Lens for music gigs


Aero

Link Posted 09/08/2019 - 14:16
I recently moved to France and have been suckered into photographing the local hotel's weekly music gigs in the garden. "Gig photography" is alien territory for me but several PU members are obviously masters and I'm hoping for a little advice.

My results have been pretty good so far and I knock out a few A4 prints every week for display. But it's becoming obvious that I need another lens. My DA 16-45 and DA 50 1.8 both produce excellent images on my new K70 but I really need something with a longer reach, although I can get as close to the "stage" as I want. Something like a 70-200 2.8 would be ideal, I suspect, but I really don't want to spend that sort of money. My DA 55-300 is probably a little slow, even at high ISOs.

My only payment is a free hotel room so I can have a few pints and a meal on the house, so I want to keep the cost as low as possible while producing good results. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Don

Link Posted 09/08/2019 - 16:20
there's no substitute for fast glass on these types of jobs.
unless you're lighting the set also. I used to get a couple elinchrom lights with radio slaves and super clamps and have stage hands throw my lights in with the stage lighting....
if I were to do this today I'd go with a couple godox ad200's ....
so your best options are to spend on a lens or spend on lights.
keeping your eyes open for an 85, 100 or 135 prime is your best options if 70-200 2.8 zoom is to pricy.

I had great shots with my da 100 macro, but did mis a few shots to focussing misses... prefocus on manual and using back button focus helps.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 09/08/2019 - 16:22

Aero

Link Posted 09/08/2019 - 17:38
Thanks, Don. Think I'll have to up my budget. A fast zoom seems almost indispensable for quick framing changes. Oddly (or not), I used to work for a Winnipeg-based company when I lived in Canada.

Mannesty

Link Posted 09/08/2019 - 21:43
The 50-135mm DA* would seem to be ideal for what you need.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Daronl

Link Posted 10/08/2019 - 01:43
i use a 35 mm f1.4 ( takes it in itís stride very well) but recently did a blues night in a local bar with the full frame FA 70-200 2.8 but you cannot be agile with it - itís like a RPGL and wasnít as at home in the very low light as the 35mm f1.4
Daronl

Aero

Link Posted 10/08/2019 - 09:35
Mannesty wrote:
The 50-135mm DA* would seem to be ideal for what you need.

I've been thinking the same thing, Paul. SRS has a couple of "excellent +" used ones and I'm very tempted. I'll send you the bill!
Last Edited by Aero on 10/08/2019 - 09:47

Aero

Link Posted 10/08/2019 - 09:40
Daronl wrote:
i use a 35 mm f1.4 ( takes it in itís stride very well) but recently did a blues night in a local bar with the full frame FA 70-200 2.8 but you cannot be agile with it - itís like a RPGL and wasnít as at home in the very low light as the 35mm f1.4

Yes, I think a 70-200 2.8 would be too much of a beast for what I want. Your 35mm must give you some great shots in a bar scenario.

Chrism8

Link Posted 10/08/2019 - 10:26
I've done a bar gig recently, lighting was a mix of LED indoor ceiling light and natural light used a 24 - 70 F2.8 for the group shots and picked off some portraits with a Sigma 70 - 200 F2.8,

800 ISO - F2.8 - K1 - Pentax 24 to 70 @ 24mm




400 ISO - F2.8 - K1 - Sigma 70 to 200 @ 128mm



Chris

www.chrismillsphotography.co.uk

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

-------------------------------------------------------------
K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax FA 24 - 70 F2.8

Sigma 100-300 F4, Samyang 14mm F2.8, Sigma 70-200 F2.8,

K5iis - Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Sigma 70 - 300 F3.5/F5.6, Sigma 18 - 200 F3.6 / F4.5.

stub

Link Posted 10/08/2019 - 10:51
In my experience of gig shooting wide is better than long. Manual is better than zoom. Full frame is better than crop sensor. Lens speed is everything as lighting is never at a premium. Pre plan the shot, pre focus the shot and wait for it to happen..!! I to would choose 35mm f1.4.
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

darkskies

Link Posted 10/08/2019 - 11:01
I do a lot of gig photography, maybe 2 or 3 gigs a week.

Chris's shots above are unusual in that there is very good light. So, if you are shooting in daylight or with a lot of light then you have a lot more options. Shooting at 400 or 800 ISO is usually a dream for a gig photographer. I usually shoot at ISO 5000 or 6400.

So, I use a K1, which can cope with those ISOs without too much trouble. But to get the best shots I really do need fast lenses. And I also need to be able to frame quickly, so zooms are essential. I use the 15-30/f2.8 occasionally, when I am very close, but generally use a 24-70/f2.8, which allows me wide shots of the band and close ups too. I don't think there's any substitute for being close to the band.
This space deliberately left blank.

Aero

Link Posted 10/08/2019 - 11:51
Many thanks for all the tips. Fascinating. I've ordered a DA* 50-135 and my DA 16-45 is pretty good at the wide stuff, although a 35 1.4 would be fantastic. I'd like to give a thumbs-up to the dodge/burn tool in Affinity Photo. It does a great job of handling exposure problems with patchy lighting.
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