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11-06-2007, 12:29 AM   #1
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Lens choices and help!

Hey guys,
I have a K100d and a kitlens. I need to take pictures of bands in concert in very low light. The 50mm 1.7 is a very attractive lens at its price but I'm not sure how it performs. I'd much prefer a zoom with f/2.8 constant due to the lack of restriction, but all the fast pentax zooms are pretty expensive. Are there any good 3rd party zooms that would get the job done? Or any other possible suggestions for a concert setting?

Thanks a lot!

11-06-2007, 01:34 AM   #2
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Have a look at following:
Tamron 28-75 f2.8 - most recommended lens by many members of this forum
Sigma 24-70 f2.8 (big and bulky, but might be quite OK performer)
Sigma 24-60 f2.8 (not many recommendations, cheapest option I believe)
and if you do search on the forum, there are/were few threads regarding fast zooms
regards...
11-06-2007, 02:06 AM   #3
and
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I think those might be short for concert photography. But there are no longer f2.8 zooms currently available except the Pentax 50-135. There are several coming, including the Tamron 70-200 which I am very curious as to how it will turn out, given the great performance and low price of the Tamron 28-75. But I wouldnt hold my breath waiting for any of those, it will be a while. You can look in the used market, but 70-200 f2.8 zooms are in very high demand and fetch large sums in the used market.
11-06-2007, 02:04 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I'll look into that. Would lenses that are like, 150 or cheeper be out of the question? Including primes.

11-06-2007, 03:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xion Quote
Thanks guys, I'll look into that. Would lenses that are like, 150 or cheeper be out of the question? Including primes.
It's unlikely you'll find a constant f2.8 zoom in any focal range for less than $150. You don't mention which 50mm 1.7 you're attracted too, but the SMC-A 50mm 1.7 is a very fine piece of glass, and available on evilbay for $60 to $90. Are you able to get right up to the stage to shoot? More information would help in making suggestions.
11-06-2007, 06:40 PM   #6
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I get in with the bands, so I can be anywhere in the crowd or on stage. However the bands I'm photographing are (generally) hardcore bands, so my own personal saftey comes into play when the guitarist gets in that "flinging-the-guitar-neck-around" zone, hahaha.
In most cases I'm standing right where the stage ends on any side. We're talking 20' platforms, by the way, not huge legit stages. These are local bands.
11-07-2007, 01:48 AM   #7
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Since you have insider access to shoot, take the money you would put toward a lens and put it toward a couple of light stands, a couple of old manual flashes, and an eBay radio trigger set and an extra receiver. You'll get better results with the lenses you already have, or with cheaper lenses than you're contemplating, and you'll still be money ahead and end up with a greater broadening of your potential in a wide variety of other situations as well.

Since that would make your lighting situation constant, you would be free to move anywhere on the stage or among the crowd and still take perfect advantage of the situation, as the only thing that matters is flash-to-subject distance (which will be constant) and camera-to-subject distance is irrelevant.

Last edited by Mike Cash; 11-07-2007 at 05:13 AM.
11-07-2007, 04:53 AM   #8
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Not sure about zooms, but Pentax's fast 50's are as good as any lenses get. Any of the f/1.4 or f/1.7 versions are fantastic, and fast than any zoom you will find.

11-08-2007, 02:05 AM   #9
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Well, I've decided to go with the Tamron 28-75 f2.8, and I'll possibly get the prime later. Seeing as each venue is different, I don't know what kind of distances I'll be battling when I'm snapping shots, and there always seems to be a wall of people in front of the drummer anyway, so a zoom would be nice there.

As for the flashes, I'm working on that "next". I'd like a way to preserve the lighting at the venue (the various colors add a nice atmosphere) but still get the scene LIT PROPERLY! hahaha.

Thanks again for your replies, I appreciate it
11-08-2007, 02:44 AM   #10
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The dance recital that I shot last Sunday was at a very nice performance hall at our local Cultural Center and they made use of the professional level lighting setup, including all the various colored floods. Made for a great show, but when it was all over and done with I was unspeakably glad that I had listened to the advice of others and shot the whole thing in RAW. Had I not done so I never would have been able to get the color balances "right" afterwards in post-processing. Of course, that also left me the option of using the colors as they appeared at the venue. It eats up card space like there's no tomorrow, but I'm now a firm believer in shooting RAW and doing the JPG conversion afterwards on the computer instead of leaving it for the camera to do at the time of shooting. I tried shooting a similar situation many months ago (and at which I didn't have the capability for the flash yet....and it wasn't allowed anyway), the difference being I did it mostly in JPG except for the specific parts where my kid was on stage. I was able to salvage some of the shots done in RAW, but the JPG shots were a lost cause.

If possible, go and do some practicing at the show of some band you don't know and don't care anything about. Just use them as your photo shoot guinea pig so that you'll be able to do a better job on the shows where it counts. And be sure to share your photos and advice with us. Goodness knows I could use it.
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