Ooohh that’s so much better!!

Not what you are thinking!!

So there I was, coming back from the bar with a bottle and a can of Becks and a small shot of sambuca, when up bounced a pretty waitress. ‘Would you like a cupcake?’ I declined, explaining my hands were full. ‘Open your mouth!’ I was told. Seconds later I was handing over the drinks while trying desperately not to drop cupcake and dribble over my friends.

I was back at Madam Jo Jo’s for the final show this year of Cabaret Roulette. For the past few months I have been allowed to shoot photos there to gain more experience in low light conditions. In the performances at Jo Jo’s I can expect ever changing low light conditions!

In the last post I mentioned my purchase of a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens. This was to be the first field test and I choose the First Birthday Revue of Cabaret Roulette as the bench mark.

After a pint of ale in the Bear outside Leicester Square tube station, we arrived at Madam Jo Jo’s to find a long queue waiting outside. We choose our seats and I spoke to the producer concerning where I could shoot from. The usual photographers area was taken by the official photographer and videographer. So this time I choose the short walkway from the seating area to the stage. I thought this would be a good idea which was dashed by the two bars affixed to the ceiling and hand rail getting in the way.

Looking around I had the idea of sitting on the stairs from the seating area to the pit. This provided around 80% coverage of the stage area, above every ones heads in the pit and was not obscured by any stage lighting from the front. It pays to look around a venue to find a sweet spot but I was asked to be mindful of some performers moving from the pit to the stage.

So getting ready with the Canon I took a quick test shot. The ISO was 3200?? Eh.. Oh hang on lets have a look at the settings. Ok yeah I need to drop it down from f5.6 to f2.8, ah there we go! The lens, although much heavier than the Canon it performed so much better in a low light situations.

I was achieving ISO ranges beginning at 800 rather that starting at 3200. Lower ISO, faster shutter speeds so I had more photos to choose from in post production. The Ultra Sonic Motor is  really fast and allowed me to capture shots I might have normally missed as well.

One thing though. Its bloody massive. It will not fit in my Slingshot bag, well it will but it will not allow anything else. The lens and the camera combined will fit in the backpack so that means I will be knocking people down escalators again!

All in all I am very happy with the lens and look forward to using it in anger again.

Thanks to Vivacity Bliss for allowing me to shoot there!

LITF

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