Concert photography has a wide range of participants, from the casual fan in the crowd to the full time professional in the pit. But they also have a range of venues, from outdoor amphitheaters to downtown dive bars. So for someone looking to get into concert photography, where should they start in terms of lenses for their kit?
Zoom lenses offer some great benefits thanks to their versatility, but generally suffer when compared to prime lenses in terms of their aperture ratings and how much light they can gather. You can go either way, but for someone looking to dabble in concert work, or looking to keep the budget within reason, a prime lens is a good way to do that. Today we are going to highlight several of our favorite prime lenses for concert photography, so lets get into it!
The first thing to consider when buying a prime lens to shoot a concert with is your proximity to the stage. If you are going to be in the pit right up next to the stage and performers, or if you will be in the crowd, or much farther back from the stage and performers. For the sake of this post, we are going to run the with assumption that you are looking to get into more serious concert photography, which means you will likely be in the pit, or right up next to the stage.
For this scenario, we recommend 24mm and 50mm lenses. 24mm is wide enough that you should be able to capture some good stage shots with the entire band and the stage setup, and 50mm should be tight enough that you can get some tighter shots of individual performers, without being so tight that you miss shots or have odd cropping. 28mm and 35mm lenses are also options if you want a sort of happy medium between 24mm and 50mm.
So with that in mind, here are some DSLR prime lenses we recommend looking into:
- Canon 24mm F2.8 IS ($549.00)
- Nikon 24mm F2.8D ($391.95)
- Tamron 35mm F1.8 ($599.00)
- Tamron 45mm F1.8 ($599.00)
- Canon 50mm F1.8 STM ($125.00)
- Nikon 50mm F1.8G ($216.95)
Our lens focal length recommendations stay generally the same with mirrorless system cameras. Mirrorless systems have traditionally suffered in terms of autofocus in low-light action scenarios like concerts, but that has changed with recent model cameras and more of these cameras are starting to make their way into the pits.
- Sony FE 50mm F1.8 ($248.00)
- Fujifilm 35mm F2 ($399.00)
- Fujifilm 23mm F2 ($449.00)
- Zeiss Batis 25mm F2 ($1,298.99)
- Sony 28mm F2 ($448.00)
- Olympus 17mm F1.8 ($499.00)
All of these lenses will make a great addition to any concert photographer’s kit. We hope the list was helpful in your quest to improve your concert photography.