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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Help with lens selection. (sports shooters)
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10/24/2006 06:50:21 PM · #1
OK Folks I need some serious help. I am doing more and more sports for the newspaper. So I have slowly been upgrading lens and flashes and so forth. Well this week I upgraded my 50 f1.8 to the 50 f1.4USM thinking I could use this for indoor sports, IE. basketball, volleyball. However after talking to the famous ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' jmsetzler and referencing a few other sites. I have found this may not focus fast enough to be effective for what I need it for. I was recommended to go with the 24-70mm F2.8L for faster autofocusing, even though its slower in apeture it makes up for it in af speed. SO here is my quandrum, I currently have the famous tamron 28-75, and now the 50 f1.4 usm. Which I can still return to B&H as I have only had it one day. So my question is, do I sell the Tamron, return the 50 f1.4 and take the money I have put back for a backup body and buy the 24-70mm or do I keep the 50 f1.4 and buy the backup body now, and hope I can get by with it for indoor sports.The tamron while a sharp lens doesnt have near fast enough AF speed for this. Please toss in your opinion, your experiences. Thanks

MattO

BTW I also use the 70-200mm f2.8L canon for volleyball when I can. And I do have my Canon 100mm Macro but its not a fast AF beast either.
10/24/2006 08:56:36 PM · #2
Bump for the night crowd. NO one has any opinions on this? I could use some direction.

MattO
10/24/2006 09:01:55 PM · #3
I don't know enough about these lenses to offer an opinion :-(

But I came up with a couple questions that might help decide...

Would you be using the 2nd body for this same sports work? Cause I could see how that might be useful.
Are you doing enough sports work to justify the cost of L glass for that purpose?

Not really sure what else to say, but I can see some benefit in having a zoom available for sports shots.
10/24/2006 09:09:29 PM · #4
Originally posted by ladyhawk22:

I don't know enough about these lenses to offer an opinion :-(

But I came up with a couple questions that might help decide...

Would you be using the 2nd body for this same sports work? Cause I could see how that might be useful.
Are you doing enough sports work to justify the cost of L glass for that purpose?

Not really sure what else to say, but I can see some benefit in having a zoom available for sports shots.


Well at this point I'm earning 50 to 100 dollars a week with the sports editor. BTW photography isnt my main job, thats just stuff I do nights and weekends. So I'm not sure if it does or not. I'm sure I could use the second body, however without a lens to shoot with does it really matter? :-) I'm so confused, I've never shot inside sports before this year. At least not for anyone else. I had never shot volleyball until 2 weeks ago and basketball is the same. The editor really likes my work and I think he would keep me as busy as I want to be, and I want to always put my best foot forward as in a couple of years the staff photog is going to retire, and this could turn into a possible career change, however I'm not sure it would ever be able to replace my main income as I do rather well with my present career, however its not near as enjoyable to me anymore as photography is. Thanks for your input, maybe someone else will help me as well.

MattO
10/24/2006 09:16:02 PM · #5
A second body will enable you to shoot close ups and regular shots without changing lenses. When speed is of the essence, it helps alot. Too many missed opportunities (for me at least) were usually due to having the wrong lens on at the right time.

BTW - for shooting indoor sports, my choices would be the 16-35L and the 70-200L. Neither of which I have. So I shoot football and baseball. For now. :)

Message edited by author 2006-10-24 21:18:32.
10/24/2006 09:16:26 PM · #6
Personally... Save the money and purchase some lighting instead. If you can setup before hand it'll make the world of difference between a winning shot and the shot that doesn't quite make it. Personally...

I use the Cannon 70-200 2.8IS and area flashes to make the indoor photography work.

Piet
10/24/2006 09:24:13 PM · #7
If you do other work, you might need that Tamron AND the 1.4....unless you can sell the 1.4 and get the 1.8. That'll save you a couple of hundred towards a 2nd body.

