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    Heeeeeelp !

    I am new to this forum and getting a little overwhelmed with finding my way around ! But my bottom line question is... I have a Canon 500D, with the two standard lenses that came with it. Basically I am wanting a faster (?) lens for taking photos at concerts, without a flash. Generally indoor concerts with different qualities of light. Suggestions ??? I just don't know where to start !

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    I'll start Nazz, You will need at least a lens that goes to f2.8 in a zoom there are plenty of Canon zooms that will do this , BUT at a price, Or if you are just wating to shoot with a Prime, That is no zoom I beleive they have a 50mm prime f1,2 . Other than that really up the ISO setting , Shoot in manual and open the lens you use right up , Now we'll get some other answers , But I hope this has helped - Bill
    Last edited by William; 19-07-2012 at 2:36pm.
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Thanks Bill Yes, I am thinking I will want some zoom for sure.

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    Also remember many concerts limit the camera's you take in and what you can do with the photos. So taking a phone cam is ok, but a DSLR will be taken off you.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Hi Nazz, yes as William has stated a lens with an F-Stop of 2.8 or lower (wider) is at least needed to get reasonable shots in darker conditions typically found at concert venues etc but also great for sport photography and situations where capturing fast action is needed. A good zoom would be needed to get closer to the action, especially if you're not on stage at the concerts.

    These types of lenses can get pricey so have a look around online for prices and reviews to get a good idea of what to buy. A good zoom that reaches 200mm or more would be well suited, such as Canon's 70-200mm F2.8 lens, other brands are of course available and cheaper than the canon model with quality varying between brands

    Also consider getting a image stablised lens, this will help prevent handshake and blurred photos when zoomed in on the action, of course this adds more $$$ to the price but the canon 70-200mm F2.8 also has a "IS" version

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    Thanks so much for your replies Yes Rick, have been asked a couple of times to stop using the camera. Most of the shows I go to are a band that know me and my camera habits fairly well, so they don't mind.

    So the 70 - 200mm, does that mean that the furthest distance is 70, as in 15 closer than a 55m ? ( which is what my standard Canon one is ) I hope that makes sense ! We normally sit in the front row, so the 55mm on full close up is a nice distance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nazz View Post
    Thanks so much for your replies Yes Rick, have been asked a couple of times to stop using the camera. Most of the shows I go to are a band that know me and my camera habits fairly well, so they don't mind.

    So the 70 - 200mm, does that mean that the furthest distance is 70, as in 15 closer than a 55m ? ( which is what my standard Canon one is ) I hope that makes sense ! We normally sit in the front row, so the 55mm on full close up is a nice distance.
    No

    Lens mm lengths go from smaller numbers to larger numbers/smaller zoom to larger zoom. So a 17-55 is a wider angle at 17 mm and a medium length zoom at 55mm, and a 70-200 goes from a medium zoom to what is often called telephoto at 200. So the higher the number the more you can zoom in to the action (bring things to look closer to you)

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    yep that's what I was talking about, 70-200mm being able to get closer than 55mm if your were further back in the crowd or wanted a close-up shot. If you're normally up close and find your lens does the job at 55mm and don't need the extra reach that the 70-200mm provides then a quicker lens similar to what you already have maybe all you need, something in the range of 24-70mm F2.8 or 17-55mm F2.8, some brands offer these with image stablising too, which would help but is less important at wider angles.

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    It depends how much access and freedom of movement you have.

    If you have freedom and can get up close, the Canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS is excellent for you. $1000-ish

    If you are restricted and need to stay back, the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS is probably your first choice without going to megabucks. $2000-ish. Sigma make a cheaper equivalent with a bit less performance.

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    If you can get close to the band you could get away with a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens (Prime lens no zoom) or if you want a useable fast zoom you could look at the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 zoom without VC. (can be bought on-line for about $350). Both of these lenses would be good value.
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    You are also going to need to bump your ISO up to at least 800 to get good low-light shots, and at that sort of ISO, your 500 may produce noisy pictures (lots of grain and coloured flecks in the photos).

    You'll probaly find that if you are happy with a 55mm lens, as you can get reasonably close to the action, you're best bet, for the money, would be to go for the 50mm F1.8.
    Just over $100 wil get you one, whereas the 70-200 F2.8 with IS will set you back over $2K.

    If you're prepared to spend over $2K, spend a bit more and get yourself a newer body that is better with high ISO as well.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    I agree with Bennymiata. Start with the 50mm f/1.8. At a tad over $100, it is a lens well worth having anyway, even if it turns out not to be suitable for what you are doing.
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    Thanks guys Yes, I might give that a go to start with, and like you say, if I decided I want more... go the whole hog and buy a body to match the lens quality.

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    May be too late for you, as this thread is already over two weeks old... Keep in minf that the wider the aperture (like f 1.2) and the longer your focal length you have a fairly reduced depth of field. To overcome that with a smaller aperture (and by shots of bands - especially from one side - you need are good DOF) you need to go higher ISO or lower shutterspeed to get sufficient DOF. Higher ISO = noise and lower shutterspeed is motion blur... Hard to strike a balance!

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