I was going to say the same thing as you, Rex. The most cost effective route would be the canon 85 1.8. I've shot with this lens before and it's really quite amazing. VERY sharp even wide open, very fast and a good focal length for sports assuming you can get reasonably close to the action. The 85mm would be closer to the short end of your telezoom lens now so if you think you'll need more than that then disregard that suggestion. If you're sitting up in the nose bleeds then the sigma 70-200 f/2.8 would be the second best way to go. Might be the best for you anyways considering i'm sure you don't "set up" for your shot before hand. You just take em from wherever you happen to be sitting in which case the zoom would be very handy. Sigmas 70-200 f/2.8 EX is on my wish list. After i buy my tamron 17-50 f/2.8 i'm going to start saving for it. It's a great lens. I didn't know if you had something that expensive (750) in your budget or not but it's the best tool for the job. If you were doing this professionaly i'd recomend the canon 70-200 f/2.8L but it's like 1200 or something like that so it's prolly out of the question, plus it would look more like your rebel came with your lens than the other way around :-). Unfortunately fast glass (f/2.8 and lower) isn't cheap. You COULD get away with f/4 in which case the canon 70-200 f/4L would be a good choice at around 550 or so i think but you'd have to bump iso and that of course increases grain. Shooting with primes takes some getting used to especially if you're used to zoom lenses (like me.) Either way, if you're wanting something to stop action while keeping your iso at a happy level then you'll need a fast lens and unfortunately there's really not "budget" fast lenses. Stay away from the lure of image stabilization for sports, it's great for camera shake and hand holding longer exposures effectivly giving you a 2-3 stop advantage however... it does this by slowing shutter speeds then compensating for hand movement which the lens will keep steady but that doesn't stop subject movement. You'll still get subject blur. The only thing that will freeze action is fast shutter speeds and the only way to get fast shutter speeds is a bump in iso or a lower f number (or both in some cases.) Good luck and happy shooting.
Last edited by BonjiB; 08-24-2006 at 10:27 PM.
The name is pronounced bonn-gee-bee
Canon 1Ds Mark II
Canon 20D + BG-E2
Canon Elan 7e
Canon 70-200 f/2.8L USM IS
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF]
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus