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08-07-2010, 08:19 AM   #1
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Concert Lens help

Going to a concert this coming week, I have seats about 20 rows back which I figure I should be able to take some decent pics. I'm sure I'll be able to get a little closer because in the few concerts I've been to at this venue...about the first 30 rows wind up pushing up towards the stage anyway.

I'll be taking my K-x...but I want to take as few lenses as possible just so I can keep the bulk down. My lens arsenal is in my sig.

I'm figuring 2 maybe 3 lenses tops. I was thinking definitely the 50 1.7 as it's the fastest lens I own. Also the 85 f/2 which will get me closer than the 50. Does anyone think it would be wise to also take the 135 f/2.5?

The 40 pancake is small...but being back as far as I am and it's over a stop slower than the 50...should I even bother with it?

Thoughts? This will be my first time attempting any sort of concert pics so any advice/pointers are welcome

08-07-2010, 09:18 AM   #2
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If you're sitting at row 20 I suggest you bring the 135mm as well. I use the 85mm when sitting at row 10-12.

Kind regards
.lars
08-07-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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You will need to check with the venue, to ensure that you will be allowed in with camera equipment, many venues will not grant you access even if you do have a valid ticket.

As a concert photographer I know that you will normally need both proper accreditation together with the correct passes, to allow entry unimpeded with camera equipment of the type you describe.

I would leave the camera at home and enjoy the concert.
08-07-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
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85 for full body or with background and a 135 for close up shots.

it depends on what concert you are going to attend. but usually there should be some enough light in the stage for you to stop down and boost ISO up. although ISO would be ok at 3200, you might want to keep it lower at ISO 400 or 800. I shot at ISO 3200, f8 with good results with some concerts with good lighting. you maybe fine at around f4, ISO 800 or f2, ISO 400. shutterspeed should be running around 1/160 or 1/200.

if that setting is underexposed, you might need to go 1/80 or boost ISO by 1 or 2 stops.

I shot manual and I usually pre-calculate or setup the exposure setting before the shows had even started. another useful tool would be to use to green button and to lock up the aperture value to where you want it fixed. it is a great tool especially if the lighting is dynamic where you need to adjust the exposure regularly during shifts in light intensity.

08-07-2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
You will need to check with the venue, to ensure that you will be allowed in with camera equipment, many venues will not grant you access even if you do have a valid ticket.

As a concert photographer I know that you will normally need both proper accreditation together with the correct passes, to allow entry unimpeded with camera equipment of the type you describe.

I would leave the camera at home and enjoy the concert.
or you could use an alibi that you are using the camera not to take pictures but use it as a telescope because you can't see that well.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 08-07-2010 at 03:19 PM.
08-07-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
or you could use an alibi that you are using the camera not to take pictures but use it a a telescope because you can't see that well.
Like it

I hope it works for the OP.
08-07-2010, 01:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
You will need to check with the venue, to ensure that you will be allowed in with camera equipment, many venues will not grant you access even if you do have a valid ticket.

As a concert photographer I know that you will normally need both proper accreditation together with the correct passes, to allow entry unimpeded with camera equipment of the type you describe.

I would leave the camera at home and enjoy the concert.
Or...it's a community music festival that attracts talent that is a)either up-and-coming or b)old-and-washed-up....and yes the camera equipment I describe is allowed.
08-07-2010, 02:13 PM   #8
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Good news then

The type of concert was not originally defined, so I'm now guessing, that what your describing as community music festival, will have a much more relaxed policy on both access and shooting rights. This could present a great opportunity to be able to capture some superb images.

I would suggest at 30 rows or less, your 85 & 135 should be ideal for the job and maybe if you can borrow a fast 200, for tighter head & shoulder shots.

The 50 will work well if you right up near the stage or performing area, but when you be at that point you may wish to go a lot wider (I notice you have 15mm in your kit list).

You may may need to crank up the ISO a bit, subject to lighting conditions of the event and the level of movement of the performers.

Above all, enjoy both the experience and the show.

08-11-2010, 03:55 PM   #9
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If it were me, I'd take the 85 and 135 and then something wide. The 50 wouldn't hurt, but it doesn't do much for me as a focal length in most venues. I'd probaby be leaving it in the bag. Actually I doubt I'd use the 85 either, as a venue in which you can speak of the "first 30 rows" is pretty big by my standards. Even after pushing to the front, the stage is probably big enough that I'd be using nothing but the 135. But, I like closeups.

For more suggestions, check out my blog articles starting with this one:

Marc Sabatella: Concert Photography - Equipment

but also following the links in the first paragraph.
08-13-2010, 08:27 AM   #10
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I want to thank everyone for the tips/advice. I was hoping to come on here today and post pics from the concert utilizing the pointers everyone gave....unfortunately it was an outdoor show and it was pouring rain last night so I ultimately decided to leave the K-x and lenses at home to avoid any water damage. It was a great show though, anyway
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