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7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

I've gotten so many questions about how I'm able to shoot weddings with Fujifilm, or just questions from people looking to switch to the Fujifilm system. So what I wanted to share with you all today are the 7 essentials to be able to shoot weddings with the Fujifilm system.

1. Camera body

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

So as you've seen, I'm a huge fan of the Fuji X-T3. I've been using it for about a year now, but I did start on the X-T2. Now the reason that I say that the X-T3 is a better choice than the two, is the focusing is so much faster, and the video capabilities are just so awesome. 

And I know you make be thinking, "Swapee, I'm gonna do photography, "why are you talking about video?" but nowadays, with Instagram TV and YouTube and stuff, there's so many opportunities for you to actually use video, and the X-T3 makes it very easy to actually hybrid shoot photo and video on a wedding day, so I highly, highly recommend the X-T3. The X-T3 is fairly affordable compared to its DSLR brothers, coming in at about $1,500 for the body alone.

When I switched from Canon to Fuji, it actually was a pretty easy switch, because yet again, the Fuji system is so cheap compared to your Canons and your Nikons. Also, I've talked about it before, the colors in the Fujifilm system are just so amazing. It honestly makes me wanna shoot everything in JPG and not even have to worry about editing.

On top of the colors, the EVF is absolutely amazing, and switching to anything mirrorless, and using an EVF just changes your whole life. Like, seriously, being able to see what you get from a photo, seeing your exposure and everything is just hugely game-changing. If you do have more money to spend on your camera as well, definitely check out the GFX system. I haven't been able to shoot any of them personally, but the GFX 50R and the GFX 100 look so good.

I'm gonna rent a 100 at some point, like, seriously, I have to try that camera. But I'm scared too, because I know if I rent it I'm gonna wanna buy it. But with your 50R 100, you're getting a medium-format camera, which is so, so awesome as far as quality. So if you do have more money in the bank, I mean more money, it's way more expensive than the X-T3, you can also go that route. Where and How to Sell Camera Gear!

But the X-T3 has the better focusing system and it just is a better choice overall. It's small, it's light, it's cheap, it's just really awesome. So that would be my consideration for your camera on the Fujifilm system is the X-T3.

2. Lenses

1. Widest lenses

So if you know me, you know I like to travel light on my wedding days. So I'm gonna give you a handful of recommendations for lenses. I'm not a huge fan of carrying every single focal length ever in the whole world for the just in case, just a couple of lenses that get the job done. I also like to shoot prime only, so I'm not gonna recommend any zooms, because I haven't used them, and I don't wanna recommend anything I've never used. How to Buy Used Cameras and Lenses.

So let's go ahead and start out with your lenses with your widest lenses. The 14 mil 2.8, or the 16 mil 2.8.

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

So, I'm personally a fan of the newer focusing systems on the Fuji lenses, so I tend to stick to the 2.8 or 2 versions of the lenses. I know a lot of people always ask why aren't you going for the faster lenses, but honestly, the focusing is faster, and they're super-sharp, and that little bit of extra light I don't necessarily need. Also, the newer lenses are way cheaper than the older focusing system.

So if you're looking to save some money while you build your kit, this is the way to go.

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

The 14 mil 2.8 is okay, it's the lens I use, But I honestly don't like it, yet again, it's using the old focusing system. The 16 mil 2.8 I have not personally used, but it looks absolutely amazing. Coming in at about $400, it is a steal of a deal, and you're gonna want a wide lens to take epic wide shots, as well as shots on the dance floor.

2. Mid-range wide lens

Mid-range wide lens, which is the 23 f/2, or 1.4. Yet again, I'm more a fan of the newer lenses, so the 23 f/2 coming in at barely $500 is a great deal. I use it on all my weddings. I absolutely love that lens. It is super-small, it is super-light, it's fairly priced, and it's sharp all the time.

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

I think I never really stop down unless I just wanna make sure that everything is sharp through like for group portraits or for a flat lay, I'll go to 3.2, but honestly, I'm wide open most of the time. Now I have used the 23 1.4, and it is a really nice lens. I don't like the size of it, and the focusing is way slower than the f/2 but yet again, if you want a faster lens, that's gonna be the way to go as far as getting more light in.

Of all of the older lenses, the one that I would upgrade to would be the 23 f/1.4. So definitely check that out if you have the extra money, and you wanna build your kit with the faster f-stop lenses.

3. Tele lens

Then we have the start of our tele lens, which is the 35 f/2. Now, I'm sorry, I'm not gonna recommend the 1.4. I did not like the 1.4 version of the 35. I love my 35 f/2, and I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world. It focuses fast, the bokeh looks great, and yet again, it's a super-small lens, so it's easy to carry.

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

The 35 f/2 also is coming in around $400, so yet again, as you can see here, you can build a nice kit for fairly cheap if you're going with the f/2 versions of the lenses rather than the 1.4 versions, which come in at around $1,000 a piece. Full wedding day videos, I'm using the 23 f/2 and the 35 f/2.

