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photographing theatre production/need filter??/lens??
I have been asked to photograph a local theatre production of west side story. it's a lot of fun for me. I have a Nikon D70 with a 28-200 lens. I enjoy the challenge as a chance to keep chipping away at the learning curve! The theatre is an outdoor roofed structure. there are stage lights but the backdrop is woods so I'm shooting a lit stage with darkness around. I often use the sports setting for this and I have taken some good shots.

My problem is that the tone of the humans' skin is often too yellow or red. I tend to like warm tones rather than cool but this is more than I want. I am wondering if there is a filter to use in this type of situation. I also have been told by the man in the camera store that my lens is probably a bit slow for this type of project (lots of jumping, dancing, etc). Is there any kind of affordable lens with a zoom that is faster?thanks S T..

Comments (8)

Fast does not equal affordable. That's usually what you pay more for is the speed, all else being equal. What you probably need is something like the 70-200 f2.8. It's fast enough but costs around $1600. Nikon has some other options around $900 but you lose the VR..

Yes, there are filters to match the light on that stage, but they will slow your lens even more. You'd better stick to adjusting in post.Cheers, Craig..

Comment #1

As Guidenet mentioned you probably want a faster lens such as an f/2.8 or faster (lower f/number). Once you get used to the venue and shooting distance you may be able to find a fast fixed focal length lens that is less expensive than a zoom. Possibly something int he 85mm, 105mm, or 135mm range. This assumes you have the shooting style and discipline those lenses lend themselves to..

To correct for whitebalance issues you're better off shooting in RAW mode and correcting the balance in the RAW conversion program before you convert to jpeg. Chances are your camera package came with a raw converter, or there are converters you can get online that do not cost you any money..

One such converter that is no cost but not free (as in libre) ishttp://www.rawtherapee.com/..

Comment #2

Thanksthese are helpful suggestions/information.

I usually photograph during costumed run-throughs so I have a lot of freedom, can go onstage etc so one of those lens may work well for meS T..

Comment #3

An ex-co-worker used to do the same thing for a theatre company..

He was using a Canon 70-200/2.8 and made a point of it to be there for dress rehearsalsso he could get grey test shots for reference and levels...

Comment #4

I also do theater work, if you shoot jpeg use Tungsten light setting, otherwise shoot raw...

Comment #5

Guy 2 wrote:.

I also do theater work, if you shoot jpeg use Tungsten light setting,otherwise shoot raw..

I agree 1000%..

If you are shooting in mixed lighting conditions a grey card and pre-set will not help you much. The sun comes out. The clouds roll in. The sun sets. All will change the balance of tungsten to daylight and skew the colour temperature..

"My problem is that the tone of the humans' skin is often too yellow or red.".

That will be becaue you are using Auto WB in tungsten light. Every single review on this site says that Auto WB does not work in tungsten light. You will get much better results at the Tungsten setting (and on the D80 you can fine tune it).

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #6

Sr telchilde wrote:.

I also have been told by the man in the camera storethat my lens is probably a bit slow for this type of project (lots ofjumping, dancing, etc). Is there any kind of affordable lens with azoom that is faster?.

You will need a constant f/2.8 lens. Affordable is relative:.

Tamron 28-75 f/2.8Sigma 50-150 f/2.8.

Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 (Two ring with tripod mount AF-D ED is the most recent and best or discontinued AFS).

None of those are cheap but used examples of the first and third should be relatively available..

If you want cheap and are shooting dress rehearsals and can move about use a 50mm f/1.4 AF-D and a monopod. Here are a few from a shoot last Thursday (Mozart - Magic Flute) in almost identical conditions to yours (Small castle chapel with roof but window openings without glass in heavy overcast but with good stage lighting shot early to late evening).

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

D50 ISO 1600 1/160th f/4.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

D80 ISO 1600 1/100th f/3.5.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

D80 ISO 1600 1/80th f/2.8.

P.S. If you are wondering I swapped lenses on the D80 and D50. Here is one using my 80-200mm f/2.8.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

D50 ISO 1600 f/3.5 1/100th.

Please note the lighting was exceptionally good on this occasion normally I expect at least one stop worse (and a lot less white in the photo!)Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #7

Thank you all so much. I am a complete beginner. I acquired my D70 last september as a hand me down from my brother who upgraded (my good luck!!) I have been told I have a good eye and I now have a good camera. I am having a lot of fun and learning. no pressure for me on the theatre stuff. I wish there was a way to try out lenses..

I have been using the sports setting (which gives A for WB by default) for the jumping and dancing but I think I'll try the fastest shutter I can and use the tungsten WBthanks so much for all the help. 1000$ is not affordable but 3-400$ might beS T..

Comment #8

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