[ Advice ] Indoor Shots / Live Band / Which Equipment?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by George Crissman, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. Thanks to all for the ongoing discussion of various
    cameras and features -- it's been a big help. I'm
    getting ready to purchase a film camera (not ready
    to make the jump to digital in a big way, just yet)
    and need to replace my aging and faithful Olympus
    OM-2 with something new.

    My primary application has changed from outdoor
    photography to indoor live shots of music bands
    playing at taverns, bars, and pizza places. This
    means film of ISO 200-800, an off-camera separate
    flash unit, and an f1.4 or f1.2 normal lens with
    crisp focusing. Onboard light metering is essential,
    and aperture-priority exposure automation would be
    appreciated but is not essential.

    Additional features will not disqualify a camera,
    this is just the minimum requirements.

    As always, money is an important consideration --
    I'd rather not pay $500.00 if there is a serviceable
    equivalent at, say, $250.00.

    Thank you.

    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 2, 2004
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  2. George Crissman

    JR Guest

    Not sure Why a 1.2 or 1.4 is needed when you are using external lights?
    I have used a 2.8 lens in club shooting with available light. When I
    shoot with strobes, I shoot at f8...But how about a Nikon N70, or N90
    series Nikon. You can then get and use MF lenses if needed. This will
    be the most cost effective. Or, a Nikon N80 with an AF system. I would
    suggest an 85/1.8 or an 80-200/2.8 zoom....

    JR, Jan 2, 2004
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  3. George Crissman

    Rich Pos Guest

    For club shots I use a 25 year old 135mm f2 with Fuji Press 800,
    *almost* always with good results and no need for flash.
    Consider keeping the OM-2 and invest in some good, used, fast glass in
    the 135mm range.

    And ALWAYS wear earplugs.

    Happy New Year.

    Rich Pos, Jan 2, 2004
  4. Sorry to be unclear. I like the idea of having my
    subject in sharp focus while the background is out
    of focus due to short depth-of-field.
    Thank you.

    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 2, 2004
  5. Hmmmm ... I was hoping for something a little more recent.
    I've had collectors attempt to purchase my pre-N OM-2
    right off my neck, so I'm aware it's valuable even if
    it's an antique.

    But alas, my OM-2 and Quick Auto 310 no longer communicate
    with each other -- and with the OM series discontinued,
    I don't know if the two can be made to work together
    again. Is there a repair service that can check each
    individually, and then together as a system?
    No kidding. I'm currently developing a website for one
    group at http://www.christywilson.com (includes streaming
    samples of her band in studio -- I'm partial to "Get Ready"
    on the list) and have shot many of the images used on the
    site. Not pro work, clearly, but good enough to keep the
    band happy.
    And all the best to you.

    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 2, 2004
  6. George Crissman

    Rich Pos Guest

    Checked out the site you offered although I couldn't get the music to
    stream. Noticed that all the band shots were shot with flash. I don't
    care for full flash in this type of setting. Maybe some fill at most.
    Waiting for the right stage lighting for the shot is much preferred
    IMO. If you are familiar with the stage act you'll soon know when the
    best light is available.

    I still think you should consider keeping the OM, plenty of good used
    glass is available at decent prices and the camera is indestructible.
    Nice to know that while shooting in mosh pits.

    Good luck and don't forget the earplugs.

    Here are a few club shots I took last month....

    All taken with 135/f2 @ 2.8, 1/60 sec.
    FujiPress 800 rated @ 800.
    These are also not pro... just something that keeps me in the bars :)

