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Best Lense for Concert Close-Ups?

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Thread started 27 May 2007 (Sunday) 16:26   
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JtheVGKing
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Concert photography is all about the faces of the performers, and the emotion that is moment by moment manifested on stage, so I was wondering what the best lense would be to get consistently great CU's. Right now I'm using the standard non-IS 70-300mm telephoto for CU's; and for general concert photos, the 50mm f/1.4 (which I just bought!) as well as the Canon 10-22 (which I just bought as well-can't wait for them to arrive!) So, I'm worried that the quality of CU's will seriously pale in comparison to the MS's and WS's I get . Also, I'm mostly going to be shooting smaller, low-lit venues (like at bars, etc.-I live in a college town). Thanks, any advice is appreciated!

Post #1, May 27, 2007 16:26:34


Canon 5D MkII :cool:
Canon 50 1.4, 430 EX flash, 580 EX II flash, :D
Canon 24-70 2.8L, 85 1.2L II :lol:
"...And though it is so, it is only that flowers, while loved, fall; and weeds, while hated, flourish."

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narlus
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not sure what a CU is, but if you want good head shots, on a crop body, in low-light clubs, then the 85 f/1.8 is probably your best bet.

Post #2, May 27, 2007 16:29:25


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JtheVGKing
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CU= "Close-Up"

;)

And yeah, I've been looking at that 85 prime as well, but will that get me close enough to fill the entire frame with a performers head? I usually have to zoom in decently far with my 70-300 to get the kind of head shot I want...

Post #3, May 27, 2007 16:33:35


Canon 5D MkII :cool:
Canon 50 1.4, 430 EX flash, 580 EX II flash, :D
Canon 24-70 2.8L, 85 1.2L II :lol:
"...And though it is so, it is only that flowers, while loved, fall; and weeds, while hated, flourish."

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bacchanal
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For small venues: 85/1.8, 100/2 or 135/2. I don't really consider the 85 all that long. I use the 100/2 on a 30D and if you want to fill the frame with a headshot, you're talking about 6ft I'd say. If you have the light and the money the 70-200 2.8IS would be the ultimate for many situations. Another alternative would be the reasonably priced 200 2.8 prime, though it isn't particularly fast for a prime. On a budget, I'd go with the 85 or the 100 and crop.

Here is a recent shot with the 100/2 from I'd say around 6ft away.

IMAGE: http://bacchanal.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p518757617-4.jpg

Post #4, May 27, 2007 16:45:29 as a reply to JtheVGKing's post 11 minutes earlier.


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JtheVGKing
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Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Oh, and keep in mind I'm working with a Rebel, so whatever prime I use is gonna be longer than on a full frame (correct?). So between the 85 and the 100 (both around the same price) which would you reccomend?

Post #5, May 27, 2007 17:40:00


Canon 5D MkII :cool:
Canon 50 1.4, 430 EX flash, 580 EX II flash, :D
Canon 24-70 2.8L, 85 1.2L II :lol:
"...And though it is so, it is only that flowers, while loved, fall; and weeds, while hated, flourish."

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airfrogusmc
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Heres some shots of Mary Wilson and the Temptations from a black tie event that they were the entertainment for that I shot a couple months ago.

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HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Byte size: ZERO

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http://i4.photobucket.​com .../airfrogusmc/IMG_25​43.jpgexternal link
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85 1.2L
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http://i4.photobucket.​com .../airfrogusmc/IMG_83​92.jpgexternal link
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35 1.4L

Post #6, May 27, 2007 17:49:18 as a reply to JtheVGKing's post 9 minutes earlier.




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airfrogusmc
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JtheVGKing wrote in post #3276193external link
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Oh, and keep in mind I'm working with a Rebel, so whatever prime I use is gonna be longer than on a full frame (correct?). So between the 85 and the 100 (both around the same price) which would you reccomend?

No its shorter on a full frame. An 85 on a full frame becomes a 136 on a D20.

Post #7, May 27, 2007 17:51:23




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Jim ­ G
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Between the 85 and 100 here's something you might try.. get your 70-300 and set it to either focal length and walk around for a bit (or ideally have a look at how they feel in the venues you'll be shooting in) - see which one suits you more...

the 50mm 1.4 was my workhorse for live shots for ages but it isn't that long.. the 135L gets quite a bit of use nowadays though obviously it's only of use when there's enough room. many pubs around here are too small for it. Which one will suit you better really depends on where you'll be shooting.

Post #8, May 27, 2007 18:16:03


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bacchanal
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JtheVGKing wrote in post #3276193external link
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Oh, and keep in mind I'm working with a Rebel, so whatever prime I use is gonna be longer than on a full frame (correct?). So between the 85 and the 100 (both around the same price) which would you reccomend?

