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11-06-2008, 07:43 AM   #1
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What to bring to a stadium concert?

I have a ticket to see Bob Dylan at the local ice-hockey arena on Nov 12. I'll be a long, long way from the stage. I assume I can walk down at some point to at least the edge of the ice surface. If I'm really lucky I'll get closer, but that's doubtful.

I haven't tried taking photos at an event like this. My kit is listed in my signature. I'll be using the K20D without the battery grip. The only lens I'm sure about is the 55-300mm. IQ doesn't match the primes, but it's only one stop slower than the 100mm macro, and it's F4.5 up to 210mm, which makes it a must-have. Maybe I'll try shooting 300mm at ISO 6400. I also intend to bring the 50mm for its speed and IQ. I could squeeze in another prime. The 28mm would be no trouble to pack, but I'm thinking wider angles won't make for interesting photos. The 100mm is a little more trouble because of its size, but it has the best IQ.

I'll be with a non-photographer, so I don't want to do more than one or two lens changes, and the more compact the kit the better. Any tips or comments?

11-06-2008, 08:22 AM   #2
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I guess the first question is, what will yoou be ALLOWED to take?


Assuming yoou would be allowed to take a DSLR into the event in the first place, I would go with 2 lenses maximum, to limit the amount of changes.

FOr general stuff from your seats, take the fast thing you can (perhaps read this as own) that covers up to 200 MM, and also take a fast 50 for wider shots and when you get closer.

you might try looking up your seats on line relative to the stage and fet a measure of distance to see what this will give you in terms of image size

remember

image size = Subject size * focal length / distance

If it was me, I would be torn between using my 70-200 F2.8 and my 135 F2.5 just because it is so much smaller
11-06-2008, 09:28 AM   #3
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Definitely check first to be sure you're allowed to bring your camera. Very often one is not allowed to bring "pro" gear to events like this - they check bags at the door. Anything bigger than a pack of cigarettes, they'll typically say "no". And it does no good to complain that "but everyone else will be taking pictures with their cellphones, and they'll be annoying everyone with flash".

Anyhow, assuming you are allowed to bring a DSLR, I'd bring the 55-300, shoot it at at whatever focal length seems appropriate for where you are and whatever ISO you need to get a shutter speed of, say,1/30 second. Then takes a bunch of pictures and hope that between SR and good timing on your part (shooting at moments when people are relatively still), you'll get at least a few keepers.

It's certainly possible ISO 6400 will be required, but I wouldn't go there unless that's the only way to get shutter speed around 1/30. That seems to be the magic shutter speed necessary to get a decent percentage of "sharp enough" pictures.

I wouldn't bother with any prime shorter than 100mm unless you're going to be a heck of lot closer than I'm imagining you will.

If you don't normally, this would be a fine time to shoot RAW - both exposure and white balance are pretty much impossible to get right consistently with stage lighting.

And don't forget to enjoy the music (seriously - it's possible to get so wrapped up in the photography that you don't really listen in the same way).
11-06-2008, 09:29 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I guess the first question is, what will yoou be ALLOWED to take?
So sometimes they don't let you in with a DSLR, or they prevent you from taking photos? Thanks, I hadn't considered this. I'll make sure to inquire first.

11-06-2008, 09:35 AM   #5
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Audiobomber, you might want to look at your ticket. It probably states no photography, video, or audio recording at the performance, and if it says that, that's the policy. Performances are copywrited and the performers/venues don't want us fans making a nuisance of ourselves, too. Most venues strictly enforce, but a few don't, although very few in my observation. I've been in the audio/recording business for decades and go to many shows, and have been sent back to my car with the camera bag or digital camera a number of times. The only way I am ever admitted to a concert with a camera is if I have a press pass-which I am undeserving of- or backstage/access pass from the tour or stage manager. Unfortunately, you might be taking pictures with your cell phone.........
11-06-2008, 09:37 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Definitely check first to be sure you're allowed to bring your camera.

