?

    I'd be interested to know how you guys deal with this whatever it is you shoot?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 2:04 PM
  2. itsdavedotnet

    itsdavedotnet

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    my 35mm kit, all lives in one bag, always taken to every job, is

    16-35
    24-70
    70-200
    200-400
    35
    50
    85
    2x speedlights
    2x D850
    1x D800

    I don't worry about it, I'm confident that with that I can do my best work with that kit even if a lens goes down. A lot of my work is also in central london so if my 24-70 or 70-200 went down I'd probably quickly buy or hire a replacement, anyway
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 2:56 PM
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  3. Byker28i

    Byker28i

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    When I was doing some commercial photography, both for my employer and outside I had a mix of kit which covered every eventuality, i.e.
    Canon 5D mk3, 600D and 50D bodies.
    2 x 100-400 lenses, 70-200 f2.8 IS, 70-200 f4
    24-105 f4 and EF-S 15-85 lenses
    Samyung 14mm f2.8, Canon EF-S 10-22
    50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.8
    2 x 580 flash guns, a 430, a 420 and a couple of manual yongnuo flash guns.
    On top of that in the studio I had a three head bowens 500 setup, multiple backdrop sheets on roller system...

    I'm sure there's more...
     
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  4. f/2.8

    f/2.8

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    Tommy
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    In terms of lens line up this is how we do it there is 2 of us, this suits us at the moment but may not suit others. Have just refreshed some of our kit recently..

    Main Lenses that get used regularly

    Sigma 20mm Art - just got this but gonna be used loads already love it!
    2 x Sigma 35mm Art
    Sigma 50mm Art
    2 x Nikon 85mm f/1.4G
    Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8e
    Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Macro
    Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC-E

    Back up lenses, well I say back up they are mainly lenses we bought and now don't use as we prefer the others listed above.

    Nikon 16-35 f/4
    Nikon 24-70 f/2.8
    Tamron 70-200 V.C
    Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

    Also have a Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 that I got for myself just to mess around with.

    Camera Bodies

    4 x Nikon D750
    2 x Nikon D850

    Also have a D800 lying in a drawer somewhere don't really count that as doesn't get used, will probably sell it at some point.

    Flash's etc.

    4 x Nikon SB-700
    6 x Yongnuo 560III

    2 x Godox AD360 ttl
    3 x Bowens 500
    2 x Interfit 125w

    It probably sounds like a lot of gear and obviously we don't use everything all of the time but it all gets used regularly. With the camera bodies we use the D850's for commercial work where we want the really big files and the D750's we use for weddings where we want the smaller file size due to the amount of images taken.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 3:51 PM
  5. Craigus

    Craigus

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    Craig
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    How much of that would you take with you out of interest - job dependant of course? Presumably not all of it?
     
  6. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    Dave
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    This is a fun one as I know one (not good) Wedding Pro who has 3 versions of every lens "just in case" and carries 5 bodies for the same reason

    At an MPA meeting he seriously criticised the speaker for taking just 2 bodies to her Weddings and only 6 lenses - she countered that she shot more Weddings pa than he did and in close to 30 years of shooting had NEVER had a lens fail and only 3 bodies had one s, meaning she just shot on the one left

    He thought she was NUTS - we (mostly) thought he was INSANE

    I carry two bodies - never having had one skip a beat in 10 years as a Pro, and only 2 film cameras died on me, both as they came close to 20 years old

    And 5 lenses - never had an issue with any lens in 37 years shooting

    I mostly shoot with a 35 & 85, but I have a 20 & 50 too as well as a 90 macro - so if either of my preferred choices failed I'm pretty much covered by the others

    Its really easy to get overly paranoid - a bit of paranoia helps though :)

    Dave
     
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  7. f/2.8

    f/2.8

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    Tommy
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    Yes as I said obviously we don’t ever take everything it’s job dependent so for example for a wedding we would take the 4x D750’s giving us 2 each with the 35/85, 20/50 then usually the 16-35, the 70-200 and the Macro. We both prefer to use 2 bodies at the same time.

    The extra 35 and 85 we got before we decided we wanted to try a 20/50.

    Sometimes we will take the tilt shift as well if in the mood for using it but will leave one of the others behind.

    Today for example I did some stuff for a new frozen youghart place for their website and took the D850’s, the tilt shift, the macro, the 20mm and the 85mm.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 4:18 PM
  8. Craigus

    Craigus

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    Craig
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    That chap does sound a bit OTT, Dave!

    And I agree entirely with your last sentence. I do find that in life in general I'm an 'overthinker' which is sometimes a good thing, but in this case I almost feel like it holds me back as I worry too much about not having the right gear, or enough gear in this case, to get on with things. Everyone must start somewhere!
     
  9. Nod

    Nod Ethel Prescott

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    28,630
    Name:
    Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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    IMO you can never have too much kit! It's possible to have not enough, just enough and more than enough but more than enough isn't too much (unless having it means real hardship for you and yours in other aspects of your lives.)
    I would say that the set of zooms would be an ample backup to the primes for product photography, especially since primes tend to be more reliable (fewer moving parts so less strain on ribbon cables etc.) than zooms. The only area where you might lose out is the shallower DoF that fast primes give over even f/2.8 zooms.
    FWIW, when Dad was a professional (mainly product), he used one fixed lens camera - no backup.
     
