Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-30-2019, 04:56 PM   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2013
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 598
Concert shots done with K-3 II.

Being a rock / metal fan I started photographing concerts that I attended as soon as I got my first point and shoot camera (of course if photography was allowed). I continued doing so, with my first digital p&s camera (Pentax Optio W20). But it was not until I got K-3 and Sigma 18-35 mm F1.8 Art that I first attempted to shoot live gigs with a DSLR. Some of the early efforts can be found in these threads :

A concert photographed with K-3 II and Sigma 18-35 Art. - PentaxForums.com
Concert shot with K-3 and Sigma 18-35. - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com

Back in the late 2017, one of my favourite bands was coming to my home town, so I got in touch with the promoter to ask for a photo pass. Of course I was asked to show my previous works. The promoter was satisfied with what she saw and granted me access to the photo pit. One of the conditions was to share the photos with her agency. She liked the result and offered to do photographic coverage for some other gigs by her agency. This year I finally managed to shoot some of the concerts. Here are some photos in chronological order with links to corresponding albums on flickr.

2017-10-23 - Mayhem (Nor) + Support.




Dragged Into Sunlight.

- - -





Mayhem. Album.




2019-02-08 - Freakangel + Support.





Digital Digital.

- - -





Horror Dance Squad.

- - -





Freak Angel.

Albums : Digital Digital, Horror Dance Squad, Freak Angel.



2019-03-21 - Orange Goblin + Support.




Kaiser.

- - -





Redneck Rampage.

- - -








Orange Goblin.

Albums : Kaiser, Redneck Rampage, Orange Goblin


- - - -
Some notes.
Mayhem's concert from 2017 was shot with Sigma 18-35 art. Due to the amount of stage fog and freaky lighting this combo refused to lock focus in either PDAF or CDAF. In some cases I had to resort to manual focusing with magnification and focus peaking in live view. Just as I mentioned in the previous threads, in these conditions it is close to impossible to tell if the subject is in focus : the stage smoke obscures details. Actually this is true for the rest of the concert shots presented here.
The second concert was shot using Sigma and FA 50 1.4. Using 50mm focal length on a crop camera in a tightly packed club without a photo pit was quite problematic. That club had a balcony and I had access to it. That's where I used the FA lens the most, The stage lights were the worse I have ever seen. The centre of the stage had some light, while the sides were almost unlit. Smoke screen, that's what it literally looked like at times, made photographing musicians on the sides of the stage almost impossible. You start focusing on a musician and while the camera is thinking how to do it, he moves and you have to start over again. Later I started pre-focusing on some spot and waited for the musician to appear there.

The Orange Goblin gig, was slightly easier to cover : the venue was bigger and I was familiar with it, more stage lights, a bit less stage smoke compared to the previous concerts. Just as in case with the previous gig I used two lenses (18-35 and 50). This time 50mm was quite useful, because the stage was much bigger. As there was no "three first songs" limit, closer to the end of the headliner's set I started experimenting by trying to capture some minor details with the 50mm lens. Some of these shots are in the album. I experienced exactly the same focusing issues with both lenses as was the case during the previous two shows.


The over hit rate was below 50% by my rough estimation. Most of the shots were done using CDAF (Live View), because I heavily rely on the electronic level and besides I wear glasses. 90% of shots were done using a wider angle than necessary to fit the subject into frame. That way I managed to maintain the perspective and got an opportunity to re-frame the shots to my liking in post processing. Working on these shots in post was a nightmare. To avoid motion blur, I used shutter speed around 1/160 and 1/250. Considering how dark it is inside most concert clubs, the ISO has to be kept around 3200. Occasionally I used 1600. Nowadays I try to avoid 6400, because I don't like the resulting look. Most of my shots are deliberately underxposed to preserve as much highlights as possible. My experience shows, that even at 3200 quite a lot of shadow details can be recovered. At 6400 there is not much left to recover. A lot of my images were pushed one or two stops in DxO Photolab (my raw converter of choice). To mitigate some of the issues associated with pushing severely underexposed images I had to resort to black and white conversion and resizing / resampling of images. I used DxO's Filmpack 5 for black and white conversion. The hardest part was to find the correct de-noising settings : too much and your image looks washed out, not enough and you see specks of noise and blotches of false colour all across the image. DxO's PRIME engine does miracles in some cases, while in the other cases, even when set to minimum, can be too strong, creating soft-looking images.DxO Filmpack has an option to emulate film grain. In certain cases it was useful to mask the digital noise.


One interesting observation : camera focusing speed varies depending on the colour of the stage lights. I did not figure out the exact patter, but I clearly noticed the difference in the focusing speed.



