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Old Dec 9, 2004, 8:18 AM   #31
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LOL... lots of options, huh? Yes, bright primesaremore expensive in longer focal lengths because they're brighter. Primes are also sharper than zooms. Also, as a general rule, the more focal range (wide to tele) you have in a lens, the more compromises you'll have on optical quality (which can vary widely between lenses).

I was involved in a discussion with someonethat wanted to shoot concerts a while back with Digital (he didn't like the grain from ISO 800 film). He's now shooting at ISO 800, mostlywith the 85mm f/1.8 and the 135 f/2.0 using a 10D (and was still griping aboutthe grain at ISO 800) ;-) But, he's probably pickier than most, and wasn't using noise reduction tools at the time. We pointed him to Neat Image.

You can get brighter primes than you can zoom lenses. But, you may find that the the focal lengths in the above lenses are too limiting (which is why a lens like a 70-200mm f/2.8 is popular, even though it's not as bright, requiring shutter speeds twice as long as an f/2.0 lens for any given lighting condition and ISO speed).

An IS lens can help with motion blur from camera shake, but it won't help motion blur from subject movement. So, if your shutter speeds are too slow, you'll still have a problem with a slower lens with IS. That's why f/2.8 and brighter lenses are so popular for lower light. Canon makes a 70-200mm f/2.8L with IS, but it's pricey.

That's one of the reasons I mentioned the new KM Maxxum 7D with anti-shake built into the body. You could use something like a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 and have anti-shake with it via the body (at a lens cost that's half that of the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens with IS). You'd also get stabilization with all other lenses. So, even though the initial cost is higher with this camera body, you make up the difference when you start buying IS lenses. ;-)

It sounds like you were getting very fast shutter speeds at some concerts. But, were you happy with the exposure? You can get faster shutter speeds by underexposing. But,then you've got more work later, and underexposure tends to cause more noise once you adjust the exposure correctly with software, versus corrrectly exposing to begin with. Most cameras don't like underexposed images from a noise perspective (since not enough light hitting the photosites is what causing a poor signal to noise ratio to begin with).

As for buying more lenses toget the rebatesandselling them later, you'll need to do your homework on what you can expect toget. Keep in mind that amount of transactions you've conducted on ebay can impact your ability to sell something (since users may want someone with a proven track record and good feedback before risking making a purchase from them). The look of the ebay listing will also impact your ability to sell something.

Personally, I don't think the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens would "cut it" for concerts. It's just too darn slow at longer focal lengths. But, get some other opinions on it.

I'dcheck in theCanon Lenses forum here from users that may have some experience in concert settings.

I'm going to need to run, and probably won't be checking into the forums much for the next 3-5 days (my wife is going into the hospital this morning for a knee replacement, and we have to be there in about 45 minutes).

Good Luck with your decisions.



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Old Dec 9, 2004, 10:04 AM   #32
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I definitely can't afford the Minolta Maxxum 7D at this time....it's $1600. As much as I'd love to do it, I just can't justify $1000 more than my initial upgrade plan...and actually it would be a lot worse since I'd still have to get lenses.

I'm not opposed to using bright primes for concert shooting, but I feel like I should get some kind of zoom lens since I want that versatility. The Canon EF 85mm 1/f.8 is $334 and it qualifies for the rebate, so the net cost would be $189. They also have a Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 lens on the rebate deal for $379, so the net cost would be $234. And finally they have a non-stabilized EF 28-200 zoom with f/3.5-5.6 for $332 with a net rebate cost of $187, but then I'd have the same problem as the 28-135mm IS lens (not bright enough). The 135mm f/2.0 lens you mentioned is $853...too much for me at this time. The 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses are also out of my price range ($929). The IS version is like $1449, so that's completely out of the question for now...

I guess at this time I'd just have to do the low-light concert stuff with the f/1.4 50mm lens and I'd use the 28-135mm IS f/3.5-5.6 lens for regular daylight shooting.

Yeah...the shutter speeds I mentioned to you are from shots that I considered fairly well exposed. I'm telling you that little Minolta ain't half bad! I'd like an upgrade, sure, but I'm just now realizing that the Minolta was pretty darn powerful for a cheap little prosumer camera. In the really low-light situations, I couldn't do much without flash but in bright concerts, I was able to do okay without...

So...I thought at one point you were suggesting the Tokina 24-200mm AF f/3.5-5.6 AT-X 242AF lens might work for me as a single-lens solution. Wouldn't that have the same problem as the Canon 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS or Canon 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 USM lens? (not bright enough for low-light concerts). Since those two Canon lenses are about the same cost, which would you recommend? The IS with the shorter range or the non-IS with the longer range?

Good luck with your wife's surgery! Thanks again...



