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Old Nov 19, 2008, 12:44 PM   #1
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My daughter is in a play at school, I can sit fairly close to the stage, the lighting is

low, and we are not allowed to have any flash photography during the performance.

I have the Canon XT, would an 85mm 1.8 lens for this. What ISO and settings would

I have to use? And is it even possible to get some good shots?

Thank you.
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 1:42 PM   #2
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The XT with the 85/1.8 should give you some good results. What ISO setting you use will depend on the lighting. You should keep the aperture wide open, and set the ISO to get a shutter speed ofat least 1/30, otherwise you're likely to get some motion blur. Conversely, if the ISO is too high (1600), you're likely to get some noticeable noise, so you should back off on the ISO and try to time your shots at the slower shutter speed when there isn't much movement.

You should use spot metering to get the actors properly exposed, and maybe even manual exposure once you've figured out what exposure settings will work.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 6:57 AM   #3
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TCav has some good suggestions, and I'll try to add a few as well. If you have a monopod, TAKE IT, it will help TREMENDOUSLY with the slow shutter speeds you will experience. Also, arrive early, take shots of the stage and set your white balance properly (Sorry, I'm a Nikon owner, so I'm not sure if you camera allows even that). Or, if you can't set the white balance, shoot in JPEG and RAW format and set the white balance in PhotoShop later.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 9:44 AM   #4
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Yeah. What HughesInNCsaid.

A monopod will help a lot.

Setting a custom white balance might be tough. The lighting on the stage will likely be different from the lighting where you're seated, and the stage isn't likely to contain anything pure white or 18% gray. But you can try. The procedure for setting a custom white balance is on page 57 of the XT manual. [http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/09000002...T350DIM-EN.pdf]

And RAW + Large/Fine (page 52 of the XTmanual) might be a good idea too, if you've got a big memory card. RAW files are big, but there's a lot you can do with them that you can't do with JPEG. Andthe extra effort might be worth it for some of the shots you might come away with.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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You might be surprised - at ISO 800-1600 and f1.8-2.0 you may get some very good shutter speeds. As long as you're within 25 feet you'll be fine with the lens. Beyond that range and focus accuracy will start to drop in a hurry.

I will add some other suggestions:

Set focus mode to one-shot

Set to aperture priority

set aperture to 2.0

Set ISO to 800 to start - if shutter speeds are below 1/80 go to ISO 1600

Set to all focus points

Set shooting mode to multiple.

white balance - if it's just using fixed lights then you can set a custom white balance (but you need to be on stage to set that white balance so you are taking your WB image under the lighting the stage will be under - also that WB setting is only good if it's taken with the lighting that will be used for the performance so if they turn on one set of lights prior to the performance but turn those off and another set on for the performance your WB settings wont be good anymore.). Otherwise if you can't get on stage or they're using stage lighting (think spotlights and different colors) then shooting RAW is your best bet. When in doubt shoot RAW and leave WB to the computer - one less thing to worry about.

When shooting, takee 3 shot bursts. You'll likely find 1 will be sharper than the others and this helps you with your subject having blinked or just looking akward (weird mouth position, etc.))
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 7:14 PM   #6
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One more suggestion; shoot RAW. That way you can up the exposure some in needed in PP.
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