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Quick: which lens for intimate concert

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by sprinke, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    I'm going to a private dance/concert where some of my friends in a jazz combo will be playing. I'll probably be able to get quite close to the band. At most I want to bring two lenses. It will be quite dark in the venue. I have a GH2. Here are my "fast lens" choices, in order of max aperture:

    Panasonic 25mm f/1.4
    Panasonic 20mm f/1.7
    Olympus 45mm f/1.8
    Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8

    I'll want some close-ups as well as some full ensemble shots (if possible).

    Which two would you bring?
  2. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    12-35 and the 45!
    • Like Like x 2
  3. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    +1. Or the 25/1.4 and 45/1.8 would be good, too. That extra 1 1/3 stop with the 25/1.4 may help raise your shutter speed.
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    25 & 45. The extra speed will likely matter.
  5. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    With your kit it is hard decision. Since it is low light and very close I would go with the 25mm and the 45mm the extra stop is important.
    If you still got place in your pocket i would add the 20mm for a little wider atmosphere shoots.
  6. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    Went to an intimate recital over the holidays. I like the couple shots I got from my 14mm that captured the atmosphere in the room. But the 25mm was pure magic.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    For a jazz concert, I would definitely want the 45mm with me for head shots with instruments (trumpet, sax). After that, it would be a tough choice between the 12-35mm and the 25mm. If you want to shoot the set/room, I'd probably go with the zoom if the room is small; if you're content taking slightly tighter shots, take the 20 or 25. Maybe the difference would be your preference for artistic or instead documentary shots?

    Have fun, and be sure to share what you come up with. :) 
  7. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA

    Zooming with your feet might not be too easy depending on the venue and you don't have/list anything else even close to 12mm, 24 vs 40 angle of view is huge. While we are talking more than a stop difference, up close full ensemble shots with a 40mm angle? Probably not happening.

    You could drop the 45 for the 25, but I would think backing up for closeups (sounds odd I know) might be easier than getting as close as you might otherwise need to be.
  8. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    Either the 20 or 25 alongside the 45mm gets my vote. The 12-35 would be good for wide/group shots, but what you lose in aperture won't be worth it in my opinion.

    Not quite the same, but this was taken in a small comedy club in New York. I was sitting in the first row of tables in front of the stage, so maybe about 10ft from the wall.

    This is using a 500D however. But at 17mm, f2.8 and ISO1600 and that could still only manage a shutter speed of 1/20

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    NewYork-November-2010_228 by puihungma, on Flickr

    17mm, f2.8, ISO 1600 and got to the dizzying speed of 1/30 with that one.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    NewYork-November-2010_231 by puihungma, on Flickr

    Unfortunately this was pre-m4/3 days for me, but if I'd had a faster lens I'd have been much happier.

    This probably gives a better idea of distance from the subject I'd have been. Again, shot at 17mm (It's a Sigma 17-70mm lens)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    NewYork-November-2010_223 by puihungma, on Flickr
  9. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    I just shot my wife's bellydancing trio in a poorly lit old building/restaurant. I used the 14-54mkII/ EM5 with a flash, bouncing it off the ceiling. I asked them if the flash bothered them, they said not at all. See what you think. She's the one in the beige top.

    Attached Files:

  10. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    I take a lot of shots in a small (100 seat) venue, the 20 and the 45 get my vote.
  11. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I could guess that, she's "giving you a look" in two of them. :wink:
  12. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    25/1.4 as the fastest and 45/1.8 for a bit more reach.
    I wouldn't even bother with the 12-35 zoom unless you plan to also take some videos.
  14. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    +1 - definitely the faster lenses.
  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I would not recommend the 20 if you are planning on shooting any video. It is not a quiet lens.

  16. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Thanks for all the suggestions!
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