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  1. #11

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    Get a fast 50mm. F1.4 is great. Use Tri-X, ISO 400. Try Neopan 1600 ISO (B&W). Remember the old adage: Get as close as you feel comfortable then get closer! Put a soft release on the shutter button.

  2. #12
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    How are you judging your ttl flash exposures? Are you examining your film and making your own contact sheets at a preset know-proper exposure so you can see for sure, or are you judging based off of automated prints from C-41 negatives? No matter how spot one thinks a ttl flash metering system is (and any in-camera reflected meter never is), why is it that you want to shoot with flash? Is that what the client wants?

    If you do want to shoot with flash, the lens search is rendered pretty pointless. You don't need a good (or fast) lens, and I can't see why what you have does not work for you. Even a doggy and slow Nikon zoom should be plenty sharp and plenty fast if you are using flash. If you are using flash, it sounds like technique, not equipment is causing your problems.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    You say 'sharpness is not where I want it' - is this because the AF can't focus in the dim light, there is camera shake (though you seem to be using flash), the lens just isn't sharp enough shooting wide-open, or the AF gets distracted by reflections from mike stands and the like?
    I manually focus much of the time. When I do use the AF it is surprisingly good which is a testament to the engineering of Nikon, and a Speedlight, but the AF is slower with the zoom compared to my 50mm or 35mm of course.

    In thinking about it more, it just must be that I'm not considering the fact that the larger apertures are always softer on the zooms, and in review, many of the primes as well. I was hoping that someone might have more experience when shooting wider open and can suggest a 3rd party lens they have found somewhat better for the circumstances. I think tho that I'm going to need to find an F2 or 2.8 lens and stop it down a little and spend a little more if need be.

    2F.. With the flash, and I'm sure you can concur, technique is always better then without. I use the flash because with 400iso film the shutter speeds are too slow. I think tho that I'm going to have to comp the flash down a little as backgrounds are opening up and I want them darker. It's learn and experiment for new subject matter.

    Keith the 105ais would probably be the perfect lens. Now to finance it.
    W.A. Crider

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    I was hoping that someone might have more experience when shooting wider open and can suggest a 3rd party lens they have found somewhat better for the circumstances. I think tho that I'm going to need to find an F2 or 2.8 lens and stop it down a little and spend a little more if need be.
    2.8 is actually quite challenging for lowish light. Doable but not exactly fun. Mind you, I am allergic to flash, I have to get the shot with ambient light or I won't even try. If you are willing to flash then fine, go with 2.8.

    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    Keith the 105ais would probably be the perfect lens. Now to finance it.
    It is well worth the cost. The extra speed opens up entirely new possibilities. N.b. also, at typical stage distances, the DOF wide open is bigger than you might think.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #15
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    For years I photographed rock concerts with a Vivita Series 1 70-210 f2.8/4, plus an f1.4 50mm and an f2.8 28mm, my B&W film of choice was XP1 then XP2 from the moment they were released, usually push processed to 800 or 1600 EI. I'd guess with the 70-210 i many shot around the 70-105 mark and maybe a few closer to 135 but very rarely at the full telephoto 210

    These days I shoot with a superb Tamron SP 35-70 f2.8 it's Autofocus works perfectly even in smaller venues, but I also use a manual focus f2.5 135mm Tamron SP which sell for quite low prices.

    Unfortunately the specialist Push process E6 films* I used were the first films to be discontinued so I rarely shoot film at concerts, all my work tends to be commercial anyway & they want electronic format the next day. I always did my own C41 & E6 to keep full control of the push processing

    However there are still good colour negative films like the Fuji 800's and if I was shooting film I'd still use XP-2 for B&W and the Fuji 800 for colour.

    f2.8-f4 should be easy to handle with reasonable shutter speeds, it's better to push slightly more and have sharpness. Flash just kills all spntaneity and gives lifeless images.

    * Kodak Ektachrome. P800/P1600 Professional, and Fujichrome 1600.

    Ian

  6. #16
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Ian, if you haven't already, you might try provia 400x... from 400-1600 and beyond. Behold.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  7. #17
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    Ian, if you haven't already, you might try provia 400x... from 400-1600 and beyond. Behold.
    I'll give a roll a try, but my major problem is the volume of images I usually have to supplywhen I'm working, it's not unknown for me to shoot at two different venues in the same evening, or have to shot 10-15 bands in a day !!!!

    But occasionally I just photograph friends bands for fun so on the next opportunity I'll give a roll a test.

    Ian

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    Zoom schmoom. Get a Nikon 105/1.8 manual AIS. Super lens, very nice for low light work. Sometimes I see them go for somewhere around your budget. KEH has a BGN one right now for under $400. N.b. if you trade in one lens for another, I think they will give you a discount..
    I have that lens, and I agree with every word. It's a super sharp, very fast lens.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  9. #19
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    2F.. With the flash, and I'm sure you can concur, technique is always better then without.
    (emphasis added)

    I do not know what that means.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #20

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    My question was going to be this: Are they out of focus? Or are they blurred from movement.

    You probably should try to find a used 135mm or 180mm lens. That might give you enough speed to combine with a fast film to get sharp photos.

    Club lighting is tough. One time I shot inside a dim club with a medium format 6x9 folder with an f/4.5 lens. I think the fast speed that I could get was 1/10 of a second. I'm sure the other patrons thought I was nuts.

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