Football field and 600mm

Discussion in 'Sports' started by fischerphotos, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. Hey guys.
    My best friend is in football and has a home game in a couple of weeks. I was going to go take photos of him.
    (Because he is the quarterback). SO my question is..... Is my 600mm too big of a zoom lens standing on the
    sidelines. I only have 3 lenses. 18-55 kit lens, old 80-200mm lens, and the 600. I feel that the 200 diosn't have
    enough reach but does the 600 have to much reach for what I want it for? I would like to be on the sidelines rather
    than the stands so i'm eye level with my friend. I'm not sure how big our high school football field is in width.
    Any help would be appriciated.
  2. if you rent a 600mm f/4 also get a really heavy duty monopod.... and practice a lot before hand.
  3. Football fields are 55 yards wide. If you are allowed to move up and sown the sideline, the 80 - 200 should be
    fine. I am allowed to roam the sidelines and shoot football using a 70 - 300. I also only shoot day games. The
    question is how fast is the lens? Will this be a night or day game. Most high school stadiums are poorly lit.
  4. Colton,

    IMHO, from the sidelines, the 600 is wayyy to much reach. With that said, if you shoot from the endzone, the 600 would be perfect for everything from the your friends forty, to the near 20 or so. This 600 could yield excellent results of your friend passing etc, and plays going "north to south" but plays that are lateral along the line of scrimmage, not so much.

    Can you bring both lenses? Shoot some end zone, and some sideline shots?
    I've shot lacrosse with my 500 f4 like this (of course on a monopod) from the end like this with good results.

    Hope this helps.
  5. I'm actually not sure if it's day or night. Probably night so i'm guessing i'ts going to be hard. Curse you low lit stadiums!

    Anyways, I was going to purchase a canon 100-400mm lens next summer for wildlife. I love that lens. I think that one would be good focal length wise but I think it's like f4-5 or something like that. He could wait a year for me to take photos with that lens. Keep in mind i'm not buying it for football games and I'm not planning on buying a football lens.

    If none of mine "work" for football then i'll just have to wait for some day games.
  6. Colton,
    I shoot HS football for a weekly newspaper and use a 80-200 f/2.8 with a SB-800 flash from the sidelines and the distance is plenty from the sidelines and the wide aperature is perfect for low-light situations.
    I'm usually able to shoot about 1/320 for shutter at 1200 ISO.
    Unless you have or can rent a major telephoto with a 2.8 aperature, which are $$$$$$, I would stick with your 80-200, if that is a 2.8.

    Good luck,
  7. 600mm will be great shooting from end zones. You'll still want 80-200 on another body when action comes near you. Below is what it looks like when you hand-hold 600mm f4 and haul 200-400mm f4 & 80-200mm f2.8 around for a football game.
  8. For High School Football I like to shoot the 70-200mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/2.8. These are the perfect lenses for me when shooting football. The 600mm maybe to long of a lens for High School Football. If you are shooting football at night, you may need to use a Flash if it is a poorly lit stadium. When Shooting Action I try to avoid flash. If you have a Nikon D3, D700, D300, D90 or Canon 5D you should be able to avoid flash.
  9. I'm with John Vanacore. Spend half the game in the endzone with the 600 and half the game on the sidelines with the 80-200. What camera and what are the maximum apertures of the two lenses?
  10. I'll just wait till day games.
  11. If you know how to focus, compose and balance the rig the 600 is an excellent lens for isolating your player among the crowd. Be about 20 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage for some and a bit closer for head and shoulder work. Wide open will blur the background and really make him stand out.
    With film I shot NFL for a number of years for news work and used the 600 4.0 as my normal lens. Now with digital I shoot with the 400 2.8 as normal. The magnification factor of the mid range bodies makes it close to the combination I used to use. I carry a second body with a 200 1.8 and a third with a 24 1.4 for when I have to move quickly. These three work well across the range I find I need.

    Many friends use zooms but I have stayed with the prime lenses. Main reason is I like them, like the sharpness and wide apertures they give. I tend to key on specific players and action rather than big areas of the field and picking one or two out of the mess. Much nicer to get tight and maybe have to back up a touch than to keep feeling I need more powerful glass.

    At time with some games I will put the 1.4 or 2.0 converter on the 600 for more isolation. Usually when an editor really wants a player up close and I am mainly working on that player.

    If you find the 600 works for you, stay with it. Practice with it by going to practice sessions of the team. Big, fast glass is heavy and hard to handle. Most who try can't find the field much less specific players without a lot of practice and game time is not practice time. It is 'show time' and you have to produce good results. No matter what you use there are always a number of other players to get in your line of sight as well as referees. The big glass allows you to pick out a face from between blitzing players arms and whatnot. Gives you some real options if you work with it.

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