Telephoto lens for football

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by austin_bodzas, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. I need a telephoto lens for my t2i to shoot night football for my school. The field is lighted bright and I will be taking video from the sidelines or pressbox. I have a budget of about 700 bucks. What's the best glass I can get for the price?
  2. -_- at the 200/2

    is there anything in the 600-700 range? I have only $900 and I need about 200 for batteries, hard drives, and some other things.
  3. How about Tamron 70-200/2.8 $699
  4. You might be able to pick up a really banged up 300mm f4 non-IS. Combined with a 1.4x extender and the 1.6x cropping factor on your camera, that should give you a range og 600+.
  5. Don't think an FD lens is going to do him much good, plus from a fixed position you really need a zoom.
    Depending on how much light you have, the Tamron 70-300/4-5.6 VC might work. a bit slow, but it is stabilized and since you'll be shooting video noise from higher ISO setting won't be as bad as shooting stills (the noise tends to average out a bit with video). You should also be able to get a Canon EF 70-200/4L for that price (but not the IS version). The Tamron 70-200/2.8 is also a good choice, but again lacks stabilization.
    You'll probably benefit from a tripod or monopod too.
  6. Since you are doing video, a stabilized lens is going to make a HUGE difference. As Bob pointed out, a good monopod/tripod would benefit you also & a prime is no good for video (especially in football!).
    I'd probably try for a 75-300/4-5.6 IS USM. Optically, it's quite good (if a bit on the slow side), but for video work it has 3 key features: 1) zoom, 2) USM w/ FTM focus (cosidering your AF while shooting kind of really sucks, this is an essential component), and 3) IS.
    And, of course the fourth critical aspect, it fits in your budget.
  7. I am going to make my first foray into video tomorrow with my 5D II. Assuming that video is similarly lowtech on all Canon bodies, you will not be using autofocus. I suspect that IS does not work with manual focus but perhaps I am wrong. I do not have an IS lens to know. I will use the Canon EF 300/4 L with/without 1.4x, but I suspect my main lens will be my Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 ED with zoom/focus in the same control. It will give me the zoom and the ability to manual focus with one hand while following the action. I will also try it with the 1.4x. These four generation old lenses are readily available for under $400, and are very sharp. I use Nikon lenses on my 5D II with cheap mechanical adapters. I will let you know how I make out.
  8. I'd start with a 200/2.8. Rent one and see if that's about right.
    I don't think you'll be happy with an f/5.6 lens. Image stabilization isn't important with night sports.
  9. John, IS works regardless of the focus method.
    That's one of the aspects that makes it of HUGE importance to video work.
    I don't do video work very often (read: almost never), but I have several good friends who do it a lot, and beyond about 135mm, shooting video w/o IS is extremely jerky (and gets progressively worse, the further you zoom), especially if you aren't working with a properly damped video rig. You can expect to get a few seconds of smooth video, but if you shift position, or move (say to adjust focus) really much at all, that movement is telegraphed and magnified in the video. You can tell instantly the difference between an IS video, and one w/o. (VC and OS are much the same).
    A 200/2.8 (or similar) is the first stop I'd make, if I were the OP, and were shooting stills only. For video work though, a completely different set of rules applies.
  10. Remember, a noisy picture is going to be better than NO picture. If you need to, put up the ISO as high as you need it. It's cheaper than really fast telephotos, anyhow. :|
  11. I do not shoot video and I shoot ice hockey not football. With ice hockey and an APS-C body a 70-200 works well if you can shoot from the bench or right on the boards. A 300mm lens on APS-C does not work that well in these circumstances as the subject is often too close. If you are shooting from the stands then a 300mm lens works well. So for football I suspect that it depends where you are shooting from and what you want to shoot. If you are on the sideline shooting along the line of action or in the end zone shooting as they approach a touchdown then an APS-C body with a 70-200 should work fine. In the distances are greater than you may need a 300 or similar. For hockey I often have a 70-200 on one body and 300 on the other (one being APS-H the other a 7D).
    On the subject of which lens I suggest that you get the fastest you can afford and do not worry about IS. With hockey you are always struggling for shutter speed to stop the action (the arenas are quite dark) while keeping a reasonable ISO so F2.8 lenses work best. With football the action is slower but you probably need fast shutter speeds / lower ISO a lot more than you need IS.
    For primes you can consider the 85 F1.8, 100 F2 200 F2.8 and a used 300 F4 (possibly a used 135 F2). For zooms you have limited choice you may get a used 70-200 F2.8 non IS (I have had this lens for years and it is very good - sharper than the MkI IS version) or a new 70-200 F4 non IS.
  12. If you have some good camera stores near you that sell used gear, stop in often and get to know the shop owners, let them know you are looking for an affordable used fast telephoto. You may find a good used lens in less than a year. People are always trading in gear, upgrading, needing to sell something off...
    Start networking with other local photographers and camera clubs, someone may have a lens you would love and it may be a fast telephoto they rarely use and would love to sell so they can get some great lens they have been dreaming of.
    If you want it bad enough and put some time working at it, the universe has a way of coming together for you. The stars align, destiny smiles on you and that perfect lens comes into your grasp. Think positive. :)
    I have gotten some amazing deals on some great used L glass lenses. When I was building my lens arsenal I would stop at the local shops once a week to see what new used gear came in. Used isn't bad, just check the lens out real good, the shops I go to always allow me to put it on my camera body and try it out. It's a great way to build a collection of good glass if you can't really afford paying for new.
  13. Actually, a camera might be your answer. Check out the T3i's 3x full HD video feature.

