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Thread: lens for sports

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    lens for sports

    I have a new canon xt and would like to take some nice pics of son's football game. I am presently using the EF lens' from my film rebel ef 70-300 4.3 to 5.6 I think. What would be a nice ( not too expensive ) lens for these shots.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Are these mainly daytime games or night-time games? Secondly, how far are you from the action? If you current lens is not getting you the right shutter speeds to stop the action, then you'll either need to look at a moderately fast zoom or a prime.

    If you go the prime route, and if you are not to far from the action, something decent like the 85/1.8 ($350) or the 100/2 ($370) will serve you really well for a wallet-friendly price. If you need longer than that, you will need to start looking at 135mm or 200mm primes, and those can get a lot more expensive.

    If you go the zoom route, you will need to look at lenses like the 70-200/4 ($570) and the Sigma 70-200/2.8 ($750). Some might recommend the 70-300 IS, but it's no faster than what you've already got, so it would serve you not much better if you think your current lens is not doing the job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Near St. Louis
    Your OP was vague. . . Rex's response is spot on. . .

    I'll add this the most popular sports lenses are:

    70-200 F2.8
    300 2.8
    400 2.8
    and something wider your choice here. . .

    These are the most popular for a reason . . . Sports can be very demanding - Limits established on where photographers can be require lenses with longer focal lenghts and not all sports are played in the best lighting, therefore long fast lenses are required to ensure action stopping shutter speeds. . .

    The Sigma 70-200 F2.8 priced at 839 at BH or the new version at 889 give you the cheapest route in tele + fast . . . The canon 70-200 F4 give you the best compromise. . . @ F4 and 200mm. . . . Its a tough call where to spend your money when you have a limited budget.

    good luck to ya. . .
    Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20 HSM | DX 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR | DX 55-200 VR | 35 f/2.0 D | 50 f/1.4 D | 85mm F/1.8 D | SB-800 x 3 | SU-800
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