Debating on which lens for concert photography

Started Aug 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Josh Jones
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Debating on which lens for concert photography
Aug 15, 2012

Hi everyone,

I am starting to get into concert photography and have shot a few shows so far with my 35 1.8 and 85 1.4 (rokinon) with my D7000. I have been debating on a few different lenses and was set on purchasing the Tamron 28-75 2.8, but then I started to have doubts if that should be my first purchase or not.

Since I already own the 35 and 85, I am trying to figure out if it would be more beneficial for me to purchase a tele zoom or prime next. These are the following tele lenses I am looking at with my brief thoughts about the lens

a) Sigma 50-150 2.8 (good reviews, good focal range for crop body)

b) Sigma 150 2.8 macro (excellent reviews, only 2.8 for prime lens, macro ability)

c) Nikon 80-200 2.8 (good reviews, good value for name brand, longer focal length for drummers, may require more lens changes due to length of shortest possible focal length)

d) older Nikon 180 2.8 ED (can pick up used for a good price, afraid it may be to long for a prime as i may generally be too close to use it)

e) Tamron 70-200 2.8 (still looking at reviews, but the low price scares me a little)
f) Tokina 50-135 (lots of talk about how good this lens, but cannot find it)

Something else that is important to me is the ability to easily manually focus the lens. I say this because that are many times that I feel my Nikon 35 1.8 AFS either misses focus or has a hard time finding focus and the focus ring is not really made for heavy manual focus use like my Rokinon is. Something else that I am looking at for a "pro grade" zoom is that fact that the lens length does not change as you increase/decrease the focal length).

Currently, I am shooting smaller venues and and I feel that a mid range zoom, such as the tamron 28-75 may be a bit more useful b/c I would probably only use this lens and not change to either of my primes because I shoot at 2.8 a lot anyway. The last venue I shot was small, but due to placement, I felt the 85 was just a bit short and found myself cropping the photos alot to get the composition I wanted and to remove other obstructions that were unavoidable at that focal length. In addition, I am looking forward to shooting a few large venue shows that require photopasses to even bring your gear into the door and feel that a longer tele would be more beneficial to catch the action at the back of the stage.

With all that said, regarding the prices, I could almost pick up the Tamron 28-75 and the 70-200 for the price of one of the other lenses on my list above, which is intriguing. The only downfall is that I dont want to rush in and purchase a lens only to upgrade it a year or two down the road.

The other option I have is renting lenses, but I know that I will be using these frequently and would hate to just throw that money away when I could be putting it toward the purchase of a lens.

What do you recommend. Thanks for the suggestions

 Josh Jones's gear list:Josh Jones's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II +2 more
Nikon D7000
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