Mariotama – If you have ever tried to capture musicians in a dim venue, chances are you know how challenging it is to shooting live concerts. It is one of several areas in photography when being skillful with a camera is not enough. You also need the best lens for concert photography.
Concert photography typically combines the rapid-paced action of sports coverage and the low-light complexities of night shooting. Thus, to shoot stunning and properly exposed concert photos, you should work with a reliable camera and a fast lens.
There are some good lenses to pair with your camera. To help you meet your camera’s best partner, here are several recommendations for concert photography lens.
10 Best Lens for Concert Photography
1. Best for Shooting Stills: Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S FX NIKKOR
- Fast aperture medium telephoto lens
- Internal Focus, Focal Length: 85 mm, Minimum Focus Range: 0.80 m
- Silent Wave Motor (SWM). Number of diaphragm blades:7 (rounded diaphragm opening)
- M/A focus mode switch. Filter-attachment size is 67 mm (P=0.75 mm)
- Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
Let us start with the popular 85mm f/1.8G AF-S FX lens from Nikon. This telephoto prime lens is capable to take a much closer shot that captures the performer’s emotions. Besides, you still have a wide lens opening to give brighter shots and a beautiful, subtle background blur.
Its maximum f/1.8 aperture range is supported by the manufacturer’s Super Integrating Coating technology to accomplish nice color concentrations, seamless light transmission, and incredible image results in low light conditions.
Despite its small presence, this lens is highly reliable to take concert photos with its abundant functions and features. This Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S FX lens is available on Amazon.
- It is equipped with Silent Wave Motor and an exceptional autofocus system for taking fast, sharp, and precise photos.
- It has easy-to-use manual and autofocus mode switch.
- This professional-quality lens is suitable for both beginners and professionals.
- Some parts of the body are made of plastic.
2. Best at 27-88mm Zoom Range: Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
- 17-55mm wide-angle zoom lens with f/2.8 maximum aperture for Canon DSLR cameras
- AD and aspherical elements deliver impressive image quality through entire zoom range, Closest focusing distance : 1.15 feet
- Image Stabilizer lens groups shift to compensate for image shake even in dim lighting
- Large circular aperture produces shallow depth of field; ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM)
- Measures 3.3 inches in diameter and 4.4 inches long; weighs 22.8 ounces; 1-year warranty
For Canon users, this best lens for concert photography could be a great option. With this Canon EF-S 17-55mm, you will get a zoom lens, which delivers a range of wide-angle focal lengths as well as a short telephoto focal length.
This function can give you many choices for shooting in a small to a moderate-size concert venue. Built for APS-C cameras, this is all-around gear, which combines outstanding low-light ability, optimized coatings, and high-quality lens elements.
You can get this Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM on Amazon.
- This lens supports built-in image stabilization to deliver sharp concert photos.
- The autofocus works very well. It is also fast and quiet.
- It creates the best quality images in its class.
- The lens is big; even it is not as heavy as other lenses alike.
- It is rather expensive for an EF-S mount lens.
3. Best at f/2: Sigma 24-35mm f/2 Art DG HSM
- Covering a common prime lens lineup, the 24-35mm F2 DG HSM was designed for prime performance with the versatility of a zoom lens.
- A large diameter aspherical lens, a complicated element to manufacture, allows for a stunning level of brightness
- The Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art is the worlds first full frame F2 zoom lens
If you want a good lens that is available for Nikon, Canon, and other brands, this Sigma 24-35mm f/2 lens is a good choice. This lens is well known for its optical properties, such as a constant f/2 aperture ratio and a full-frame zoom capability.
Optical lens construction is beneficial in terms of its lacking of ‘trunk’. It means that the front part of the lens won’t move ahead while zooming and focusing. Besides, this lens does not deliver significant distortion or undesirable effects, like vignette, chromatic, and others.
You can purchase this Sigma 24-35mm f/2 lens on Amazon.
- This lens delivers great picture quality.
- The autofocus is fast and noiseless. Moreover, the focus ring can move smoothly.
- It is designed with an almost-all metal body.
- Novice photographers may find this lens too heavy.
4. Best All-In-One Lens: Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC PZD
- 18-270mm focal length
- 27-405mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras, 28.8-432mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
- F3.5-6.3 maximum aperture; F22-40 minimum
- Micromotor-type AF motor without full-time manual focusing
- Image stabilization
If you are looking to a light lens for concert photography, this Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 makes an excellent bet. This is considered the tiniest and lightest 15x zoom lens available on the market right now.
