I shot a concert last Friday (1/30/15). I had with my A7 with: FD85L, CV35mm f/1.2, CV 12mm f/5.6, and a Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5 that I only just got in the mail last week. I also had my Olympus E-M5 with: 75mm f/1.8 & 25mm f/1.4 for AF work. Between the two of them. I shot about 1/3 with the Olympus and 2/3’s with the A7. While many still think μ43 is inherently insufficient, I find that the E-M5 can hold its own for concert photography.
What I’ve really been finding since I started shooting concerts is that continuous mode for the shutter is an absolute necessity. I’d expect that’s true even with AF–lead singers have a tendency to move a lot and must facial expressions while singing aren’t super attractive. Bursts of shots help alleviate a lot of that. You’re guaranteed at least one or two in focus and you can weed out the bad expressions. Concert photography has also taught me to love high ISO. This has been a learning experience for me. After spending so much of my shooting time in the mountains of British Columbia with a tripod, has been fairly difficult over the past year in the Midwest US adjusting to the fact that I can’t always use base ISO. For the most part, ISO 1600 was a necessity. There’s really no way around it if you want to get the shutter speeds you need for sharp images with minimal motion blur. And that’s true even at f/1.2 in this particular venue. And the shots with the CV12mm, though shot at ISO1600 & ISO3200, they’ve been pushed in post to where they’re more like ISO12800. At those ISO levels, I’ve been thoroughly cured of all my pixel peeping habits. It just doesn’t matter any more.
With the 75mm, IBIS is awesome. I can shoot 1/50th and still get competitive noise characteristics to the 85mm at f/1.2 at 1/100th or 1/125th.
Here are some of my favorites–the 85L and 75mm f/1.8 dominated most of my shooting (more on my flickr page).