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05-29-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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Concert photography

Hi all, I am wondering what any members think of the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 for concerts? I saw some chatter on those lenses on other sites, but haven't seen any by Pentax users. I'm looking in the sub $400 range.

I have been renting the 50-135mm, however based on the number of concerts upcoming this summer that I am tentatively shooting the cost of renting would put me damn close to just buying it. Which I can afford neither. I'm also in the same predicament with the Tamron 70-200, which I will probably rent for one or two of the shows.

The 50-135 has blessed me with some great shots, however as other PF members have previously mentioned...its a tad slow....so many many more shots were tossed away.

I did rent a Sigma 24-70 once and got some decent shots, but the performers at that show didn't visit the front of the stage all too often.

Has anyone used a shorter lens and found it to meet their needs?

I am not interested in primes...I don't feel they offer me enough options for moving performers.

Here's a few samples of what I've captured thus far as I journey into concert photography.... Concerts - a set on Flickr

There are more on my flickr page as well, if you care to browse.

05-29-2013, 03:51 PM   #2
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The older Tamron 70-200/2.8 often can be found int eh $650 range used. It's only drawback in these situations is its size and venue restrictions.
05-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #3
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I have been looking for such a lens, but don't have the funds quite yet and first concert is next Friday. I do get a photo pass for the shows, and shoot from the pit. It is a medium sized venue/ampitheatre,
05-29-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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Sigma 50-150 is great for a longer concert lens. I use it a lot. For shorter I have the Sigma 24-75 or just use my primes (35mm 2.4, 55mm 1.4 and now my 43mm ltd).

When I need a bit longer reach than the 50-150 I pack the DA*200. But that hasn't been often.

05-29-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hobkyl Quote
I have been looking for such a lens, but don't have the funds quite yet and first concert is next Friday. I do get a photo pass for the shows, and shoot from the pit. It is a medium sized venue/ampitheatre,
Gotha. Nice vantage point when you can access it. There were some refurbished Sigma 50-150s floating around, they were going for $400 something. Might be the best choice given price and reach plus speed.
05-29-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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Literally 90% of the concerts I've done so far where taken with the Tamron 28-75. It's only been a few months that I've had a Tamron 70-200 as well (prior to that I very seldomly used either a Tokina 70-200 f4.5 or Pentax-A 70-200 f4, keyword being seldomly cause most of the time they weren't fast enough). I think having both adds some variety, I found it very refreshing to use a different focal length for a change! That's why I'm also looking to add a fast wide-angle as well...
Still, I could swear for the Tammy 28-75 for concerts and virtually any other time you need a fast-ish lens with a very useable focal length and good quality!

(Nice shots in your gallery, btw!)
05-29-2013, 05:51 PM   #7
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OP you may find this thread useful for usage of lenses and various other Pentax concert shooting tips:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/206861-has-anyone-used-their-p...-concerts.html

QuoteOriginally posted by hobkyl Quote
what any members think of the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 for concerts?
I have used them both - they are good lenses for the task. Both sharp and flexible lenses, (although my 28-75 did need some AF adjustment). Depends on how close you get can get to the stage of course - they work great in small venues. For bigger venues I might try and use something longer like a 70-200 or a 35-105.

Over the last few years I have also used the 18-55 kit lens, my A 35-105, a M50 1.7, Sigma 70-200 HSM II, as well as a FA 1.4 to shoot concerts, so your mileage may vary. I've posted various pictures in this section of the forum, the K-5 images thread etc, but here's a set of flickr images using some of the above lenses:

Live music and performances - a set on Flickr

One of my wish-list items for Pentax is to introduce a quality 24-105 f2.8 or f4 zoom one day. Would make a great concert shooting lens.
05-29-2013, 06:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hobkyl Quote
The 50-135 has blessed me with some great shots, however as other PF members have previously mentioned...its a tad slow
Well, what do you mean by slow? Slow AF? If it's that, that is simply not possible (for what you are shooting). The AF of the 50~135 is only slow when shooting "fast moving targets", mainly sports and birding where one second your subject is in the frame and the next it's not. The 50~135 is as fast [exposure wise] as any other zoom lens mentioned in this thread, not only is it as fast [exposure wise] as the others, the IQ and overall sharpness is outstanding (quite possibly the best zoom lens pentax has ever made).

I see that your budget probably won't allow for the purchase of one, but IMHO pushing your budget a bit more to get an acclaimed lens as the 50~135 is much better than purchasing something else for only a couple hundred dollars cheaper and finding out it is less than lackluster.

