HOB-E-EST 1:36pm, 13 July 2010
I am going to a George Jones concert in July ,the vinue is not all that that large.I have a asile seat 6 rows from the stage which is about 25 to 30 feet away.I shoot a d300s.I have a nikon 17-55 2.8 and a nikon 80-200 2.8 and was wandering which lens would be better to use.Also would it be better to use auto ISO or set it to around 640 or 800.Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.
Enric Martinez Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Enric Martinez (member) 8 years ago
In concerts the best is to use a wide angle to normal, thus the 17-55 will be a good bet. The most important is however speed, as you will not always be allowed to use a flash.

A wide angle will get you most of the action while a normal can isolate members of the band.

sometimes you can take your chances trying to get a shot at iso 200 or 100 if the light is right, but normally you will want to shoot above iso 1600.

ISO 640 is too low even with flash; most people use ISO 800 when using flash, but this depends on the speedlight you use. Noise is not an issue at all and it can be used in your favour.

Zoom lenses are OK as long as they aren't too big. Just remember the First Law of Concert Photography: The crowd has paid for having fun, watching the performance, dance, head-bang, mosh, breakdance or whatever... the last thing that the crowd and the organizers of a concert want to have is a guy with a bazooka sized lens staying in the way, plus it's not easy to carry, and if you are like me a guy who photographs bands that he likes, you will be able to enjoy the gig and have some beers too. I thus recommend the smallest in size and if possible to get a decent prime under f:2.0 better.

A thing you may consider is buying some quality older glass from eBay, you will surely be able to get a manual 35mm lens for a good price or even an older 35mm autofocus. With these just remember that normal DSLR have a cropping factor of 1.3 or 1.5 and that you will have to multiply the focal length by that... which can be quite an advantage, as in my case: I got an SMC Pentax FA 50mm 1.4 that in my Pentax K20D, with a crop factor of 1.5 is a 75mm tele lens, with the advantages of size, speed (f/1.4) and the ridiculous price (around 90 EUR). In this case this is an autofocus lens, but I have some others that aren't but which perform quite good because in a concert situation your autofocus will not be always useful or reliable.

But the most important is of course: ENJOY!!!
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