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Archive 2012 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod
  
 
mmurph
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p.1 #1 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


OK folks,

I will be shooting a large musical group's concerts about 1-2 times per week this winter, and almost daily in summer.

The last one I shot was with a Canon T3i and the 70-200 2.8 IS Version I.

Most of the shots were around 1/30 to 1/60 at 2.8, ISO 1600.

I was **almost** to **marginally** happy with those shots. I come from a long studio and medium format background. I am usually not happy going above ISO 400, even with the latest tools available.

I can work through settings, noise reduction software, etc. My question is mostly about hardware solutions (other than flash/lighting, etc.)


1) Do any of the newer IS lenses offer a useful IS setting/function when used on a monopod? When used on a tripod? (I assume the answer to the tripod is no?)

2) How much better is the ISO on the Canon 5D3 over the Canon T3i? (I actually have a T4i now, but I think the ISO is essentuially the same as the T3i, especially for RAW processing.)


A short version of all that might be:

Is it worth buying the 5D3 only for the higher ISO performance over the T3i/T4i/7D/5DII?


If so, do you think it is worth waiting to see what is released at PhotoKina?


I am 110% happy with the T4i. The only reason I would upgrade to the 5D3 is it's ISO performance.

Thanks folks!

Michael



Aug 06, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Monito
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p.1 #2 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


mmurph wrote:
Is it worth buying the 5D3 only for the higher ISO performance over the T3i/T4i/7D/5DII?


Yes.

mmurph wrote:
If so, do you think it is worth waiting to see what is released at PhotoKina?


Why not? If anything is going to be announced it is likely to be in three weeks. You said the concerts are in the winter and next summer.

mmurph wrote:
1) Do any of the newer IS lenses offer a useful IS setting/function when used on a monopod?


Yes. Your lens that you have now has such a setting.

mmurph wrote:
When used on a tripod? (I assume the answer to the tripod is no?)


No. There is no point since you are not panning. IS does not help with subject movement.

If you time your shots for peak of the action, you can get still faces and blurred hands and bows and drumsticks, etc.


Edited on Aug 06, 2012 at 11:36 PM · View previous versions



Aug 06, 2012 at 11:32 PM
mmurph
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p.1 #3 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Thanks Monito!

I appreciate the feedback. I just wanted to be sure.

Nice to have the excuse to buy when it isn't just for me, but a definite business need.

I think you and I have been on the "same page" quite a bit lately about the newer Canon cameras, etc. I appreciate a lot of your recent posts.

Best,
Michael



Aug 06, 2012 at 11:35 PM
mbaumser
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p.1 #4 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Is this musical group holding still for the duration of the shot? If not, i'm not sure what good IS/monopod/tripod will do you.

when you shot with the 70-200, what focal length were you at most often? Generally, I'd recommend the 85mm f1.8, 135mm f2 or 200mm f2 to get the extra stop in shutter speed you are looking for.



Aug 06, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Monito
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p.1 #5 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Thanks, Michael.

I appended to the above post.



Aug 06, 2012 at 11:37 PM
AaronNegro
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p.1 #6 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Is it worth buying the 5D3 only for the higher ISO performance over the T3i/T4i/7D/5DII?

You will be happy if you do, the noise at high ISO in this camera keeps me happy up to 6400. The noise reduction tools work very well, LR does a very good job in this matter and Define 2.0 too.


I am 110% happy with the T4i. The only reason I would upgrade to the 5D3 is it's ISO performance.

Do not forget the AF and the VF, you will lose some reach but I grant you the files will look a lot cleaner too.



Aug 06, 2012 at 11:40 PM
mmurph
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p.1 #7 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


AaronNegro wrote:
Do not forget the AF and the VF, you will lose some reach but I grant you the files will look a lot cleaner too.


Yeah, I used to be a "full frame" bigot, until I had to sell my 1DsII. After I closed my studio I couldn't justify the $8K camera any more.


mbaumser wrote:
Is this musical group holding still for the duration of the shot? If not, i'm not sure what good IS/monopod/tripod will do you.


Well, it takes care of one kind of potential blur at 200 mm.

