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01-12-2009, 11:48 AM   #1
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DA* 50-135 for Concert/Gigs?

Hi, I'm thinking (well almost certainly going to buy it) a da* 50-135mm f/2.8 lens

Has anyone used this for gig photography? Please post some examples.

I currently have a da 16-45mm f/4 and with all the quality issues with the da* 16-50mm f/2.8 and a manual 50mm f/1.7 lens and a both kit lenses which i rarley use so I thought I'd upgrade the 50-200mm variable aperture to a pro spec lens I keep finding I want to zoom in more.

Any decent sample photos taken with this lens are welcome but I'd love to see some gig photos too!

I am now gunna have to save up for the next pentax camera too as I need better iso quality but I thought It'd be better to have the new glass first. I currently use a k10d. But did borrow a k20d + da* 200mm f/2.8 + da* 300mm f/4 + da* 16-50mm f/2.8 from pentax for glastonbury festival last year which was awesome! While the long primes were good I think I need a zoom for gigs.

Please take a look at my site & my fine art prints

01-12-2009, 12:02 PM   #2
Igilligan
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I cant speak for the 50-135

It is still on my dream list... I do have a F2.8 constant ap tamron 28-75 that I have used for some club shots...

If you are asking about festival or big concert shots with a full-on mega-watt light shows then the 2.8 will work fine. (how do you get that camera and lens in? Press Pass?)
But for club shots where it is pretty low light by comparison then 2.8 really pushes you into the ISO 1600 and 3200 range. And I am not sure the K10 is the right sensor for that.

Here is a iso 3200 jpeg from the K100d w/tamron 28-75 at 2.8... it printed out nice, although I will not be making any posters from it I should add this is flashless... obviously if you are close enough to use flash the F2.8 is not even needed



Cant wait to see what the DA*50-135 gang has to show us with the concert shots... there must be a bunch out there.

Last edited by Igilligan; 01-12-2009 at 12:09 PM.
01-12-2009, 12:03 PM   #3
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Most of my pics were taken with it...
mainly blog pics...It's light and fantastic at 2.8 much much better that the 70-200mm Sigma I had and sold right away..
Plus in gigs, you encounter drunk kids with beer and weather sealing is a must!
bad quality, low res on photobuckets though...



my dear friend Louise...in Paris

Last edited by Substitute; 01-12-2009 at 01:25 PM.
01-12-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
Igilligan
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wow that is a wonderful shot...

Now I have to get that lens.. 8^)

01-12-2009, 01:21 PM   #5
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I don't have the 50-135mm, but I've found 50 mm to be the minimum focal length for this kind of shooting. Less than that is only good for crowd or wide stage shots.
01-12-2009, 01:36 PM   #6
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How about with a K100D?

I've thought about getting a DA* 50-135 for concerts too, but I'm not sure if it's worth it for my K100D. I've never heard of anyone who had a non-SDM-compatible camera that used one. Has anyone with a K100D or earlier model tried a 50-135?
01-12-2009, 01:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tybeck Quote
I don't have the 50-135mm, but I've found 50 mm to be the minimum focal length for this kind of shooting. Less than that is only good for crowd or wide stage shots.
Yeah, between 50 and 70mm is the perfect focal length (on an APS-C sized sensor) for shows at small to medium-sized venues.
01-12-2009, 03:35 PM   #8
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My thoughts are that the DA*50-135 is an *obviously* great choice for concert photography, *if* you don't mind the price or weight or size. Me, I'm a cheapskate, a weakling, and self-conscious about taking pictures, so the 50-135 is only an occasional blip on the outskirts my radar.

After shooting a bunch with 50 and 135 primes (that cost me under $100 combined) and deciding one was too short and the other too long, I bought an M100/2.8 (for around another $100). I feel I'm pretty well set now. The M100/2.8 stays on my camera most of the show, although I'll switch to a 50, 40, or 28 when I want something wider, which I don't all that often. Of course, with the 100, most of my shots are closeups, which is what I tend to like most. If you prefer like wider shots, then something shorter makes sense. And if you feel the need to take lots of both, then by all means, the DA*50-135 is great (not that I own one - but I've handled one, and seen plenty of pictures from it). Although something like a 28-75/2.8 should also be considered if you think having something wider than 50 would be more useful than having something longer than 75 - and it's quite a bit cheaper, smaller, and lighter than the 50-135.

All these focal lengths are also relative, of course, to how close you expect to be to your subjects. I'm dealing mainly with jazz clubs that seat around 100, and I try to sit a table in the front. At larger venues, you need correspondingly longer lenses unless you have a press pass. And at places where you're basically standing up and in danger of being hit in the forehead by a sliding trombone (substitute guitar or other intsrument applicable to your genre of choice :-), you need something that much shorter than if you're sitting comfortably at a cocktail table. So again, assuming you're OK with the price/size/weight of the 50-135, it's practically a no-brainer as far as I am concerned.