4. Long Tele lenses

Long tele lenses, which you have to, have to, have to get the 56 f/1.2. The 56 is honestly probably Fuji's best lens. That thing looks great, lets in so much light, and it's just an awesome overall lens. My only big gripe with it is it's a little slow for focusing, and I wouldn't recommend using continuous focusing while using that lens.

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

Honestly, whenever I wanna get a nice bokeh background photo, nice portrait, the 56 is always my first go-to. You can see here, in a couple photos, the 56 is just amazing. Also, too, when I'm doing the Brenizer technique, the 56 is a nice focal length to get that blurry background, but also get the wideness, and have your computer be able to stitch the photo together easily.

Now as an honorable mention here, if you do need something longer, the 90 f/2 is awesome. I bought the 90 f/2 and honestly, I just never used it. It's a great lens, but I don't use it. The focusing is nice, it has IBIS built into it, so it's really, really good, but, I don't know, the 56 is way better, so definitely give that a try.

And then a quick honorable mention as well, if you wanna take macro shots, but you don't wanna buy one of the macro lenses, like the 90 f/2, definitely check out some of the Fuji extension tubes.

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

So I'm using the 16-time extension tube, and I pair that with my 56 f/1.2 whenever I'm taking macro shots. I usually have to stop down to about f/4 to get everything in focus, but I'll use this for my ring shots.

And it's nice because I don't have to bring a whole different lens just to get that nice close-up macro ring shot. So definitely check out the Fuji extension tubes.

3. Battery grips

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

Honestly, in my opinion, and after doing weddings with Fuji cameras for about 3 years now, you need the grips. The battery grips allow you to go through the day and not have to worry about changing your battery every five seconds. As you know, mirrorless cameras are notorious for having to switch the batteries like every 5 seconds. And honestly, I'm not trying to do that on a wedding day.

When I'm shooting a wedding, I wanna be focusing on what's happening in the room, what's happening with the couple, and what's coming up next on the timeline. So with the battery grips, I'm actually able to make it all the way to the reception and then switch my batteries. Which is actually about six to sevenish hours, depending on the wedding day.

Another cool thing about Fujifilm and the battery grips is you still have a battery in the camera itself. So you have two batteries in the grip, and one in the camera. So even if your grip fully dies as well, you still have the one initial battery in your camera. So it's a great way to extend your battery life, and not really have to worry about switching your batteries very often.

Also, being able to take portrait pictures on the side, and have the little button on the side as well, it's just a nice touch. I don't always happen to switch my wrist all in a wonky area to be able to press the shutter button whenever I'm shooting in portrait mode. So the battery grip really helps out with that as well.

The battery grip for the X-T3 comes in a little bit over $300, so it's not too bad. So you're taking your $1,500 body, adding another $330 to that, so about $1,800 for the whole kit, and then add some lenses to that.

4. Batteries and SD cards

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

So with the Fuji system, you're gonna wanna have additional batteries. You're not gonna need to buy too many more, I have four additional batteries on top of the two batteries in each of my cameras. Make sure when you buy your batteries, get the Fuji official batteries. I know there's a lot of other batteries out there, and they're cheaper, but guys, just use the normal, Fuji-approved batteries, trust me.

You're not gonna wanna be at a wedding day and have your whole camera just stop on you because you're using junk batteries to save some money. I know they're a little bit expensive, coming in a little bit over $100 a piece, but trust me, they're worth it, because I've heard horror stories about the cheap batteries. So, if you've had a good experience with the cheaper batteries, let me know in the comments below because I've only heard about bad experiences.

Also, for your SD cards, the Fujifilm system can use UHT-2 cards, so you can get those, and get much better speeds out of your SD cards. A lot of people ask me if I shoot compressed or uncompressed, and I do shoot compressed RAW. That gives me a lot more space on my cards. Right now, I'm using UHT-1 cards that are 128 Gigs and compressed, that's giving me about 3,000 photos, three to four thousand photos on the day of the wedding.
7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

As far as your speeds, if you can afford the 300 megabytes per second cards, definitely get those. The buffer rates on it are amazing, and you're able to shoot for a long time. I have ones that are 170, and the buffer rates are pretty good on that, too. I'm getting probably good to almost 100 photos in a buffer session, while just high speed, 14 frames rate a second on my Fujifilm. I'm a huge fan of the Samsung SD cards.

I don't use anything else. I've had great experiences with them, and I have a whole bunch of them. But the 128 gig card size has been a perfect size for when I'm shooting compressed. If you're deciding not to shoot compressed, you're gonna want bigger cards, like 256 cards, because those things are about 50 megs a piece, and you will burn through gigs pretty quickly. So I suggest always shoot compressed.

I've not seen any problems with it, and it ends up saving you space on your cards, so you don't have to buy as huge of cards.

5. Speedlights

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

I like to travel light, we're not gonna go into every detail of all the lighting that you can get, we're gonna keep it very nice and simple as your first starting kit. So typically on a wedding day, I pretty much bring with me only the Godox V860II(f). The f is for Fujifilm, but they do make this flash for a bunch of different camera systems. This is a very typical Speedlight that you're able to sync up with other Speedlight as well.