Can you post some of your toss outs with exif intact?

05-29-2013, 06:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hooverfocus Quote
Literally 90% of the concerts I've done so far where taken with the Tamron 28-75. It's only been a few months that I've had a Tamron 70-200 as well (prior to that I very seldomly used either a Tokina 70-200 f4.5 or Pentax-A 70-200 f4, keyword being seldomly cause most of the time they weren't fast enough). I think having both adds some variety, I found it very refreshing to use a different focal length for a change! That's why I'm also looking to add a fast wide-angle as well...
Still, I could swear for the Tammy 28-75 for concerts and virtually any other time you need a fast-ish lens with a very useable focal length and good quality!

(Nice shots in your gallery, btw!)
Wow, you have excellent photos there! What size venue are you in whilst using the 28-75?
05-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
Well, what do you mean by slow? Slow AF? If it's that, that is simply not possible (for what you are shooting). The AF of the 50~135 is only slow when shooting "fast moving targets", mainly sports and birding where one second your subject is in the frame and the next it's not. The 50~135 is as fast [exposure wise] as any other zoom lens mentioned in this thread, not only is it as fast [exposure wise] as the others, the IQ and overall sharpness is outstanding (quite possibly the best zoom lens pentax has ever made).

I see that your budget probably won't allow for the purchase of one, but IMHO pushing your budget a bit more to get an acclaimed lens as the 50~135 is much better than purchasing something else for only a couple hundred dollars cheaper and finding out it is less than lackluster.


Can you post some of your toss outs with exif intact?
What I mean is it hunts a lot. Ever changing lighting and moving performers leads to numerous out of focus images. Unfortunately I am in a habit of trashing images unless they meet my needs or appear to be somewhat salvageable. I agree and would love to get a $700+ lens, but its not feasible on such a short time frame.
05-29-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hobkyl Quote
it hunts a lot
Hunting depends a lot on your choice of AF mode, I've found - I use centre-spot AF and focus/recompose all the time and hunting isn't a big issue unless the light gets abominably low. Even then, if the target has an object with even a small amount of contrast nearby - eg a mic or a necklace - you can often use it to guide the AF to a lock.
05-29-2013, 07:02 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hobkyl Quote
What I mean is it hunts a lot. Ever changing lighting and moving performers leads to numerous out of focus images.
It hunts no more than any other lens on a pentax body - I know exactly how it hunts, along with how the sigma 50-150, the sigma 70-200, the da*200, the tamron 17-50, the tamron 28-75, the 43ltd, and the *55 hunts in changing tungsten stage lights (just to name a few that I have used for concert photography). Also, for that matter, my Nikon equipment also hunts in low light/changing tungsten stage lights with the 50G, 35G and 85D.
05-29-2013, 07:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hobkyl Quote
Hi all, I am wondering what any members think of the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 for concerts? I saw some chatter on those lenses on other sites, but haven't seen any by Pentax users. I'm looking in the sub $400 range.

I have been renting the 50-135mm, however based on the number of concerts upcoming this summer that I am tentatively shooting the cost of renting would put me damn close to just buying it. Which I can afford neither. I'm also in the same predicament with the Tamron 70-200, which I will probably rent for one or two of the shows.

The 50-135 has blessed me with some great shots, however as other PF members have previously mentioned...its a tad slow....so many many more shots were tossed away.

I did rent a Sigma 24-70 once and got some decent shots, but the performers at that show didn't visit the front of the stage all too often.

Has anyone used a shorter lens and found it to meet their needs?

I am not interested in primes...I don't feel they offer me enough options for moving performers.

Here's a few samples of what I've captured thus far as I journey into concert photography.... Concerts - a set on Flickr

There are more on my flickr page as well, if you care to browse.
Last music event I shot was in a bar using a super tak 50/1.4 and 85/1.9 they gave me 1-2 stops over my Tammy 28-75 which was useful. You would want to go longer for a real concert. A 70-200 would be better
05-29-2013, 07:25 PM   #14
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I find all this discussion very interesting. I have done a bit of this at some local venues here with a K5IIs and the DA*16-50 which I found good for my own level (!). What I was wondering though is how to find some information on how to improve on what I do and if some of you also have some pointers?
I have seen all your images and I'm going to pursue this. Great work to all...
05-29-2013, 07:28 PM   #15
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P.S.: I get excellent AF results with the K5IIs for this stuff with ISO up to 6400, much better than the K5.
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