  10. Muzzieman

    Muzzieman

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    Andrew
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    I have never heard of anyone having backup(duplicate) lenses I take a spare body, plenty of memory cards and batteries. I have never had a lens fail. I take a 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 everywhere(all basses covered) and add a 50 or 85 if needed. I should add i have never needed to use my second body as a backup, the only time it gets used is if i need to switch focal lengths quickly so ill have a different lens on each body.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 4:43 PM
  11. Craigus

    Craigus

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    As a follow up then Dave, and this is just out of interest really if you don't mind, what would you do if you needed your 20 for a group shot due to space restrictions, but you dropped it and it smashed. Your next widest is 35. Do you just make do and get the best you can with that? I guess you have no other choice.
     
  12. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic

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    when I was into weddings and the like I never had a camera go wrong at all but usually took two rolleiflexes one for B?W and one for colour.
    On the other hand I always took two flashes . A top of the range Braun and a pocket Metz.

    II only used L-F for commercial and industrial work, and no one took spare cameras or lenses. Nor again did I ever have one go wrong.
    To day cameras and lenses are both complex and fragile and prone to fail. But I rather think having more than one spare camera is overkill. And having spare lenses is pointless. With lenses just use the nearest available and move your feet.
     
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  13. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    I try my hardest never to need the 20 for a group shot and shoot mostly on the 35 or even 85 where I can - yes - from a lot further away lol

    But if I had a bitch of a venue where only something wider than a 35 would do and I didn't have the 20, I'd tell every to stand as still as poss and do a high speed burst while panning and stitch them together later

    Extremely unlikely to ever be needed, but that could be the work around to having another £600 lens sat around collecting dust for pretty much ever !!!

    Dave
     
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  14. flavio

    flavio

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    I wonder how many bride and grooms take a spare, just in case their intended doesn't turn up, I think they would feel terrible letting a photographer down !!! lol.

    Seriously I think you can cover most eventualities without necessarily duplicating your kit through a combination of primes and zooms though obviously a second body is a must and I don't mean a D810 and a D3300, the back ups must be of similar quality to ensure quality output.
    I still hear of people turning up to photograph a wedding without a back-up body, not so much pros but moonlighters!
     
  15. Phil V

    Phil V

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    We once had a 24-70fail during bridal prep, but had it covered with no drama.

    I’d say what the OP is suggesting isn’t time sensitive in the way weddings are, i wouldn’t bet too concerned about gear failure on a shoot that involved only me and some objects. If it was a high end job with a stylist and art director and a cast of dozens, it’d be a different kettle of fish.
     
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  16. andrewc

    andrewc

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    Andrew Cliffe
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    I used a combination of 1D Mk IV and 7D Mk II bodies with a range of lenses. I don't have duplicates for every focal length, but quite a lot of overlap and also have teleconverter if necessary. I'm confident that if something went wrong with my preferred body or lens, I can still get the job done.
     
  17. itsdavedotnet

    itsdavedotnet

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    oh, and advertising shoots with a big crew, I shoot on digital medium format, but my nikon 35mm bag, and a spare laptop, always comes with me, a complete other setup just in case....


    When I was assisting, including on some global advertising campaigns, some photographers had a complete spare setup, some had a grand total of one rented camera and one rented lens.... it's a right mixed bag.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM
  18. Craigus

    Craigus

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    Craig
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    Did you have another zoom or did you just switch to primes?

    In my situation it isn't such an issue as you say, but I'm just trying to future proof as much as possible with a view to adding lenses to my kit, though I know that is nearly impossible as I have no idea what I may end up doing.
     
  19. Phil V

    Phil V

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    It was a crap kit zoom (from the spare camera) and then primes for low light.

    To be fair, for product shots with flash, a kit zoom would do the job, you’ll largely be shooting at short tele distances and f8. You’d need lens test charts to show the quality drop.
     
  20. MadWoman

    MadWoman

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    Sue
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    Yes

    Almost all of them! Is that not the traditional purpose of the best man/chief bridesmaid?
     
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  21. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    KIPAX
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    My backups are multi purpose and there in case one goes away for service/clean or repair

    My canon 70-200 2.8 mkII is a fantastic lens.. but if ever i need there is my 135mm f2 lens that also has uses in very dark sports halls if needed.. its also one of the sharpest lens i have seen.. distance shots at f2 no problem.


    My canon 24-70 mkII is also a fantastic lens..It took the place of my 17-40 f4 that wasnt worth selling and can be used behid goals at football if i feel that way inclined


    So all that range covered ..

    My canon 400mm f2.8 doesn't ahve a backup and its telling at the moment as it has a fault (happens now and then) and i cant afford to be without it for weeks on end :(
     
  22. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    Indeed - that's exactly their purpose, though I doubt many of them know it or would go through with it :D

    Dave
     
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