good sports lens


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Jan 5, 2009
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North Georgia
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I'm looking for a good sport lens for a canon. I need a high shutter speed and a good zoom. any suggestions?
70-200 f/2.8 L-IS USM, either version 1 or 2. 300/2.8-L.

WHICH sport(s)? An 85mm 1.8 is pretty good for indoor sports like volleyball,basketball,wrestling,and gymnastics, but is a bit short for soccer and baseball.
WHICH sport(s)?

Indeed... Are you going to be sitting right under the board at a basketball game, the inside corner of a race track, or in the stands at a large stadium??
it will be a bit of both. the 85mm 1.8 sounds fine for the inside, but what about something a bit more distant. it will be mostly football and baseball, as far as the outside sports go.
I shot soccer from the side of the net. A 70-200 was ok when they were close. I didnt have much reach when shooting the opposite net to make anything more than setup shots.

The AP and Reuters guys had a 70-200 and 400 f2.8
High school varsity-level football is usually played at night in the USA, so that calls for high ISO values and wide apertures...JV football is often played in the afternoons so the lighting is much,much,much brighter. For night, varsity football under the typically dismal lighting the majority of high school fields have, think fast aperture lens, from the sidelines, 12-15 yards ahead of the line of scrimmage, shooting running backs breaking through the line and/or coming around the corner toward your camera position...for this kind of stuff, a FAST lens is better than a "long" lens, so the 85/1.8 or 100/2 or 135/2 are actually pretty good lenses...a LOT of scores will come to the right hand side of the end zone at the goal line to coffin corner areas, so if you're down there,and in the right position, even a 35mm lens is "long enough" just have to pick your opportunities and your camera positions....standing on the back line of the end zone with a 50mm you can get a great shot of many TD's--and a long lens is a detriment in that situation.

One thing is this: you need to make the most of the opportunities you GET or that you MAKE. If you're shooting sideline football with an 85mm lens, you WILL NOT be able to capture every single play...however, when a running back comes around the end and toward your sideline, you will be in a better position than a guy shooting a 300 or 400...same on sideline tackles right in front of your position...better reach for the 24-70 and let the monopod lens fall into the crook of your arm..

Baseball varies with the shooting spot...a 100-300 f/4 is a good lens for baseball at most HS and American legion and semi-pro "depends" on how you want to shoot...fixed, fast teles like 300/.2.8 and 400mm are often very,very limiting for baseball in the infield, but help with fly balls and deep shots to the

Successful sports shooting is very much about putting yourself in the right position to get the kind of shots you want to get, or that you CAN get with the gear and shooting position you have or are allowed to get. You do not always need a long lens; in fact, at many venues, really long lenses can be very limiting, and you're better off with something FAST, like your 85/1.8 or 135/2, especially at high school stadiums and gyms which are often VERY poorly-lit compared to NCAA or pro stadiums.

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