indoor basketball lens

Discussion in 'Sports' started by dan_kraft, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Anybody out there can give a suggestion on what a good indoor sport (basketball) lens for a canon 30d. Something
    not too expensive but will give quality shots. I know gym lighting in general is not very good. I have access to the
    floor under and around the basket and court. Please help. Thanks, Danny
  2. Dan - with a crop factor sensor, it's hard to get any cheaper or better than a 50mm 1.8. It's the the perfect focal length for shooting from the baseline and fast enough to keep the ISO reasonable.
  3. I'll second the "fast 50" recommendation. Depth of field can get very thin at maximum aperture, so you still might want to shoot at 2.8 or 4 with high ISO, rather than wide open at a moderate ISO.
  4. 50mm f/1.8

    85mm f/1.8

    35mm f/2
  5. You'll probably have to deal with fluorescent lighting that's very dim. That makes it really difficult to get decent colors. So I use flash, but I place them up high at the baseline, angled towards the free throw line.
  6. Been there, done that, and the 85mm is too big. I use the 50 mm f/1.8 and set your white balance to the gym lighting. I agree with Zane's comments as well. But, another cool technique is to open it up and pan with the player, gives shallow DoF and also moves the other players . . . . may want to practice a bit with the technique . . . but it is very cool when you nail it!

  7. In this past week's /">What did you shoot thread. I have several pictures from high school hoops that I shot with a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 on a Canon xti. I shot at ISO 1600 on manual f/2.8 and 1/320 sec. I also got away with average white balance. All shots were from near the corner.
  8. Here's another vote for the 50 f/1.8. Perfect focal length on a crop camera, and at f/2 of 2.8 you should be ok. I use flash in the very dimly lit gyms, but I prefer not to, although sometimes as it was said earlier, the flash gives better color.

    Fool around with your settings and you'll find what's best for you.

    Best of luck,

  9. Hey everybody, thanks for the responses. So, a 50 1.8 or an 85 1.8? I'm still a little confused on which way to go. Thanks, Dan
  10. It depends on how far away you plan to be and depends on what kind of shots you're looking to take. The only one to tell you this is you, so you will need to simply find out. As the 50mm f/1.8 is $70 or so, it would make sense to start with that and, if you find you need more focal length then you could rent a 85mm lens for purposes of testing it as a solution.
  11. I will be under the basket and in the corners. I am looking to get some pics of kids dribbling and shooting. I would like full body shots.
  12. I've used both the 50mm and 85mm on DX cameras. The 85mm will let you get tight shots of the ball handling outside the key. And you can get really tight shots under the basket. You may find the 50mm easier to use if you're just starting out. It takes a lot of practice to shoot basketball well, and you really need to anticipate to use the 85mm.

    Good luck, and have fun.
  13. I have a 85mm f1.2 that I use on my Canon. For me this is a wonderful focal length to shoot basketball.

    "I would like full body shots".

    I wouldn't be too concerned about getting full body shots. Just follow the action, everything else will take care of

  14. Dan, on a crop camera, an 85 will be too much from the baseline.
  15. the 50 is perfect for baseline shots, I'd suggest shooting at 1/400, and adjust ISO and aperture as needed.
  16. Everybody, thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to pick up a 50 f/1.8 and give it a shot. Dan great bball pic! Dan
  17. OK i guess I am an odd ball. I use a EF 70-200mm lens. I use two remote flashes lined up along the base line. depends on the gym where I can mount them. 1000 iso f2.8 1/500.
  18. OK fellows, some help here. I've been shooting by son's basketball games, BUT, all the gyms are very small and poor light. I had the 85 but it was tooooo long for these small gyms since I am stuck at one end and close due to the gym size. I have the 50 1.4 and it does good but are two questions. Focus is not sharp most of the time although useful but not real sharp so is it the focus point problem?
    Question two; with the 50 1.4 I can't the shots further away - half court and further- are ike a wide angle with too much in the photo for what I want so I would like a zoom with a max aperture below 2.8 and lower than 50.
    F/2.8 is not working due to the light problem, etc.. except occassionaly so I am stuck with the prime and wait for the action at my end of the court.
    I do not see where Canon makes a zoom with a max aperture lower than 2.8 that is not an L lens, so is there a zoom by someone else that is lower since I have to stop down or the photos are soft wide open except on my L lenses. Or do you thnk the 2.8 zoom will be sharp wide open if it is a canon L lens?
    I hope I am making sense enough for an answer.
  19. Sorry, Harold, but I don't think you'll find any zoom faster than f/2.8. What body do you have? Play with your ISO settings. Can you use a flash?

    One of the gyms I shoot in I can't use flash. I have two bodies, a Nikon D2H and a Nikon D80. One of them has the Nikkor 50 f/1.8 or the Tamron 17-50f/1.8, and the other has the Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8, allowing me to cover the whole floor, ISO around 1000, f/2.8, 1/400-1/500 in very poor lighting conditions.

    One intriguing zoom for basketball would be Sigma's 50-150 f/2.8, a fast zoom that allows a good range, pretty inexpensive, and all results seem that it is sharp. This range would allow you to cover your end of the floor and at least to half court, and with a little cropping the entire floor.

