Nikon D80 Concert Settings.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by felicia_n., Oct 6, 2008.

  1. I'm going to a concert tonight that's taking place in the ice arena where the Vancouver Canucks play. I'm positive I
    wont be right up close to the stage, and also pretty confident that I wont be too close. However, I'd still like to get
    some nice shots with my camera. I'm not too confident with my Nikon D80's settings yet so I was wondering if
    anyone could help me out. I have a Nikon 18-135mm lens.

    Also, I've found with my old sony digital camera, that taking photos at concerts with a flash is basically pointless
    since it mainly picks up just the dust or smoke of the room. So I wouldn't use a flash, and my photos were actually
    pretty awesome.

    Any imput would be really appreciated, especially since I'm leaving for the concert in an hour and a half.

    Thanks a lot =)
  2. you'll need to turn autoISO control on, with max sensitivity of, say, 1250 or 1600 -- which will be noisy, but what they heck, you'll get something. if you don't feel comfortable choosing aperture and shutter speed, shoot in P mode, and hope for the best.
  3. mjt


    I'm not sure there's a steadfast rule of settings for a concert, since each concert is lit<br />
    and positioned differently, to include the "lightshow" the band may have specified.<br /><br />

    The best guidance I can give is to start out with at least 800 ISO - you will most likely move<br />
    UP in ISO, depending upon the shutter speed you will require to stop the movement. It<br />
    would be great if you can find a loaner lens that is faster, obviously a 2.8 or faster. Most all<br />
    the concerts I shoot are above 1000 ISO.<br /><br />

    Anyway, I suggest starting at ISO 800 under concert conditions and check the<br />
    histogram and adjust accordingly.
  4. mjt


    BTW, don't forget to shoot RAW - additionally, Noise Ninja will be your friend in this situation.
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You may want to check if you can take your camera in. From the venue's web site:
    Are we allowed to bring our cameras into the building?
    Cameras and photography are generally restricted for most events.
  6. A monopod might be useful if you have room for it because if you don't have a 2.8 than your shutter is going to have
    to be pretty slow and you can reduce camera shake that way. Play around with your settings. I shoot low light
    concerts with my D80 with an 80-200 2.8 when I can't get close and usually end up around ISO 800, but each event

    Although you're shutter might not be fast enough to completely freeze some motion i.e. - guitar strumming - you
    should be able to get a clear shot of the face.

    Good luck, play around, concerts can be tricky. Make sure your aperture is as wide open as it will go.

  7. you probably wont be able to take a monopod in, so scratch that.

    i shot a lot of concert stuff with d80 but eventually upgraded to d300 mainly because i needed better high ISO

    with the d80, your minimum ISO in a concert situation will need to be about 800. however, the d80 maxes out at
    about 1000-1250, with 1600 being extreme. you can get usable pics depending on the situation at 1600 but they will
    be noisy.

    setting auto ISO to max out at 1600 is one idea; the problem is that the d80 tends to default to higher ISO settings,
    i.e. using 1600 when you could have gotten away with a lower value. if you don't want to fuss with it, use Auto ISO
    (which is a good idea when shooting under stage lighting, which constantly changes).

    you will also be limited, unfortunately, by your 18-135 lens, which i believe is f/5.6 at the long end. normally, for live
    concerts, i use a 2.8 or even 1.4 lens, so this could be problematic for you (an external flash will help with a slower
    lens, if they are allowed -- many times even photo pass holders have to use no flash). try to shoot at the wide end if
    you can, which will put you at a lower aperture value and also require you get up front as close as possible.

    where this plays out is in shutter speed. 1/80-1/25 is what you need to stop motion blur. however, in dim lighting,
    with a slow lens, getting that shutter speed will be challenging. best bet is probably to try to wait for moments when
    the lighting is extremely bright and shoot then. dont force it under less than ideal conditions.
    if you plan on shooting a lot of concerts i strongly recommend a faster lens. the nikon 50/1.8 is a good, inexpensive
    option, also the tamron 17-50 if you have a bit more cash to spend.
  8. Felicia, you'll see this response too late to help you this time, but maybe someone else can benefit from this. Someone once gave me a very good tip for stage lighting. He told me to spot meter on someone's face. Then hold down your AEL button, recompose, then shoot. It works quite well.
  9. How did it go, Felicia? f5.6 is really terribly slow for concert shooting but bigger ice arena concerts tend to have pretty good lighting so perhaps it worked out.

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