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Old Apr 24, 2006, 11:34 PM   #11
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Clazy Daze wrote:
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Thank you for all of your responses! It looks like i am going to have some MAJOR shopping to do with all those choices! LOL!! i did some checking around and it looks like the 100mm f/2, which a couple of of you have recommended is going to be my first choice...it will be a nice start, i think, and will not break my piggy bank as much as a couple of other choices you all have given me!
If it's a larger venue with good stage lighting, you may be fine with something that isn't as bright. You may also want something longer, depending on what you're trying to capture if you can't get closer than about 100 feet.

The 100mm f/2 is also a bit hard to find (an understatement). You'd probably have better luck latching on to an 85mm f/1.4G. You may also want to wait and see what Sony introduces. They may have some interesting lenses in their lineup.

I like taking snapshots of some of the live music when we're out at clubs around here, and even the 100mm f/2 is lacking in some of them.

I tried using it not long ago to take a few snapshots of a local performer and shutter speeds were running 1/2 second at ISO 3200 and f/3.5. Wide open at f/2, I managed to get them to 1/8 second at ISO 3200, deliberately underexposing a tad. With light that low, don't expect a lot of keepers, even with f/2, anti-shake and ISO 3200. lol

Lighting is usually better at larger venues. Around here, it's mostly dim candles on tables with virtually no lighting on the performers.


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Old Apr 25, 2006, 12:03 AM   #12
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Hi Jim! You weren't kidding about finding that 100mm!! I think i will wait and see what Sony will be offering in the next few months!
I did however find a Sigma 28-300mm DG AF f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro on Ebay and a Sigma 105 mm 2.8 EX DG Macro at Ritz... Since auditorium concerts are brighter than the nightclub environments, do you think that one of these may work for me?
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 6:20 AM   #13
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Clazy Daze wrote:
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... I work in a pawn shop and we have a Minolta AF 75 300 4.5/5.6 zoom, in almost new condition, at my work that i can get for $50. Is this a good lens?...
I'd suggest grabbing that lens and trying it out. If you shoot at ISO 3200, and take lots of shots, you should end up with a few good enough for web use and (maybe) 4x6" prints from the concerts - even shooting at something like 1/10th sec. More importantly, If you shoot a lot, you will figure out what focal length you use the most so you will know what focal length prime lens(s) to look for so you can get a better aperture at a much lower price than a zoom of the same quality. You will also learn what the light levels are at those concerts.

$50 seems pretty cheap for tuition, esp since you can resell the lens - probably for about the same as you paid.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 8:01 AM   #14
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50mm f1.7 @ 70' range

Last edited by bernabeu; Jun 27, 2015 at 5:24 PM.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 8:24 AM   #15
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The zooms you're looking at are not very bright (28-300mm f/3.5-6.3, 75-300mm 4.5-5.6). As for a macro lens, they tend to focus slower than most similar primes.

When looking at lenses, keep in mind that my 100mm f/2 is 8 times as bright as f/5.6 (where you'd be at zooming in much with a cheap zoom). An f/2.8 zoom is still going to be 4 times as bright as one that drops off to f/5.6 if you zoom in much.

The aperture scale in one stop increments goes f/1.0 (theoritically larger apertures are availalbe, too), f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, etc.

With each one stop move to a smaller aperture (represented by higher f/stop numbers), you will need shutter speeds twice as long for proper exposure, given the same lighting and ISO speed.

That also means that with each one stop move to a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number), you lose half the light getting through the lens to the Autofocus sensors and viewfinder. So, a brighter lens can also mean a big difference in low light Autofocus ability.

The brightest zooms are going to be f/2.8 throughout their focal range. The Minolta 80-200mm f/2.8G that Nooner mentioned would be a good one to look for.

But, don't expect to find one for $50. Multiply by 10 and you might be close if you're lucky and spot a used one before someone else does. ;-)

Minolta's latest 70-200mm f/2.8G SSM was selling for around $1,700 new when you could find one (they didn't stay in stock for long when vendors got them in). They're higher now (prices have gone up since the Sony/KM announcement), and very hard to come by.

Sigma's 70-200mm f/2.8 EX can be had for much less (around $800 new). The Minolta 80-200mm f/2.8G that Nooner mentions pops up on the used market from time to time, too (usually for less than $800).

Used Minolta lenses have been getting a premium lately. Checking completed listings, the last used 80-200mm f/2.8G that came up on Ebay went for $693. I wouldn't want to go much over around $500 on one in great shape.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7608684766

Hopefully, prices will settle down some if Sony launches a decent lens lineup (but, you never know about the used market, as there could be a lot of new Sony DSLR owners shopping for lenses soon).

An f/2.8 zoom is also going to be larger and heavier than the cheap zooms you're looking at. They have to be in order to let more light in.

At larger venues, I've seen Canon users get away with using f/5.6 at ISO 1600 and get shutter speeds up fast enough for some keepers. Look around pbase.com and you'll see some examples.

Here are some U2 concert photos taken at shutter speeds ranging anywhere from 1/2 to 1/100 second at f/5.6 and ISO 1600 from a Rebel user. But, the only reason he got away with some at shutter speeds as fast as he did, was because of spotlights on the performers.

http://www.pbase.com/rljslick/entertainment&page=2

Bill's got the right idea. Try that $50 zoom and learn from it. Then, you'll have a better idea of what you need (focal range, autofocus ability, brightness, sharpness, etc.), based on your expectations of quality in the lighting you'll be shooting in.

Then, you'll be able to make a better decision on whether or not you want to spend enough for a lens that gives you more versatiility in a greater variety of lighting conditions (keeping size, weight and cost in mind).


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Old Apr 25, 2006, 9:08 AM   #16
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bernabeu

Great shot. But, the EXIF shows 28mm at f/4, using a lens with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 (unless the EXIF got mixed up with another photo somehow), and you managed to get 1/100 second at ISO 400 (unless you pushed it during PP)

At 28mm, that would look more like 7 feet away versus 70 feet. Didsecurity escort you off the stage after you took the shot? ;-) Yes, I realize you probably cropped it.

I wish the lighting was that good in small clubs around here. Or should I ask, lighting, what lighting?!?. lol

Clazy Daze

bernabeu makes a good point. A 50mm f/1.7 is relatively inexpensive (usually under $100) and would be an inexpensive way to get a bright prime.

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Old Apr 25, 2006, 9:38 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone!

I did go out and tried out that zoom I got at work...I think it is going to be a great investment. The daylight shots I got were very nice and the zoom did a great job. I think it will be a good lens for outdoor daytime concerts...as well as a nice lens in general.

I will check out the 50 mm prime you mentioned ...at the price it sure won't break the bank!

Edited to add...I just ordered the 50 mm f 1.7 (at $85) ...I can't wait to test it out!!

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Old Apr 25, 2006, 9:23 PM   #18
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Where did you find that lens? Seems not many places have them.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 11:00 PM   #19
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BillDrew wrote:
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Where did you find that lens? Seems not many places have them.
I know of one eBay dealer who has at least 2 used onesin the $70-75 range, and his look new.
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 11:58 AM   #20
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i did order mine from an Ebay seller, it is used, but in prime condition! (sorry for the bad pun!)
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