    Good luck with your predicament,

  20. IF I have to use a 2.8 it would have to be sharp wide open due to the small and poorly lit gyms we are playing in.
    How is the Tamron? do they make one with a little more range above and below 50mm?
    The sigma would have to be sharp wide open.
    I am using a Canon 40D.
    Thanks for your response.
  21. I personally have never used the Sigma, only second hand accounts with the qualifier that I've never heard a nything bad about it.
    As f ar a s the Tamron, I can vouch for the quality of this little thing. Ridiculously great buy (about $400 w/ a 6- year warranty new), dead-on sharp at f/2.8 throughout the range, and the colors are absolutely ph enomenal.
    Tamron a lso make a 28-70 f /2.8, which would give you a little more teleph oto but take away some of the wide angle. This is a full-frame lens in case you ever wanted to move up to FF, and fr om acc ounts I've heard as we ll as sample images I've seen from a friend, this seems to be very sharp throughout the range, and li ke th e 17-50 de ad-on at 2.8 .
    I've a friend who use s the 40D and as I recall the high ISO is pretty go od, she gets usable results at least till 1600. What ISO are you at? If you saved some money by getting the Tamron, you could also put it to a flash if allowed in your le a gue.
    Hope some of that rambling helps...for good deals on stuff check out KEH.
    Good luck,
  22. Tamron 28-105 f/2.8 worked great. on d-100 and D2H. Mine was stolen at Kodak musium in Rochester then i got a crappy refurbished one to replace it. Dumped it fast trading up to a 17-55 2.8 nikon. Nice lens also but i miss the longer range. Wish list = 24-105 constant f/2.0. Size would be worth it as my stolen 200 f/2.0 was worth its weigh in shoulder pain. 70-200 is great also, it depends how in their face do you want to get? You dont always have to be under the basket. The bleachers with some zoom works to. 200 works good here if you have 2.8 to blur somedistracting background out. I also haul my 600 F/4.5 S.S.C canon, (mounted on a nikon - I'll let you wonder how thats done), to the bleacher top with studio flash off the ceiling. Bugger to follow them though. Focus is a little easier if they are way away - like 60 to 80 yards down the football field coming to you.
  23. Bruce and Gabe,
    You both mention using Tamron lenses. My question about them, as well as all 2.8 lenses is this.
    Are they sharp wide open, because that is what I would have to use them at in these dungeon gyms here.
  24. I've been shooting basketball lately. I have an Olympus E-3 and use my 35-100 F/2.0 zoom. I shoot mostly from the baseline 1/3 of the way from one of the corners.
    The field of view is the 35mm equivalent of 70-200 and to me this seems to be very advantageous to get shots from the three-point line or far side as well as under the basket.
  25. Harold,
    I n sh o r t, y e s the Tamron is very sharp at 2.8. I know my copy is, as well as others whom I k now is. I do n 't think you would regret that buy. I ran some initial tests when I got it, and it is extremely sh arp at f.2.8, may b e even sharper wide open than it is at f/8, although it's real ly good th e re, t o o.
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  27. I'll just throw in my two cents. I work for a small newspaper out here in Alaska, and spend a lot of time shooting sports in our gym which, thankfully, is decently lit.
    When I'm shooting from the baseline I will most often have my 35-70mm f/2.8 on, my 50mm f/1.8 in reserve, and my 80-200mm f/2.8 for cross-court shots, or if I decide to go for a different angle, or from the balcony over the basket.
    The 35-70 provides just the right amount of versatility to cover most action on the near half of the court. Most of my shots come from that end, simply due to the fact that the action is coming towards me and I can see faces instead of backs, as I would on the other end of the court.
    Another thing to consider, and I don't mean this to be patronizing but I definitely wish someone would have told me this when I started, if you're having trouble balancing out noise/appropriate shutter speed make sure that you're exposing shots as close to the appropriate level, or perhaps a little overexposed. You'll get better results exposing correctly in the first place than trying to push the exposure in PP. And, if you overexpose you can usually bring the noise level down by bringing the exposure level down in PP, which is handy.
    For instance, at our regional Wrestling tournament I shot at around 1/320 and ISO 3200 f/2.8, and then dealt with dialing back exposure in PP, and the results from earlier tournament shots at ISO 1600 show substantially reduced noise.
  28. It's funny to see folks saying the 85/1.8 is too long for this as it is what I almost always use. But I imagine some have a taste for wider or tighter shots, so I'll attach an uncropped one from the 85 to show the field of view from the corner.
    I occasionally use the 50/1.8 and if I have enough light I get out the 180/2.8.
    I'm not usually right on the baseline, but on the corner of the floor probably five to ten feet from the edge of the court.
  29. My recommendation for use on a 30D is the 50/1.4 stopped down to 1.8 (light permitting). Center focusing point, center-weighted average metering, AI servo-continuous drive, Av shooting mode. Behind the baseline and out to the corners. I've never used flash or strobes and can't help with that.
  30. I like using a variable zoom, i dont like the fixed focal length. I have a Sigma 24-70 f2.8. the zoom is perfect, but the focus is a little slow. the 2.8stop is also a tiny bit slow in some gyms but the zoom factor works great. you dont really want to crop in an image shot at iso1000 or greater as this will increase your noise ratio (the noise gets bigger and stands out more) i would greatly reccommend a 24-70 2.8 if you can find one with a faster focus then the sigma. I also have the 50mm f1.8 and its focus element is even slower then the sigma and a fixed zoom can kill you sometimes.

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