    Rich Pos, Jan 2, 2004
  7. I need this sort of feedback -- the streaming has been
    tested with WinAmp, iTunes, and MS-Media Player on MS-Windows
    and Mac OS-X machines. Which application were you using --
    did you try both icons on each lyrics page -- what OS are you
    working with -- did you attempt to use Real Player -- etc. etc.?
    I am not proud of the fact that I have been reduced to
    using a $10.00 disposable camera developed onto Picture-CDs
    (*.jpg) instead of using Konica Film developed directly to
    Kodak Photo-CDs (*.pcd). With the new year and a chance
    at a better job, I'm looking to correct the situation.
    The stage lighting is great for the band but abysmal for
    photographic purposes -- causes a massive red shift that
    isn't worth correcting by filters.
    Yup -- it's during the breaks when the house lights come
    up. From what I've read in this thread, it looks like I
    should ensure I have an above-average flash unit capable
    of bounce illumination and other techniques.
    No worries, mate -- my OM and I have been together too long
    for me to consider a divorce. In fact, if I knew there was
    a way to get it working with my Quick Auto 310 flash unit
    again, I could probably abandon the quest for a new camera
    altogether. With Olympus' abandonment of the OM system, I'm
    not altogether certain the two can be repaired to work together
    And glorious photos they are indeed -- much nicer than
    I've been able to accomplish. In looking them over, I
    notice the band is using a much more sophisticated and
    "brilliant" set of lighting sources than the band I'm
    currently shooting. It may be awhile before I can con-
    sider available-light photography since they're putting
    their money into their instruments and the upcoming CD.
    Straight stuff, all right -- for me it's a diversion from
    the realities of life. And the shot information is
    definitely appreciated!

    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 3, 2004
  8. George Crissman

    Rich Pos Guest

    WMP 8, XP pro.

    When I click the button for WMP it takes me to this page..


    ......then does nothing.

    Good luck.

    Rich Pos, Jan 3, 2004
  9. George Crissman

    JR Guest

    A f 1.4 lens may have only a few mm's in focus! A 2.8 will give you
    that look easily....


    Here is a shot at prbably around f/5.6-f/8

    JR, Jan 3, 2004
  10. George Crissman

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Shame you cannot keep the OM going. I am sure your would like to
    continue using your lenses.
    If you have a lab willing to do push processing, you can get beyond the
    ISO 800 barrier with colour films. Transparency films tend to work
    better for push processing in colour.

    If you are using off camera strobes, then you are not really showing the
    light as people would see a performance. While that is a personal
    choice, I tend to think people like the ambient lighting. Anyway, you
    could invest in more battery powered strobes, and really light up the

    Aperture priority was fairly common in many of the manual focus cameras
    of the past. Almost any of those should be somewhat affordable, if you
    wanted to get away from the OM system.
    How about a newer OM body, or just another OM-2 as backup? Anyway, you
    could look at older Pentax, Contax and Nikon for some interesting
    choices, though lenses are another matter.
    I glanced through a few other replies, and it would seem to me that
    having your camera serviced might be a good idea. If you like the
    ergonomics, and it fits the way you want to work, then stick with that
    camera system.

    Just a side note, but I have done lots of nightclub, concert, and music
    photography. It is sort of a speciality of mine, especially with
    available (low) light levels. Samples are on my site, or at
    <http://www.bigtimeoperator.com>. I would be happy to share some
    pointers, if you want to move away from strobe imagery to low light


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Jan 3, 2004
  11. I agree with you on this, and have a request in to
    Olympus America to see if they can still perform a
    refurbishment & cleaning of the body, lens, and
    flash unit -- ensuring the flash & body work together.
    (I was highly enamored of the fact that the flash
    used the cameras internal sensors to determine the
    proper light interval, and disappointed when recent
    tests were ... ah ... seriously lacking in proper

    And knowing that Olympus is likely to say "We've
    discontinued the OM system", I've got a request in
    to a local camera store that I trust to see if they
    have access to an independent skilled at OM repair.
    I appreciate the offer and will likely take you up on
    it sometime in late February / early March when my
    finances improve and I've got a functional camera to
    work with.


    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 4, 2004
  12. George Crissman

    Lionel Guest

    I do a lot of that sort of photography, plus nightclubs.

    (For those interested, I've just put up the club photos (candid
    I mostly shoot ISO 1600, & if I'm lucky, ISO 800. You've probably got a
    little more light to work with than I do, but I bet it's not /that/ much
    more. For my club photos, I use E-TTL (ie; Canon) flash, turned down 1-2
    stops. For live bands, I don't usually use a flash at all, as you lose
    most of the stage lighting, making for fairly drab shots. That said, I'm
    happy to sacrifice technical quality for good atmosphere, so YMMV.
    Lionel, Jan 4, 2004
  13. George Crissman

