I put the big lens on the camera, which not only gave me a 200mm reach, but also f2.8 to work with. With the ISO set as high as it would go (1600) I then had to wait until the stage lights came up to see what shutter speed I was going to be working with.
The early estimates weren’t good. But after checking the histogram and the image on the LCD screen, I realised that the light meter was over-compensating for the black curtain behind the actors and the light on their faces was too bright. I was able to underexpose (according to the light meter) by a stop and a half. This brought the shutter speed up to something that I could work with; just.
In the early part of the show I tried to get some close-ups from near the stage, but I wasn’t able to hold the camera steady. I settled in at a bench behind the audience where I could brace my elbows and support the camera. The challenge then was to catch the moment when as many actors as possible weren’t moving.
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the images the camera produced. There is a little noise in the dark areas that the RAW converter took care of. The major problem was the movement of the actors, but I managed to get enough usable images for the Labcoatman’s website.