Theatrical Photography Advice

HWheelerHWheeler Beginner grinnerRegistered Users Posts: 2 Beginner grinner
edited November 2, 2012 in Technique
I have a Canon T2i because it was cheaper and convenient coming out of school. I bought a nicer Tamron lens instead of getting the kit lens, and then I bought a very cheap zoom lens thinking I wouldn't need a nicer lens because I don't do photography for a living. But I just got a PR job that will involve taking photos of theatre productions, and I'd like to save up and buy a nicer camera lens to use to get better production photos.

What lens are the best to use for theatre? Any advice on how to get better photos with a cheaper camera like the T2i?

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,326 moderator
    edited October 24, 2012
    HWheeler wrote: »
    ... I bought a very cheap zoom lens thinking I wouldn't need a nicer lens because I don't do photography for a living. But I just got a PR job that will involve taking photos of theatre productions, ...

    What lens are the best to use for theatre? Any advice on how to get better photos with a cheaper camera like the T2i?

    I moved this to the Technique forum since this is mostly a question of of what to use and how to use it.

    Shooting the practices and dress rehearsals is the best way to gain experience. Each performance is different, and they will use different lighting for each, but generally you want to shoot RAW and process with a tungsten WB, or something close to that.

    Automatic exposure may not be the best choice, especially if they use extremely dark or extremely light backgrounds. Full manual exposure is often best, looking at the histogram to make sure you don't blow highlights.

    Zoom lenses of constant aperture f2.8 or faster primes are nicest for theatrical productions. Even then, you'll often be shooting ISO 3200, or so, just to get acceptable shutter speeds.

    If these are important productions, a cheap lens isn't going to do the job. At very least rent something like a Canon EF 85mm, f1.8 USM or EF 100mm, f2 USM. (Borrow Lenses has the 85mm, f1.8 for $26 for a week.)

    Use a flash when you can, especially for the formals. Add a flash modifier for best results and I suggest a scoop modifier, which you can DIY. (Sometimes flash is allowed for early dress rehearsals.)
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • daniawdaniaw Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 5 Beginner grinner
    edited November 1, 2012
    For theater with low light, maybe you need a long zoom with wider aperture lens, the cheap one sigma 70-200/2.8 or the other cheaper is prime lens such as tamron 90mm/2.8 or canon 50mm/1.8

    if you aren't serious in photography, prefer you buy tamron or sigma 18-250mm which you can utilize for any condition. and for compensate the low light you can use manual mode with shuter speed 1/30s - 1/60s as you can hold it, or bring monopod/tripod or the last choice is external flash
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USARegistered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited November 2, 2012
    I use 2 lenses for this kind of work... 70-200f2.8 and 24 - 120 f4 ...ok this is Nikon, you shoot canon ..so i suggest Sigma 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8 and shoot in manual as Ziggy said each situation is different i really hate to shoot above iso 1600 but have gone to 3200 to get the shot ... ... I would also recommend renting a better body (one that handles high ISO very well) until you can buy one ... ... most of your work will probably be shooting rehearsals and the Final Tech Rehearsal so you do not disturb the actual performance ...
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

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