need a tele lens for sports

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by kevin_b.|2, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. I'm looking to purchase a prime tele lens for shooting sports. But I don't know what i need. I know what i want. The ability to shoot a subject from far away to at min 33% of the image. So my max distance from the subject would be like I am near the 50 yrd line (football) shooting a hail mary pass into the endzone on the opposite corner. I think thats like 240-270ft I believe.
     
  2. What's your budget?
    Canon makes some really nice big white lenses just for your shooting situation. But they aren't cheap. Look at the Canon teles from 400-800mm.
     
  3. You'd need around 300mm for that, which is expensive. I use the 200mm f2.8L Canon lens for sports (I can't afford the 70-200mm yet). You did say prime right? Otherwise the various 70-200mm are the usual picks for sports. I've shot all the way across the field to opposite endzone, and get around 25% filling the shot. Not quite as far as what you're talking about though. What lens/lenses do you already have? You might try renting first to find one that suits you best. Prices range from $800 for 3rd party to $1600+.
    Oh, and what body do you shoot with? I use a 40D, so my 200mm is more like a 320mm.
     
  4. I assume youre in the stands and not on the field, correct? A 300mm would be ideal. There is an f 4.0 that also has IS, and its just over a grand. However, like Nathan, I use the 200mm 2.8 for football and other sports. This lens is smaller, less expensive and its comes in quiet black, which I find preferable at sports events. Having 2.8 is great as well as long as you have the reach. There is also a Canon 1.4 extender that works well with the 200mm, making it a 280mm.
     
  5. I have an Rebel XTI. I'm currently leaning towards a 70-300 with IS. I'm just concerned with its non rugged construction. I also wish it was a fixed length (not prime) camera with internal zoom. Otherwise I also like the 80-400 Sigma. But that will be tougher to find.
     
  6. That will require at least a 400. You might get away with a 300 if you're shooting from the sideline on a 1.6 crop, but I'd go with a 400. Below is a cropped image from a 400 2.8 with subject ~60 yards away.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. The 300 2.8 IS is sweet, and you can add a 1.4X extender if needed. Are you sure the venue you hope to shoot at will permit you to use professional glass? You might consider renting one first, as it's a lot of dough if you're not sure you'll use it.
     
  8. I'm looking to purchase a prime tele lens for shooting sports.​
    I agree with Dave Holland. The ideal pairing would be the 5.6 pound Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM + 7.8 ounce Canon EF 1.4x II Extender.
    If money is not too much of an issue for you now, then get the ultimate sport lens, the 11.7 pound Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS USM.
     
  9. Peter J said it all.
    I fully agree. 300 F2.8 is sweet, 400 F2.8 even sweater, but noticeably heavier :)
     
  10. of course the cheapest option is the 85mm 1.8, of course you will also have to buy a uniform and make the team to get the pics!
     
  11. Brian. I shot sports for several years for a newspaper from football sidelines with a monopod and a 70-200 2.8L and was published regularly. I had sideline access. The 2.8 was important for night football games. I did football, soccer, baseball, wrestling, girls field hockey, track and I currently do a lot of indoor swimming at large venues. I have deck access. The light is bad in some of those swimming venues. I would not use fixed focus because I would have lost too many pictures where I had to shoot at 70MM to fill the frame. I did not use the 70-200 for basketball because it is too long. I have a 100-400 L IS also. I do not use it for swimming because the light and contrast is too shaky in places like Harvard. The 100-400 is great for a bright day but for overall general sports use I have been using the 70-200 since 1997. IS is not good for randomly moving sports although you track linear movement with setting 2 on my 100-400 for something like a race car. 240 feet is 70 yards. You have to get closer than that by moving up and down the sidelines.
     
  12. Brian. I shot sports for several years for a newspaper from football sidelines with a monopod and a 70-200 2.8L and was published regularly. I had sideline access. The 2.8 was important for night football games. I did football, soccer, baseball, wrestling, girls field hockey, track and I currently do a lot of indoor swimming at large venues. I have deck access. The light is bad in some of those swimming venues. I would not use fixed focus because I would have lost too many pictures where I had to shoot at 70MM because I was so close to the action in football or other sports. I did not use the 70-200 for basketball because it is too long. I have a 100-400 L IS also. I do not use it for swimming because the light and contrast are too shaky in places like Harvard. The 100-400 is great for a bright day but for overall general sports use I have been using the 70-200 since 1997. IS is not good for randomly moving sports although you track linear movement with setting 2 on my 100-400 for something like a race car. 240 feet is 70 yards. You have to get closer than that by moving up and down the sidelines.
     
  13. Yes I quickly decided that a zoom lens would be my best option since all prime lenses in that range are crazy expensive. Can anyone recommend the Canon 70-300 4-5.6 with IS.
     
  14. No. Go with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens on one body. Then get a second body and put a wider fast lens on that to cover the angles where the 70-200 cannot.
     
  15. Kevin a far more satisfactory lens is a 70-200 F4. IS is nice but, at least, I never needed it for sports and it adds cost while not being useful much of the time. You can probably find a used one for a very reasonable price.
     
  16. Kevin a far more satisfactory lens is a 70-200 F4. IS is nice but, at least, I never needed it for sports and it adds cost while not being useful much of the time. You can probably find a used one for a very reasonable price.
     
  17. Whichever of these longer, white primes you might be getting, be aware that like flying an airplane it's required (or should be) to have a medical checkup before you buy one. Here's important information for users of these genuinely unparalleled lenses (link ).
    Personally, if I were doing this application, I would want the flexibility of something like the 100-400mm IS where I'd accept some compromise in IQ, if necessary. For cheaper - the 70-300mm IS is a real bargain, if not quite so good on the long end.
     
  18. Can anyone recommend the Canon 70-300 4-5.6 with IS.

    Unfortunately that lens is too slow to do any good. Even with a 70-100 f2.8 (canon or 3rd party), you still need to be on the sidelines. As others have said, a 300mm would do okay in the stands, but you must have something faster than the 70-300, which will be at f5.6 where you'll be shooting most of the time, just too slow. The IS doesn't factor here since the players are moving more than you will be, you'll have to shoot no slower than 1/400 to avoid blurry photos.
     
  19. I suspect that with an XTi cranked up even to ISO 1600, at 5.6 you're still going to be shooting only around 1/80 sec. at f/5.6 for floodlit nighttime shots, so Nathan is right if that is what you're doing. On the other hand, in full daylight on a Saturday afternoon, I'd think that the 70-300 IS would work well enough.
     
  20. Another knock against the 70-300/4-5.6 is the speed of its autofocus. A similar comment applies to the suggestions of using an extender. I don't shoot sports but I use the 300/4 + 1.4x extender a lot and I would not trust it to track a running back. Especially if you are shooting night games I would suggest the 70-200/2.8. Even with the crop factor that will be a little short if you are shooting from the stands. If you go to ebay or the used sections of camera stores you should be able to find a used version of the less expensive non-IS model.
    Unfortunately if you are shooting from the stands you are into the crazy expensive primes and restricted viewing angles. It might be better to put away the camera and enjoy the game.
     

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