85mm Lens for Arena Sports?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by jay_philbrick, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. I'm considering an 85mm f1.8 for some upcoming hockey shoots since
    my 100-300 f4 forces me to push the iso on my D70 up to 1250-1600.
    The shots are going to be used on the web but I would like to be
    able to make some prints for those who would like them and want to
    avoid too much noise in the photos.

    When checking out the hockey arena it seemed I was usually shooting
    closer to 100 than 300 and I will be afforded a good vantage point
    (close to and 1 level above the action). I'm trying to avoid the 2.8
    zooms that are availible due to cost, the fact that I usually shoot
    outdoors sports, and because I could also use the 85 for some
    portrait work. I would guess that most would believe such a lens
    would be a compromise for this type of work.

    Has anyone tried or had any success using an 85 for hockey or
    basketball or it it just too short? When the action is close to me I
    think it would work, when it's far away maybe I can just crop in a
    bit? Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions.
  2. I used an 85 1.8 for basketabll from the baseline and liked it very much, it was much better as a short portrait lens than a sports lens in my humble opinion. Forums are for opinions and here is mine, I hate trying to use primes for fast moving sports. Zooming is much more practical, unles you know all the action your want to shoot is in a certain area. For example, if in basketball you only want shots of right under the hoop a prime would be great, but the action is everywhere and the zoom is the way to go. It's unavoidable, arenas are poorly lit and unless you want to flash you need a fast lens and fast film or high ISO. I think your 100-300 F4 at 1600 will give you alot more keepers at a hockey rink than the 85 will. Good luck, have fun and post some results.
  3. Thanks for the help. I would just stick with the zoom if I didn't hope to print and sell a few. I've been working on a few of my test shots from the rink and at 1600 there's a lot of noise. But, I can see what you mean about missing a lot of good shots by limiting myself to a prime. I'm not sure what I'll do. Thanks again.
  4. A 2.8 zoom is expensive, you may want to consider renting one to try it out. One other option is buying used, since the 70-200 AFS-VR came out you can pick up the 80-200 AFD 2.8 dirt cheap at KEH.com. I realize the $500 dollar range is not really dirt cheap, but it is generally considered one of Nikon's best offerings, and as long as you choose Nikon you might as well get some of their best glass. I had one, and it was one of the best lenses I ever owned. (I am one of the idiots that upgraded to the 70-200 ASF-VR.)
  5. One more thought, the cost of a new 85 is @ $300, if you trade in the 100-300 F4 and take the money you would spend to get the 85 you are probably closer to a 80-200 2.8 in excellent grade condition from KEH.
  6. Thanks, Hugh. More good ideas. Someday it looks like I'll have to get one of the faster mid-range zooms, probably without VR so it will be somewhat reasonable.
  7. Jay

    I shoot Hockey LoTTTTTTTS of Hockey at an average tournament I will shoot 3500 frames over 3 to 4 days. I first shot with an 80-200 2.8 Non AFS Nikon lense.... not bad but you should use the AFS version I only loose 1 shot in 20 to out of focus problems. The VR funtion will do you no good at all the SLOWEST you should be shooting at is 18oth @ F2.8 if you have realy good lighting you could get it to 1 250th at ISO 800. An 85 is way to short the minimum is 135mm I usualy shoot from 150 to 200. Hope this helps.....cheers and good luck.
  8. Michael, thanks for the info. I know I'll be hurting until I can get an 80-200 2.8.
  9. for youth basketball, an 85/1.8 from the baseline should work great. i've been using a Sigma 70-200 2.8 on a Canon D30. Its been good, but many times i go to my 50/1.8 cuz the gym is too dark and ISO 1600 on the d30 is too grainy. 50/1.8 Canon lens is great, but a little distant for some shots. I covet the 85/1.8 as a result, still hunting up the cash for it. for hockey, i think you need the reach of the 70-200. You have to live with the 2.8, buit it will be worth it. if you want to see shots of bball with the 70-200, go photo albums at www.leaguelineup.com/ebx. Most of them are mine with the Sigma.
  10. Thanks, Ben. I got the 85/1.8 today, so we'll see how it works soon. I think I'm going to alternate between the 2 lenses I have. I'll get some good, sharp ones near my shooting location with the new lens and hopefully some OK shots from further away with the 100-300.
  11. Part of it depends on if you're going for equal coverage of both teams. If you're sticking to one team with BBall and can move to the other end, an 85 1.8 is great. But it's not near long enough for the far end of BBall, and the far end of hockey is completely out. Having the low light ability is great, but being able to blur out the ugly in most gyms is great too. For BBall, it's my favorite lens.

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