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04-29-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
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Concert photography - lens advice

Hey everybody!

Starting in June, I'll be shooting concerts in a not very well lit bar. The stage does have lighting and the owner is adding more, but I'm not exactly sure what I'll be working with. Suffice it to say that I will need some speedy glass. Also, I'll be able to get right up to the stage, which is about 12-15 feet deep.

I currently have the M50mm f/1/7, M28mm f/2.8 and Sigma 17-70mm with a K20D body. I'll be upgrading to the K-5IIs (the K-3 is tempting, but I'd much rather spend half the $$$ and pick up some glass).

Now, all of that said, any recommendations on a new lens? I've been considering the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 to more adequately cover the lower end, but then again I might need something on the longer end (I've also been eyeing the Rokinon 85mm). If money grew on trees, I'd certainly get the 50-135mm, but unfortunately that isn't the case. I've actually considered forgoing the body and just getting the 50-135mm, but the high iso capabilities of the K-5iis are just too tempting. I may pick up the 35mm f/2.4 regardless.

Any recommendations and/or feedback would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. I'm new, so if this is the wrong place for this question, I apologize.

04-29-2014, 07:49 AM   #2

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What's the difference between the K-5IIs and the K-3? If you're planning on getting the Tamron 17-50, the Sigma might be redundant and an extra source of money.
04-29-2014, 07:50 AM   #3
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Search 'concert light' and you'll find a bunch. you're not alone trying to figure out this challenge.

concert light - Search Results -

The new LED spotlights can really screw with metering, and overload sensors so do some reading.
04-29-2014, 08:00 AM   #4
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@Giklab - I can get the K-5IIs from Amazon for $720 and the K-3 is $1,124. That $400 savings goes a long way towards new glass! Also, awesome point regarding the Sigma!

@TER-OR Awesome, thank you! I'll check with the bar manager to see what kind of lighting he's installing.

04-29-2014, 08:10 AM   #5
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I also see that KEH has the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 for ~$370. That might be ideal for my purposes!
04-29-2014, 09:04 AM   #6
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You might not need things AS fast as you imagine - the DA16-45 is a great zoom range indoors. Constant f4 is pretty good, too. It's inexpensive used.

I found a Promaster 28-105 which is surprisingly good, though I haven't been in dark areas with it.
I do have a Sigma 28mm f1.8 which is really good in dark situations.

Also, shoot RAW and you'll be able to do a LOT with darker images, as well as easily control color channels in programs like Lightroom. A third option is RAW+ but use the jpg in the camera as a black and white image. I think bands like B&W a lot of the time, since it can essentially silence a distracting background...

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