Lenses to shoot bands with

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by photographyfanatic, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    Hello. I am looking for a better lens to shoot bands with indoors. I curently am using a a 28 -135 mm/f3.0. In veiwing my stuff it's obvious I need something faster. I found an Canon 80mm /f1.2, is the 80mm ok? How far away can I be before I can't get a close up? Does Canon make an f1.2, 1.4, or 1.8 with more of a zoom? Or would 80 mm be ok? Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The 85mm F1.2 L is a great lens...but it costs as much as a small used car. The 85mm F1.8 is around $300 and is pretty darn good.

    There is the 135mm F2.0 L...again, a great lens but not cheap.

    There are a few 70-200mm F2.8 lenses (Canon, Sigma & Tamron). While F2.8 might not be ideal for super low light, the range of the zoom might be helpful when you can't move around as much as you might like.
     
  3. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    I belive Canon makes a 50mm F1.2, amd that would be about 80mm on a crop senso body, but I belive it runs around $1400.00.

    Is flash not an option? It would seem if you could aff a flash or 2 it would be much less expensine and far more versitile.
     
  4. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    So would the 85mm be a good lens for band photography then, provided I can get close to the stage? What if I am further away? Any lens recommendation? I prefer to stay with Canon.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    While having super fast lenses can really help, it's not always the best option. Besides being really expensive, the DOF at F1.2 is very thin which you may not always want.

    Another good option is being able to crank up your ISO when the lights are low. Newer DLSR cameras are pretty good at ISO 1600, 3200 and even 6400.

    But as mentioned, if you can use some flash (preferably off camera) it will help to overcome a lot of the lighting difficulties.
     
  6. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    Wow I just looked at the price difference between the 85mm 1.8 and the 85 mm 1.2 and it was a 1500 difference! I don't have that kind of cash right now so, what's the big diffference between the 2? I mean is there that much diiference between f1.8 and 1.2? What about going from f3.5 or 3 to f2, big difference there?
     
  7. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What camera are you shooting with?

    I have used a 70-200mm to shoot some theatre performances and found it worked well. The main issue I had was that I'm shooting with a Canon XSI, and the high ISO is kinda sucky. I had to shoot at 1600 and the image quality wasn't great. Having a better performing camera at high ISO to match with the 70-200mm at 2.8 would of been ideal.

    When you say you are shooting bands, where are they playing? Are you shooting in stadiums, arenas or smaller local venues that allow you to get up close?
    Are you working FOR the band or going to see a show and shooting them from the crowd? Are there usually stage lights or is it usually dimly light? Stage lights should be fine with a 2.8 lens. Dim lights will require much higher ISO

    If the band allows you to get up front and shoot them, something like a 24-70 f2.8 might be an option, allowing for some decent wide angle shots if you are shooting on a full frame.

    If you are mainly shooting from a crowd, then a 70-200 would be good.

    If you want to go the prime lens root, the 85mm is a great lens, as is the 50mm 1.4. Again, all dependign on the camera you are shooting with
     
  8. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    I am shooting with a Canon EOS 40D. My position will vary, but right now the band I am shooting allows me to get close, indoors at smaller places like bars, clubs, ect.. But the 28-135mm, f/3.5 is not doing a good job. Way to much blur even with my ISO at 1600. Some blurI want, but in no way could I ever pursue this the way I want professionally with this lens. So without spending 1800 dollars point me in the right direction. Can i get away with the 85mm canon f/1.8? And as far as the bigger zooms, ca I get away with a 200mm - f2? Can I also opt fot the models with no image stabilizer since they are cheaper? Or do you guys find that it is a great feature to have?
     
  9. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I am not mistaken, your lens is the 28-135 f3.5 – 5.6. So its only at 3.5 aperture when you are shooting at 28mm. When you are shooting at 135mm, its at 5.6.

    Going from 135mm 5.6 to say 135mm 2.8 is (if my memory serves me) 2 stops – 5.6 -> 4.0 -> 2.8. Which means that if your meter was reading 1/30 shutter for 5.6, moving that to 2.8 would show a shutter of 1/120.

    If you get the 70-200 f/2.8 with IS, you could probably up that 1/120 to 1/250 or more and not have a major issue with image quality.

    In shooting a band, I would think that you have many angles and many focal ranges to shoot from. So a prime lens might not be the best idea if you are going for a variety of shots. If you are just going to band action shots from the front of the stage, sure. But again, if you would want wide shots, you would have to physically move back into the crowd to take the shot.

    Not thinking about the blur / image quality, when shooting with the 28-135, what focal length do you prefer to use? Are you using everything in that range or do you find yourself mainly in the 100+ and wanting more?

    Determine what focal length you mainly use and then look at the various lenses that can be available. If you were doing wildlife photography, you are mainly guided by the focal length and THEN the aperture. A 28mm prime at 1.8 won’t do good for shooting birds.

    You said you want to stick with Canon. If cost is really a factor, look at the 3rd parties. The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 is well rated and costs around $500. Image quality is a shade under the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 but it should be way better than the 28-135mm
     
  10. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    If I went the 70-200mm, f2 would I still be able to shoot close up at the stage?
    Is this lens like $5000? If so I need an alternative, don't have that to spend!
    If I gi with the 135mm that is f2, it's about $1000, is it worth it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  11. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I did some backpost searching and I saw one post that said that the ideal range for band shooting would be 18-120. Anything above 120 is too tight for club shooting

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/general-shop-talk/159398-shooting-heavy-metal-band.html


    The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 with IS is currently $1700 at BH
    Without IS, its $1200 at BH.

    Pretty much any pro I know has a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens. Its an amazing lens.
    If you were to get an 85mm prime, then then 70-200 will allow you to shoot closer to the stage than the 85mm as 70 < 85.

    I guess the best suggestion might be to rent a lens for a gig and see how you like it. It will cost you $20 - $40 to rent one, but at least you will be sure you like the lens.
     
  12. photographyfanatic

    photographyfanatic TPF Noob!

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    First of all, thank you so much for you time! If I were to get the 135mm- f2 at $1000 would I then be able to sell the standard 135mm 3.5 -5.6 that came with the camera? I wouldn't need it anymore would I if I upgraded to the 2, right? Also the 135mm f2, it it a 2 anytime or only at a certain focal length like the current lens I have? Also is the 70-200, f/2.8 a good lens for some sports shooting?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009

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