Baseball Photos

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by howelj, May 15, 2007.

  1. howelj

    howelj TPF Noob!

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    I am new to photography other than point and shoot so bear with me. My son is a baseball player and I want to take some pictures during the next few years before he gets out of high school of him playing baseball. My neighbor whose son also plays has a Canon XT DLSR and has taken some fairly nice shots of both of the boys, but he is a novice like me.

    I have been looking at the new XTi 10MP Canon and was wondering if the shutter speed would be capable of stopping a baseball in its tracks during a photo. If so, which lens would you recommend to accompany this camera. I understand that a f2.8 would probably be best if I am gong to take any pictures under the lights, but I don't think I can afford that. I guess I need something that will focus fairly quickly. Would the IS lens be what I need and would a 70-200mm lens be enough?

    Would you recommend another lens beside a Canon? As you can see for someone that is new to this, I am dealing with information overload. I have always wanted to get into photography more and really enjoy taking some sunset photos with my P&S. I am willing to put the time into this to learn it correctly, but want to make a purchase I can live with for about 5-10 years.
     
  2. JDS

    JDS TPF Noob!

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    A Canon Rebel XT is more than capable of stopping the baseball given the right lens - just as capable as the XTi.

    If you're going to be under the lights, you'll want as wide an aperture as you can get - 2.8 still may not be quite fast enough without bumping up the ISO considerably.

    As for the focal length, if you can get next to the fence, 200mm will be plenty. If you're wanting to reach into the outfield with it, you may find it a little short, but not by a whole lot.

    IS is nice, but if you're looking to stop the baseball, it would hardly come into play because your shutter is going to be really fast.

    But given than an XT will do as well as an XTi in terms of shutter speed, etc., you might can get some nice glass with savings from the price difference.

    Hope I wasn't too vague...
     
  3. firemedic0135

    firemedic0135 TPF Noob!

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    You will need at least 200mm of reach if you will be shooting form the fence.
    You do not need to waste money on IS lenses unless you have parkinsons ,especially if you are shooting sports with high shutter speeds.
    1/500 seems to be a good baseball speed and sometimes I shoot a little slower when I want a little blur.
    I love shooting baseball and used a 80-200mm on my Sony setup with great results.
    I switched to a Canon 30D for the faster af ,and the 5fps shooting.
    It can be real frustrating shooting 3-400 frames and getting only a few keepers cause your camera cant focus quick enough.
    If you are serious about sports photography and want to be happy I would think about a nice used 20D instead of the rebel.While there is nothing wrong with the rebel if you are going to be shooting mainly baseball I think you would be happier with the 20D.
    Just my .02
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I agree with what JDS has said. Both the XT and the XTi are great cameras. I think the XTi has a better AF system, but I'm not 100% sure about that. Either way, both cameras are fully capable given that you have a lens that is up to the task.

    To stop action/movement, you need a faster shutter speed. To get a faster shutter speed, you can do two things. Use a lens with a faster (bigger) maximum aperture and/or turn up the ISO.

    For a zoom lens, you will want an aperture of F2.8...which, as mentioned, might still be pushing it. Other choices would be the 50mm F1.8 (or the 50mm F1.4), the 85mm F1.8 (this lens is a great value) or more expensive telephoto prime lenses.

    The Canon 70-200 F2.8 L would be a good choice but it's expensive. Sigma makes a 70-200 F2.8 which is more affordable and almost as good.

    The good news, is that high quality lenses are a great investment. They hold their value very well. You could buy a Canon 70-200 F2.8 L (or the more expensive IS version) and use it for a few years. Then you could probably sell it for 80-90% of what you paid for it.
     
  5. lkWinnipesaukee

    lkWinnipesaukee TPF Noob!

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    This photo was taken using my XT with @ f5.6 @ ISO 800 with a shutter speed of 1/4000 second. I probably could have gone slower, but I wanted to be sure I got the laces of the ball and didn't have time to experiment.

    So yes, it is most certainly capable. I was using a relatively cheap lens as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. MikeR

    MikeR TPF Noob!

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    You have already been given good advice, I ust want to add that I would want a slight blur of the ball. I think it would add to the photo instead of the ball just being "suspended" in air.
     

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