What kind of Lens for Nightclubs?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by hankejp, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    So....If there's another thread for this, please lock this one with the link included.

    I'm looking to find out what kind of lens will work the best for shooting bands in Nightclubs/bars.

    My budget is approx $500-$600. I'm looking for something fast.

    Thanks
     
  2. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    50mm f/1.4 would be your best bet.
     
  3. themedicine

    themedicine TPF Noob!

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    ^^ ding ding ding ^^

    if you HAVE to have something with range, a 24-70 2.8 might could do you from sigma or something. but youd have to turn up your iso for equal type results.
     
  4. altitude604

    altitude604 TPF Noob!

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    ^ like he said. one of my friends does club photography with a 24-70 f/2.8 and gets great results. also a speedlite with diffuser is a great addition for when it's too dark.
     
  5. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For a crop camera I would use a Tamron 17-50 2.8, or Canon 17-55,or a sigma 18-50 HSM on a Nikon. Also a 70-200 2.8 IS.

    I usually start with a base ISO of 800, going higher depending on my shutter speeds and the lighting.

    Primes would work great except for crowded areas where it is difficult to move around. In larger clubs, the stage is bigger and its harder to move around even in the Photo Pit. for example: It sucks if you are shooting the drummer, upstage, with a 135mm then the bass player, downstage left, starts doing something cool right in front of you; there is no time to change to a wider lens to get the shot. That is where the zooms are very handy. To me a single 50mm is too limiting. Using to bodies and having a 20mm and a 50mm, or a 50mm and an 80, or 100mm would probably yield better results.

    In bar settings Primes tend to work better because the lighting often sucks so you need faster glass, an you are generally more free to move around to compose a shot.

    Its really a matter of matching your lens to the venue; there is no one answer.
    In one venue the lens of choice and in some bars any might be a 70-200 2.8, and in some bars anything longer than 50mm is far to tight. I have shot in some bars where most shots were taken at F/2 because it was so dark. It really all depends on the situation.

    What gear go you have now? A 2.8 wide-normal zoom is nice to have in general for most types of photography, and you can never go wrong with a fast 50mm. That would be my starting point and then adding things based on your needs from there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Great substitute for using the search function! :thumbup:
     
  7. xintax

    xintax TPF Noob!

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    ^^ Agree... Hahahaha!!! I got the same question... Thanks for the tips... Beats google any day of the week
     
  8. ZEPHYR

    ZEPHYR TPF Noob!

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    50mm 1.4 or 17-55 mm with the lowest fstop
     
  9. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for everyone's input. I think I will be going with the 50 1.4 or 1.8 to start with. These aren't big nightclubs and will be bars more than likely.

    I tried the search option on the forum, but either I didn't put in the right word or the search option is too picky on what you put in.
     
  10. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    i'd go with a zoom at f/2.8. 50mm 1.4 is nice with that 2 extra stops, but i hate foot zooming. also, u gotta consider DOF for group shots. ur only gonna get ONE person in focus with 1.4.
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I simply could not disagree more.

    This is a clear case of "it's dark recommend the 50mm" disease. Have you been in a night club recently? Given the 1-2m of space that you have between you and your subject on any night actually worth going out you will get nothing more than a tight headshot of one person, maybe the edge of another's face if you have a full frame camera.

    One of my friends who started working for inthemix says her most used lens clubbing was the Sigma 10-20mm. After she went full frame it became a 14-24mm she bought.

    In a club you'll typically be restricted by drunk idiots while trying to photograph a whole group of other drunk idiots who all would want to be in the photo at the same time. Got more than 2m space between you and your subject and it'll quickly be filled by yet another group of drunk idiots. At least that's how it's been in every nightclub I've ever been.

    /edit: Just saw the bit about it being bars. I say go in on a night you're likely to take pictures with a standard kit lens and fix it at 50mm and don't move it UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE to see if the focal length fits the bill. The 50mm is great for photographing people but you simply need space.
     
  12. kami

    kami TPF Noob!

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    I was just about to recommend otherwise the use of the 50 f/1.4 in a nightclub coz I already tried it! As you said, you need a lot of space to move in and out to get your shots which you can't do in a night club.

    I've used the Sigma 18-50 2.8 and it worked great. My pictures were a little bit noisy above iso 1250 but it worked alright.
     

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