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disappointed with my zoom lens
Old 12-20-2004, 07:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi all,

I have a Nikon D70 along with the 'Kit' lens and I also have a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 zoom. I have used this lens with great success at my sporting events with lots of sun and fast shutter speeds (tack sharp photos) but lately I've been shooting musical venues (bands and such) and the lighting is less than stellar as you can imagine. The bars I shoot in are dark and the stage is lit only by the various colored stage lights. Shooting at 2.8 is almost a necessity but that's not the problem. The problem is that the Sigma lens is HUGE. I can't use a tripod because of all the angles I shoot and a monopod is next to useless with people bumping into me all the time. What I need is a FAST lens that is not huge and will cover the same focal lengths as my Sigma. I was thinking of the Tamron 28-300mm but it's a f4.5-? lens; not particularly fast. Does anyone here shoot bands in low-lit bars and, if so, what are you shooting them with? I shot 300 images on Friday night for a band and most of them suffered from camera shake (even though I leaned against something or rested the lens on something). I shot at ISO 1250 at 2.8 and still had to shoot at 1/30th. With pounding sound and probably the entire building shaking, I'm just not sure what to do short of blasting away with my flash. I DID use my on-camera flash for a lot of shots and even then the images were shaky at best and I have a VERY steady hands. The blurring effect does have it's place in band photography but it's discouraging to open them in PS when I get home and see how piss poor they really are in terms of sharpness and marketability.

I've considered buying prime lenses but really enjoy the versatility of a good zoom because I can move around much more freely and get some really great shots. I'm open to ideas though and won't rule out anything. I covet your advice.

Good day!

Mike

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Re: disappointed with my zoom lens
Old 12-20-2004, 07:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mike-
Howdy. Well I had this problem when I first started shooting years ago and shooting bands for fun. I think #1 if you are gonna shoot close to the stage you should shoot with a 28-70 cause a zoom just doesn't fit in good down there, if ya wanna use the zoom I would suggest moving towards the back of the bar to shoot where ya can use a monopod. Out here back in the day clubs/bars wouldn't let ya use flash so you just had to make due. Like ya said band stuff in bars is sorta suppose to be blurry [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
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Re: disappointed with my zoom lens
Old 12-20-2004, 08:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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tamron 28-105 2.8
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Re: disappointed with my zoom lens
Old 12-20-2004, 09:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mike -
You may like getting in close with that 200, but remember what Eric (photoguy) alluded to - a long lens will amplify motion while the shutter's open. It's probably better for you to be in closer with s wider lens.

I remember an article by Herb Keppler in Modern Photography a few eons ago. There are some tricks to hand-holding you can try, if you're not. Brace yourself against the wall, and brace the camera/hands by wrapping the neckstrap appropriately around you and pulling against it. Keeping the body firmly against your forehead helps (me, anyway). A small sandbag/beanbag makes a decent support when used on a table, stool, post, whatever.

Also - this is a skill that improves with practice.

Good luck.
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Re: disappointed with my zoom lens
Old 12-20-2004, 09:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mike

Two thoughts. Either the 50mm 1.4D OR the 85mm 1.4. AND get a monopod. They can fold up pretty small under the camera, or you can drop it to steady the camera when you need it. I understand that you can't use a tripod in a bar.

Bob

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Re: disappointed with my zoom lens
Old 12-20-2004, 10:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i'm a canon guy, but i'll bet the d70 doesn't have a full-size sensor chip; probly something like 1.5 magnification. so, your 70-200 probly delivers 105-300 or something like that. also, zoom lenses ain't the best if you're trying to go for short DOF even at f2.8. How about a prime? a 100mm prime is gonna give you 150mm or so. the monopod suggested by someone is also a great idea as is getting closer to the action with a wider lens.
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Re: disappointed with my zoom lens
Old 12-20-2004, 11:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I use a Nikon 35-70 2.8 and am really happy with it.. It's very sharp, and fairly compact.. The zoom is a slide-type but it doesn't move on it's own like some other lenses..

I put a lens hood on it from a 85mm 1.8 lens to give that extra protection against flare.. Because of the cameras crop factor you won't get any vignetting.


Later,
Israel
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200mm f2.0 VR lens
Old 12-21-2004, 03:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Is right up your alley..

as well as the 85mm f1.4

or tell people to keep their feet off your tripod mounted short telephoto zoom lens..

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

One of the things I really kike about shooting with Canon, is that the 70-200mm lenses are all white..and people know you mean business..especially when used with it's lens hood..

Unfortunately, Sigma doesn't look as neato! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] I wish I could help you Mike!

JP
 
 
Re: 200mm f2.0 VR lens
Old 12-21-2004, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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in some tech reviews i've read, they've complained about 'barrel distortion' with canon's 85mm 1.4 and, therefore, recommended the f1.8 even tho it's a tad slower lens.
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Re: 200mm f2.0 VR lens
Old 12-23-2004, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi JP,

Well, if you've seen the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, it's about the size of a horses leg and people see it and oogle over it all day long because it really looks very impressive. I don't think color has as much to do with it as size does. Size does matter. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

My best wishes to you, my friend! Have a most excellent Christmas holiday and I wish you great joy and prosperity in the new year.

Mike
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