I hope that the next Pentax camera has an improved autofocus and performs considerably better at higher ISO. For the sake of experiment, I guess I should rent K-1 and 24-70, to see if it in anyway is a significant improvement in these fields.


03-30-2019, 07:29 PM   #2
New Member




Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 15
Even at 50% hit rate you got some great shots. Well done in post as well. I am assuming you were not wide open with the Sigma? I was thinking the DA35/2.4 could work well for concerts.


I have wanted to bring my K50 to shows, but I am afraid of the mosh pits! Did you have stage access that allowed you to avoid the crowds? (of people with smart phones lol)
03-30-2019, 09:20 PM - 1 Like   #3
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,560
Well done and it's great seeing another concert photographer on this site.

I'm not sure how you have your AF set up but I use single point continuous and I move the focus point around. I use LR Classic CC for my editing and I have no issue going to ISO 6400 and above. You want to get the shot. The photos of the women are shot at ISO 6400 and ISO 10,000 respectively.

I do understand the very low red LED light. That sucks to shoot in!

Also, shoot somewhat wide. Publishers want to see more musicians and stage and not so many tight shots. That's what I've been working on too.

K5-0 don't worry about the mosh pit. If you get a pass from the band you can go into the photo pit. If not, generally you can't take a "pro" camera anyway. You can get a small camera like a Sony RX100 anywhere which works great for concerts.

Cameras used:
*****Pentax K3, KS2
*****Canon 5D mkII
Lenses used:
*****Pentax DA* 16-50mm, DA 20-40mm, DA* 50-135mm, DA 55-300WR
*****Sigma (Pentax) 30mm F1.4
*****Tamron (Canon): 28-75 F2.8
*****Canon 28mm F1.8

I used my old K200D for a long time.

(The first 2 are from my 5DII and the rest are from my K3)
ISO 2500

St Vincent shot for Back Beat Seattle
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

ISO 3200

Florence and The Machine shot for Back Beat Seattle
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

ISO 400

Slayer
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

ISO 2500

St. Vincent shot for Back Beat Seattle
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

ISO 3200

Foo Fighters shot for Back Beat Seattle
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

ISO 3200

Pearl Jam 2018
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

ISO 6400

Suicide Girls - Blackhearts Burlesque
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

ISO 10,000

Suicide Girls - Blackhearts Burlesque
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

Last edited by john5100; 03-30-2019 at 10:46 PM.
03-31-2019, 01:15 PM   #4
Junior Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 47
QuoteOriginally posted by Stagnant Quote
<Snip!>

Considering how dark it is inside most concert clubs, the ISO has to be kept around 3200. Occasionally I used 1600. Nowadays I try to avoid 6400, because I don't like the resulting look. Most of my shots are deliberately underxposed to preserve as much highlights as possible. My experience shows, that even at 3200 quite a lot of shadow details can be recovered. At 6400 there is not much left to recover. <another snip>

The hardest part was to find the correct de-noising settings : too much and your image looks washed out, not enough and you see specks of noise and blotches of false colour all across the image.

I hope that the next Pentax camera has an improved autofocus and performs considerably better at higher ISO. For the sake of experiment, I guess I should rent K-1 and 24-70, to see if it in anyway is a significant improvement in these fields.
Greetings from another gig photographer, albeit an enthusiastic amateur who usually has to take photos from the audience. In fact, I don't think I have ever taken photos when there was a photo pit. I progressed from the K-5 to the K-3 and had to stop using ISO6400 as I found it too damn noisy. I also set my exposure to -0.7EV which does tend to increase noise when I up the exposure in Lightroom. But as you say, it preserves the highlights.

Actually, although I call myself an amateur, a magazine used a few of my shots and I received a free subscription, currently 3 years and counting. Plus one band included a couple of photos on their CD insert, which got me a free copy of the CD. Does that mean I am semi-pro?

@john5100 - I am very impressed with your ability to shoot using ISO 10,000. What's your secret?

03-31-2019, 02:41 PM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2013
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 598
Original Poster
@K5-0, Thanks! 90% of shots with Sigma are either at 1.8 or 2.8 . I would not use 35 2.4, because this would limit my framing opportunities. But again it is a matter of preferences. Photopit was organised only for the Mayhem gig. I stayed in the photopit only half of the allowed time. It was too tight and there were multiple other photographers running around. I went back to the audience to get some different angles. The crowd did not mind me walking back and forth. It might sound strange but rock crowds are generally very friendly.

@john5100, concert photographers are indeed a rare sight here. As for the framing, I do agree that in some cases more context would be beneficial, your shots are a good example of this. In my case it would mean more black walls and black padded ceiling Besides there is barely any information in those unlit parts of the venue.

