best lens for concert photography

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by t_i|1, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. Hello everyone,
    So I got a EOS 400d and I was wondering which lenses you guys recommend for
    concert photography...
    I currently own a 28mm f/2.8 and I want something else..
    Everything is welcome heehehe
  2. If you can get close (like on stage), I would recommend the 50mm f/1.4 or even the new 50mm f/1.2L if you have the money for it. Otherwise, I have had a lot of success with the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. It's a great lens that will offer you a lot of versatility for being in the crowd. I have some concert photos on my website that were mostly taken with the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS if you want to have a look.
  4. I think it depends entirely on how far away you'll be from "the action".
  5. Just keep in mind, when reading the standard concert photography page cited above, that (at least the last time I looked at it) it was written from the perspective of someone using a film camera. On your 400D, you'd have to take the crop factor into consideration; a 100 mm lens (for instance) on a 400D gives a significantly different field of view than the same lens on a film (or full-frame digital) body.
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I think it depends entirely on how far away you'll be from "the action".
    Exactly. I shoot concerts regularly, always with a pass, so I can be close, sometimes on stage. I shoot with lenses from 17mm to 50mm, usually at the wider lens. The only exception is when I can shoot from a balcony, then I bring a longer lens.
    You should explain why you "want something else." That would give some idea of what might be a good recommendation.
  7. To join the chorus, you need to tell us how far you'll be from the stage...

    I shoot some concerts and drama productions using the 50mm f/1.4 and I'm happy with the
    results, but I am somewhat close to the stage.
  8. Apart from distance, please state your budget and if you have any weight restrictions.

    BTW, I used 70-200/2.8 IS in my last concert and people behind me were disturbed as the lens was too long and hide some of the act.....

    Happy shooting,
  9. I like to shoot from the balcony or the back of the concert hall since it gives me the ability to move around and shoot without making much of a disturbance. I also like to have the flexibility of a zoom so that I can compose in-camera. This is where the 70-200 2.8IS truly shines. If you shoot from a distance, apart from some tele primes, this is really your only choice.
  10. Well with a pass, ur rigth infront of the stage but without it, I still try to get a place all the way infront. Cause at some venues you dont actually need a pass to take pictures and thus u'll be standing in the crowd..but I always try to be early and find a spot in front.
    thank you all...! SO I guess I would go for the 50mm f/1.8 since i'm close to the stage
  11. I'd love to shoot some concerts. However, every time I called the venue in advance to ask, the response was "no photography is permitted". I live in Seattle which is rich in music offerings.

    So if any of you have experience with bending the rules a bit to get into clubs and shoot, or more legitimate methods I'd love to hear what you have to say!

  12. Jeremy, it might be a good idea to post your question as a new topic.
  13. Hey Jeremy,
    I'm in WA state too and usually use my 70-200mm 2.8IS when far from the action. I love my fisheye or 28-70 2.8 when up close. As for access, small name bands love to have photos, talk directly with the musicians or their management/label and work something out. Most have a website or myspace page so just get in touch well in advance. Most big venues/big bands will not allow photography, especially professional looking cameras so usually not worth the risk to try to sneak one in.
  14. >> SO I guess I would go for the 50mm f/1.8 since i'm close to the stage

    Good idea. Don't forget to bring your 28/2.8 as well. It might become handy as well.

    Happy shooting,
  15. The 50mm 1.4 is a great lens for concerts, it is a little tight. The great lens for this work up
    close is th 24mm 1.4. the 70 - 200 2.8 is great if you have it on a monopod.

    In this concert I used the 50 1.4 a lot.
  16. I agree with Yakim... the 50mm f/1.8 will be a great, inexpensive choice if you're close to the stage. But, the 28mm lens will certainly have it's uses and considering how light and compact it is, you should definitely bring it along.
  17. I do concert photography as well....I have a Nikon D40x and would like to either upgrade the camera or the lenses. The lens I have currently is the one that came with the camera so its pretty crappy. My current problem is that I cant use flash photography and when the lighting is crappy, I have to turn the ISO up to Hi-1 which leaves grainy photos. Will lenses with a better f/stop fix this even though i use autofocus or should I just upgrade my camera. I was looking into a d700
  18. To Jennifer Jackson:
    The stock lens included with the Nikon D40X (come to think of it, the stock lens for most DSLRs) is average for everyday snapshots, but yeah, it doesn't really cut it for concert/gig shots. You're either forced to use a flash - which can annoy the performers or create unwanted shadows/glare - or you're forced to boost the ISO rating to compensate for a lack of flash. And as you pointed out, the photos come out grainy that way.
    For relatively close stage shots, Nikon has a 50 mm lens that starts at f/1.4. (get the AF-S lens since the D40X has no focus drive motor) that should handle your needs rather nicely without you having to resort to a flash or a high ISO setting. There's also several other previous posts here about concert photography lenses (ie. different photo scenarios) - and although they deal with lenses from different DSLRs, Nikon will have similar lenses available.
    Oh, yes, if you are willing to spend the green? A D700 is very nice . . .

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