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Old Dec 9, 2004, 10:04 AM   #33
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Jim & others,

YourFace was asking about a compact DSLR and you said you can't think of any. I'm not too knowledgeable about DSLRs but how about the Pentax *ist DS series? I don't know much about them but when it was announced a few months back, they were quite small. If I'm not mistaken, isn't it even smaller than the Panasonic DMC-FZ20?
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 10:20 AM   #34
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The price of the Pentax *ist-DS isn't bad, but then I guess it doesn't have the rebates like the Canon does. What does everyone think of that Pentax? I like the idea of the small D-SLR, but the lenses would still be big and heavy, right? What lenses would you recommend for it for my purposes?
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 11:00 AM   #35
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Fz-20 is a great camera but unfortunately it did not meet your needs. It sounds like DSLR is the route to go for you. I am just want to help you out. I am sure you can sell the FZ-20 and its accessories on ebay with out any problem since it is such a good camera. You might be able to get all your money back if you got a good deal originally. It is all depend on how much you paid for your camera originally. I bought the FZ-20 for $500.00 recently so you probably won't be able to sell the camera for much more than that on ebay. Jim is very good of giving advice. Good luck!
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 11:04 AM   #36
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Thanks Hokies...I'm thinking it might be easier to just send everything back with RMAs. I'm just hoping I can return the camera with no restocking fee....
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 6:53 PM   #37
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Hi,
for anyone serious about concert photography, as said, DSLR is the only way to go no doubt-
Anyway, since the thread title is about best low light digicam, for those that might have a more casual interest in low light photography, here is a concert gallery shot with a A1:
http://mrphoto.smugmug.com/gallery/279338
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 9:01 PM   #38
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Those concert shots aren't bad...but I think you had much better lighting than I typically see. Also, I would probably be closer to the stage and/or use more zoom, which might affect the lighting...
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Old Dec 11, 2004, 9:39 PM   #39
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YourFace wrote:
Quote:
... more optical zoom ...
The rest of the issues are technical stuff that others have had an good shot at answering and you can find all kinds of reviews that cover them. The "need" for more optical zoom depends on your own situation.

Take a look at your best photos with an EXIF viewer that tells you the focal length used in those shots. Only if you find that all of them were shot at your longest folcal length AND you did a fairly severe crop do you need a longer lens.
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Old Dec 12, 2004, 11:08 AM   #40
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YourFace wrote:
Quote:
I'm not opposed to using bright primes for concert shooting, but I feel like I should get some kind of zoom lens since I want that versatility. The Canon EF 85mm 1/f.8 is $334 and it qualifies for the rebate, so the net cost would be $189. They also have a Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 lens on the rebate deal for $379, so the net cost would be $234. And finally they have a non-stabilized EF 28-200 zoom with f/3.5-5.6 for $332 with a net rebate cost of $187, but then I'd have the same problem as the 28-135mm IS lens (not bright enough). The 135mm f/2.0 lens you mentioned is $853...too much for me at this time. The 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses are also out of my price range ($929). The IS version is like $1449, so that's completely out of the question for now...
I'd take a look at the focal lengths you've been using in the past to see what your needs are, as BillDrew suggested.

Personally, if I wanted to take advantage of more rebates (and budget allowed), if my primary use for a camera was low light concert shooting, I'd use the rebates for a longer focal length prime, so you'd have a bright lens for when you'd be further away from the stage than a 50mm f1.8 (very inexpensive) would work well for.

If you want/need a longer focal length zoom for other purposes, you could always sell the 18-55mm kit lens, and buy a different zoom lens.

I'd get some opinions from users of these lenses in the Canon Lenses Forum

YourFace wrote:
Quote:
So...I thought at one point you were suggesting the Tokina 24-200mm AF f/3.5-5.6 AT-X 242AF lens might work for me as a single-lens solution. Wouldn't that have the same problem as the Canon 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS or Canon 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 USM lens? (not bright enough for low-light concerts). Since those two Canon lenses are about the same cost, which would you recommend? The IS with the shorter range or the non-IS with the longer range?
This was in response to your query indicating that you were considering a bright lens for concert use, along with a General Purpose Zoom lens. I did not mean to give you the impression that a lens like the Tokina would be suitable for low light concert user (it's not bright enough). Each lens will have pros and cons (size, weight, cost, focus speed, brightness, optical quality, focal range, etc.). No one lens is perfect for all conditions, and as a General Rule, the more focal range you have in a single zoom lens, the more you are compromising on image quality (and quality varies widely between lenses - which is why you may want to get get some user opinions for any choices you consider).

YourFace wrote:
Quote:
Good luck with your wife's surgery!
Thanks. Her surgery went well, and the Physical Therapists started working with her the next day.

She's doing well enough that I decided to stay home for a little while this morning, before going back to the hospital (right around the corner from where we live).

We think that they may let her come home from the hospital on Monday.
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