85 1.8 or 100 2.0?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by victoria_harris|1, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. I am wanting to buy a new lens for the winter sports I will be shooting (wrestling, basketball, swimming), currently I have a 70-200 f2.8 but I want something that with a better f-stop for gyms with bad lighting. Between the 85mm 1.8 and the 100mm 2.0 which one do you guys think would be best? I am using a Canon 50D. Thanks!
  2. In practical terms, the difference between f/1.8 and f/2 isn't very meaningful. You're better off looking at those two focal lengths (using your 70-200) and seeing which one provides you the more useful working distance. Either way, you'll have next to no DoF when using those lenses wide open, and if you stop either down even a touch, you're right back to using your much more versatile 70-200/2.8 wide open anyway.

    If you're really having problems, it sounds like you'd be better off with a body (and/or a workflow) that will support higher ISO shooting, making that difference of 1 stop essentially meaningless. And that leaves you able to respond - with the zoom's greater flexibility - to a much wider range of situations without juggling lenses as you go.
  3. The 85/1.8 is one of the hidden gems of the Canon lens lineup. Should be an "L", but not being an L series keeps the price very affordable.
  4. Agree with @Matt, a new body that gave you more than 1 stop more in ISO would help much more. Not having to switch lenses, which might mean losing a shot, is a definite advantage worth thinking about. With the 70-200 check between the 100 and 200 zoom difference, see if you really want to give that up. You might find if you buy the 100mm, you'd be switching to the 70-200 frequently.
  5. you can speculate about af-s nikkor 85mm f/1.4g. but i thing 70-200mm f/2.8 is satisfactory for wrestling, basketball, swimming.
  6. I use, for b'ball, the 70-200 2.8 and usually a 17-50 2.8 with 2 Nikon bodies. I'm lucky to have 2 bodies, I know! But ...I use the 85 1.8 for volleyball most of the time. The 85 should also be good for swimming if you are able to shoot from near the pool, and wrestling if near the mat. Otherwise, the 70-200.
    The 85 is great from corners of b'ball court and few ft toward the basket. The 70-200 gives you much more flexibility shooting from variety of places except behind backboard shooting layups. 35mm is great for that.
    I would also consider Canon 'L' version of a 17-50 2.8 range lens. I know of a guy on Flickr who shoots with a 200 f2 - volleyball, wrestling, football and I think b'ball. Gorgeous pics. But that lens is over $4000 ! So with any of your lenses in consideration your shooting is somewhat dictated by the focal length. As Robert said, take the 70-200 into the gym, pool area etc and try out various focal lengths.
    Remeber, if shooting you home team multiple time during their seasons, you many opportunities to use different lenses to get the shots you want. You don't need to get every player in perfect shot at every game/meet.
  7. I have been doing sports with the same 70-200 2.8 no IS for 12 years. I currently do a lot of swimming. Matt's point is germaine. If I shoot a backstroker full length from the deck I don't, on occasion, get enough DOF even from 2.8 let alone F2. I have done just about every high school sport for a paper and the web over the years, and weddings with the 70-200. I have both full frame and 1.6 crop bodies. In bad light I can get at least an extra f stop with clarity with the full frame by using a higher ISO.
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    The difference between F/1.8 and F/2 is not that significant – but there is a difference.
    The difference between F/1.8 and F2.8 can be very significant.
    The difference between ISO 3200 and ISO12800 is more significant.
    And the difference between 85mm and 100mm can be very significant - if you cannot move backwards.
    And the time to change a lens can also be very significant.
    All these elements you need to consider to solve your problem.
    But to answer your question - choosing between those two lenses for your application: the 85/f1.8 is the better choice, as it gives you the faster aperture and the shorter FL.
    Further detailed explanation as to why, is here:
  9. Buy for all money you got, something going to change make good investment in lens with f -number under 2 it sure all ways money!
  10. Damn, WW you almost have me convinced I need an 85-1.8. It might a little lighter than the 70-200.
  11. Actually the Amazon price is quite reasonable. $379 about. Only weighs 14 oz.s
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    You do.
    It is.
    :) Gidday Dick.
  13. Ya they both are very reasonably priced.Thanks everyone, I love my 70-200 which I use to shoot a lot of lacrosse with (most the games last year were at night.) However it is a pretty heavy lens and the difference between a 2.8 and 1.8 is pretty huge so it would be nice to have something a bit lighter and shorter.
  14. I've got the 85/1.8 and it really is a little gem. I've used it indoors in some pretty poor light and had some very good results from it.
  15. Victoria,
    Others on here are better with the technical aspects of lens use and buying than I am (which is why I always ask them.) One thing you might also consider is the size and lighting of the gyms. In our small community, the gym is small and poorly lit. I don't have the luxury of sitting in the corner stands of the gym to take pictures. I have to be under the net, with my back to the wall. The 85 f/1.8 has been an excellent prime for those conditions. (Not to mention it has been a great lens for portraits.) I've tried the 70-200 f/2.8 under those conditions and have been very disappointed, throwing out most pictures.
    Another consideration is weight. I shot our regional finals (about 12 games) in a local college's gym last season. Again, I found myself behind under the net. The lighting was great. I used the 85 f/1.8 the entire time; it was great. I would have been worn out using the 70-200. Just something to consider. We don't have wrestling or swimming in our system, so I can't opine on them. Good luck.

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