Message edited by author 2006-10-24 21:25:36.
10/24/2006 09:25:21 PM · #8
See if there is anything here you can use.
?
sports lens
10/24/2006 09:37:34 PM · #9
It certainly seems like you'd need more range than a 28-75. I don't have it but people RAVE about the 70-200 2.8L IS. I use the 100-400L f4.5-5.6 for sports and wildlife and I'm very happy with it. So happy in fact, I just bouight the 24-105L IS. It arrived today, so I can't really say anything about it yet!
10/24/2006 10:04:51 PM · #10
I haven't been displeased with the focusing speed of the 50 1.4. I've found that when using it for sports I'm always using it with a very specific range in mind in the first place. I also have and use the 24-70 L and it's a great lens as well. I will say if you shoot boxing the 50 tends to give much better results, but that is about the only case where I greatly prefer one over the other.
Check the Sports Shooter and I'm sure you'll find all the info you could ever want......
Good luck.
10/24/2006 10:04:52 PM · #11
I haven't been displeased with the focusing speed of the 50 1.4. I've found that when using it for sports I'm always using it with a very specific range in mind in the first place. I also have and use the 24-70 L and it's a great lens as well. I will say if you shoot boxing the 50 tends to give much better results, but that is about the only case where I greatly prefer one over the other.
Check the Sports Shooter and I'm sure you'll find all the info you could ever want......
Good luck.
10/24/2006 10:15:00 PM · #12
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and help. Let me try to answer a couple of questions.

I do already have a 70-200f2.8L and I love it, I use it for indoor volleyball, and shooting outdoor sports. This thread is specifically asking about indoor sports events.

As far as setting up lighting ahead of time, most of my shooting is done at various schools and various gyms. Sometimes multiple gyms in the same day(like the VBALL tourney I shot in 3 in one day on one campus) I dont see presetting lighting as an option since I likely wont shoot the same gym more then once or twice a season.

I think that the 50mm May limit me in basketball, except I'll likely be shooting in a specific range all the time and can crop. ALthough I dont really like to shoot primes like this because of how it limits me. But I thought the extra stops would be nice in horribly light gyms. But I'm not sure about the focus speed.

How fast is the 16-35L in focusing? DO you find the short range to limit you much?

I currently have a rented 100-400 IS and I'm evaluating it for future purchase options, however this is the time of year for indoor sports, Outdoor is just about over and my 70-200 F2.8L and 1.4TC cover them nicely.

I'm leaning towards sending the 50mm back and looking into maybe the 24-70 or the 16-35 as they have been suggested in this thread and in PMs to me. Thanks everyone, if anyone else has a suggestion please feel free to speak up. Thanks

MattO


10/24/2006 10:20:09 PM · #13
I've used the canon 85mm f1.8 with success for both basketball and indoor volleyball. It seems to focus quite fast, is very sharp, and has wide aperature. Only downside is it's not a zoom, but with the 85 on a 1.6 crop factor camera, I get plenty of reach out of it. You might want to consider that as an option.

Doug
10/24/2006 10:31:02 PM · #14
Originally posted by dswebb:

I've used the canon 85mm f1.8 with success for both basketball and indoor volleyball. It seems to focus quite fast, is very sharp, and has wide aperature. Only downside is it's not a zoom, but with the 85 on a 1.6 crop factor camera, I get plenty of reach out of it. You might want to consider that as an option.

Doug


Do you find that under the net in basketball that 85mm especially on a 1.6 crop cam would be too long? I admit that when I shot VBALL with the 70-200 my average range was right in the 85mm range, so that may work well for there, as long as the AF is fast on it. I wonder about BBall though. Since most of the shooting would be when the ball is in the half end of the court I would be shooting in. THis lens is definately in the range of price that I could still work on getting the second body still.

MattO
10/24/2006 10:39:09 PM · #15
Get the 1600mm f4.0 lens.


10/24/2006 10:40:16 PM · #16
Originally posted by American_Horse:

Get the 1600mm f4.0 lens.


/me rolls his eyes and wonders how big a gym I would need to actually use this lens.

MattO
10/24/2006 10:44:29 PM · #17
The 1.4 aperture could definitely come in handy if the 50 focal length is what you need. I guess it depends on the situation, if you find out you need a wide fast lens get the 16-35. Has the AF on the 28-75 failed you yet?

