Beginner Shooting a family event (no pressure then)

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174
Name
Steve
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#1
I have been asked to record a family event at the start of September. It will be a few 'formal' pictures and then try to record the event/party.

My plan was to use my D7200 with the 35mm prime, aperture priority, probably F4 and auto ISO with a minimum shutter speed. I also have a Nissin Di622 with a diffuser for later in the evening.

Is this a sensible/suitable setup? Any recommendations on min shutter speed?

I do have a 55-200 lens available as well, but I don't want to be swapping through the day, but would this give me more flexibility but still allow for some background blurring?

TIA
 
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Name
Terry
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#2
You may find the 55-200 too long even at the "wide" end as you're using a crop sensor camera.

I'd use the 35mm (50mm in FF)

Also the prime will be way better than the zoom.

In film days the min shutter speed used to equate to the focal length used so 50mm = 1/50 sec. Although that's only for you, it doesn't guarantee the subject won't move.
 
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Clint
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#5
I think a minimum shutter speed should be one you are confident will get you sharp photos. Personally at least 1/125th(obviously faster movement would require faster shutter speeds I.e kids running)but in scenarios where you are indoors and flash is your main source of light you could go lower to allow some background light.
 
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Dave
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#6
I used two D7200 cameras for close to two years for my Weddings, and I loved it with the Nikon DX 35mm f1.8, which I usually shot at f2 to place more emphasis on the subject and blur everything around it to a degree. For Groups I'd still only go up to f4 usually

A blurred shot due to subject movement or camera shake is far more annoying than a noisier sharp one, so I used around 1/160th as my slowest if I could (I do have very steady hands though), and I'd often shoot at 2000 ISO with no worries as to noise, and I'd shoot up to 6400 if i had to - no client ever noticed the noise - only we togs really worry about it lol

If you do have to shoot a few at less than 1/100th sec, and defo below 1/50th, then steady yourself and set the CL speed to 3 fps and fire off bursts of 3 - you'll generally find one is sharper than the other two, this is because 2 of them will be affected by your own heartbeat moving your hands giving you camera shake

HTH :)

Dave
 
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Stevieraith
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174
Name
Steve
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#7
If you do have to shoot a few at less than 1/100th sec, and defo below 1/50th, then steady yourself and set the CL speed to 3 fps and fire off bursts of 3 - you'll generally find one is sharper than the other two, this is because 2 of them will be affected by your own heartbeat moving your hands giving you camera shake

HTH :)

Dave
I think a minimum shutter speed should be one you are confident will get you sharp photos. Personally at least 1/125th(obviously faster movement would require faster shutter speeds I.e kids running)but in scenarios where you are indoors and flash is your main source of light you could go lower to allow some background light.
I'd set the minimum shutter to 1/125 with the 35mm to allow for a little movement in subjects. If there's dancing you want to capture maybe up the minimum shutter to 1/500.
Thanks guys. Now to just practice and not panic :)
 
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22,917
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Richard
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#9
You will probably need a wider lens than 35mm, and if it's an evening do, then flash is the most prudent option - probably bounce-fill technique but how you play this depends very much on the venue - height and colour of the ceiling in particular.

Edit: shooting at lower f/numbers like f/2 is okay for solo portraits, but even f/4 can be pushing your luck with shallow depth of field for group shots. It's fine if you can keep everyone neatly lined up in the sharp zone, but that can be tricky if you're not used to it and busy worrying about everything else that's usually going on at these events. Also, images will probably look fine on the LCD, but back home on the computer screen, you'll find that they're out.
 
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Stevieraith
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174
Name
Steve
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#10
You will probably need a wider lens than 35mm, and if it's an evening do, then flash is the most prudent option - probably bounce-fill technique but how you play this depends very much on the venue - height and colour of the ceiling in particular.

Edit: shooting at lower f/numbers like f/2 is okay for solo portraits, but even f/4 can be pushing your luck with shallow depth of field for group shots. It's fine if you can keep everyone neatly lined up in the sharp zone, but that can be tricky if you're not used to it and busy worrying about everything else that's usually going on at these events. Also, images will probably look fine on the LCD, but back home on the computer screen, you'll find that they're out.
Thanks Richard.

Don't have access to wider than the 35mm. I will be taking the flash though. And good advise on the group shots, I would rather make sure all in focus so may try pushing the F up a bit.
 
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Ravinder Bindra
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#11
May be worth investing in a lens for future if you're doing more of this kind of work. 24-70 f2.8 works well. I have the older tamron one which is only around £180 used but does a great job. Will also be using it for weddings too.
 
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Name
David
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#13
As well as practising at home, take a look at the venue if you can, better if you can visit during the time you will be shooting there to see what the light is like and get some test shots to fine tune your settings.

With those, its also a good idea to start getting an idea of what type of shots \ poses you want to do, google "family portraits" etc and get some inspiration, note down or save images that you like and then go there with a plan. Preparation is key!
 
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