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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> What lens for bar shots?
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07/12/2009 12:12:25 AM · #1
My local bar is having a Coyote Ugly theme night. They are getting some models to dance on the bar and will have a dj and dance floor with lots of artifical lights.

Ive been asked to take some photos for their www site.
I will be using a Canon 50D

I have a canon 50mm 1.8 but can also hire many L lens

I was thinking maybe one of these?

Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8 L USM II
Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8 L USM
Canon EF 24mm F1.4 L USM

I may also hire a Canon Speedlite 580EXII but not sure how it would work
07/12/2009 12:35:35 AM · #2
If you have close access to the stage area, I would go with the 16-35, and use high iso and existing light as much as possible. Most bars look really bad when the light is good aka with flash.
If using flash, I would keep it low key as possible so as not to interfere with the atmosphere created by the barroom lighting. I would also take the 50 for doing some longer shots if needed.
eta; A monopod is not too obtrusive, and would help a lot if you have to go to low shutter speeds.

Message edited by author 2009-07-12 00:37:01.
07/12/2009 01:57:16 AM · #3
I have to agree, flash in a bar is not a good idea, unless you keep it low just to accent thier profile, also I dont think there is gonna be a slow shutter speed in the bar hint that they will be dancing and to much movement. I would personally choose the apature over wide angle because your going to need more light, although depends how close or far you are going to be, close is good so you can capture them and not a crowd but good crowd candid shots are a plus also I would take the 24 and the 16, 50 might work ok for the longer shots when you will need the light. Good Luck
07/12/2009 06:16:08 PM · #4
ok will skip the flash.
So f2.8 should be fine? I have an iso phobia and not so keen to crank it up, i hate noise ;)
07/12/2009 06:36:11 PM · #5
i would take Canon EF 24mm F1.4 L USM.
But then what would i know of bar photography, may be f2.8 is faster there. :-D
07/12/2009 07:30:53 PM · #6
I shot a disco one night, and that was quite the challenge! Avoid flash, ruins the bar feeling, especially when there's some pary lighting involved. I used a 35mm f/2 lens, and that barely made it. Had ISO at 1600, f/2, continues shooting at 1/60". Made some good frames. Had around 800 shutter activations, and ended up with 20-30 good frames. If I could have shot it again I would've used the 85mm or 50mm f/1.4. You will need the extra stop, even though the 50D is a newer and probably better camera when it comes to noise at ISO 1600 than my D300.

Range is a problem though. Some people were quite shy of the camera when I shot, especially since I stood a few feet away from them since I had a 35mm lens, I got to close. So I missed a 50 or 85mm. However, the disco was in a big darn hall of some sort so it wasn't so crowded. Nevertheless, it will be a fun challenge for you, and prepare yourself for some PP. Good luck!
07/13/2009 12:54:07 AM · #7
I'd use the fastest lens I could get and use flash as fill at about -1 stop and use M mode to control the exposure of the ambient light. You may have some longish exposure times, but for the most part, the flash will stop the motion of the subject and the ambient will add the "atmosphere".

Google "dragging the shutter" for more info,
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