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08-13-2010, 06:16 PM   #16
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Wow cabstar and Mr. B, your colours are great. I love concert photography as well but often get the colour plastered all over clipped from the stage lights.

08-13-2010, 07:26 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
In the indoor concert setting, flash isn't all that useful - concert lighting is usually sufficient for the subjects, and adding flash would wash out the subjects and render the background ambience dark (unless the shutter is dragged).
Not to mention the fact that it's often *incredibly* rude and distracting to the performers and the rest of the audience, and will often get you escorted out of the venue. Not so much in loud rock shows with light shows as part of the experience, but using flash at a typical nightclub is taboo.

QuoteQuote:
In any case, any decent telephoto prime or zoom f/2.8 or faster should do the trick, or cheat like UnknownVT and get a K-x for your high ISO results with kit lenses
Realistically, though, you normally need both high ISO *and* fast lenses.
08-14-2010, 12:24 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Wow cabstar and Mr. B, your colours are great. I love concert photography as well but often get the colour plastered all over clipped from the stage lights.
Thanks
08-15-2010, 11:34 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by KjetilH Quote
Of course it depends on how close to the stage you are, but do not underestimate the 'power' of a lens faster than f/2.8. Experiences vary from photographer to photographer, but those who mentions very fast (and expensive) lenses, has previously experienced bad (or lack of) stagelight. Seldom a problem at big venues, but I've seen quite big festivals where there was no frontlight to speak of. Smaller scenes are generally quite bad, and I've ended up with using extreme settings even with my 30/1.4.

A 50-135 (or the Sigma equivalent 50-150) is a very good choice, but "should" be accompanied by a faster lens 'just in case'. Even a manual focus 50mm often does the trick, and is a very cheap 'insurance' in case the slower zoom doesn't work out.
(If you know the stage and have the lighting guy bribed, then the zoom would be the best choice, of course.)
How do the Pentax 50-135 mm and Sigma 50-150 mm (both F2.8) compare with each other? 15 mm at tele range is not much, but the Pentax is still ~25% more expensive.

08-15-2010, 12:00 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by KjetilH Quote
Of course it depends on how close to the stage you are, but do not underestimate the 'power' of a lens faster than f/2.8. Experiences vary from photographer to photographer, but those who mentions very fast (and expensive) lenses, has previously experienced bad (or lack of) stagelight. Seldom a problem at big venues, but I've seen quite big festivals where there was no frontlight to speak of. Smaller scenes are generally quite bad, and I've ended up with using extreme settings even with my 30/1.4.

A 50-135 (or the Sigma equivalent 50-150) is a very good choice, but "should" be accompanied by a faster lens 'just in case'. Even a manual focus 50mm often does the trick, and is a very cheap 'insurance' in case the slower zoom doesn't work out.
(If you know the stage and have the lighting guy bribed, then the zoom would be the best choice, of course.)
I always have a 50mm 1.4 in my bag & yet I cannot remember the last time I used it... The high ISO capabilities of the k-x have rendered it pointless for gig photography to be honest. Plus trying to focus with a moving singer at 1.4 is far far far to frustrating. If you cannot get a shot with a 2.8 lens then wait for the light to improve or last resort get the flash on, set the flash to 1/128 & use for a very little fill in. Sometimes there really is just no alternative.

If you don't have a flash & the lights just aren't going to happen then use a little flash from someone else in the audience... Works great

Here is one from Julian Casablancas of The Strokes fame. He has no front light & lots of back light.... A Really really bad situation for concert photography. However there where lots of camera flashing going off from the crowd so it was just a case of machine gunning the shot.... Worked a treat I think...



As for the Sigma 50-150mm I really can't see the 15mm making much difference, I certainly don't think it would compare with the 50-135mm image wise.
08-15-2010, 12:01 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Wow cabstar and Mr. B, your colours are great. I love concert photography as well but often get the colour plastered all over clipped from the stage lights.
Thank you very much.
08-15-2010, 12:43 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by cabstar Quote
I shoot about 300 bands a year, 50-135mm is my most used lens... I keep umming & ahring over a 70-200mm but I just keep thinking why??? I would never use it... unless it was an FA* of course...

Check out my flickr stream below, in my sig, the k-x with its high iso allows me to shoot at f/3.5 which makes shots pin sharp, just that little help.

Here are some examples, these are GX20 with the 50-135mm, I don't have any of my k-x shots online yet...




nice work there! Congrats!
08-15-2010, 04:24 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Not to mention the fact that it's often *incredibly* rude and distracting to the performers and the rest of the audience, and will often get you escorted out of the venue. Not so much in loud rock shows with light shows as part of the experience, but using flash at a typical nightclub is taboo.
I have the highest respect for Marc - so please do NOT read the following as a contradiction - think of it as an amplification, please.

It is often dependent on the venue's policies and most important the artist(s) on stage.

The best way to be sure is to actually ask the artist's permission to shoot and if it is OK to use flash.

I'll give 2 unusual and perhaps "extreme" examples -

I asked Little Feat - the legendary band if I could use flash -
Paul Barrere - said it was fine - shoot away.
This helped enormously as during the set when the venue's security questioned me and I was able to say I asked the artist's permission to shoot and use flash.

But the reason I call this case extreme - was at the end of the show Paul Barrere especially looked me up to tell me he didn't notice the flash at all - now that is just being plain nice - he did not have to do that - as they didn't know me, and I was a nobody - and only shooting a film point and shoot.

Since then I have become more acquainted with Feat - and had been given special treatment in between the audience barrier and stage in New York's Tramps just so I could shoot (still a film p&s, with flash) and even on stage at the New Orlean's Jazz Festival (1999) where it was daylight and I didn't have to use flash.

Second example was also back in 1999 - I asked Walter "Wolfman" Washington if I could shoot and with flash at Manny's Car Wash the tiny legendary blues club in NYC - he gave me his famous toothy grin and - not just said yes - but thanked me.... and throughout the set when he saw me point the camera - he posed for me.

Now not all asking for permission are likely to turn out that way -
but it is worth asking permission to find out if the artist actually minds -
rather than automatically assume they won't have it.

I do use flash a lot in small clubs - and would hate to think after all these years I had been rude all this time -
hopefully artists that I shoot often are good acquaintances or even friends and have used my photos on their web sites or promos shows that they at least tolerate me and my flash.

08-15-2010, 10:26 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
I have the highest respect for Marc - so please do NOT read the following as a contradiction - think of it as an amplification, please.

It is often dependent on the venue's policies and most important the artist(s) on stage.
Right; I tried to put enough qualifiers in there to make it clear, but thanks for clarifying that much further. There are situations where flash is fine, and situations where it not. As a general rule of thumb, settings in which talking is frowned upon, so is flash.
08-15-2010, 11:11 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Right; I tried to put enough qualifiers in there to make it clear, but thanks for clarifying that much further. There are situations where flash is fine, and situations where it not. As a general rule of thumb, settings in which talking is frowned upon, so is flash.
Yep, my first call if at all possible is the artist -
some don't even want cameras -
but most are surprisingly accommodating
and people will be surprised how gracious some can be
to the point of being grateful.

I have tons of shots in a very dark jazz venue - I shoot mostly all without flash - as I really want to capture the atmosphere as-is - and that is why I now shoot a Pentax K-x specifically for its really good HighISO performance.

But once in awhile the lighting just defeats anything I try and I may have to shoot flash - but I use it more as a fill-light -

But completely understand that it can be distracting to both the artist and the paying audience - so there I minimize any use of flash - often choosing not to shoot.

However again I am so familiar to the artists there that they more or less give me cart-blanc to shoot anyway I want - but I am aware and do not want to abuse any privilege that I may have gained.

Photography - available light and flash are both tools/means to an end
and can be used correctly or abused - neither is always right or wrong.

I think the first courtesy is to the performing artist -
as well as the paying audience.

eg: which is the lesser of two evils -
a photographer who uses flash -
who gets up for the shot and immediately gets down -
or one who is shooting without flash - using just available light -
but is standing up all the time in the way of the audience?

I know it's a stupid choice -
but one can be polite with a flash
and rude with no flash.

Common courtesy I think is the first tool one should use.

If in doubt ask permission -
don't assume -
even worse don't assume for others -
that "jerk" shooting flash -
may be doing a special assignment for the artist........
08-16-2010, 12:34 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
How do the Pentax 50-135 mm and Sigma 50-150 mm (both F2.8) compare with each other? 15 mm at tele range is not much, but the Pentax is still ~25% more expensive.
I haven't had the chance to compare directly, but if you had a good sample of both, the Pentax would probably be better (IQ-wise), but I doubt by much.
In Norway, however, the price difference is about 36% (~NOK 3200). The main difference lies in color rendition and close-up performance, as well as WR. It should be noted that I've had Sigma lenses serviced in about seven days (five work days), a Pentax lens needed two months vacation in Germany. The service matter pretty much made the deal for me, sadly.

(The money I 'saved' was used on a 30/1.4.)

Last edited by KjetilH; 08-16-2010 at 02:19 PM.
08-16-2010, 12:42 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
I think the first courtesy is to the performing artist -
as well as the paying audience.

eg: which is the lesser of two evils -
a photographer who uses flash -
who gets up for the shot and immediately gets down -
or one who is shooting without flash - using just available light -
but is standing up all the time in the way of the audience?
Good points. And if you try to spread the pain around a little by not always standing in the same place, now you're causing a distraction just by moving around. Also, don't forget, the sound of the DSLR itself is often a concern in the kind of settings I am usually dealing with.

Anyhow, this aspect of the discussion is not really relevant to the lens forum - except to observe that large aperture lenses help reduce the need for flash to some extent.
08-19-2010, 07:35 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by KjetilH Quote
I haven't had the chance to compare directly, but if you had a good sample of both, the Pentax would probably be better (IQ-wise), but I doubt by much.
In Norway, however, the price difference is about 36% (~NOK 3200). The main difference lies in color rendition and close-up performance, as well as WR. It should be noted that I've had Sigma lenses serviced in about seven days (five work days), a Pentax lens needed two months vacation in Germany. The service matter pretty much made the deal for me, sadly.

(The money I 'saved' was used on a 30/1.4.)
Here in Japan the price difference is also larger than at B&H, so guess I will wait at least untill the Photonica discounts / cashbacks hit the streets, although it will have probably more impact on the price of K-x than on lenses.
- I am also concerned about de SDM issues...
- On the other hand, initially I might have to use this lens especially at the 50 mm edge of its range (longer, too long for inside usage) and did read about close up focus issues on the Sigma... But if I can get a 30 mm F1.4 for the price difference...

That 30/1.4 is the little brother of the Sigma50/1.4? Do you have any portrait examples for me posted any where on the net?
08-19-2010, 07:59 AM   #29
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The 50-135 is great for concert photography.
And on the Flash/no flash question. You get much better pictures without a flash. Feels more live. Learn to use the light on stage to your advantage.

Here is The Hives



Edit: Need to run these through LR3 and see what I can do now
08-19-2010, 08:56 AM   #30
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Yeah, I know the DA*50-135 F2.8 is great for concerts, but my daughters of 2 and 4 are not on stage yet...
- So I am considering a shorter and/or faster prime NEXT to the 50-135 (or 50-150)

Great shot (even without post-processing)!!!
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