Is there an all around "Best Lens" for Sports Photography??

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by ottor, May 23, 2009.

  1. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Regardless of price (OK, under $2K) is there a "Best" lens for photographing action sports - mainly outdoors? If I had a choice, I'd also want one that would be satisfactory for indoor B-Ball or Rodeo also... but specifically one that would capture the color and clarity of field sports...

    Tks in advance....
     
  2. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I would have to ask what kind of sports?

    For my daughters Marching band, I struggle with my 70-300. It's a poor lens I would say based on it's an f/4.5 lens to start at 70mm and goes to f/5.6 on the long end. I get a lot of noise in the pictures at 300 mm. It's pretty decent on stuff under 50-75 feet, but anything more, and the quality I think goes down.

    I use a 50mm f/1.8 for shooting some indoor stuff, but would love to get (soon) the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for some of the stuff I do. My fixed lens just doesn't work for what I want under 15 feet.

    Any sports lens I would suggest is f/2.8 or faster. Regardless of who makes it.

    It's a combination of ISO, shutter and aperture that you need to either stop the blur and get crisp sharp stop-action shots, or else to deal with the action of what's happening.

    It also will depend if you can use a flash. Most of what I shoot, flash is restricted completely or highly frowned upon.
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Definitely not "hands down" if you haven't considered the type of sports photography. This is where "farmerj" is asking the right question. What type of sports? I had 100-400L and my cousin had my 70-200 f/2.8 IS at a Polo game. Definitely WAY too short for that size field. The fast aperture wasn't a big advantage in the bright daylight. Indoor basketball is a different story.

    OP needs to realize that sports photography is about the most expensive and most depending type of photography you can get into to.
     
  6. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    One of my favorite lens' for indoor and outdoor is the Canon f2 135mm. It is "the" best valued L lens in the Canon lineup. Around US$1,000

    Indoor basketball, nothing beats the f1.8 85mm, in my opinion. Around US$350

    Both lens' are versatile for indoor and outdoor. As good a lens as the f2.8 70-200mm is, it is bordeline useless indoor (for action sports) if lighting is not above average.
     
  7. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Basically you need two lenses.

    With your budget I would look at a 70-200 f/2.8, and at the Sigma 50-500. Now the sigma would only be good for daytime sports outside. But it has a very good following. Also good for animals, birds, etc where you can't get that close.

    The 70-200 f/2.8 for the indoor sports. They make primes that are faster and more usefull. But limits how much you can fill the frame with your subject.

    Floor level flash is a no no, in indoor sports. So fast glass is necessary, unless you want to mount wireless flashes in the rafters (have enough of them).

    I shot college sports for 2 years in college. I used 80-200 f/2.8 inside for basketball and volleyball. And a 300 f/2.8 and the 80-200 f/2.8 for football (my own lenses by the way).
     
  8. Do'Urden's Eyes

    Do'Urden's Eyes TPF Noob!

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    OP did say best "all around" lens. So i would have to agree with bigtwinky that the best ALL AROUND sports photography lens would be a 70-200 F2.8. For sports (unless its motor sports) the IS shouldn't really be a huge issue as the shutter speeds youre using are going to render the stabilizer useless anyways. I say motor sports because i know canon (not sure about nikon) offers a "mode two" on its stabilizer that just stabilizes the camera shake on the vertical axis, making the blurred lines when panning as straight as possible.
     
  9. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    Nikon has that seem feature on the VR option as well.

    I actually turn off VR when I am taking panning or other shots I am typically following the action with.

    About the only time I find it useful to use VR is when I am stalking wild game and it's a purposeful and intentional action to take a picture of an animal while handheld.
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A 200-400mm on a D3 with a Tc 1.4 and 1.7 in your pocket.

    A little over budget maybe but there you are..
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    For sports there is no such thing as 1 best all around lens. It takes at least 2 lenses and that means 2 bodies also.
     
  12. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    One lens to rule them all,
    And in the lightness bind them.
     

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