gmc. 6:01am, 10 June 2011
As the title says I am having some issues. I can't quite seem to get crisp pictures, the subjects are also moving very fast which does not help. I am using a Rebel XT, with a 50mm f1.8 non-usm lens. These are my settings, aperture priority usually wide open at 1.8, ISO at 800, AI Servo, and white balance set to flash if I am using it. If I have my ISO over 800 I get a lot of noise, so that is why I do not. I am really not sure what else to try, any suggestions would be great.
atmz 7 years ago
Don't use aperture priority. Usually the only way to get usable shots is to use shutter speeds that the camera would treat as underexpoure. Try manual, f/1.8, 1/80, ISO 800 - take a few shots, check exposure and sharpness, and work from there. (It's ok if they look underexposed - a 'correctly exposed' (according to the camera) shot will blow the highlights.

A good way to get an idea of settings is to look at what other people use, which you can do on Flickr by clicking on the camera name on the photo page. I've been using the 50]/1.8 and getting decent results at ISO 800:

Afghan Raiders by atmz

If things are still blurry, then it might be a focus issue - Try moving focus to the * button on the back of your camera and using the central focus point, or stop down if you have the light.

Also, in some venues it can be ridiculously dark - only solution there is to turn ISO all the way up - noise is better than blur, and you can convert to B&W to make it look better:
ΜΟΝΟ by atmz

Good luck!

(Note: all this advice is for shooting without flash)
gmc. 7 years ago
I have not really ventured into the fully manual mode yet, but I will definitely give this a try. Thanks for the great info!
nutritious clam [deleted] 7 years ago
I'd second the comments above. Aperture priority is hard to use in band photography, but can be done.

Two things I've learned is that you need -2 stops of exposure to keep the stage lights from blowing the highlights, and that I can shoot down to 1/30th with a 50mm lens.

The irony is that a 'well' exposed shot at ISO 1600 looks better than an under exposed shot at ISO 800 and can have more 'pleasant' noise because the face is exposed well - most times... but not always.

Start at ISO 800, 1/40th and f1.8 Manual and work from there. isolating the subject is really fun with stage lighting, due to the dynamic range the background disappears completely.

Good luck!

Genny164 6 years ago
i am using a Canon SX20 IS point and shoot set on night setting, no flash. Has been the only way I have gotten any success at concerts.

Kelly Clarkson, Live in Boston, MA
cloistered cushion [deleted] 6 years ago
I shoot at ISO 1600 and take tons of shots and plant the camera into my face. I don't usually underexpose though. With one wide-angle lens I tend to overexpose because it always underexposes, partially due to bright lights. Wide lenses pick up more sky and bright lights.

You can reduce chroma noise significantly without taking away detail. And if you underexpose a stop that's about the same as boosting the ISO anyway because underexposing produces noise when you lighten it later. Getting the exposure perfect or over exposing reduces noise but typically results in more motion blur.

If it's really dark I'll push the ISO all the way to 3200 or 6400 too but they look kind of weird.
cloistered cushion [deleted] 6 years ago
Also I just wanted to add that I think these cameras need sensor shift stabilization instead of lens stabilization. I'd love to switch to Pentax or Sony to see how effective it is but I have a lot of lenses I'd have to replace.
Nik Opie 6 years ago
depending on the venue, i usually shoot at ISO 800, 1600 if its darker. I'll start at 1/40 f/1.8 and go from there. Sometimes I'll do aperture priority, but as others have stated it tends to overexpose. Sometimes that looks cool, and sometimes thats what the band likes.

I also shoot in continuous mode. that way if you have a few in succession it will either A) look cool. or B) if the subject is moving a lot and quickly, i'll have at least one good shot out of a bunch.

As a side note, I LOATHE people who use flash at shows, and constantly use it.

Good luck!
Drone Photography 5 years ago
u need to shoot in manual, and possibly crank up iso, but with that body you will gets tons of niose
Main Squeeze Media 5 years ago
It's going to be very tough for you to get sharp concert pics with little/no noise with your current equipment. I think you're probably doing the best with what you have. You will probably not get all of the shots you want due to poor light, fast movement, etc. If you go to a show with decent lighting and have a performer who stays somewhat still, you'll pull off some good shots. Of course, if you ever decide to upgrade to a body with a larger sensor, concerts will become much easier. Same goes for faster lenses. There is a big difference in the 50 f/1.8 ($120) and the 50 f/1.4 ($300). Good luck.
Randum311 5 years ago
Definitely try to go in full manual - and 1600 is my sweet spot with my f/3.2+ pending how far zoomed I go. It took a while, but play with the lighting in the venue to get your focus and do continuous shots so if you want to catch the right lighting. Also stable yourself on the stage if possible- helps tremendously. I have not used a fix lens at any bigger shows, but having a low f/1.4 is a big help. but I find the sweet spot for shutter speed to be 100 if at all possible. Eliminate grain using lightroom, but be careful, just find a good balance and most shots can turn out already. But you do loose a lot of depth at 1600, and b/w is a great option too. Some turn out terrific
iso_pix 5 years ago
i always keep my shutter speed at 1/125 or higher. metal or punk bands u might even need to go 1/500 or higher.

go manual. might be a bit harder the first few times but in the long run it will be better. I almost never use flash as over it's almost never alowed. i constantly switch between servo and single shot af. most used iso for me is between a 1000 to 3200. but sometimes i'm even finding myself as high as 12800. with my main body it's stil useable but for most it will not.

As other said better to have a bit more noise then having a unsharp image due to motion blur.
concert photography is one of the few niche's where having noise aint a bad thing. if there is to mutch colour noise just convert the image to a black and white.

another good tip, start shooting in raw or nef if ur not already doing so. this wil give u more room in post processing to correct.

the 50 1.8 ain't a bad lens, but if ur realy into concert photography try investing in a 2.8 zoom like a 17-50 or a 24-70(if ur planning on buying into fulframe).
tleparskas 5 years ago
Agree with iso_pix. Check the guitar players fingers. Are they blurred? You'll need a faster shutter speed. Always shoot shutter priority. ISO depends on venue - even a well lit hall might need 1600.
Also, use spot metering on the face to avoid blowing it out.
Fast lens investment is better than a new body investment. I absolutely think you have to think about a 24-70 and or a 70-200. They should be in the 2.8 range. I do have an f4 70-200 with IS so it does work.
The 50 will not get you the framing you need for concerts.
Start practising in manual mode. If you get a new camera like a 7D it will really do well for concerts because of its burst mode and good AF focusing. You'll find those thumb wheels will become intuitive over time for adjusting exposure comp. up or down. And I think even your Rebel can be set for back button focus - it works on my old T1i.
Hope you check my concert photos.
Keep shooting, no matter what.
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