It is without a doubt the best lens for photography for its light construction, portative size, VC picture stabilization tech, and an updated Piezo Drive AF system. With its integrated VC technology, you do not need to be afraid of getting blurry pictures when photographing a concert.
Besides, the correct settings can help you accomplish better photo results. The events on the stage will also look more realistic this way. This Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 lens is available on Amazon.
- It offers a 15x zoom range.
- It comes with a compact body and excellent build quality.
- This lens has internal focus.
- The autofocus is a bit slow.
- There is no stabilizer mode.
5. Best Zoom in the Range: Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master
- SONY EMOUNT LENS: 35mm full frame format, instant auto / manual focus selection, focus hold button. The minimum focus distance is 0.38 meter
- NATURAL, LIFELIKE IMAGERY: ED and Super ED glass elements deliver breathtaking texture and detail
- REDUCED ABERRATION: Two aspherical elements and an extremely precise XA element maximize resolution
- 9 BLADE APERTURE: SEL2470GM lenses have a 9 blade circular aperture for a gorgeous bokeh effect
- NANO AR COATING: Allows for accurate light transmission to improve clarity, contrast and quality
This Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8G lens is suitable for a serious concert photographer. The main advantages of this model include ultra-fast autofocus, powerful zoom, and high power resolution.
Thanks to its constant maximal aperture, you can get qualitative images even in poorly lit situations. Interestingly, you will not need to change the exposure settings on the entire focal distance range.
It also comes with a convenient switch location, allowing you to operate the lens without any problems. You can find this Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8G Master on Amazon.
- It delivers natural and realistic shades.
- Its metal body is dust- and water-resistant, making it a perfect concert photography lens.
- It has a preferable ultrasound motor.
- This lens is bulky and somewhat pricey, especially for beginners.
- It does not have an aperture ring on the body.
6. Best Bokeh: Yongnuo YN EF 50mm f/1.8 AF
- F/1. 8 large aperture which helps to separate the subject from background;
- A great prime lens that is an excellent addition to the Nikon 12-50mm kit lens;
- Supports auto focus and manual focus modes; supports full-frame and APS-C Format cameras;
- Adopts Gold Plated metal contacts, which effectively improves the signal Conductivity and corrosion resistance;
- Supports M/AV/TV/P and other camera Shooting modes, and parameters used to take pictures can be displayed in the exit information;
If you are looking for a cheap alternative, this Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 lens is a good choice. This low-budget lens is compatible with many models. It is also usable on both full-length Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
This lens comes with six optical elements in five groups that can move inside the lens barrel when focusing. On the highest aperture values of f/1.8, the lens blurs the background beautifully, allowing you to highlight the main object.
This Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 lens is highly affordable. You can get it on Amazon.
- It offers pleasing color rendition.
- It delivers decent performance with side and backlighting.
- There is no problem with the Live View focusing.
- Some users found chromatic aberrations.
- You may also find some glare and iridescent rays.
7. Best Ultrawide Lens: Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II
- Ultra-wide angle zoom lens
- Internal silent focusing motor
- Fast internal focusing
- One touch focus clutch mechanism
- Water resistant optical coating on the glass for ease of cleaning
This Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 could be the best lens for concert photography among the mid-price categories. It is also the least expensive ultra-wide model that can perform properly in poor light thanks to its f/2.8 aperture.
It is initially designed for the EF-S crop sensors, but this Tokina lens is now compatible with full-frame cameras as well. Nevertheless, it may cause strong vignette when the focal length is below 15mm. If you stay above 16mm, your full-frame camera can take impressive pictures.
- It delivers great sharpness between 12-16mm.
- There is no zoom creep.
- It comes with a manual/auto slip ring for highly effective usage.
- This lens only offers a short focal range compared to others.
- It shows somewhat obvious vignette at 11mm.
8. Best for X-Shooter: Fujifilm Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR
- Weather resistant design with 8 sealing points for weather and dust resistance and operation as low as 14 Degree
- Inner focus system with 0.08 seconds autofocus speed and nearly silent operation. Focal length : 35 millimeter (35 millimeter format equivalent : 53 millimeter)
- Nano GI coating reduces ghosting and flare
- 9 blade aperture creates smooth and circular bokeh
- Minimum working distance of approximately 13 inches.Max. magnification:0.17x.Angle of view:44.2 degree
This powerful Fujifilm lens is equipped with a fixed 35mm focal length and a wide f/2 aperture. Despite its small and lightweight body, this Fujifilm Fujinon lens offers unexpectedly high-quality results.
It makes an ideal concert photography lens thanks to its relatively high f/2 aperture and low price among other models for the X-mount cameras. Moreover, this lens can define small details pretty well both in bright lights and dense shadows.
