Shooting a concert in low light conditions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by m0r, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. m0r

    m0r TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,
    next week i'm invited as a photographer for a national (GR) hip hop event at a club.I have a Nikon F501 with a Tokina 75-300 lens and a digital Olympus SP310. I am thinking of using the Nikon with ISO1600 film for shooting from tha back of the crowd towards the stage and use the Olympus for on-stage shooting. I trust my Nikon slr but im not sure about the olympus which has a capability of ISO400 and a shutter speed of 1/1000.
    If I use the Nikon with ISO1600 +2exp and 1/800, 1/1000 and 1/2000 shutter speeds am i going to have good results?
    Is there any iso/shutter comperation table anywere?

    I need to shoot people moving fast, crowd diving from the stage and all the action you see in this kind of concerts. What do you suggest me for my current equipment?
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Fuji ISO 3200.
     
  3. killcrazy

    killcrazy TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I do alot of band/concert photography, and while i might not be a "pro" or an "expert" ill give you my 2p...

    Im currently using a Sony Alpha 100, with 3 different lens' the
    18mm-70mm
    75mm-300mm
    and a vivitar 28mm-200mm (picked up off ebay dirt cheap and i love it!)
    wireless flash.

    Concert photography is all down to the lighting inside the event, and also whether you are allowed to use a flash or not? or hwether you want to.

    my lens' only go down to f3.5 so i have to use them on that setting (would love an f1.8 lense, but i simply cant afford one)
    with shutter speeds of 1/60th i can still get some pretty decent shots without a flash, these shots are gennerally taken at ISO 800 aswell.

    But like i say, its all to do with the lighting, try and get inside before any one else does if you can (venues usually let photographers in if you turn up with a load of camera gear, and say your with the band)
    take a few test shots when the room is empty to see what kinds of settings you need to use.
    but be careful of spotlights, if your moving on and off the stage area, and too the back of the room your gonna have massive differences between your settings. so try and do a recce before hand so you know roughly what settings your gonns use when ur standing in certain places.
    nowt worse than having to f*** about with your camrea for more time than your acctually using it!!
     
  4. Fiendish Astronaut

    Fiendish Astronaut TPF Noob!

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    Dark conditions can be really tricky but using a flash might completely ruin the atmosphere of your shot. Ideally don't touch a flash unless you really know how to use it just to fill. High ISO is important but the most important thing is the glass. How wide does your lens go? I would go for 2.8f at the very least and maybe you can get away with ISO 800. If you can get hold of a fast prime it might let in more light than your zoom and get you better results.

    It's all very well getting test shots in the venue but it'll be a hell of a lot different with the lighting! Go manual if you can otherwise try Av setting and whack open your aperture as wide as you can.

    And someone might correct me if I'm wrong but I'd have though an ISO/shutter conversion table could not exist as shutter speed depends on the light available and the aperture!
     
  5. jimiismydaddy

    jimiismydaddy TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, you cant do concerts efficiently without a fast prime, and even then sometimes its very hard. I would definitely look into a 50mm or 55mm prime. Dont know what kind the Nikkor is, 1.8f. Its about the cheapest lens you can buy and a great investment.
     
  6. m0r

    m0r TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your replies everybody.
    Unfortunately im stack with the ISO1600 rolls. I also have an ISO400 Illford Delta B&W film for backstage photos of the artists.

    The Nikon Tokina lens goes at 4.5. Today i got an old Canon AE-1 PROGRAM slr with a RMC Tokina 35-105mm lens 3.5 wide :D. I guess is better in low light conditions than the 4.5 75-300mm the Nikon has.

    I'm going to use all 3 cameras (The Nikon F501, the Canon AE-1 and the compact digital Olympus). I hope at least 50% of the pictures will be presentable.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    m0r, do some research on "pushing" your film. Some brands are better than others, I think, but if you tell your lab what you have done then you can push film 1 or even 2 stops and still get usable photos. So, your Fuji 800 then becomes 1600 or even 3200 ('tho that might be a tad grainy!).

    Anyway, with the gear you have faster film is your only hope. You should also start searching for concert photos that have a lot of grain and learn how to use the look. You are going to have grain so you might as well make lemonaid if you take my drift.

    Most importantly don't get discouraged! It wasn't all that long ago there were guys painting masterpieces with colored dirt and egg yolks! Learn-plan-execute and you will do fine.

    mike
     
  8. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Take a look at my pbase gallery, in the lower right of the page. (link to the main page in my sig.) Go into the live bands gallery and look at some of what I have shot. The vast majority of this available light stuff is shot with a 35mm f/2.0, 50mm f1.8 or a very few with f/2.8 lenses. The 35 2.0 being my go-to lens for band shoots. ISO on my D1X is 800 max, so that is what I shoot. Your zooms will be useless unless you go to flash, and that defeats the purpose of shooting bands. The flash will wipe out the light show, and there in lies all the "feel" of a live shoot.
     

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