Concert photography (what should I use)?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by CVC, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. CVC

    CVC TPF Noob!

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    Hi!

    I've been photographing for a long time, but since I've just moved to a bigger city with several clubs, I now want to do concert photography (which I never done before). I'm just a bit in doubt when it comes to gear, and what to use when shooting indoor concerts.

    I own the following gear:

    - Nikon D300
    - Nikon D80
    - Nikon 18-200 VR
    - Nikon 50 f/1.8
    - Tamron 90 f/2.8
    - Tokina 12-24 Pro f/4
    - Nikon SB-600

    What will be good to use during concert shooting?

    Thanx in advance!
     
  2. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You only have one lens that is fast enough your 50mmF1.8
     
  3. ChasK

    ChasK TPF Noob!

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    The camera with the highest ISO and least noise, the fastest lens, not knowing the size of the venues you'll be at, a fast wider lens (than your 50mm f1.8) may be needed, the flash may also be usfull. With the flash you'll loose most if not all of the effect from colored stage lights.

    Your 12-24 f4 may not be fast enough, but I'd take it anyway.

    Because of movement, to avoid blur you will want to as fast a shutter speed as you can. Which means, depending on the light, something like 125 at f1.8 and 800 iso. Which is the same as 250 at f1.8 and 1600 iso, or 60 at f1.8 and 400 iso. I'm not real familiar with your Nikons and noise but you may also want to look at some noise reduction filters or actions for Photoshop. I think it is easier to fix noise than blur in post. And it is easier to fix problems in camera than in post.
     
  4. flightless_beaker

    flightless_beaker TPF Noob!

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    I agree with getting a faster wider lens. The 35mm should be fine. Its relatively inexpensive and has a 1.8 f-stop. I feel your D300 will do better with the noise than your D80 so I'd definitely use your D300. Also the RAW capture should be better.
     
  5. CVC

    CVC TPF Noob!

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    Thanx for your answers. I'm aware about ISO, shutterspeeds and so on, and I did think that the 50 mm was my only true option.

    If I should buy a standard zoom lens (other than the Nikon 17-55 2.8, or the tele 70-200 VR - which I can't afford right now) to use shooting concerts, do you have any suggestions?
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Concerts tell us nothing. DJ's? Live artist/bands? Classical Orchestras?

    It's really going to depend on what your shooting and the venue. Most venues that I shoot at do or have at one point hosted some pretty big name bands. They're small, but they generally have very decent lighting.

    Also, most shows that I've shot have the photo pit right against the stage. I was shooting with a 17-40 f/4 on a full frame camera to get full body shots because I was that close.

    How's the high ISO performance on your D300? As long as you expose properly, you should be able to get decent usable photos that may only need a touch of noise reduction in post.

    Also, most bands don't allow flash at their shows. It also kills the look the stage lighting gives if you try and use flashes for live shows.

    Even before the advent of DSLRs that could comfortably shoot at 3200 and 6400 ISO, people have been recommending the 70-200 f/2.8 lenses forever.

    My last show I shot had a lot of shots at f/4 so I could have more than one person in focus.
     
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    For concerts in small clubs primes rule, unless they have very good lighting
    last week i tried out my 70-200F4L on my 1Dmk2 (5D had a 300F2.8L on)at a well lit concert, worked well
    ISO1600
    [​IMG]
     
  8. CVC

    CVC TPF Noob!

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    Hi again,

    Well it's a midsize venue here in Denmark (6-700 people and it's full). They have decent lighting and I want to shoot bands - rock/metal for the most.

    Here's some pictures from the venue: Gimle - Billeder
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If they put up a pit infront of the stage, you're going to need wiiiiide.
     
  10. CVC

    CVC TPF Noob!

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    There's no pit... that's rare here in DK ;-). So I can move anywhere I want, and 70% of the time im interested in getting close-ups.
     
  11. ChasK

    ChasK TPF Noob!

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    Before you spend your money on a new lens, shoot a few with what you've got and see what you run into. Experience is the best teacher. If you can, rent what you think you want to buy. Most stores that rent equipment will let you apply at least a part of the rental to a purchase. It may cost a little more in the short term but it is a lot cheaper than buying $1000.00 paperweights or dust collectors.
     
  12. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your 50mm should be ok, try it out before you buy anything else
     

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