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What lens for a concert?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by deirdre, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm going to a concert that'll seat about 20k people, and at an angle to the stage, sitting on the side in the second section lower level (7th or 8th row).

    I'm completely lost at what kind of lens length I'll need for a good shot, so I was going to get a zoom.

    45-150?
    45-200?
    100-300?

    Here's kind of what the seat angle looks like.

    seats.
     
  2. F1L1P

    F1L1P Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Jan 2, 2010
    Europe
    Use a fast prime. No way you will have good photos from that distance without tripod or very fast zoom lens.

    Use a fast prime and imho gettin the audience in pics can only add to overall experience.
     
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I would check what the band/venue policy is on photography is first.... some artists are very fussy about people taking their picture (Prince)... and some venues don't like big lenses.

    K
     
  4. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    I'd have to disagree with that one.

    These...

    1434199563_815cb72732.
    IMG_0930.JPG by puihungma, on Flickr

    1435070460_15ce9c8d55.
    IMG_0866.JPG by puihungma, on Flickr

    and all the photo's in the set in fact, were taken on a Canon S3iS. So a fairly inexpensive bridge camera handheld whilst standing in the crowd, about 10 rows back.

    I also got some cheap seats for a UFC event at the same arena and took the same camera with me. Managed to get shots like these..

    [​IMG]
    UFC Rapid Fire 28 by puihungma, on Flickr

    2207088770_466a6763ec.
    UFC Rapid Fire 27 by puihungma, on Flickr

    from this kind of distance...

    2206291217_c2a84c724a.
    UFC Rapid Fire 01 by puihungma, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. anidel

    anidel Mu-43 Regular

    166
    May 13, 2011
    Twickenham, Uk
    It's also true that 3.5 aperture for a 12x (75mm, not sure ) is quite good.
    My E-PL2 40-150mm (80-300mm equiv) has 5.6 I thinkg as max aperture...I doubt I'd get that much light thru it.
     
  6. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    The artist doesn't seem to have a problem with it and neither does the venue, so long as it's not for sale and not video.

    I wanted something better than the craptastic photos I took with my iPhone 3GS at Muse last year:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Are these the lenses you have, or lenses you are thinking of buying for this? None of those lenses will be appropriate, though the 100-300mm would be most appropriate. I would use the Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 (not very fast at tele range, but still a good compromise) or Zuiko 90-250mm f/2 with an adapter, or a few fast telephoto primes like an 85mm f/1.4, 150mm f/2, and 300mm f/2.8. You couldn't get away with just one prime if you're standing/sitting in a designated spot, so stick with a zoom unless you're willing to bring at least a few primes. You will need a large aperture though, so be prepared to bring a big zoom.

    The Lumix 100-300mm will work if you can't afford anything with a wider aperture, but you will get very grainy photos from super-high ISO levels. At least it'll be better than a point-and-shoot. ;)
     
  8. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Why not just enjoy the concert and bring panny 20 for pics of yourself and friends. I'm sure it'll be easier to pass through security. Unless you're selling those pictures, I'm sure you can google professional images from this concert.
     
  9. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    75mm is the tele end and what it registers at on the exif. IIRC the zoom is something in the region of 35-430mm equivalent.

    It's a great camera, has seen me through quite a few concerts/events over the years where I could just hang it under my arm, rather than try and sneak a DSLR past security.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    I only have primes, but I've rented lenses before. If it's not too pricey, I can buy one, but it'd better cost less than the concert ticket!

    I have a Leica 90 f/4, but I could also rent an f/2.5 if I wanted to stick with a prime.
     
  11. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm flying over 5,000 miles to go to this concert.
     
  12. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    FYI, the venue policy is no zoom over 3x and no camera over 5mp. I'm going to trust my beat up pink GF1 to look too unserious to be "of concern" so long as I only bring one lens and just plop it in my purse like it's of no consequence.
     
  13. Phoque

    Phoque Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Sep 18, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    You can google pretty images for almost anything. But there is a little extra something about these pictures you have taken yourself, even though they don't match those of professionals.
     
  14. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
    I found a photographer on flickr who did a lot of band photography (officially) at that venue. His advice was to try to stick with f/2.8. I haven't asked about lens length specifically yet, but I'm going to need something longer than he was using.
     
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Well now... I don't know anybody famous enough to charge as much as a fast zoom for a concert ticket. ;)
    I think your Leica 90mm/4 would be reasonable enough of a lens. You would have to bump the ISO pretty high and maybe do some minor cropping in post, but you would have good optical quality to get photos you can still brag with to family and friends. :)
     
  16. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Mar 12, 2011
    Now that the parameters are known, maybe your best bet is the 45-200 as its OIS might be useful with your GF1. I also consider it more versatile than the 100-300. However, what do I know. I have neither as I'm an Olympus EPL1 owner. I have used my 40-150 and 4/3 70-300 at indoor/outdoor concerts. I find my old legacy 135mm f2.5 to be better than either when the light is really dim. The legacy 50mm f1.8 is also useful when closer. Maybe the new Oly 45mm next year.

    Some unasked for advice. The LCD review is not enough to show motion blur. Focus carefully and make sure the shutter speed will stop motion blur. Might be be tough unless the spotlights are bright and the singers stay under them. You might need spot metering too. You may need to experiment with the white balance. If they use colored lights, it might not matter. Also get familiar with your camera's ISO performance. You may need to get close to its max so maybe you will need noise reduction software later. Consider shooting in RAW if you will need to brighten up the images.

    If allowed and feasible, maybe you can go down near the stage for a few songs and get a few shots.
     
  17. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Maybe you don't need a fast lens but you certainly are safer having one hand :smile:
     
  18. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Aug 9, 2010
  19. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Mar 12, 2011
    Well, guess you won't be getting close. A few years ago my wife's friend paid over $2000/seat to see Paul McCartney sing at Chicago's United Center. Close enough that a Canon Elph would have been enough.
     
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada