Having a hard time to select a lens for a dance performance shooting

Started Feb 23, 2016 | Discussions thread
scokill Veteran Member • Posts: 6,401
Re: Having a hard time to select a lens for a dance performance shooting

zengrapher wrote:

Hello Gurus:

I have a Nikon D750 and 24-120 f/4 lens. I get reasonable photos, but if I sit little far back, I am stretching it thin and not getting good results. Basically I want a higher zoom. This is for photographing dance performances in a stage. The lighting is done from a control room and well lit on stage. Sometimes theaters have black curtain in background, sometimes lighted cues on back wall.

I am looking at zoom lens and I keep hearing about 70-200 f/2.8 in all discussions. But I am going to be hand holding as it is difficult to keep tripod in theaters and monopod becomes not flexible as dancer is continuously moving on the stage. The program will be 2 to 3 hours. Will 2.8 be easy to handhold for couple of hours and operate. My main concern is weight. If the weight is lighter, I will not mind. Budget is not a concern. Mainly ease of holding and mobility. My other choices are 70-300 VR f/4.5-5.6 or 70-200 f/4. I prefer to to to 70-300 as it has higher zoom and can be used elsewhere also. These are not for paid gigs, but I do for a dance school and the best pictures I want to strive for.

Please help!

As with any lens, you need to position yourself correctly, but as others have recommended, the 70-200 2.8 is the lens choice.  I shoot with that lens all day hand hold without issues.  2.8 gives you flexibility with shutter speed, ISO, and as mentioned the DOF.  With black curtain as background, I would shoot manual and meter the dancers to avoid blown highlights on costumes and skin...especially faces and arms.

 scokill's gear list:scokill's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR
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