8 Lenses That Will Help You Rock Your Next Concert Photography Gig

concert photography
These fast prime and zoom lenses are perfect for concert photography and for the upcoming concert season.

Concert photography is one of the more exciting genres that we can participate in. Not many things are better than hearing the music of our favorite bands, and getting to take pictures at the same time. Having the right lenses can make this challenging genre much easier for the photographer. Whether you are shooting a concert inside in a dimly lit venue, or are outside and have to deal with more distance to the stage, your gear must be able to perform. Here we’ll take a look at eight fast lenses that will help make concert photography easy.

The lenses we have picked below cover varying focal ranges, but all are used for concert photography due to their fast apertures, and exceptional build and image quality. Whether you like fast primes or fast zooms you’ll find something below that will help you rock your next concert shoot. Check out our favorite lenses for concert photography below.

 

Fujifilm 90mm F2 R LM WR (X Mount)

 

concert photography

Pros

  • Superb image quality
  • Weather sealing
  • Great bokeh
  • Very sharp image quality
  • Makes great use of Fujifilm’s Classic Chrome and Astia film renderings
  • Well balanced with both the X Pro 1 and the X-T1
  • Lightweight lens
  • The focusing ring feels really big and beefy.
  • Surprisingly fast and accurate focusing
  • Pretty much no distortion
  • Perhaps the single best portrait lens that Fujifilm has made for the X series camera system–even better than the 56mm f1.2.

Cons

  • Fujifilm’s largest prime lens to date of publishing this review
  • No image stabilization

Check out our full review

Buy now ($948.98): Amazon

 

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 (Fujifilm X Mount)

 

concert photography

Pros

  • Internal zooming keeps things reasonably compact
  • Wonderfully sharp images
  • Very nice bokeh, if that matters to you
  • Tripod collar makes for a good grip
  • Weather-sealed

Cons

  • Prepare to drop serious cash. This lens ain’t cheap
  • Focusing ring moves a bit too slowly

Check out our full review

Buy now ($1,599): Amazon

 

 

Pro Tip: Concerts can last for a good few hours which means you need to make yourself comfortable. One of the best pieces of gear you can use is a camera sling. A camera sling helps distribute the weight of your gear more evenly across your upper body instead of putting all the weight around your neck. The great thing is that between sets you’ll be able to let your camera hang down securely by your side. This one is not only inexpensive, it also has a padded strap for extra comfort.

 

Sony 85mm F1.8 FE (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

 

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Fast focusing with the Sony a7r II and in good lighting it will focus quickly with the Sony a7
  • Nice feel; though not as great as the G Master 85mm f1.4 lens.
  • Weather resistance built in
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Honestly, not a darn thing.

Check out our full review

Buy now ($598): Amazon

 

Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art

 

Pros

  • Sharp
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Fast autofocus
  • Not as contrasty, so better for skin tones
  • f1.8 aperture
  • Weather sealing
  • Not as heavy as the 85mm f1.4

Cons

  • Not a darn thing.

 

Check out our full review

Buy now Sony ($1,249): Amazon

Buy now Canon ($1,149): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($1,100): Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Pro Tip: If you’re planning on shooting at an outdoor concert this year, make sure you are prepared for inclement weather. The last thing you want to have happen is your gear getting drenched in a rain shower. Keep some of these affordable camera and lens weather proof covers in your pocket or camera bag so that your concert photography can continue no matter what the weather is doing.

 

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art

 

Pros

  • Damned good build quality
  • Super sharp wide open
  • The fact that you’ve got  wide to normal focal length range at a constant f1.8 blows our minds
  • Fast to focus
  • Perhaps the absolute best concert photography lens that anyone can get their hands on

Cons

  • APS-C only; but that isn’t really a con. Sure, everyone wants a full frame version.
  • Positively nothing else

Check out our full review

Buy now Canon ($639.95): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($634.61): Amazon

Buy now Sony A ($646.39): Amazon

Buy now Pentax ($689): Amazon

 

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art

 

concert photography

Pros

  • Incredibly sharp lens
  • Great build quality and feel
  • Fast focusing
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Nice saturation of colors

Cons

  • Everyone and their mother is going to sit here and compare it to the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus. This isn’t fair; it’s not really a comparable lens due to the price point and the fact that if someone wants Zeiss glass, they’re going to go for it no matter what
  • Pretty large for a 50mm f1.4, but all the new 50mm lenses that have been coming out are also quite big

Check out our full review

Buy now Canon ($710): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($710.89): Amazon

 

 

Pro Tip: There’s a lot going on during a concert, so much in fact that it can be easy to burn through SD cards in a hurry. If you’re heading out the door to do some concert photography make sure you stick some extra SD cards in your pockets, or in your camera bag. The last thing you want to miss is a spectacular grand finale, or a guitar smashing exit from the stage.

 

Tamron 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD

 

concert photography

Pros

  • Super sharp image quality
  • No focusing issues with the Canon 6D or other Canon SLR cameras
  • Fast focusing
  • Weather sealing
  • Nice feel in the hand
  • Vibration compensation built in is a godsend
  • Fantastic color
  • A unique look that makes everything seem like it’s got quite a bit of Clarity in Lightroom increased.
  • Beautiful bokeh

Cons

  • Quite honestly, not a single thing is wrong with this lens

Check out our full review

Buy now Canon ($749): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($749): Amazon

 

Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2

 

concert photography

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Good for skin tones
  • Delivers lens flare nicely
  • Sharp output
  • Fast autofocus capabilities
  • Weather sealing
  • Fairly lightweight
  • Image stabilization built in

Cons

  • While I like the lens flare, others may complain about it

Check out our full review

Buy now Canon ($1,199): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($1,199): Amazon