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phishhead_23
8th of January 2006 (Sun), 13:46
I'm interested in taking photos of local bands at venues with low light. I'm looking seriously at the 50mm 1.4 (and no, I'm not asking to debate the ins and outs of this lense). What I want to know is if this is the best route to go or is there a better lense for around the same price?

jjonsalt
8th of January 2006 (Sun), 13:54
It has nothing to do with the 50mm being a good lens or not, it is a great lens, but, what focal lenght(s) you need. The 85mm f/1.8 is close in price and also a very nice lens. We have no idea what camera you are using or where you are going to be shooting from in relation to the stage or what kind of shots you will be most interested in. let us know and I'm sure more suggestions will follow.

liza
8th of January 2006 (Sun), 14:28
Any fast prime would do the trick, but as jjonsalt said the correct lens will depend entirely on your distance from the stage. I shot a concert from the end of the stage with a 100mm f/2.0 and had pretty good luck with that one until the performers came down to my end. Then the 100mm focal length was a bit too long. The 85mm would have been better in that scenario.

GeneMan88
8th of January 2006 (Sun), 14:47
It really does depend on where you are in relation to the stage... fast zooms could be an option. Lenses like Canon's EF 24-70 f/2.8L and EF 70-200 f2.8L IS would probably serve you well. You could also go the Sigma route with the same zooms. If you're into primes, EF 50 f1.4, EF 85 f1.8 might serve you well, again depending on where you are. I haven't shot a concert yet, so my opinion is based on a whole lot of reading, and this forum. I hope this helps...

tim
8th of January 2006 (Sun), 17:38
Read this

http://www.photo.net/learn/concerts/mirarchi/concer_1.htm

jyrgen
8th of January 2006 (Sun), 18:16
In my limited experience f/2.8 zooms are often not fast enough (with dark venues and moving performers). Thus a few fast primes would be my suggestion. I use 28/1.8, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8. Of them, the 50/1.4 would probably be the best starting point.

To illustrate the need for fastness, the following example I shot yesterday with 85/1.8 wide open at ISO 3200 and yet had to add another stop and a half in ACR:

http://www.hot.ee/lumumba/060107_0783.jpg

phishhead_23
8th of January 2006 (Sun), 21:04
I'm using a Canon Rebel XT. Most of my photography will be very close to the stage (local bands in small venues). I want to make sure the 50mm 1.4 will give me enough light to work in dark, close conditions.

Also, do you normally use a tripod in these conditions or can you hand hold?

RockSlut
8th of January 2006 (Sun), 21:19
I've only used a tripod for concert work once. It just doesn't work when you have performers moving around (like most do). Also unless you have an excellent location to place your tripod it will very quickly become a hazard that will likely get you in trouble with venue/security.

With the 350D I'd recommend f/1.8 or better because you don't have the luxury of going to ISO 3200 (as with the 20D) when the light is really bad.

I would recommend a 50mm as a really good and inexpensive start.

Also, there has been heaps of valuable discussion on lenses and techniques for concert photography - try the search function and you'll find a gold mine of useful info.

blackshadow
9th of January 2006 (Mon), 04:37
The Canon 50mm f1.4 is a great lens for shooting gigs, although if you are really close to the stage it can be a bit close (given the 1.6 magnification on my 20D) I have just brought a Sigma 30mm f1.4 which is really nice for up close to the stage.

Krapo
9th of January 2006 (Mon), 05:20
I want to make sure the 50mm 1.4 will give me enough light to work in dark, close conditions.


Well, if 1.4 doesn't give you enough light, no other lens will... (except the 85 f/1.2, but the focal is longer)
So if you're convinced by the IQ of the 50mm f/1.4, (and you should), just go for it!

And post your results!... ;)

blue_max
9th of January 2006 (Mon), 06:16
It's easy to think that an f1.4 lens could shoot in complete darkness!

It certainly helps, but don't raise your expectations too high.

With the light sucking ability, comes the shallow depth of field. Raising the ISO on a capable camera will sometimes be a better option (if it's not to the max already).

Graham

René Damkot
9th of January 2006 (Mon), 10:30
If the venue is real small, the 50 might be too long (specially on a 1.6 crop body)
I suggest you also give the 28/1.8 or sigma's 30/1.4 a thought.
I use primes from 20 to 100mm for my work. On the 1D2 I don't use the 20mm as much as I used to on my 10D, but occasionally it still comes in handy.

rklepper
9th of January 2006 (Mon), 10:57
In my limited experience f/2.8 zooms are often not fast enough (with dark venues and moving performers). Thus a few fast primes would be my suggestion. I use 28/1.8, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8. Of them, the 50/1.4 would probably be the best starting point.

