Lens Advice for Rodeo Photography

mckbrown

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Hello!

I have been shooting at a few local rodeo and rough stock events in our area. At the end of November I get to photograph a rodeo school and am needing some help in regards of what lens I should use. I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3. I have the 18-55mm lens that it came with, as well as a 75-300mm lens. While they both can get the job done, I'm really not a big fan of either and am sure there is something else out there I could use. Hoping to rent a lens and play around with some before I buy one. Any advice? I shoot mainly outdoor arenas, and the school will be outdoor, so the lighting is much better than indoor, obviously. I'm a newbie at this, so I'm still getting used to all the functions. That could also be something I need to do, adjust with the lenses that I have. Any and all advice is VERY welcomed!
 

Derrel

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Stock pro lens for so,so many events: Camera maker's current 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, meaning the relatively new Canon 70-200 L-series lens with Image Stablizer (IS) and ultrasonic focusing motor, USM, and the second incarnation, aka the Mark II. It is a fully-professional lens that is the stock in trade of many working pros and serious shooters. Focuses fast, gathers a lot of light, and has superb optics for a zoom lens, balances well when shot hand-held, and is just an all-around great lens for many types of fluid shooting situations. I would rent one of these, just so you can experience what a world-class zoom lens is all about. That would be my recommendation for a rental lens, so you could see first hand what a really fine, fine lens can do for you.

Beneath that are the earlier two f/2.8 Canon 70-200 models, one with,and one without Image Stabilizer technology, and the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC (and NOT the 70-200 Tamron "macro" zoom model, which was dog-slow on focusing).

The small,light 70-200 f/4 L IS USM Canon lens is nifty too; a friend of mine owns one. It balances fantastically on the smaller Canon bodies, and is affordably priced, and has the professional-level optics suitable for the new high-resolution sensors, but is one f/stop slower than the f/2.8 lenses. I would LOVE to own a new 70-200 f/4 with stabilizer, but have an older f/2.8 L IS USM that's still got probably a decade of life left in it for me and my uses.
 

DB_Cro

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Depending on your budget, the already mentioned 70-200 either in F/4 or F/2.8 is what's best.
I'll be buying the much cheaper 70-200 F/2.8 sigma in a few days hopefully, it's got stabilization and
it's even cheaper then the F/4 Canon with IS.

On the other, cheaper hand, the 55-250IS which I own now is A LOT better already then the 70-300
that you currently own. I also own a cheapo body, a T2i.
 
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mckbrown

mckbrown

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Thank y'all for all of this information! I'm a noob and really appreciate your taking the time to pass along your camera wisdom! I'm going to rent the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II, as I think it will give me a great range, from what you both spoke about it, and I can stay out of the way of the guys as they buck horses. Many thanks!!
 

ronlane

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Derrel and DB have pretty much covered everything here. However you mentioned "stay out of the way", you may also consider the Canon 300mm f/4.0. It will allow you to shoot from further back and still fill the frame. It's less than $1400 from B&H. I have used it some and would love to have one in my "stable".
 

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