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Old Jun 29, 2007, 4:00 PM   #1
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Is there a reasonably priced all-around lens that I can use in shooting indoor and outdoor sports? I have a Canon 20D, and 2 lenses that I’ve been told are "not fast enough” for indoor sports with gym lighting. I want to stay away from flash photography for sports. Haha, I also would love not to spend all my savings on a lens... so, does anyone have any suggestions.


p.s.--a zoom lens (even a little) would be great, but that might not be possible
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Old Jun 29, 2007, 6:58 PM   #2
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I suggest you look at the Sports & Action Photosforum, look for the indoor sports (basketball,hockey, swimming, volley ball, etc.) and see what lenses they use.

Also, a better place for this topic might be the Canon Lensesforum.
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Old Jun 30, 2007, 4:09 PM   #3
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TCav wrote:
Also, a better place for this topic might be the Canon Lensesforum.
I moved it.

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Old Jun 30, 2007, 5:48 PM   #4
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Unfortunately there is no single all-around sports lens. Outdoor sports like soccer and baseball require lenses with 300mm-400mm focal length (BEFORE you factor in the crop factor of your camera). Indoor sports below the collegiate level require fast prime lenses - 2.0 or 1.8 aperture. Additionally sports like wrestling benefit greatly from flash because there are so many shadows.

So, let us know the specific sports you want to shoot and the level of the athletes and we can give you some suitable lenses.

In general for basketball, volleyball I recommend: 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8 and 135mm 1.8 (in that order)

For hockey it depends on how bright the arena - in some you can get away with a 70-200 2.8 in others you need prime lenses (135mm 1.8, 100mm 2.0, 85mm 1.8 )

For wrestling, the 70-200 2.8 and external flash

Outdoor sports are another matter - the lens depends on the sport and level of athlete and time of day the athletes are playing. If you have night games you need a 2.8 lens (again 70-200 2.8 being the cheapest but at 200mm it only has enough reach for 25 yards - not very far for most sports).

So, let us know more details and I can give more precise suggestions.
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Old Jun 30, 2007, 10:40 PM   #5
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Old Jul 1, 2007, 8:16 AM   #6
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You're right about the 85 being tight. But it's sharper and faster to focus than the 50. But the 50 is inexpensive so it isn't a bad start.

Keep in mind though - a 50mm lens is designed to focus at 10 feet or less - it's actually good to about 15 feet. Beyond that and you're at infinity focus which doesn't give very sharp images. It would be useless sitting in the stands at a basketball game. If you're in the stands you'd probably want the 100mm 2.0 or 135mm 2.0

As for 2.8 and night sports - it's simple. You want at least 1/400 shutter speeds. In my experience f4 doesn't give you those speeds - even when shooting at ISO 3200.
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