To illustrate the need for fastness, the following example I shot yesterday with 85/1.8 wide open at ISO 3200 and yet had to add another stop and a half in ACR:



I have had the same experince with the 2.8's. Love my 85 f1.8. I am looking forward to getting the 50 f1.4.

rklepper
9th of January 2006 (Mon), 10:58
Of course my experience was in gymnasiums and not at concerts, but low light issues I think are the same.

cspratt
9th of January 2006 (Mon), 12:02
Trying to take pictures at a concert in this town will get you tossed out on your butt! Taking cameras into the venue is taboo (unless you can prove you are from the press). Some kids try to sneak in with tiny Point and Shoots but the flashes going off alerts the security guys who swarm in like bees to honey.

phishhead_23
9th of January 2006 (Mon), 19:57
Trying to take pictures at a concert in this town will get you tossed out on your butt! Taking cameras into the venue is taboo (unless you can prove you are from the press). Some kids try to sneak in with tiny Point and Shoots but the flashes going off alerts the security guys who swarm in like bees to honey.

I'm talking about being a photographer for hire for local bands in Chicago, not any large concert event with national audiences. (I don't really have an interest in doing large venues). I expect I'll still need the permission of the club owner to take photos in the club.

Reading the above posts, hopefully my Rebel camera won't hold me back b/c of the ISO limits.

blacksmurf
10th of January 2006 (Tue), 05:20
A similar question was made in this thread:
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=124222

bye ;)
Fabio

goatee
10th of January 2006 (Tue), 08:09
Reading the above posts, hopefully my Rebel camera won't hold me back b/c of the ISO limits.

The Rebel XT has fantastically low noise high ISO performance. For really low light situations, it would do better than my 10D - from that perspective, you've no worries!

blacksmurf
17th of January 2006 (Tue), 05:23
Saturday I bought the 50 1.4, but I still haven't tested it "on the field".
I hope to do it as soon as possible, and to have something to say about.

Listening to alternative music, very far from top ten stars, gives you here the possibility to shot in little but confortable places, without problems; you can also talk to artists and they sometimes ask you some shot, it's a beautiful way to share and exchange ... photo and music ;)

jyrgen
17th of January 2006 (Tue), 13:12
My company had it's yearly party in rock style this time, so I had a great opportunity to practice the topic of this thread. The lighting was pretty good, so I shot most of the pics at ISO 1000, f/2.2, 1/200. Most are with 50/1.4 and some with 85/1.8. I shot mostly from right in front of the stage, where the 50/1.4 proved excellent focal lenght (with 5D). The pics (quite a lot of them) are here (http://www.zone.ee/CanonG3/Hansarock/). When clicking this link, some marketing bla-bla probably appears, please click at the link again there in the first sentence, it should take you to the gallery.

René Damkot
17th of January 2006 (Tue), 14:10
Yep, good light, and some pretty good pictures!

hemuni
17th of January 2006 (Tue), 14:45
I second that! very nice jyrgen - love this on :D
http://www.zone.ee/CanonG3/Hansarock/060114_0908.htm

blacksmurf
18th of January 2006 (Wed), 05:48
My company had it's yearly party in rock style this time, so I had a great opportunity to practice the topic of this thread. The lighting was pretty good, so I shot most of the pics at ISO 1000, f/2.2, 1/200. Most are with 50/1.4 and some with 85/1.8. I shot mostly from right in front of the stage, where the 50/1.4 proved excellent focal lenght (with 5D). The pics (quite a lot of them) are here (http://www.zone.ee/CanonG3/Hansarock/). When clicking this link, some marketing bla-bla probably appears, please click at the link again there in the first sentence, it should take you to the gallery.

thank you jyrgen,
very fine and quite interesting.

EOS_JD
18th of January 2006 (Wed), 08:01
I love the 85mm f1.8

DD in Glasgow

http://www.eospix.com/albums/jazzaevents/Duran.sized.jpg
http://www.eospix.com/albums/jazzaevents/Duran_Duran_In_Action.sized.jpg
http://www.eospix.com/albums/jazzaevents/Duran_Montage.sized.jpg

I was not too close to the front (about 10 or so lines back from the front)

René Damkot
18th of January 2006 (Wed), 19:33
Nice! Like the collage as well... Did you manage to sneak the camera in, or did yoy have permission?