Which lens indoors, 50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.4

Discussion in 'Sports' started by richardlowes, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. I will be shooting a summer games event with baskeball, volleyball,
    swimming, tennis, and athletics. I have a wide angle and a zoom for
    outdoors but need something faster for indoors. Right now I'm
    debating the 50 and 85 mm 1.4's (Konica Minolta 7D). Would like to
    hear opinions as to which would serve me better. I'm concerned that
    the 50 won't get me close enough and thinking that generally the 85
    would be better and could double as a good portrait lens, even though
    it costs more. What do you think?
  2. I recently pought both lenses (used with my D2h); I'm still getting used to them, but so far the 85 is what I prefer probably because I'm used to shooting with the 80-200 2.8, and it's basic reach....the 85's just too tight for shots around the basket (I like to capture the entire players), so I end up using the 50 there. I think it comes down to where you can/want to shoot from. Either has worked well, but I lean to the 85.
  3. Chris is correct. Both will work well depending on what you're shooting and the proximity you'll have to the action. You'll want to carry both lenses with you. You can definitely get by with them for basketball, probably volleyball and possibly swimming, again depending on how close to the action you'll be. However, for most of these sports you'll really want a 70-200 f2.8 zoom. You can pick up a good used one for $400 to $600 or look into renting one to use until finances cooperate.
  4. For that intention, and out of those two lenses, i'd go for the 85. However, if it was me, i'd get the 100MM 2.0. Wait a minute.....that is what i did ;)
  5. I hadn't really considered a 70-200 f2.8 zoom. A new one is out of my price range. Will watch for a second hand one for the future. For now I think I'll go with the 85mm. Still have lots of time, but want to get it well in advance and practice/prepare. Has anyone used a 200mm telephoto for indoor sports?

    Thanks for the comments.
  6. I used a brand new 200 f2.8 lens shooting bball and the damn thing is too tight with a 1.6 crop factor of my digital, went back to my 24 to 70 f2.8 zoom and have dreams of something faster in an 85 prime...

    For now, i'll stick with the 24 to 70 until i get a faster lens as stated. I'm having to shoot at iso 100, 160th @ f2.8 and would prefer a higher shutter speed..
  7. With my D2H (1.5x "crop") I use a 50/1.8 and 85/2 to shoot my niece's basketball and volleyball games. The 85mm is great for shooting from the sidelines and approaching shots from the basket. But it's too tight for shooting action under the basket. I prefer the 50mm or wider for shooting under the basket.

    Even if the framing is loose a 50mm lens is usually preferable to a slow, variable aperture zoom for indoor sports. The 50mm will be sharper at f/2.8 than a typical f/3.5-5.6 variable aperture zoom wide open. So even if you have to crop and enlarge to get the print you want the results will often be better.
  8. meant to say, ISO 1000.
  9. IMHO, 85 f1.4 will be more useful for all the sports you've mentioned.
  10. The one time I used the 85mm on my D70 I found it long for under the basket. From there I just moved into the stands for a different perspective. I was kicking myself for leaving the 50mm at home. In a small gym 85mm can be a little long, but it is pretty much has been my only lense of choice for film bodies and probably the best overall choice for digital.
  11. I used my Nikon 50/1.8 for basketball in a light gym with flash and had plenty of light even at ISO 400 -- BUT with NO depth of field at f1.8, I made a lot of best-action-subject-not-really-in-focus pictures. I needed to stop down(so why have f1.8?)or get farther away (so why use a 50mm?). I was using a D70 with a 1.5 "magnification" factor. Or maybe I did something else wrong...

Share This Page