    That make my 17-55 f2.8 an equivalent of 17 - 165 f2.8. If you have a tele lens, T3i video will make it 3x longer without losing HD capability.
  14. If all you're shooting is video, why not get a video camera? The AF on the Canon is deadly slow, and a dedicated video camera will be much more suitable for shooting video than a Rebel.
  15. I second David above. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck getting a $700 dollar HD video camera than by getting a lens for your T2i. You'll get stabilization, a bigger focal length range, autofocus, and not have to worry about the length of each individual clip. DSLRs are great for some video applications, but sports will not be one of them unless you can rig a great follow focus system for about nothing.
  16. I agree with the others, for sports, a camcorder would be a smarter choice. I just bought a Canon Vixia HF M41. $399. Discountinued.
    That model had a Canon Pro sensor, which does better in low light than other consumer camcorders. A few other low price Canon models have that same sensor.
  17. Here are my novice observations from yesterdays shoot. I used my 5D II and Canon EF 300mm f4 L, which I just bought used for under $700 USD. I spent the day shooting my daughters soccer team indoors.
    I shot a total of about 1 to 1.5 hours on about 32 GB on full HD setting. For a full sports game you need lots of memory! If shooting a day long tournament you need tons of memory.
    I went in with a less than full battery and had to charge it twice during the day for about 45 minutes each time and it got me through. For an outdoor soccer tournament situation I would have to have 2 batteries.
    I set the camera to Av and the aperrture to f4 so the camera would change ISO and shutter speed to adjust the exposure automatically. The camera never tells you what ISO and shutter it is actually using, only what it would use if you took a still image while shooting. For a photographer who has shot in manual mode for 25 years this is very disconcerting, to not know what the ISO or shutter speed is! I did envoke one of the CF commands to allow the camera to go to ISO 12,800 if it had to otherwise it will only go to 6400. The video exposure was very consistent thoughout the field of play, so all in all happy about that.
    There appears to be nothing you can do about white balance during taping. The indoor lighting was of course awful. The colour from one area of the field to another would transition from quite warm to very cool, and while it would be nice to have control over this the overall video impression of colour is reasonable. Perhaps this is something that can be editted in small bits later.
    I used a monopod for the entire event and for the most part was able to keep a balanced smooth video transition. In an outdoor situation with more room, I would definitely use a tripod to follow the play for even better transition. The video flow is still remarkably smooth, I doubt IS would help all that much but I highly recommend a tripod so make sure that if you want IS to get a lens with the version that works on a tripod.
    Manual focusing is in fact the only way to shoot video on the 5D II. There is no continuous focussing, and forget using the AF-ON button to lift the mirror, focus and re-start the videotaping. Even with my fancy eyeglasses I cannot comfortably focus on the rear lcd so I had to go blind and lift my glasses onto my head, leaving only the lcd in focus and visible for that matter. Manually focusing in this manner was actually quite easy, although I mainly stuck with my daughter playing down field on defence so the focus throw was minute. I did not try my zoom lens yet. A zoom would allow me to video most if not all the play from one end of the field to the other. I know zooming and focusing would be crude but I believe through editing I could create effective highlights of various plays throughout the game which would be sharp and smooth. My personal preference now would be a 50-300mm push-pull single control manual focus lens.
    Playback is proving to be a challenge. Canon says they include software to playback video but I have not been able to figure that out yet. I'll go back to the 5D II book later. The video jumps frames while in playback on QuickTime on my PC which I now understand is just the way it works. QT is not made for PC. I can see through step by step playback that all the frames are there, they just don't all play on my PC at regular speed. Windows Media Player is even worse, and Premier Pro CS4 was no better. These latter two problems are likely due to my 5 year old laptop, so I will try my son's brand new macbook and one of the newer laptops in the house. There are also downloadable players for .mov files which are supposed to be better too. More homework to do!
    The one technique I highly recommend, and one that I developed a year ago with a P&S video mode camera, is to record events in small bits of maybe 1 to 5 minutes to create small files for editting purposes later. This works well for my intent of creating video highlights of my daughter's play for sending to college/university coaches and for family video albums as the years go by. I know the team would like video of the entire game play so I will make an attempt at that during the outdoor season.
    All in all I am extremely happy with the performance of the Canon EF 300mm f4 L lens and the 5D II. I have never used a camcorder but I think all but the Canon pro series, and similar makes, using the best available lenses, would be challenged to provide comparable results. Typical camcorders are likely easier to use for full event shooting, but the DSLRs likely excell at specific use highlights like I am more interested in. I am also excited now to see what I can create with my Nikon 8mm f2.8 circular fisheye, and Canon 17 TS-E on video. Effects from these types of lenses on a camcorder would be difficult if not impossible to duplicate. I look forward to creating the odd snipit of video of motor racing events like the ALMS and Canadian Superbike series this summer too! I will have to get some more CF cards and another battery for my birthday.
    I now have a huge learning curve to overcome with playback/processing software and must get back to that now. Take care all.
  18. I shoot high school night football stills. Two things - fast lens and fast, sure autofocus. The fields here in California are dark - I shoot with an EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM (first version) wide open at ISO 6400. I use a 7D. I tried to shoot with a 20D - the autofocus system did not produce. If you are shooting only video - get a video camera. You will not have anything in focus with a Rebel DSLR shooting video.

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