I think I would go to manual focusing and maybe setting focus and waiting for the subject, since it seems like it'd be more reliable... AF for me always seems to jump to the background with moving subjects, when the light isn't perfect. I guess a 1dmk2 would help, and some 2.8 L zooms...
10/24/2006 10:45:26 PM · #18
All seriousness.

You have to decide what you are going to shoot.

I have several lens sets. I shoot alot of sports.

I use my primes for indoors because they are fast.

I use my telephoto when out doors because I can reach out and touch someone.

Also, I have a sports camera body. 8.5 frames with a 40 frame burst.

Sports is a tricky animal to ride, so ask your self what is it you want to shoot.

Then find the fastest, baddest, most expensive glass you can afford.


10/24/2006 10:58:42 PM · #19
Originally posted by American_Horse:

All seriousness.

You have to decide what you are going to shoot.

I have several lens sets. I shoot alot of sports.

I use my primes for indoors because they are fast.

I use my telephoto when out doors because I can reach out and touch someone.

Also, I have a sports camera body. 8.5 frames with a 40 frame burst.

Sports is a tricky animal to ride, so ask your self what is it you want to shoot.

Then find the fastest, baddest, most expensive glass you can afford.


Thanks for the advice, since you actually have the lens I am asking about how about commenting on its use for indoor sports? And as far as a body, while 8.5 fps is nice, I rarely use the 5fps that my 30D will do. And you cant actually use any of those when you need flash. As far as what I want to shoot. I want to shoot what the editor asks me to. And as that goes its usually just high school athletics, although I have shot for the news dept as well. I'm not going to get rich or justify thousands of dollars in upgrades to shoot for a once a week paper. I doubt I'll ever make a living doing this, however I dont mind putting down some coin to make my shots appealing to the editor and the players and their family that I sell too. I have some decent equipment now, so its not like I'm trying to do this with a toy camera or anything. I simply want some real world advice from people who have been there and dont mind sharing some actual experiences with a fellow photographer.

MattO
10/24/2006 11:08:59 PM · #20
I suggest using the 5 fps mode. What does it matter to you anyway. You can pick what frames you like in post.

Not to mention, consequtive frames sometimes come up with some cool results.

I like AF mode in sports. I like IS mode in #2 mode in sports.

I use my quantum external battery on my 50mm and 100mm lens with a flash to get in sync flash with my shutter.

I like using primes over telephoto. But telephoto has benefits as well.

Just shot two football games this past weekend with my 100-400mm.

Check out my blog.

Blog

Looking through some vollyball I shot tonight using primes. Will post in blog later.

Advice? Spend wisely.
10/24/2006 11:30:52 PM · #21
I can't help you as I don't shoot sports and haven't used a 24-70...BUT I did shoot basketball back in college with a 50 1.8, manual focus, manual everything.

So if it can be done in all manual, why does AF speed matter?
10/24/2006 11:33:30 PM · #22
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:



So if it can be done in all manual, why does AF speed matter?


Insurance.


10/24/2006 11:33:48 PM · #23
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

I can't help you as I don't shoot sports and haven't used a 24-70...BUT I did shoot basketball back in college with a 50 1.8, manual focus, manual everything.

So if it can be done in all manual, why does AF speed matter?


Apparently you have never read my follies on how much I suck at manual focusing! I couldnt do it with a good lens, how am I suppose to do it with a cheap lens? :-) I'm sure lots of folks have and can do it, however I'm not one of them.

MattO
10/24/2006 11:54:12 PM · #24
I have used the 85f1.8 a few times for Karate in tough light and it works great when you have the room (I also have a 1.6 crop). It's focusing is fast fast (possibly faster then the 70-200f4 that I have but certainly a lot faster then the tammy 28-75) - I don't have the 50f1.4 to compare but hear it's not the fastest to focus.

I would expect things like bb, volleyball would be great for the 85*1.6 length and IMO this is the best value lens in the Canon line up (maybe with the exception of the 50f1.8 but IMO it's a close call).
10/24/2006 11:57:40 PM · #25
I don't know if there are any places to rent lenses around you, but if you can find somewhere maybe you could rent some of those suggested and use them on shoots. That way you get to see how they perform and learn what feels most comfortable and suits your purposes. Then you'll be garaunteed to spend your money on what you *really* need and want :-)
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