Oh, as for f/2.8 - sure, we'd love faster, but there are relatively few choices in useful focal lengths. At least, few that are even remotely afforable. The DA70, FA77, and M85/2 could all be worth considering, as would trying to get by with a 50 - although that's just *too* short for me almost all the time. So I open up to f/2.8, set my shutter speed to 1/30", and take whatever exposure I can get, knowing I can save it in PP. It worked on my DS, using ISO 1600 rather than ISO 3200 (it actually works out to the same thing, though, since ISO 3200 is just a software push anyhow on the 6MP cameras), and it works on my K200D which produces no more noise than the DS when viewed at the same size. Some say the K10D isn't as good as the K200D, but it's certainly worth a shot.

Some examples from tjhe M100/2.8 (apologies to those who have seen them before):







01-12-2009, 03:45 PM   #9
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A trick I've learnt form gig photography is to not go above iso 800 (on a k10d) and then use lightroom to bump up the exposure with less noise. Also the k10d has some banding issues starting around iso 800+

Shake reduction makes a big difference I usually shoot at about 1/30th on f/4 iso 560 and play from there.

I love it when I get to go to a nice venue with a real stage and decent lighting show, but that's only occasionally party why I want this lens so I can offer pics to bands to build up a better porftolio. I've also got a pretty nifty trick with flash I've attached some images.

Last year I got a press pass for glastonbury, and I'm hoping to get one again this year.
Most bands are always up for photos you just have t get in touch and they'll sort you a press pass at gigs etc not always though but mostly.
Attached Images
   
01-12-2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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01-12-2009, 05:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MidwestMax Quote
I've thought about getting a DA* 50-135 for concerts too, but I'm not sure if it's worth it for my K100D. I've never heard of anyone who had a non-SDM-compatible camera that used one. Has anyone with a K100D or earlier model tried a 50-135?
Hey Max, I thought that I was the only one on the K100D + DA* lenses boat! However, I jumped ship and bought a K200D...
Anyways, I used the K100D non-SDM body for quite some time with the DA* 50-135... I'd say about 6 months, actually. It worked fine for me, and became one of my main 'gig/event' lenses... and just recently, my #1 wedding lens.

I also have the DA*16-50. On the K100D, it consistently mis-focuses, back focuses, front focuses, soft focuses... just not SHARP focus. It was frustrating cuz the picture turned out great but the focus would be off or something. On the K200D, the DA*16-50 now smartens up. I think the SAFVOX AF on the K200D is more well tuned for the DA*16-50 as the DA* lens now takes sharp pictures and only messes up due to user/photographer's error!

So if you have the K100D and plan to use it for a while longer, buy the DA*50-135 (But test it first) and upgrade your body before going for a DA* 16-50.
01-12-2009, 08:17 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=dugrant153;449109]Hey Max, I thought that I was the only one on the K100D + DA* lenses boat! However, I jumped ship and bought a K200D...
Anyways, I used the K100D non-SDM body for quite some time with the DA* 50-135... I'd say about 6 months, actually. It worked fine for me, and became one of my main 'gig/event' lenses... and just recently, my #1 wedding lens.




Dugrant: Thanks for the response. I've heard nothing but good things about the 50-135 so it's good to know that it could potentially work well with my K100D.
01-13-2009, 10:02 AM   #13
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Love my 50-135mm here are some links to my work in the pit with it, can't post due to copyright issues.

These where all shot without flash the first set at ISO 200 yes ISO 200 somehow I forgot to set it to 800 & the images are stunning

eGigs.co.uk - Deacon Blue photos - at Sheffield Arena, Sheffield on 01/12/2008

These where at ISO 800 at Hull Asylum which has terrible lighting.

eGigs.co.uk - Cerys Matthews photos - at Hull University SU Asylum, Hull on 08/11/2008
eGigs.co.uk - Paul Heaton photos - at Hull University SU Asylum, Hull on 08/11/2008

Will be using this lens at Glastonbury for the first time this year

Thinking about getting the 16-50 but love my Tammy to much, you can see all my concert shots on my site www.garystafford.co.uk

Last edited by cabstar; 01-13-2009 at 10:10 AM.
01-13-2009, 11:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tybeck Quote
I don't have the 50-135mm, but I've found 50 mm to be the minimum focal length for this kind of shooting. Less than that is only good for crowd or wide stage shots.
I second this. I did a punk rock show with my SP-F and thought I'd bring my 55/1.8 with me as my standard kit. Turned out to be a total pain. Couldn't get close enough, and the flash was too bright when I was. I think the sweet spot here would have been 85-105mm or so, so I could get close enough to the performers without getting that close to them or getting in the way of a mosh pit (mosh pits + cameras don't mix).
01-13-2009, 11:18 AM   #15
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Just checked my statistics & the majority of my shots are done at 34mm using Tamron 17-50mm.

I do tend to shoot more smaller venues, however I have also shot a lot of festivals in the last year with venues ranging from 50 capacity to 90,000. Majority of the shows I cover would be less than 1000 capacity venues.

Maybe I should get myself a 31mm LTD
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