Anyhow, assuming you are allowed to bring a DSLR, I'd bring the 55-300, shoot it at at whatever focal length seems appropriate for where you are and whatever ISO you need to get a shutter speed of, say,1/30 second.

I wouldn't bother with any prime shorter than 100mm unless you're going to be a heck of lot closer than I'm imagining you will.

If you don't normally, this would be a fine time to shoot RAW - both exposure and white balance are pretty much impossible to get right consistently with stage lighting.

And don't forget to enjoy the music (seriously - it's possible to get so wrapped up in the photography that you don't really listen in the same way).

Thanks Marc, some excellent points there. I was hoping you would contribute, since concerts appear to be your main interest. I know exactly what you mean about enjoying the music. I have experienced a distraction due to photograpy, not only at a concert, but also at family events and when observing unusual wildlife. Here are a few samples of a concert in a park, shot under far less demanding conditions. C&C welcome. Picasa Web Albums - Dan - Digging Roots...
11-06-2008, 09:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Prairie Dog Quote
The only way I am ever admitted to a concert with a camera is if I have a press pass-which I am undeserving of- or backstage/access pass from the tour or stage manager. Unfortunately, you might be taking pictures with your cell phone.........
Damn, that doesn't sound good. It looks like I have two choices, try to smuggle my DSLR in, or pocket my little Canon A720.
11-06-2008, 09:53 AM   #8
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Well, at least you can take solace in the fact that now you're considered a "pro" since you own "pro" equipment.

Check the venue's website. I agree with the others that it's highly unlikely you'll be allowed with your camera.

That's one of the reasons I'd love to see Sigma put a decent zoom on their DP-1, or I may get the new Panasonic Lumix (shoots raw, has decent - for a P&S - high ISO performance, has a fast f/2.0 lens).


Last edited by rfortson; 11-06-2008 at 10:09 AM.
11-06-2008, 10:02 AM   #9
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I would be surprised if they let you in with your gear, my press pass allows me access, but then only for the "three song" rule generally.

If you do, you'll need fast, long lenses, high ISO and maybe a monopd, either way make sure you enjoy the concert.
11-06-2008, 12:53 PM   #10
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This three song rule, did you know that the politician Al Gore applies that to his speeches, too? I was surprised about this. Until I saw that he was sweating like hell under the theatre lighting. That would not have made a wonderful shot.

Or maybe too wonderful a shot. He's talking about global warming, right?
11-06-2008, 02:05 PM   #11
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Been to a few Dylan concerts and they pat you down at the door for indoor concerts. After my mini tape recorder got confiscated they did let me have it back at the end of the show. Bob doesn't like getting his picture taken and security is always looking to bust someone.
11-06-2008, 02:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by riotsquad Quote
Been to a few Dylan concerts and they pat you down at the door for indoor concerts. After my mini tape recorder got confiscated they did let me have it back at the end of the show. Bob doesn't like getting his picture taken and security is always looking to bust someone.
So even a pocket cam like my A720 would be a problem?
11-06-2008, 03:20 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Lowell Goudge;386928]I guess the first question is, what will yoou be ALLOWED to take?


we had that problem at one time, but thru the courts we can carry any thing we want, as they (the organizers) have no way to control cell phones which are capable of doing all sorts of things.

Dave
11-06-2008, 03:25 PM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
So even a pocket cam like my A720 would be a problem?

and like some have mentioned that cell phones are allowed and they flash off like nobodies business.

Yet if you try to bring in a dslr with a fast lens no flash that stop you.... stupid regulations I reckon



I am going to the Andre Rieu concert in Melbourne next week and was told that he allows photos and the pormotors will allow dslr's as long as the lens is no longer than 6 inches.

Hope this is correct... I am going to mount my FA 77mm and have the wife keep the da 50-135 in her bag.. I have near front area seats.


Neil
11-06-2008, 04:08 PM   #15
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Maybe he was drunk at the time (or something else), but I saw BD like 8 years ago and the concert sucked. Couldn't understand a thing he said, and the pot cloud was so thick, I could barely see the stage.

Anyway, I can't imagine it being any better today. Sorry to bust your bubble.
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