So if you are doing off-camera flash, it's really easy to set one as a master, set the other as the slave, have the flash on your camera still, and trigger the other flash as well. I currently have three of these, and I'll keep two on my camera, and then one off as an off-camera flash, because I tend to not use off-camera flash, actually. Two of these flashes by themselves are enough on most of my wedding days, and I've been doing it like this for two years.

Just throw the MagSphere on top of them as a modifier, and you're pretty much good to go. I've never had problems any other way. Not only is this flash nicely priced at about $180, but it also comes with its own battery.

So with the lithium-ion battery that comes with it, your recycle times are insane. I'm able to shoot at high-speed shutter speed on my Fuji, and the flash will keep up with it, as long as I stay around 1/32 of power, it's good to go. So I absolutely love these flashes, and also, they can sync up with the other Godox flashes as well. So if you do wanna get something with more power, like their strobes, the AD200, or something of that sort, you can get those and still trigger them with your 860s on your camera.

So it's definitely a great flash system to get into. I highly, highly recommend Godox. I've only been using them for about a year now, but they are so easy to use, so easy to sync up all of your stuff, and just get in there, and start using your flashes. Lighting Tips for Photographing Weddings: Natural Light + Flash.

6. Holdfast gear Moneymaker

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

So the Holdfast Moneymaker is a leather strap that allows you to carry two camera bodies on you at all times. Not only is this great for having a backup camera, so if one of your cameras go bad, but you also don't have to switch your lenses as often if you're shooting prime only. What I typically do with my cameras is one camera on my right will be my wide lens camera.

This will be shooting with my 23 or my 14. Then on my other side, that would be my tele camera, and that'll be shooting with my 35 and my 56. So then when I switch during the day, I only have to switch one lens on one camera at a time, depending on the situation. 

There's a rare, rare amount of time where I'm gonna need to switch both cameras at the same time, because one's gonna get closer up for me, and one's gonna get wider, and at most, I'll need to get even wider, so I'll switch that lens, or I'll need to get closer, so I'll switch that lens. The Moneymaker also is super-durable.

I've had my original one for 6 years now, and you can see it's been through some times, but it has held through through sunny, super-hot North Carolina weddings in the summertime, and just all kinds of stuff. Super-cold weddings in New York, it's been through it all, it's traveled all over the place, and it just wears in really well, and just keeps on trucking. I highly recommend the Moneymaker for your camera system.

7. Holdfast Gear bags

7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

The Sightseer is the bag you've seen me using on my full wedding days, the one that I wear on my back. I love that bag so much. I'm able to fit two of my flashes and two of my MagSpheres in there, as well as an additional lens all on my back. Also, there's an extra pouch as well so I can fit extra lighting if I want to, like I have this little LED light by Manfrotto that's tiny that I'll use for sparkly exits and things.

And a wipe for my lenses, and additional batteries, all on me, all on my bag, easily accessible right behind me. So that's the Sightseer bag by Holdfast Gear.

And then when it comes to traveling, and maybe carrying some more gear right on me, the Roamographer is hands down my favorite bag. Not only does it look really cool, the leather wears in very well, but it's nice and spacious, and I'm able to fit my whole gear set when I go and do New York weddings.
7 Essential Gear for Fujifilm Wedding Photography

So pretty much, when I travel, I'm able to fit everything right on this bag and bring it on as the carry-on, so I have all my gear close to me because I'm sorry, this stuff costs too much for me to be checking the bag, and then hoping that it gets to its destination. Also, this is a nice bag to have if you're on your wedding day, and you need to carry some extra stuff in the bag.

There's a lot of space in it, and you can even take out the insert for all your photo gear, and just use it as a weekend bag as well. So I've used it in so many cases, and I bring it with me on every wedding. I may not use it on the wedding day itself, because yet again, I like to travel light, but if for some reason I need it, or at a styled shoot or something, it's great to have additional lenses in there, maybe even an extra body, and some extra lights, and just carry it along with you. 

So again, we have your camera body, with the X-T3 I highly recommend. For your lenses, I'd say the 16 2.8, the 23 f/2, the 35 f/2, and the 56 f/1.2. You have battery grips so you don't have to change your batteries every two seconds, additional batteries, and fast SD cards. Definitely check out those Samsung 300 megabytes per second cards.

You have the Holdfast Gear Moneymaker, to be able to hold two bodies at the same time, and then you also have your Holdfast Gear Sightseer, and Roamographer to carry all of your gear while you travel and while you're on your wedding days.

And last but not least was our flashes. The Godox system is very awesome. Check out the V860ii, and maybe even the AD200s, I don't have any, but maybe one day I'll get some.

And that would be your 7 essentials to start wedding photography with the Fujifilm camera system. Also, check out 21 essential things you need when starting a photography business. So if you have any other additions you'd love to add to this list, let me know in the comments below. I always love hearing from other photographers and seeing how they use their camera systems.

So keep it mainly Fujifilm in the comments, but what do you all use? Do you feel the same way that I do about the f/2 lenses? Do you think the f/1.4 is the only way to go? What are your favorite lenses? Or even, leave some comments about the zoom lenses down there as well, since I don't use any.

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