That is why I need an extra stop or two. To get above 1/30 of a second, and/or a lower ISO. Always a trade-off


when you shot with the 70-200, what focal length were you at most often? Generally, I'd recommend the 85mm f1.8, 135mm f2 or 200mm f2 to get the extra stop in shutter speed you are looking for.

I used the full range of the 70-200. I basically went across the stage at 70 mm, zoomed in, went back across the stage, zoomed in and did closeups back the other way, etc. I switched to the 24-70 for a bit and used that for video, but that was too wide on the crop camera for most stills.

I just sold my 85 mm 1.2, but that would be too wide for most shots on full frame anyway. I'll look through my images and probably add the 135 or 200 prime.

But I absoutely need a fast zoom. And I need more lattiude in choice of shutter on every shot.

There are 20+ performers in the group, with lots of combinations on different songs. It ranges from a full frame close-up of an individual singers face, to 3 people clustered at a microphone, or a group of bass and guitar players, to the full stage with 16 musicians plus dancers.

I will take a close look at the images I have and analyze what I need, shot by shot.

Thanks all! I wasn't sure about posting this at first, vs. just reading reviews of the 5D3. But this has been very useful to help me think through my options. This just came up as a major gig for the next year in the last 24 hours.

Nothing like an excuse to spend $6K!!

Cheers!
Michael



Aug 07, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Monito
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p.1 #8 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Another point is that the 5D Mark III has a Silent mode for a reduced shutter sound. That might be useful during performances, depending on the sound level of the group.



Aug 07, 2012 at 12:56 AM
mmurph
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p.1 #9 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Monito wrote:
Another point is that the 5D Mark III has a Silent mode for a reduced shutter sound. That might be useful during performances, depending on the sound level of the group.


Yes, that is a very nice plus!

I took some of the pictures from the 1st and 3rd rows. I was a little worried about the folks in the seats around me. They didn't seem to mind too much but ...

I have two more concerts this week, one Wednesday and one Friday. That will give me a chance to really analyze what I need.

But I know I am not happy at all with the tools I have! Since I went from all B&W to mostly color work, I have really hated noise, and I like big, clean images (I have 2 Epson 7xxx printers and a 9xxx printer.)

Nice to have options like the 5D3.




Aug 07, 2012 at 01:03 AM
CSStevens
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p.1 #10 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


There's rumored to be a sort of 5d3/full frame-lite camera with the same sensor (and then ISO range most likely), but a lesser AF system, cheaper body and so on for the fall. Might be worth waiting a little to hear about what it offers, if it comes to fruition.


Aug 07, 2012 at 03:25 AM
 

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AmbientMike
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p.1 #11 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Shot with T2i a little wasnt that impressed with high iso vs older 40d. Less than a stop imo. 5d1 far superior at 1600 imo. The pixels are bigger withff therefore the light has to be amplified less therefore lower noise. Definitely prefer ff at high iso above 800


Aug 07, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Ralph Conway
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p.1 #12 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Sounds like a successful band. I guess they will have a better light setup then small garage bands use to have. Visit my website. Most pictures in "Artists" where done with 70-200 4.0 (!). All shots where done handhold.
If you where happy with your T3 i at ISO 1600 imo the 5D III is a great choice to go ahead and get the 1, 2 (or even more) stops. (Imo) you easily can use it at ISO 6.400 to 12.800 and achive stunning results. Forget about tripod and monopod. Tripod is worthless, a monopod might be usefull affter you shot 5-10 times the show, new what will come and use an even longer lens. A monopod sometimes helps. But most time (again: imo) it is just ballast and reduces flexibility. With your setup that should give you all flexibility, you can get (same conditions at 125/250th). Nobody needs more to shoot a concert. Next to that you get the best AF system and higher low light AF capabilities. That body should be good enough for the next half decade, too.

But: Try to find out if you get along with AF confirmation in extreme light situations first.
Rent a body for 4-6 days and give you and it a "real life" test.

Ralph



Aug 07, 2012 at 07:14 AM
scalesusa
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p.1 #13 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


You do not have to go to a 5D MK III to get a improvement, even a 5D MK II will give you good images at 3200 and if perfect exposure, at 6400.

I returned my MK III and repurchased a MK II because you cannot see those tiny unlit AF points in low light. If you want to AF on a specific point in very low light, its neigh impossible. There are some workarounds, but its not a very good situation.