- This lens already comes with a dustproof and waterproof design.
- The body is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for concert photography.
- It offers instant focusing and on-body aperture control.
- Occasional glare is found upon backlight.
- Some vignette is found at wide apertures.
9. Best Affordable for Astrophotography: Samyang SY14M-C 14mm f/2.8
- Ultra-wide angle of view on both full frame and APS-C cameras
- Minimum focusing distance of only 0. 9 ft. Focal Length -14 mm
- Excellent construction and superior build quality for razor sharp images
- Features built-in petal type hood
- Super multi-layer coating to reduce flares and ghost images. Closest Focus Distance: 10. 8 inch
This best lens for concert photography by Samyang offers manual focus. However, you can also see the internal focus information in the viewfinder. Working with this lens is quite satisfying. The focus ring turns smoothly, making the focus exceptionally sharp.
Even though it is designed in a plastic body, this Samyang lens can compete with costly L lenses in quality. More importantly, the plastic does not look low-cost. Overall, this lens can generate bright and sharp images with little distortion. This Samyang SY14M-C 14mm f/2.8 is available on Amazon.
- This lens is considerably cheap.
- It comes with original design and great build quality.
- It provides ultra-wide viewing angle.
- There is slight distortion in the corners, but it is not a big deal.
- This lens is not lightweight.
10. Best for Photo Outing: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
- 24 70 millimeter focal length, 38.4 112 millimeter equivalent focal length on Canon APS C cameras
- F2.8 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum, Ring type ultrasonic type AF motor with full time manual focusing
- 82 millimeter filters, Closest Focusing Distance: 0.38 meter/1.25 feet
- Image Stabilization : No. Focus Adjustment Inner focusing with USM. Diagonal Angle of View 84° 34°. Weight 1.7 pound
- Purchase this product between May 1, 2016 and July 30, 2016 and get 13 months of free damage protection from Canon. The product must be registered within 30 days of the purchase date to be eligible
This is another reliable Canon lens for concert photography. It offers a wide range of focal lengths and packs everything between a standard to a wide-angle zoom. It also delivers a quick and highly advanced AF system with full-time manual override.
Besides, its large maximum aperture of f/2.8 can remain constant within all focal lengths to give you a shallower depth of field and utmost low-light effectiveness. This Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens is available on Amazon.
- This lens has a sleek, premium body with dust- and moist-resistant.
- It obtains many praises for its impressive image quality.
- It does not come with image stabilization.
What features should I look for in a concert photography lens?
Briefly, the best lens for concert photography is one, which has fast and dynamic focus options, a wide maximum aperture, a long reach, as well as built-in image stabilization.
Why I need a large maximum aperture for concert photography?
It is because a large maximum aperture allows more light to enter the lens. This feature will help you capture impressive images even in badly lit concert venues. Aim for apertures in the range of f/1.2 to f/2.8 for the better.
Why is built-in image stabilization important in concert photography?
Since concert photography mostly involves handheld shooting, you will need good built-in image stabilization. This feature will help you encounter the effects of camera shake while taking pictures amid a crowded concert.
Do I need a lens with a weather-sealed body?
Mostly yes. This is probably not the ultimate requirement for concert lenses, but it would be great to have a weather-resistant feature. This way, you can shoot even in severe weather conditions.
Will any lens fit any camera?
It depends. If you purchased a DSLR camera from major manufacturers, it’s more likely that they have a variety of lenses designed particularly for their camera. These lenses often work only with their brand cameras.
Can I use Nikon lens on Canon body?
Yes, you can use Nikon lenses on Canon cameras. Nevertheless, you will need a lens adapter to make it work. Note that not all lenses are compatible with any camera.
Do lens adapters influence image quality?
It depends on the camera, lens, and the adapter you use. However, if you are using a good ring adapter that holds the lens properly, there should be no major issue.
Do I need additional gear for concert photography?
Yes, you do. To make the most of your concert shooting, consider using an XQD card since this format is much better than SD and CF. Besides, you may need a good body strap as well, particularly for heavy and bulky lenses.
In the end, which lens should I choose for concert photography? While your option may vary based on your budget and styles, my top recommendation would be the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 Art DG HSM. This lens is a good balance of high quality and price.
The Sigma 24-35mm f/2 lens offers impressive picture quality, quick autofocus, and other useful features for concert photography. Besides, it is also compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sigma, and other camera brands.
That is all my review of the best lens for concert photography. Hope you already found your best partner from my recommendations above. Thank you!
Last update on 2020-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API