Pro Lens For Nightclub Photography?

Started Mar 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
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binaryfinary Junior Member • Posts: 33
Pro Lens For Nightclub Photography?

Hi guys,

I work as a journalist for a large EDM (Electronic Dance Music) my main job being to write reviews of releases, events, etc. However I'm also into the photography side of things.

Been doing it about a year, getting used to it, but I know need to up my game in terms of the quality of my photos and I'm thinking of investing in some proper glass.

I've mainly built up my equipment for shooting video - D5200 body (outperforms 5D Mk3 for video), Samyang 35mm Cine Lens, Lanparte Rig. For video, this set up is perfect, stunning stuff. But for photos it's all manual focus, not good in a very dark club. I have a lovely 50mm 1.8D, but again, it won't auto-focus with a D5200, so again, it's a pain to use.

Here's some photos I took at an event recently. Note that some of these were uploaded specifically because they are bad, to ask for advice. I've spoken with our lead photographer about this, he thinks it might partly be my use of a kit lens (the 18-55mm which came with the camera).

Note for example photo 38 or 49 - I'm trying to use rear-sync flash (my flash is a Nikon SB-700 with a difusser on it, TTL, angled at 45deg, generally -1.3 to -1.8 exp comp), but people are still blurred. I'm doing something wrong.

Generally these photos are at f5.6 to add a bit more DoF, up to 1/4 for long rear sync stuff, sometimes as low as 1/50 if there's bright lights. ISO is quite high, between 800 and 1000.

Compare these however to the much better photos the official photog took -

In short, I'm thinking that a proper lens will help me along. Of course, I need to work on my composition and hit my settings properly for different light situations, but that can come in time.

Ideally, I'd like to start on the Holy Trinity of zooms. I know primes are better, and I'm a big believer in moving rather than zooming, but in a crowded club or on a stage/DJ booth full of equipment, pyros and hangers-on, that often isn't possible.

Photographers I look up to use wide angle zooms a LOT in club/event photography, so I'm thinking the 14-24 f2.8. A magnificent lens from what I've heard and seen, and will last a life time. Then when I have more money, the 24-70 and finally the 70-200, which is the least useful in a club, but handy for long shots of the stage, especially shooting at big festivals.

Anyway, thoughts, advice, suggestions, criticism all welcome.

Canon EOS 5D Nikon D5200
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