Hi ISO

Yesterday attempted some stage photography using stage lighting and a high ISO setting.

Here’s the situation. I’m asked to take some photographs during a performance. I am stuck at the back of the hall along with other visitors who cannot get a seat. I decide that the best approach is to use my long-lens (Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM) on my Canon 5D and dial in a high ISO. I used 6400 as my ISO setting as this allowed sensible shutter speeds. As is typical, the stage lighting was up and down like a fiddler’s elbow. My camera and lens did a great job with auto focus.

At the interval, I noticed a guy with a Nikon camera the size of a small family car. I had a chat with him. He was using ISO 800 with a speedlight. His photos looked sharp so I went to get my own Metz flash. I had no success with it. I learned a good lession. Prepare your batteries, learn to use your equipment in the dark.

Nevertheless, on the whole I was happy with the camera performance. A tele-zoom with a bigger aperture would have been nice though. Of course, I will practice with the flash so that I can use it in the dark.

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