Which lens should I use for concert photography? (Rock Concerts)

by Michelle
(San Antonio, Texas)

First, I want to thank you for your website...it's outstanding! As a beginner, I've learned so much from your website.

I'm purchasing a Sony Alpha A900 next month and adding concert photography to my list.
I want to be sure I get a lens that will make brilliant pictures.

A)Indoor\Outdoor, Arenas, Clubs, Night\Dark, Dim\Lowlight, Action, flashy color lights(light show)and at times I will be on the stage or in the pit 5 to 10 feet away. Some places NO Flash.

B)Outdoors, During the day in different weather situations, Action.

That pretty much describes it, I think you have the idea.

Which lens do you think will work best for these situations?

My significant other will be going on tour soon...I need help.

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Sep 09, 2009
WIDE Maximum Aperture
by: Digital SLR Guide

The types of lenses that you need are ones with wide maximum apertures.

The maximum aperture of a lens indicates how wide it can open up and how much light it can let in. When taking pictures of fast-moving subjects in dim light, you need plenty of light to be getting in to the camera so that you can use a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the motion of your subjects.

If your shutter speed is too slow, all your photos will turn out blurry.

I would recommend that you look for lenses that have a max aperture of at least f/2.8. Since you will be relatively close to the stage, you won't need a telephoto which is good - telephoto lenses with wide max apertures are VERY expensive.

Sigma and Tamron make several zoom lenses with f/2.8 max apertures that are compatible with Sony DSLRs (I could not find very many Sony lenses with wide apertures).

Some examples to consider include the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II LD. If you want a little more telephoto reach from the lens, there's also a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD-IF.

Regardless of the lens that you'll get, you'll also need to increase your ISO setting when shooting in very dim light - while the wide aperture on the lens will help, it's often not enough when the light is extremely dim.

In this case, the combination of an higher ISO setting paired with the wide maximum aperture will ensure that your concert photos look great.

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