Concert Photography with the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens

First published on: Monday, 21 June 2010

My good friend Wesley Wong has been an extremely happy camper ever since he switched to the Canon 30D and purchased two EF lenses with it.

The combination of the 30D and EF 24-105mm and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lenses has allowed him to increase his keeper ratio when photographing events such as weddings, corporate functions and concerts.

Speaking about concert photography, he’s just posted up a series of photos from the recent Alan Tam’s ‘30 Glorious Years’ Concert in Malaysia, and shares a bit about his technique, his impression of the EF 70-300 IS USM lens which he used to photograph the show, and postprocessing workflow.

Alan Tam concert in Malaysia, by Wesley Wong with Canon 30D + EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens


  1. View a larger version of the images at Wesley’s forum post at
  2. I had a chat with Wesley, and he said that these images are straight from the camera, with no other post-processing except for resizing and a slight sharpening to offset image softening from resizing for the web. He also noted that the 300mm focal length was very welcome and just for shooting concert shows like this; 200mm would be too short
  3. Since the lighting was reasonably good, ISO800 and f/8 (f8 was required to compensate for the slight lack of sharpness at 300mm) could be used. The Image Stablization feature of the Canon 70-300mm lens helped a great deal in canceling the effects of handshake — even 1/80 sec shots at 300mm were a piece of cake — take this image for example.
  4. View more of Wesley’s 30D pics at his Flickr gallery — there’re some pretty excellent studio and portrait shots to be found there

Be aware that for certain ranges of serial numbers (mainly those from early production batches), you might notice degraded sharpness towards the edge of the frame at the 300mm focal length setting when you hold the camera in portrait / vertical orientation. Canon has acknowledged this issue and offers a free repair service to affected customers. The site also describes in detail how to identify the serial number on your lens.

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