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Which lens for concerts?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Rui Lopes, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. My daughter will be singing at a concert next Thursday probably under very poor light. She will be abt. 26 / 32 feet from me. Which lens would you use under such conditions? I am thinking to shoot on tripod using either the 85 1.8,the 80-200 2.8 or even the 18-200VR (VR off) allowing auto ISO to raise till 1000. What do you suggest?
    Thanks and Regards
  2. There is no better thing for low light then fast lenses. I would go with the 85mm and walk backwards until i get the framing you want. put it at F2, ISO at 500, spotmeter on the bright parts of the stage, and look at the histogram afterwards and adjust as needed to not to many highlights.

    That said I would have the 18-200 with me, for wider angles of the whole stage and zoom ins. VR on handheld

  3. Cope


    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    If you can move around for the best composition, I agree with Andreas. If you cannot, I would go with the 80-200 2.8, unless you know you will have the right compostion with the 85.
  4. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Take both the 85 and 80-200, if you find f/2.8 isn't fast enough then use the 85mm. What camera do you have? You can push the D50 to ISO1600 relatively cleanly, although if you have a D80 or D200 I find that after ISO1000 it gets too noisy for my tastes.

  5. This is good advice. I really don't think the 18-200 will help you much in such low light unless the subjects are relatively stationary and you can really drag the shutter. I've shot thousands of photos of bands in dimly lit bars and other small venues. I've never gotten a high percentage of keepers using glass slower than f/2.8...at least not without a flash.
  6. Thanks for the advices. I'll go with the 85, 80-200 plus 35 f/2 for wider perspectives.
  7. I agree wholeheartedly that your fast lenses are the way to go. If you have space in your pocket or are taking a bag with you, I would suggest all 3 and perhaps a monopod if you have one. Good luck.
  8. richinnj

    richinnj Guest


    Rui - I've been using the 85's almost exclusively in the darkest clubs in NYC you can imagine. If it's a more than 2 bulb club - the 85 1.8 is perfect. I jack the ISO up HIGH. The grainy effect I love, but I'm from film days. Less than 2 bulbs,,I use the 1.4.
  9. Thank you for all your good advices.
  10. Ok. So today is the day. I'll bring the 85 and the 80-200 and a sturdy tripod. May be I also bring the 35mm f/2 trying to capture the whole place. I cannot afford to shoot over ISO800 because of the horrible noise the camera produces beyond that sensibility.
    Given the fact that I'll shoot on tripod, in manual mode, around f/2, what minimum shutter speed you'd recommend to capture sharp images of the singers using the 85?
    Thanks again for your help.
  11. TimK


    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    If its really too dark, you can probably try to shoot in RAW, with maybe -1 or -2 ev. Its worth trying if the shutter speed becomes too slow!
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