Photos: Jonsi @ The Pageant

As far as I'm concerned, Jónsi is the reason for Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization) technology in photography exists. With the extremely low light and low level of movement in the singer, this show was the perfect – and necessary – setting for better shooting through technology.

Photographer's Notes:

Jónsi's show is dark. It's really dark. Think ISO 6400 and 1/30 for the opening song at f/2.8. The second and third songs are brighter, but only by a couple stops. However, the beauty of this show is that it's the perfect setting for a lens like the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR.

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

I used the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 for almost all of my shooting at this concert, and only switched to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 for a few wider, more full-stage shots.

The saving grace for how dark it was very often at this show was that Jónsi's not moving that much while he's softly rocking the mic, so I had no hesitation using slow shutter speeds like 1/30 or 1/60 on the 70-200mm telephoto. Thank you, VR!

While I don't always recommend buying Nikon VR or Canon IS for concert photography, they do have their place. For most rock shows, you're never going to get their full benefit, because VR and IS lenses only compensate for user camera-shake – they're not going to be useful for preventing blur in a frantic rocker.

Where VR and IS do come into play with music photography is for more stationary, lower-key performances. Think acoustic, solo singers, prolific musical geniuses from Iceland.

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My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D850:
I use two Nikon D850 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all DSLR with amazing AF, fast response, and no shortage of resolution.
nikon-24-70mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon-70-200-squareNikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
nikon-14-24mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.
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