Settings for Live Music photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sam_justice, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. sam_justice

    sam_justice TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking at a lot live music photos recently and one thing has bugged me (being a beginner). The thing that boggles me is how do you get such a sharp image with (presumably) quite a high fstop (and I'm not just talking about the artists, also the backgrounds appear incredibly sharp) I was just wondering what lens/settings you guys use/would use in a situation like that.

    I'm thinking a prime lens would be a good idea for the length the aperture can go to?

    Correct me if wrong!
     
  2. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering the same thing.
     
  3. swmocity

    swmocity TPF Noob!

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    2.8 lens or faster
     
  4. FitzTML

    FitzTML TPF Noob!

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    DOF is narrower the closer you are. A fast telephoto is the likely culprit. Do you have a link to any of the work you like?
     
  5. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    You don't want a high fstop, you want a low fstop (large aperture). I would definitely shoot primes if I had a desire to do a lot of this style shooting. I'd probably be looking at the following setup

    Nikon 35mm f1.8, Sigma 50mm f1.4 HSM (or Nikon's f1.8 if a tight budget), and Nikon 85mm f1.4 (or the f1.8 if on a tight budget).

    I think you'd be fine probably with just the 50mm and 85mm since you are going to want to leave a little space between you and the band anyway.

    I don't think f2.8 is going to be quite enough for low lighting band shots. I'd want at least f1.8 and plan to use a fairly high iso even at those apertures.
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Manual exposure, ISO3200 when i need (most of the time) lenses 300mmF2.8L,200mmF2.8L, 50mmF1.4 and never use flash
    this shot
    50mmF1.4,ISO3200, F6.3, 1/100
    [​IMG]

    200mmF2.8L, ISO3200, F5, 1/640
    [​IMG]
     
  7. sam_justice

    sam_justice TPF Noob!

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    Wow that's far less noise than I was expecting for such a high iso.
     
  8. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's down to exposure, they look better in print
     
  9. snaggle

    snaggle TPF Noob!

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    You also have to remember that most stages are very small. A large bar stage is 20'X15' so you dont have lots of background to blur.
     
  10. Bigmojo

    Bigmojo TPF Noob!

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    I shoot lots of live music. DSLR's offer suprising low light performance these days. I use a 5d mkII and am happy to push to even 3200 if I have to. (I dont like to go too high because I found that if I have pushed the ISO and theire is a lot of black in the image, this is where the noise shows up the most.

    However, If I get a shot thats a bit noisy because i had to push the ISO I use imagenomic's noiseware professional photoshop plug in, which I have found particularly useful. Its their cheapest plug in iirc
    http://www.imagenomic.com/nwpg.aspx

    it strips away noise like you wouldn't believe and I've turned results from my Powershot G10 round with this which I've had to take in if I dont have a press pass.
     

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