Let me say thank you to all of the contributors here on the forum. Log time reader, first post.
The gear recommendations are spot on.
Anyhow, I have a modest kit. I'm getting up to speed with an SD 302, HD-P2(bit bucket), Audix SCX-HC, Rode NTG-3, and 2 Sanken COS-11's. I'm practicing setups most every day while not working using compliant friends (or an uncompliant spouse).
I realize there are no hard and fast rules, but...does anyone use longer shotguns outdoors for even wider shots? Before resorting to wireless, for example. I'm learning the reach of the NTG-3 is about 4 feet before a hard taper.
Also, any tips on dealing with an outdoor two-shot with one shotgun? Because of the mics' pattern and my moving it back and forth, it requires getting a bit higher on the talent to minimise inconsistency.
Longer shotguns don't necessarily provide wider patterns. The NTG-3 has a wider pattern than the Sennheiser 416. Try positioning the mic between the sources and tilting it instead of swinging it. Two booms are also a possibility.