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06-21-2007, 02:21 PM   #1
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Concert lenses

I am geting smi-serious in concert photography and have started to wonder what to invest in first?

I do most jobs pro-bono and hence I dont have too much cash. I have been using my 16-45mm with great success, and I might be looking for a prime. I also do some art photography so great sharpness is needed. I have also borrowed a sigma 70-200mm 2.8 telezoom but found that a tele is not what i am looking for. Using film, i found myself using my 35mm prime for the most part, maybe a 21mm pancake? Please share opinions.

Hands-on experience is gold!

06-21-2007, 04:18 PM   #2
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You might want to pick up an F1.4 50mm because it is so fast.

you should look on your EXIF data and see what focal length is most frequent also.

I agree the 70-210 might not be what you want, depending upon where you shoot from relitive to the stage, as it is quite long
06-21-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
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FA 35mm f2 is a great prime for concerts... the AF is very fast (many say the fastest of all Pentax lenses), it's sharp and has good contrast (already at f2).

Unfortunately the FA 50mm f1.4 has a slow AF (and the contrast is not so good wide-open)...
06-25-2007, 08:24 AM   #4
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sigma's 30mm f1.4 and pentax's fa50mm 1.4 would be my top choices. wide and short telephoto.

06-25-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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Fast macro or portrait lenses work wonders at concerts too.

A 50mm 1.4 or 1.7 comes in handy too. If you don't want to spend a lot on this, pick up a manual 50mm from ebay.

I've been saving up for a 28-70mm f2.8 aswell to use at a local festival this summer...but those are expensive...

06-25-2007, 10:34 AM   #6
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Not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I find the my
FA100/2.8 Macro
seems to work fairly well at concerts.

Haven't gone to concert with the 21Limited yet.
06-26-2007, 01:03 PM   #7
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Original Poster

Thanks guys. I've been doing some research and the best concershots i've seen so far have been rather wide, so i think it'll be the 21mm... Just have to save up 4900kr first!

06-26-2007, 01:50 PM   #8
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the 21mm pancake is exceptionally slow for low light shooting. the sigma 20mm f1.8 would be a much better choice. personally i'd go for a wider aperture but f1.8 isn't bad.
06-26-2007, 10:00 PM   #9
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A lot depends on what kind of light you're shooting in (max aperture of the lens) and how much mobility/access you have at the concert (focal length.)

I shoot quite a bit at concerts, and in very poor light, and have stuck to three primes - the 35/2, 50/1.4 and 77/1.8. My experience so far has been that the 35 and the 77 have found most use. They're both very sharp at their widest apertures. The 50 is pretty sharp when stopped down to f/2 as well, but even at f/1.4 I have obtained very pleasing results.

I tried the 21mm at one concert but it was far too slow for MY uses. YMMV. If there is sufficient light for an f/3.2 lens it should serve you well.

I shot one concert with two bodies - K100D and Pentax ME - and the above three FA lenses. I found the 35mm on a film body to give me ample coverage and if I required additional coverage I changed my position.

Hope that helps!
06-29-2007, 07:38 AM   #10
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If you liked the 35mm on film, you should look into the sigma 24mm f/1.8 - it gives a 36mm eqv. and is fast enough for late night / interior shots. Provided you get to stay near the stage, though.

What I also used on some concerts is the tamron 90mm f/2.8. It's an -excellent- macro lens, and doubles as a fast medium telephoto

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