    Lionel Guest

    Dunno about on your lenses, but on my favourite primes, F1.8 gives a DoF
    so shallow that your subject's eyes can be in focus, & their nose OOF.
    It's also quite difficult to focus that accurately in poor light. If you
    have enough light to play with, F2.8-F4 will give you a nice background
    blur, without you having to nail your subject's feet to the floor in
    order to get a good focus. ;)
    Lionel, Jan 4, 2004
  14. George Crissman

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Glad to be of help. Feel free to contact me on the group, or through
    e-mail. Best of luck getting your camera repaired.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Jan 4, 2004
  15. Yeow! Back to the books, got to study this a
    bit more. In the interim, I've added an "MP3"
    icon to the page that allows one to download
    the song and play it after it arrives. Not as
    nice as a streaming source, but at least it

    Maybe it's the *.wma extension causing the problem....

    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 4, 2004
  16. George Crissman

    Rich Pos Guest

    Yes. Works great. In fact I was downloading 760 kbps from your site,
    so the audio was streaming the moment I clicked the new link.
    And you are right, _get ready_ is a nice tune. Ol' Christy has
    beautiful range.

    Rich Pos, Jan 4, 2004
  17. Good to know it's working. Must've been the ".wmv"
    extension. I changed it to *.m3u (I thought that
    was a WinAmp proprietary file and discovered it's
    a standard supported by Windows Media Player as well
    as by Nullsoft's WinAmp)
    And I'll pass your comment on to Christy -- she's been
    a bit under the weather with this killer flu that's
    going around and could use some pleasant fan mail.
    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 5, 2004
  18. Just wondering ... have you ever had occasion to
    shoot a performance at Jimmy Loves in the Gaslamp?

    The sunken dance floor between the dining area and
    the high stage usually leaves me wishing for a
    tripod and a 150mm lens since getting close
    inevitably means looking nearly straight up at
    the performers.

    I have yet to get a good shot in there and would
    be interested in knowing how you'd prepare for
    this particular excursion.

    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 5, 2004
  19. George Crissman

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I shot a private party there once when the place was somewhat newly
    opened. I remember the floor set-up, which is similar to some other
    I am guessing you want to isolate the performers a bit, which is why the
    longer lens. I have a 105 mm and a 180 mm, but nothing in between. With
    the 180 mm, it is a heavy lens, and tough at slow shutter speeds, even
    when pushing film. Monopod or tripod are almost impossible to use around
    people that are drinking. A minipod (tablepod) or clamp pod are
    possibilities, but you would not get many shots that way.
    The cheater lens I use for night club and band imagery is a 35 mm shift
    lens. When it is shifted for vertical images, the results look about
    like what a normal photo would be expected to appear. Also, I like the
    unusual angles, often shooting from overhead, or getting a bit low. You
    really should consider using the high and low angle views to your
    advantage. Too many people take photos from the same standing height, or
    their eye level.

    With film at clubs, unless I am doing some B/W shots, it is purely Kodak
    E200. I push E200 about 4 2/3 stops, with lots of extra exposure to
    compensate (E200 does not push in a linear manner). Another option is
    pushing Ektachrome 320T, but that is more grainy, and tougher to scan.

    If you are curious about E200 at 4 2/3 stops, take a look at these:
    <http://www.allgstudio.com/gallery/Strobe02/> taken at Martini Ranch, in
    the Shaker Room. Most shots have no filter, or an 82A (light blue) in
    place. Night club strobes, even when gelled, have a near daylight

    With more mixed lighting, like near the bar, an 82B filter would work
    better. Rather than an 80A, which can be unnatural, I like to get some
    of the feel of the in house lighting. If you try Ektachrome 320T pushed,
    you might find the shoots come out too blue from night club lighting.

    Anything jazz related, I try to get the bands to agree to some B/W
    shots. Ilford HP5+ and Kodak TMX400 both push nicely. Another option is
    Ilford Delta 3200, though it tends to have more contrast.

    If you really have trouble getting the framing/composition you want,
    then shoot medium format, and crop the final images to where you want
    the composition. If you shoot slightly wider than normal using medium
    format, you can have a bit more cropping options. This is tougher with
    35 mm gear.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Jan 5, 2004
  20. Wow! I'm saving this posting for frequent review!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    George Crissman

    The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action
    by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
    - Charles Lamb
    George Crissman, Jan 5, 2004
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