Need a New Lens for a Music Festival -- Advice?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ghostguts, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #1
    Well, I just got my media pass approved for this weekend's Pitchfork Music Fesitval.

    Right now, I'm rocking a Canon 40D with a standard kit lens Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM and a portrait lens Canon 50mm f/1.4.

    I'm considering either the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens or the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens.

    Not completely sure. Open to other suggestions and recommendations; looking to spend around $1000 (give or take $100-$200) max.
     
  2. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    So it's either a wide angle zoom or a telephoto zoom. I'd say you should decide based on how close you can get to the subject(s). If you have good access and you can get right up close, within a few feet use the wide lens. In every case I can think of a telephoto lens is used only because you have limited access to the subject. Wide is always best if you can get close.

    I'd go for the f/2.8 version of the 70-200 Buy it used if you can't afford new. The extra stop allows shooting at 1/2 the shutter speed. You you get 1/2 the motion blur and 1/2 the camera shake blur and have the option to narrow the DOF to kill a distracting background

    You have to remember tat hand held a 200mm lens forces you to use 1/250 or faster shuter. At 1/250 you might need to open up all the say to f/2.8 or go with a high ISO. Also, f/2.8 extends the useful range of your flash vs. the range you get with f/4. (Distance is guide number over max aperture)
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #3
    I'll be in the photographer's pit, but that's still a little ways away, as the performers are moving and are on an elevated stage.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    DJMastaWes

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #4
    because of the size of outdoor concerts, I would go with the 70-200mm. I would us a wide angle for a small venue where I can get close to the artist, but with the 70-200, you'll be able to get up close (picture wise) to the artist and capture some great detailed moments.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #5
    Unless you have a VIP pass, you need a telezoom, a fast one.
    Although Canon's 70-200 f/4 is a very nice lens, I don't think f/4 fast enough (IS won't help in low light conditions). Canon's 2.8/70-200 mm zoom is too expensive, but you can afford Sigma's, Tokina's or Tamron's 2.8/70-200 mm zooms, though. Their IQ is more much than adequate.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #6
    I agree. They're about $700-$800 (The Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina if still findable), depending on where you shop. You could even afford the 1.4x teleconverter, and still be within budget.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    I agree with OreoCookie and ChrisA. The best bet is to get 70-200mm 2.8 IS
    It is expensive lens but you will appreciate that extra stop, especially in low light condition. If you can't afford it you can always rent one at http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon-70-200mm-f2.8-l-is/for-canon there is plenty of happy people that did business with them...
     
  8. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Kind of what I said.

    The best option is to use a wide angle lens and get right into the subject's face. The perspective is more engaging and less "flat" and with a wide lens you can control the background with smaller changes in camera position. and you can hand hold a wide lens with a longer shutter speed

    But lacking that kind of access a fast tele-zoom is second best. I don't know about Canon prices. But in the Nikon world good usable used 80-200 f/2.8 lenses sell as low as $450. and nice ones go for $650

    Even if you are a Canon user it would be within your $1`K budgt to buy a $450 Nikon lens and a $325 D50 body. You'd be under a grand even with the added cost of the body. But I'm sure there are 10 year old Canon f/2.8 zooms on the market for well under $1K.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #9
    The F/4 IS has a more robust IS system than the 2.8, and it's lighter too (cheaper too!). I am also a believer that the 2.8 will help you in darker scenes, but some of that extra weight may negate the shutter speed advantage depending on how good your hand-holding techniques are. You could also get a monopod for either lens, in which case the wider aperture would have an advantage (higher shutter speeds + good stabilization!)
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    East of Shangrila
    #10
    I'm in agreement with those who are suggesting a fast 70-200 tele-zoom. along with a versatile lens like the 28-135, that is all you'll need.

    I shoot at Blues Festivals a lot. and even when I get up near the stage, the 70 - 200 is my preferred lens.

    Here's a shot of Keb Mo from the Monterey Blues Festival two weeks ago. With the Canon 70-200.
    [​IMG]

    But for crowd shots, people shots, I prefer the wider zoom tele - the 28-135 is great. For instance,
    [​IMG]

    Good luck ... and please share some of your shots!
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #11
    I'd say the 70-200 f/4, if you can find the 2.8 or ideally 2.8 IS version then GET IT! the 70-200 is the most used lenses for bands and concerts (that I use anyways) because it gets in nice and close to the bands.

    The 17-40 is a nice wide angle for the crowd shots but on like a 40D I'd be missing the wide aspect of it and the 70-200 at least with the 1.6x crop gives you some zoom to it.

    70-200 lens shots
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    17mm shots

    [​IMG]

    http://www.polskiobscura.com/
     

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