HELP! Shooting a dark nightclub, lens?


TPF Noob!
Jan 9, 2008
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Hey i'm photographing a dark nightclub what lens should i use for my Nikon d80? i'm going to do both shots of the interior when its empty and shots when its live and happening packed with people for an online magazine. what other accessories am i going to need for this? do i need to "paint" what is that and will it make that much of a difference? help!
I use a 35mm f/2.0 or either a 50mm f/1.8 or 1.2 MF. If you are still way short on light, a SB-600 or SB-800 with a diffuser pointed at the ceiling will do wonders but won't capture the "moment" like available light will.
I don't have any experience taking those types of shots, but I would figure you would need a lens with a large aperture (f/2.8) since it's going to be dark. More importantly, I think, having a really good flash will be essential. As far as focal length, you won't need too much reach since you're indoors, so something like an 18-70mm would be fine. That's all based on assumptions, so you'll probably want to hear it from someone who knows what they're talking about :p
If it's empty during the day I'd set up lights to get some nice interior shots of the place. When it's dark you need a lens with as large an aperture as possible. If that doesn't work you need a flash to lighten up the area. Also play with your ISO settings.
What about stopping down to f/22 or so, and doing a long exposure. Get full depth of field, and capture the motion of the crowd? Could be cool as one of your shots at least...
Then you take a picture during the day with all the normal lights on...

Show the contrast.
I'd use an ultra wide-angle like the Sigma 10-20 on a tripod to capture it when it's empty. Either that or the 10.5mm fisheye, and then straighten it out with some of the plug-ins or software out there (Image Trends Hemi, or DxO). Then for the photos when it's busy, use a 50mm f/1.4.

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