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Concert photography with rebel t4i?


Beginner here, I got a camera handed down to me for free which is a Rebel T4i. Im in a band and i wanted to learn to take photos of other bands while i am on the road.

My camera has a kit lense and I have shot some ok concert photos but they are all very dark or require a high ISO that produced way too much grain.

I researched some lenses that are good for low light concert photos, like Sigma 24mm 1.4 or a 24-70mm f2.8.

My question is, before I invest in a new lense, would these work well with my current camera body or will it not make a big difference and I would need to invest in a new body also?

Obviosuly a better camera body will produce better results but consider I'm a beginner and not really ready to shell out thousands of dollars, will a add on lense at least give me something like 30% better results in my concert shots?)



I would go with a lens that will let more light in to your shots than your kit lens. The most obvious fast lens choice for minimal outlay is the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM for just over $100. Compared to the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens that is probably f/5.6 at 50mm this is over 3-stops faster, so if you used ISO 6400 with the EF-S kit lens, then you'd be shooting at ISO 800 with this for the same exposure.

For wider lenses I would prioritise faster aperture over zoom.


EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author


"...  the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM for just over $100."

However the good ends there. A 50mil prime on a T4 will be difficult to use if you are not completely mobile. When considering a lens you need to consider the whole package not simply the aperture. Along with that fast aperture of f1.8 comes its own limitation with DOF, too. Sometime that fine sometime it is not.

A better choice will be a 24-70mm f2.8 or the best choice Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. Keep in mind all photographic gear has it limits to what can be done even the best high dollar gear has a limit. Your Rebel T4 and the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens is probably going to be as good as it gets for your situation. BTW, it is only a little more than one stop slower than the fast 50mm f1.8 and you get zoom as a bonus.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


How much is your budget to spend on a lens also how far will you be away from the stage. You were right for looking into fast aperture lenses. The faster the aperture the lower the ISO will be. Fast aperture lenses are more expensive than variable aperture lenses such as the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D


Greetings ,

The situation does really come down to distance and budget.  This is why Demetrius asked how far you're going to be away from your subjects.  It would be very beneficial to have some zoom capability in order to compose and frame your shots. You can do some of it with your feet, but that may not be as practical at some venues. 

Then of course, you need a lens that will let as much light in as possible, What Ernie and Brian mentioned. 

A better lens will be a good first step and should give you the 30%+ increase in image quality you are looking for.  The t4i's low light capability is limited as you have found, but I do agree a better lens will elevate its performance for you.  

I think you'd be safe with either of the lenses Ernie recommend based on bang for your buck.  Either will offer greater flexibility without the need for you to move closer or farther from the stage or subjects.  They will still be "wide" enough and let you capture members playing as a group and also for semi close ups.  

Let us know what you decide on or if you have other questions. 

Bay Area - CA

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