I use a 30D, which a 1.6 crop camera like the Rebels. Personally I went with the 100/2 because I don't have a huge kit. I wanted just a little more separation in focal length between my lenses, and 1/3 didn't seem that significant to me (I have the 50/1.4 and 28/1.8_). That being said, I find myself in iso3200 territory on a regular basis, so with a Rebel that extra 1/3 stop may be more important. I think most would consider the 85 an all around more useful lens on a crop camera, that and it's slightly lower price are probably why it is the bigger seller. Ultimately it's 15mm or 1/3 f-stop. Both are superb lenses for the money and in general for that matter.

Post #9, May 27, 2007 18:27:31


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DwightMcCann
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Well, I guess you got some responses, eh?

Post #10, May 27, 2007 18:38:38


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johnstoy
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Say J... similar to the PM's earlier, here are some more ideas...

For the shots from the front row I'd also consider the 24-70mm 2.8L...the long end of the lens is reasonable for close ups and the 24mm end serves as a reasonable, wider angle lens... and it is stellar, sharp as a tack, and creates great background blur too...

Ideally ,I would get the Canon primes, like the 24mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 50mm 1.2 or 1.4, 85mm 1.2 or 1.8, 100mm f2.8 Macro,
and the 135mm F2.0L...

From the zooms, I'd go for the Canon: EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS, the new 16-35 f2.8L, 24-70mm 2.8L, and the 70-200mm 2.8L IS and the 300mm 2.8L IS...

Off course I wouldn't count out the 15mm Wide Fisheye for the added touch...

These are lenses that many of our POTN members have great success with, and they post many real good pics taken with these lenses...

I included the 100mm f2.8 macro because it has Ring USM (supposedly the best USM) and it is super sharp as a portrait lens...

Post #11, May 27, 2007 20:53:09


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JtheVGKing
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Yeah, I think I've decided on the 85. I think with the 1.6 crop it'll be the perfect length for my needs. So then, this will be my concert kit: Canon 10-22, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8. Good combo in your guys' honest opinion?

Also, I do plan on eventually getting the 24-70 and the 70-200 2.8L IS (as I need a *good* walk around lense and stable telephoto-my hands shake worse than a guy with tourettes on speed), but for right now, my needs are adequately met. All I currently do is nature and concert stuff, so my 10-22 wide and 100mm macro will be fine for the buggies, flowers and epic landscapes, and the fast primes will suit me for the concerts and occasional portraits. Man, honestly, just seeing the possibilities and potential of my exploration into photography is a little humbling.

Kick ass.

Post #12, May 27, 2007 21:01:15


Canon 5D MkII :cool:
Canon 50 1.4, 430 EX flash, 580 EX II flash, :D
Canon 24-70 2.8L, 85 1.2L II :lol:
"...And though it is so, it is only that flowers, while loved, fall; and weeds, while hated, flourish."

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johnstoy
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All I can say is that EF-S 10-22mm is real tempting... great wide range...
EDIT: It is tempting for outdoor daytime venues and other, types of photography...

I crop many of the 85mm pics... they either are straight out of camera or cropped to look like I'm staring them in the face... It's a real fun lens... gotta use your legs though too... Once, to get a wide, full stage shot with it, I had to walk all the way back to the rear wall of the venue...

Post #13, May 27, 2007 21:19:51


John Stoy

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Steve ­ Parr
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JtheVGKing wrote in post #3275917external link
Concert photography is all about the faces of the performers, and the emotion that is moment by moment manifested on stage, so I was wondering what the best lense would be to get consistently great CU's. Right now I'm using the standard non-IS 70-300mm telephoto for CU's; and for general concert photos, the 50mm f/1.4 (which I just bought!) as well as the Canon 10-22 (which I just bought as well-can't wait for them to arrive!) So, I'm worried that the quality of CU's will seriously pale in comparison to the MS's and WS's I get . Also, I'm mostly going to be shooting smaller, low-lit venues (like at bars, etc.-I live in a college town). Thanks, any advice is appreciated!

Well, I would disagree that concert photography is all about close-ups. It is simply what it is. Nothing but close-ups would bore the Hell out of me.

From the looks of it, the only lens you have that I would even consider using is the 50mm f/1.4. The others just are just not fast enough, especially under poor lighting.

For close-ups, I use the 70-200mm f/2.8L, and for everything else I use the 24-70mm f/2.8L.

With concert photography, light is life...

Post #14, May 27, 2007 21:21:06


Steve

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Tim ­ Snow
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My $0.02: I shoot most shows with 2 bodies, one with a 70-200 f/2.8IS and the other with the 17-40 f/4...and I couldn't ask for anything more (bodies are a 20d and 10d for what its worth). Once in a while I throw on a 50mm f/2.5 macro (sharp as all hell!) or a 15mm fisheye.
These 4 lenses have served 95% of shows I have shot (unless I'm shooting from the soundboard in which case I scramble for a 300 f/2.8 or 400 f/2.8). I have shot bands from U2 all the way down to hardcore punkers Career Suicide, and what I have learnt is that it really doesn't matter what you have, it's how you use it. Having a lens fast enough to deal with low light is crucial, but aside from that concentrate on making sharp images and compose them wisely, you'll be well on your way.

(off the soapbox now...)

Post #15, May 27, 2007 21:24:48


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