HELP, taking concert photos.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by macbookprouser, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. macbookprouser macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2006
    ok, im going to be going to a tiny show at a tiny venue tonight and im thinking about taking my new rebel xt with. i know absolutly nothing except how to use the auto everything. i dont want to be constantly blinding the performer with a flash. so my question is, what settings should i use to get quality pictures with no flash, it will be sort of dark in there. thanks for any input.
  2. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    I assume you're using your kit lens? It's not going to work in low light at all. You should get a 50mm f/1.8 - it's about $80. The wider aperture (smaller f-stop) lets more light in, allowing the subject to be properly exposed and allowing you to use a faster shutter speed for less blur.

    The kit lens isn't going to work. It's AF is also horrible in low light, it will take 10 minutes just to focus on the subject! I have a XT so trust me, I know.

    So if you get the 50mm f/1.8, use AV on your XT. Set the aperture (read the manual) to f/1.8, the ISO to 800 or 1600 (again read the manual to figure out how to do this) and it will choose the appropriate shutter speed. You have to hope that the shutter speed is at least like, 1/50 otherwise I'm pretty sure everything is going to be blurry either from camera shake or the person moving around the stage too fast.

    Good luck!

    edit: You're going tonight?! You really need good luck then..
  3. macbookprouser thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2006
    some photographer that i talked to says to use TV at 800. does this sound right? if not i have a tamron 70-300 telephoto macro lens that came with it in this 1000 dollar kit also. will that work better or not?
  4. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    "TV at 800" sounds like, "set the shutter speed to 1/800" which is bad. Unless the 800 meant ISO. You're going to get basically no light into the lens and your pictures will just be pure black. I would recommend AV over TV.

    I'm thinking the 70-300mm won't be much better. If I'm right, the aperture on that is like f/4.5-f/6.3 or something, isn't it? If it's that - it's worse than the kit lens.

    I think this advice might be too late however.
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Well you have the Rebel XT, which one is it.....shutter priority or aperture priority? Canon's notation never made sense to me.

    Regardless, he's probably wrong. Set the camera to ISO 1600, get a 50 mm f/1.8 (very cheap in the $100 or less), and good luck. If using the 50 mm f/1.8, you think that everything appears too small because it's so far away, then take advantage of your 8 MP photos and crop them later.

    And hell, your 18-55 mm kit lens will work, but many of the photos (ie: 90%) will look blurry. Just take lots, and you may get a keeper.

    And what f-number does that Tamron 70-300 mm macro lens have? You seemed to have paid a lot for a Rebel XT kit. What did it come with?
  6. ibilly macrumors regular

    May 2, 2003
    I am now a grizzled veteran of event photography... I was pretty much the resident photographer for my large HS's yearbook last year. If you can get a dress rehersal, it's better bc you can move around and the like.

    The 50mm lens (1.8) is decently long (about 80mm on film), and REALLY fast & sharp! Probably my best lens, and I got it for $60 on ebay. Get one.

    Your 70-300 will work if it's fast, which it probably isn't, knowing superzooms.

    Get a tripod, stick it in AV mode somewhere between 1.8 and 3.2, ISO 800 or 1600. Focus manually if you need to, but telling it to focus on the center point really helps it find its target. I sometimes get it to focus (bright, contrasty areas are best), then stay put and put the lens on manual focus so it isn't always hunting.

    Direct flash sin't the prettiest, so if you can, diffuse it, or if you have a big flash, bounce it off something. BUT a big flash isn't generally something beginners have...

    Even though the XT is good, a fast lens is crucial, and the 50 f/1.8 is a FANTASTIC bargain. It really is sharp, and it is fantastically tiny on that little body.

    --------TO SUM UP------
    -Main dial (left side) -->Av, aperture set to 1.8-3.2, depending on how much depth you want in focus, and how little light there is
    -ISO --> 800 or 1600. 800 has less noise (grain), but you may need the extra light from 1600. It depends.
    -Focus --> IF it can focus automatically, great. Let it. If not, try to get it to focus once, the set it to manual focus. If BOTH of those fail, you can manually focus, but basically, you need more light.
    -also, get a tripod... you don't want shaky hands to ruin the shots.
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Good tips overall. I've shot a few events as well (concerts), and it really is difficult sometimes. It depends on the band, though.

    Oh, and the only reason I'd say take the 70-300 with him is because at 70 mm, it might be f/3.5, which isn't bad. As long as he doesn't try to use the lens at any other focal length other than 70 mm, I think it's ok. I've seen my friend shoot a concert using a 350D/Rebel XT using his 18-55 mm kit lens, which is f5.6 at the 55 mm end. If the choice is to shoot at 55 mm at f/5.6, or the 70-300 Tamron he has at f/4 or f/3.5, he may as well use the 70-300 mm.

    But if he was wise, he'd just get that 50 mm f/1.8 and use that.
  8. macbookprouser thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT
    SLR Camera Kit

    * All Brand New & Factory Sealed
    * Complete Package with ALL Manufacturer's Supplied Accessories
    * Canon Digital Rebel XT SLR Camera - Black
    * With BONUS Extras:
    o Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II Zoom Lens
    o Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD 1:2 Macro Autofocus Zoom Lens
    o SanDisk 1GB Extreme III CompactFlash™ Card with RescuePRO™
    o USB 2.0 High Speed CompactFlash™ Card Reader
    o NB-2LH Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
    o Memory Card Storage Wallet
    o Deluxe SLR Pro Camera Case
    o Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
    o 1-Year Subscription to PCPhoto Magazine
    o 30 Free High Quality Prints and Enlargements
    * Latest Model with Full Canon USA Warranty

    that is the kit i bought, it was 999.99 with a 100 dollar mail in rebate. so do you think i got ripped or what?

    thanks for all your input, i am totally new to photography and know absolutly nothing about it. i bought a book recently and have been reading up and i start my photography class in 2 weeks. im sure i will be coming here for your guys opinions and hope to become apart of the macrumors community. i got my mac for this graphic design course as well and im in love.

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