Which lens to buy for shooting indoor Basketball??

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by eevoh, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. eevoh

    eevoh TPF Noob!

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    I have a nikon d200 with the 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 lens and i wanna shoot my friends playing basketball but f3.5 is just not big enough for indoor basketball. i would have to use ISO hi1.0 in order to shoot but the pictures come out tooooooo grainy. with that said, im looking into prime lens' because i dont have enough money for a zoom lens with f2.8. im willing to buy nikon or off brand lens. any advice on what to buy?
     
  2. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have not done anything that in the past, but I believe the fast 85mm prime lens should be one of the good choice.

    ** search "basketball 85mm" in flickr yield a lot of examples.
     
  3. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    If you can get close to the action, you might be able to get away with a 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4. The f/1.4 version performs better at wider apertures. Also look into the 85mm f/1.8. Most of the other primes are spendy.

    I have the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 and even with my D80 set to ISO 1600 I still don't get fast enough shutter speeds to freeze the action in indoor basketball. It's fine with my 50mm f/1.4, but I gotta be pretty close, like under the basket.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The 35/1.8 G series lens would work pretty well. Same for a 50mm f/1.8 F-D. Both focal lengths work pretty well for court sports like basketball and volleyball from reasonably close shooting ranges. These two lenses are very affordable,and let in a lot of light. Both will allow you to shoot court sports without needing the resort to Hi-1.
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your lens choice is going to depend on how close you can get to the court. I shoot from the base line and my prime lineup up usually consists of a 35mm, 85mm and 135mm. I have a couple of fast zooms in the mix as well.

    If you are shooting from the stands, then you will want more reach than a 35 or even a 50mm can provide unless you are on the first couple of rows on court side. Even then shooting cross court will be stretching those two focal lengths.

    If you can go to the venue you will be shooting in the most with your kit lens, and sit where you will normally be able to sit. A practice would be good. Then check and see what focal length seems to work the best with your kit zoom. That will let you know what focal length range to look in.
     
  6. ScottsdaleImages

    ScottsdaleImages TPF Noob!

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    Totally agree with gryphonslair99. If your at the sideline or baseline, and the action is right in front of you, then the 50mm will be great. But shooting across court, your dead without at least 200mm. I have been shooting basketball for both of my kids for the last 8 yrs, from HS thru college. It's tough without a lower Fstop camera. One thing to remember is to try and hit the peak of action. That helps create less blurry images too.
     
  7. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    With a D200 you definitely want the fastest glass you can get - some good advice above to keep you out of the higher ISO range.
     
  8. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I shot my daughter's basketball game this past weekend with my Sigma 100-300mm f/4. I had to shoot at about ISO 640 to get halfway decent images (Canon 30D), which are grainy but clean up reasonably well with Noiseware Pro. The problem I ran into, however, was that the lens was too long for the high school gym. Most of the time, I would have probably done better with something in the 50-80mm range. I have a Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 which I'm going to use next time (I forgot to stick it in my bag as I went to the game directly from my son's baseball game where I like to use the longer glass).
     
  9. eevoh

    eevoh TPF Noob!

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    i will be shooting from the baseline so i'll prbly look in to the 50mm or 85mm but i doubt i will need the f1.4 ... 1.8 should be enough.

    are there any off brands that someone can recommend?

    and i have another question. one of my friends has a 24mm-105mm f/4 canon lens which cost $1200. i dont understand why it cost 4 times more than my 18mm-105mm f/3.5-5.6 nikon lens.
     
  10. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Why does a Lexus cost more than a Toyota? They both have 4 wheels, are about the same size and do most of the same things. They're even technically made by the same person. The answer is quality and prestige. The 24-105 is so much more of a nicer lens than the other one, and will have better optics, better build, better user experience, has a constant maximum aperture, it will last longer and will put up with more abuse. You also paying for that 'L', which is the prestige sie of it.

    As for 1.4 vs. 1.8... Even if your shooting conditions only dictate that you need f/2, the 1.4 will look much better at f/2 than the 1.8 does.
     
  11. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The 24-105 is a constant f4 lens. be it at 24mm or 105 mm. Your 18-105 is f3.5 at 18mm and f5.6 at 105mm. Constant aperture lenses are more costly to build.

    Secondly the 24-105 is Canon L glass. Top of the line materials and construction. It is their for a lack of a better term, "Pro glass."

    The Nikon 18-105 is a consumer grade lens utilizing consumer grade materials and construction. That doesn't make it bad, but the build of Canon's L glass and Nikon's top line glass is noticeably better and becomes more noticeable over the years. The just tends to be less issues with top line glass over time as it is built to be used day in and day out.

    As for the lens choice, one thing to consider, all lenses tend to be a touch soft wide open. The 50 f1.8 at f1.8 will be that way. The 50 f1.4 will be that way at f1.4. But the 50 f1.4 can be stopped down to f1.8. Not much of a difference, but it can provide some IQ improvement.

    Stopped down to f2 or f2.8 and you may see a noticeable difference. I prefer the fastest glass that will do the job and then stop it down towards f2.8 while maintaining fast shutter speeds at as low of an ISO as possible. Lighting conditions will not always let me get to f2.8 but any stopping down will help a bit.

    One of the things about action/sport photography is that it is very demanding on equipment. Often times more so than most other photography venues. Of course the trade off is the fact that the 50 f1.4 will be more expensive than the 50 f1.8.
     
  12. eevoh

    eevoh TPF Noob!

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    thanks a lot for the info guys.
    i will be looking into the 50mm f1.8 because it's cheap.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009

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