Sports Photography Lens

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ang, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. ang

    ang TPF Noob!

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    Can you recommend a size lens for sports photography. What focal length would you recommend? I already have an 28-90mm and I can only spend about $500 at this time. I'm thinking 100-300 or should I go to 400mm. I'm only doing local, high school college athletics.
     
  2. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    Get a 400 if you can afford it - but make sure it has a small F stop so it can get the most light possible!!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    It really depends what sports you are shooting. Basketball wouldn't require as long a lens as football or soccer or other field sports.

    Indoor venues like gymnasiums are notorious for poor lighting. You may not think it's that dark but when you want to shoot at 1/250 or 1/500 to freeze the action...you will need a large aperture.

    This is why pro sports shooters use big expensive lenses. Often with a mono-pod to help keep it steady and so they don't have to hold the weight constantly.

    There are a lot more variables depending on the sport you are shooting, the location you can get to and the lighting available. Fill us in on some details.
     
  4. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Yup, I'll 2nd what everyone else has said. I shoot hockey games inside and soccer games outside. For the indoors stuff I've got a Sigma 70-200 f2.8. For the outdoors stuff I've got a Canon 75-300 f4-5.6. The smaller aperture on the Canon lens isn't a big deal outside during daylight, but at night or inside, you really need that f2.8. Problem is, those 2.8 lenses are very expensive. My 70-200 was $525 used. To go up to a 400 or 500 mm f2.8, you're looking at around $4000-$6000. :shock:
     
  6. ang

    ang TPF Noob!

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    Shark,
    What speed film do you typically use with your 2.8 indoors/night? How about your 5.6 outdoors?
     
  7. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ang, I believe Mike, Shark and I all use the Rebel D or 10D
     
  8. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    What system do you shoot?

    You'd need 70-200 2.8 and a 1.4x tele. That's unless you have 5 grand to get anything even slightly faster. :cry:
     
  9. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    As Jeff mentioned, I'm shooting a digital--Canon 300d. I typically run ISO 100 or 200 for outdoor stuff, and have yet to give the f2.8 lens a real shakedown on indoors--hockey season starts up around here in a couple weeks. It draws so much light though I'm pretty sure I can shoot ISO 100 and might have to increase exposure by a stop or so, if that. I've shot that f2.8 outdoors at dusk (would need headlights on on the car kind of lighting) and was at ISO100 and still had shutters of 1/250s or higher. :shock:
     
  10. ang

    ang TPF Noob!

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    Doc

    I'm using Nikon 35mm N65. I wish I had 5 grand to spend on a lens.

    So it seems that 2.8 is the key, even if I'm shooting daytime.

    I'm assuming your refering to a 1.4 tele extender. Will that reduce the quality of the photo?

    Ang
     
  11. ang

    ang TPF Noob!

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    Maybe I should have asked this question:

    Which would you rather have for sports photography?

    2.8 70-200mm

    or

    4.5-5.6 100-400mm
     
  12. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    I really think it depends on whether you're shooting inside or outside. If you're outside in daylight, that 100-400 would be great. Inside though you'd really need the larger aperture of the 2.8, even if it's at a sacrifice of focal length.
     

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