As for the AF, in PDAF I use centre point / single point. As I mentioned I mostly use CDAF i.e. Live View with either single point or select mode. When there is at least one spotlight pointing at a musician, AF works fine. Especially if it is white Another problem is strobes. Sometimes it is pretty damn hard to hit the shutter button between the flashes.

In my experience not all ISO 6400 images are created equal If they are underexposed and the scenes are dark in real life, the images tend to be far more noisy at the same ISO, compared to the ones shot with more light. Besides pushing ISO 6400 gives worse results as opposed to 3200, but there is a point after which pushing the image in post will not bring out any more details. Another thing I noticed is that the higher the ISO the more aggressive the NR algorithm becomes at the same settings. Sometimes it tries to smooth out the stage fog, mistaking it for noise. It results in very unpleasant looking images.

@keithw, welcome to the club, so to say ! Most of my concert shots adorn facebook pages of associated events and profiles of musicians. Off topic : photos of the ship I made are now on it's bridge decorating the walls. I was asked to have them printed by the ship's master.
04-03-2019, 11:41 AM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,560
QuoteOriginally posted by Stagnant Quote
@K5-0, Thanks! 90% of shots with Sigma are either at 1.8 or 2.8 . I would not use 35 2.4, because this would limit my framing opportunities. But again it is a matter of preferences. Photopit was organised only for the Mayhem gig. I stayed in the photopit only half of the allowed time. It was too tight and there were multiple other photographers running around. I went back to the audience to get some different angles. The crowd did not mind me walking back and forth. It might sound strange but rock crowds are generally very friendly.

@john5100, concert photographers are indeed a rare sight here. As for the framing, I do agree that in some cases more context would be beneficial, your shots are a good example of this. In my case it would mean more black walls and black padded ceiling Besides there is barely any information in those unlit parts of the venue.

As for the AF, in PDAF I use centre point / single point. As I mentioned I mostly use CDAF i.e. Live View with either single point or select mode. When there is at least one spotlight pointing at a musician, AF works fine. Especially if it is white Another problem is strobes. Sometimes it is pretty damn hard to hit the shutter button between the flashes.

In my experience not all ISO 6400 images are created equal If they are underexposed and the scenes are dark in real life, the images tend to be far more noisy at the same ISO, compared to the ones shot with more light. Besides pushing ISO 6400 gives worse results as opposed to 3200, but there is a point after which pushing the image in post will not bring out any more details. Another thing I noticed is that the higher the ISO the more aggressive the NR algorithm becomes at the same settings. Sometimes it tries to smooth out the stage fog, mistaking it for noise. It results in very unpleasant looking images.

@keithw, welcome to the club, so to say ! Most of my concert shots adorn facebook pages of associated events and profiles of musicians. Off topic : photos of the ship I made are now on it's bridge decorating the walls. I was asked to have them printed by the ship's master.
Stagnanat and keithw

Yeah I totally see what you are saying. I've shot small DARK rooms when I first started. I had one shoot in what looked like a guys apartment and it was lit with just 2 incandescent light bulbs. It was awful and I just had to tell the band that I need to use my flash because it was an impossible shoot. The band was fine with it because they wanted to publicity.

The worst is low light with blue or red LEDs. I usually change those the BW.

As for really high ISO, I usually expose properly and then I add NR in post. I set sharpening to 45 or 50 in LR and NR to 25 to 30. After using my K200D for years at ISO 1600+ I got pretty good at noise reduction.


All shots below with the K200D in super dark places around 2009 to 2010. I needed flash with some of them and I got permission from the band first. How do you like my sweet frame in the one photo?

C.F.A at The Acme
by John Rudolph, on Flickr


12 Gauge Saint at The Acme
by John Rudolph, on Flickr


12 Gauge Saint at The Acme
by John Rudolph, on Flickr


12 Gauge Saint at The Acme
by John Rudolph, on Flickr


Man/Miracle
by John Rudolph, on Flickr


Mosh Pit
by John Rudolph, on Flickr

Last edited by john5100; 04-03-2019 at 11:49 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
50mm, albums, camera, concert, dslr, images, k-3, k3, pentax k-3, shots, sigma, stage
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can burst shots be done with flash? philbaum Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 7 10-27-2015 08:12 PM
Misc Some concert shots coa75 Post Your Photos! 3 01-15-2012 08:55 AM
Nature Two Shots; My Time Is Done, Birdy Friend MoeRoadKill Post Your Photos! 5 01-14-2011 10:56 PM
Misc P&S concert shots Jasvox Post Your Photos! 6 09-10-2010 11:40 PM
People First concert shots with the K-X juicebox Post Your Photos! 11 04-14-2010 07:31 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:22 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top