Aug 07, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #14 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


With the 5D3 you will be able to shoot at iso 3200 and even 6400 constantly with REALLY good results. Basically you get equivalent results as iso 800 and iso 1600 on the T3i. The AF also works much better in low light.


Aug 07, 2012 at 05:38 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #15 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


mmurph wrote:

Is it worth buying the 5D3 only for the higher ISO performance over the T3i/T4i/7D/5DII?



If you do a lot of low light work, my sense is that it is worth it by comparison to the cropped sensor cameras, but that it is not worth it by comparison to the 5D2. The 5D2 is a fine low light camera. I have shot musical and theatrical events with the 5D2 and both IS zooms and large-aperture primes using higher ISOs. 800 produces really fine results - you likely won't need to do noise reduction unless you are making very large prints. 1600 is also quite good for most purposes, especially with a bit of judicious NR, and I've gotten fine shots at 3200, though they required more careful work in post.

Dan



Aug 07, 2012 at 05:45 PM
mmurph
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p.1 #16 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Thank you all!

This is very, very helpful to me. It looks like the 5D3 is a perfect fit for me right now. I don't mind the investment if I can justfy the equipment, I have always had $30K+ invested in a kit, with studio lighting, flash, and lenses.

This is a quick switch in direction for me. I am mostly "retired" from professional photography(actually disabled), and had just downsized my kit to focus mostly on video using the T4i.

I thought this specific job had gone away in April, but as of Sunday I am 100% responsible for photography for this group. Individual headshots, group shots, publicity posters, concert coverage, marketing media, and all still web media. This is a professional/semi-professional ensemble group doing traditional music (Celtic, Bluegrass, Fiddle, etc.)

I'll post more detailed responses to specific posts later.

For now - thank you all very much for the feedback!

Cheers!
Michael



Aug 07, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Ralph Conway
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p.1 #17 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Post some results, please :-)


Aug 07, 2012 at 08:59 PM
rodmcwha
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p.1 #18 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


MMurph,
I have spent the last 5 years photographing celtic festivals and bands.
I have no experience with the canon system, but I can tell you that when i went with the nikon D3S it changed my life. You will never regret going with a high iso camera for this kind of work.
I don't know the dynamics of your shoot, but i have found a monopod to be a hindrance, (except when using the 200 f2 for a long period of time-I have a weak left wrist from an accident).
Lots of luck to you. Congratulations on the job. Post pics, so i can see what i am up against. (I'm actually pretty cocky about my work, but never hurts to look.)



Aug 07, 2012 at 09:20 PM
abqnmusa
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p.1 #19 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


5D II can do the job well. many good deals on them at B&S forum

I used 5D II / Sigma 85mm F1.4 for lower light stage shooting with good results.
Even ISO 2000 & 3200 looked good if exposed correctly.

A monopod does indeed help out. I use a heavy Bogen monopod with a ball head / L bracket on the camera



Aug 07, 2012 at 10:22 PM
mmurph
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p.1 #20 · Need 1 to 2 Stops in Lower Light - On Monopod & Tripod


Thanks.

I was going to quote individual posts and reply. Instead I'll try to cover specific points alltogether here:

1) Tripod/monopod: I have a tear in my right shoulder socket, and 4 bad disks in my neck. I closed my studio a few years ago because of that. So I definitely need the monopod/tripod for most of the shoot.

2) 1/125 to 1/250: Thanks, that is **exactly** what I need! Both to get control over stage motion, and to have some artistic/creative choices in exposure and ISO.

3) 5D2 vs 5D3: Thank you for the comments. The updated video functions on the 5D3 tips the balance in favor of that camera. I also am not too concerned with the purchase cost. I look more at the cost of ownership - basically the depreciation cost per year.

4) Competing: No worry there! I am mostly retired. But this will be enjoyable. I will have a look at yoir pics and others, but definitely more in the vein of collabaoration!

5) Sharing pics: I definitely will!

The shoots this week are for a teaching camp, so only a few will be for public use.

Starting in September I will be doing publicity images for the coming year - headshots, group shots, posters, and concert images for the web site. I will definitely post those as soon as I can (when I don't have to hide them, because I'm ashamed of them)

Thanks again!
Michael



Aug 08, 2012 at 12:36 AM
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