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What DX Nikon lenses should I look at for concert/club photography?

I am taking pictures of musicians and dance performers on stage. I want to buy a fast lens because of the low lighting. Also, since I am going to be a fair distance from the stage (at least 50 to 100 feet from the performers), I figured I would need decent zoom.

The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Lens, and a Nikon SB 710 flash was recommended by a local shop, but the f/4.5 does not seem to be conducive to low light photography.

I figured I would ask here if anyone has had experience shooting with this lens for low light stage environments. If so, can you share your experience with the lens?

For the price, can you recommend other good comparable lenses I can look at that will give me better performance?

  • I'm bit confused. You talk about wanting a fast lens and then post that you're looking at something that is clearly not a fast lens. – rfusca Jul 5 '12 at 18:14
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    @rfusca, the guy in the local photo shop recommended this lens, but the more I read about it, the less appealing it seems for my purposes. That's why I am asking here. – Raj More Jul 5 '12 at 18:15
  • Ah, gotcha - makes more sense now. – rfusca Jul 5 '12 at 18:31

Long fast and cheap don't go together, the best you can hope for at 300mm on a budget is f/4, any f/2.8 lens is going to be seriously pricey.

I'd get something wider and use the FOV to your advantage or crop your images. I'd suggest either the 85 f/1.8 or 105 f/2.0 would be the best trade off in terms of speed and focal length.

  • I will take your advice on this and use FOV or crop my images. I went with the f/1.8 50mm. I am going to be allowed to use the flash (only with a diffuser) as well, so I can use my stock 18-105 f/3.5 with the flash as an alternate lens. – Raj More Jul 9 '12 at 20:14

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