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Old Sep 1, 2006, 11:31 AM   #1
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I have a Rebel XT and currently own the kit lens, the 28-135mm IS, and just ordered the 70-300mm IS (should be delivered tomorrow)! I also plan to purchase a Canon macro- either the 60mm or the 100mm, not sure which yet.
I know I will be taking pictures this fall at my daughter's school concerts (dimly lit auditorium, slightly bright stage) and wondered if I could get by with what I have (after buying a macro) or if I'll need something else. I've read that a 70-200mm f2.8 would be ideal but it's not in my budget. Somewhere I read that a 50mm f1.8 is a good cheap solution but does that do anything one of the macros wouldn't? I guess I don't know how macros can be used other than for close ups of flowers and bugs (my intended uses!). I'd really apppreciate any input. Thanks!

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Old Sep 1, 2006, 12:22 PM   #2
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A macro lens doesn't help you one bit for low light capability.
And, before someone suggests it: an Image stabalized lens isn't going to help you either since your subjects will not be completely stationary.

You need a lens with a wide aperture. To make matters more difficult, your distance to the stage will be important.

You've already stated a 70-200 2.8 is out of your budget (although remember Sigma makes an excellent 70-200 2.8 (non macro version) for around $800) - so that lens is out.

Before spouting off a number of suggestions - how close can you consistantly get to the stage? This is critical to selecting the right lens. A 50mm lens isn't of much use from 100 feet away. Same with a number of 24-70 type lenses. If you can gaurantee being within 20' of the stage there are a number of options depending on the lighting. If you can't gaurantee being that close, this could be difficult.
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 12:36 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, I will be out in the audience somewhere- no idea how close or far. The Tamron idea is interesting but not sure how that will go over with my wife so soon after spending $600 on a different lens!:lol:
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 12:45 PM   #4
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b94new wrote:
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The Tamron idea is interesting but not sure how that will go over with my wife so soon after spending $600 on a different lens!:lol:
I'm guessing you meant 'sigma' as in the 70-200 2.8. I completely understand what you mean about wife reaction to purchases.

The truth is - given the fact you're going to be anywhere in the audience I'm not sure there is a worthwhile suggestion for you. You could spend a lot of money and still not get good shots.

But, here's my suggestion - use the 70-300 IS in aperture priority set wide open (5.6 zoomed out) with ISO at 800 or 1600. Depending on the instrument she plays you may get some very nice affects with her steady but her hands or fingers in motion.

Here's a shot I took on vacation with a shutter speed of 1/50 (f2.2 and ISO 800 but if your lighting allows you to get a shutter of 1/60, with the IS engaged you should be able to get a similar affect):


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Old Sep 1, 2006, 12:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion. I see what you mean about the fingers- very cool effect! This is a new hobby for me (fun so far) and my daughter is only in 6th grade. By her senior year, I will probably show up at concerts with a bag full of lenses!
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 3:24 PM   #6
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Excellent advice from John G.. * A couple more suggestions which helped me take some low light images. * *Take a tripod or a monopod that would help you steady the camera.* You'd be surprised how much shake you create when you hold the camera for any period of time.* Shoot raw if you can, that may help you make exposure and or white balance adjustments later in in your editing program.*
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