Live Photography help!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by xPAULx, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. xPAULx macrumors member

    xPAULx

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wales (UK)
    #1
    It is my first time doing this and Im not too sure what lens would be best for shooting live bands!

    I have a Canon 18-135mm IS & Canon 50mm 1.8 ii

    Also the venue is quite small!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #2
    The key to live events is using the fastest glass (i.e. largest maximum f/stop) possible. The 50/1.8 is fast, but its autofocus performance isn't the best; it tends to hunt in low light.

    The 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 is basically useless for live bands. It's f/5.6 at the long end, and even f/3.5 at the short end will require you to use very high ISO sensitivities to get decent shutter speeds. Not saying you can't try, but in my experience with event photography, f/2.8 is the bare minimum. You'll find that most venues will be at best f/2, ISO1600, 1/60, which is pretty dark. Hence the need for fast glass.

    Would suggest you start out with the 50 f/1.8 and see how that goes. If the AF performance is ok for you, then you should be fine. If you can, try to rent an 85 f/1.8 (which has stellar AF performance) and/or a 35 f/1.4L (for wider shots).
     
  3. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    If you are going to be doing a lot of photography like this, you will want to invest in a camera that has better low light (high ISO) performance than your 7D.

    S-
     
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #4
    I'm going to guess you've never shot with a 7D.
     
  5. PimpDaddy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    #5
    All of the above is necessarily not the best solution. If the venue is really small then the wide end of the 18mm lens can be a tool(although not too good) to get some great pictures.

    It all really depends on the available light at the venue. I suggest bringing both lenses, get a good spot in the front and snap away. Maybe changing between the lenses to get both wide angle and closeup shots.

    If you have a flash and it's allowed to use flash at the event as well bring it too. But it takes some time to learn how you can use the flash to improve your pictures at concerts.

    I manage quite fine with the 40D and the OP shouldn't be too worried with the 7D in hand. Of course a crop camera will never give the same high ISO performance of a full frame but a crop can definitely be used to do live event stuff :)
     
  6. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #6
    No, but my friend has one and my D90 is better at higher ISO settings than his 7D.

    Indoor photography with no added light is always a problem. You need fast lenses and a camera body that is solid at the higher ISO settings. The Canon EOS 7D is not that body.

    S-
     
  7. PimpDaddy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    #7
    Yes it is. But that doesn't mean pictures with available light can't be taken. It all depends on which kind of band it is. A 7D with no flash would probably struggle with at very active rock band with a lead singer jumping all over the place while it could be used to take excellent pictures of a 'quiet' singer-songwriter-like band.


    But do tell me. Which body is it? :)



    PS. With flash the high ISO performance is not that important. Luckily alot of venues accept flash. Some allow it only for the first 3-4 songs.
     
  8. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    In the Canon line? The Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

    S-
     
  9. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #9
    So how were people taking concert photos before 5DmkII came out?
    From what I've seen the difference in low light between 5DmkII and 7D is very small up to ISO1600. Canon has done some remarkable progress with their sensors in the last year and it shows in 7D low light performance.
     
  10. Stevo B macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    #10
    The 50mm imho will be a great start to get you nice event/concert pictures. At f/1.8 in low light you'll really have to be careful with your focus. Its a bit of misconception about low light autofocus. In low light you're using wider aperture. At wider aperture your depth of field is greatly reduced giving you a very small area that will be in focus. Bands typically move a lot in depth (swaying back to front, side to side) which makes it a hard focus game no matter how you're focusing. I've done a lot of concert photography with systems that only manually focus and find it easier.

    Your 7D is plenty of camera to get great images. Test your hand holding ability and try between 1/30-1/60 and find where you can consistently not blur due to camera shake. Try both autofocus and manual focus. Take some shots at ISO1600 and some at ISO800. I usually don't go above 800 if I can help it. Get more fast glass when you're able.

    Some of my concert photos
     

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