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Old Dec 1, 2005, 6:18 PM   #1
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Does anyone here have any experience shooting with an f2.8 lens for indoor events, particularly kids basketball? I currently use a EF 50mm 1.8 and EF 85mm 1.8 but would like to get something longer, for the opposite end of the court. Everything I've read says you need at least f2.0 or better to stop action shooting indoors, but I would sure like to get an EF 70-200 f2.8L. As of now, I'm leaning toward the EF 135mm f2.0 but since every lens I curently own is a prime, a zoom would be a welcome edition! Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 7:46 PM   #2
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well, the 135 2.0L is definately one of the best low-light action lenses out there today..

but the 70-200 2.8 is a good indoor action lens as well... you may need to bump up the iso a bit.. but it should work out...

a good way to check would be to stop down your 85 to 2.0 and 2.8 and then see what shutter speeds you are getting.. then see if you can get 1/200 at 2.8 at a decent ISO for the 70-200 2.8..

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Old Dec 2, 2005, 2:46 AM   #3
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Not so much for basketball, but Ive shot other sports with the 70-200 F2.8L the nice thing about F2.8 is you can still lose the background with focus on the guy/girl in the action. Editors like that on the other hand if your composition is off having greater DOF and using CS2 to get the blurr works just as well with less of a gamble on your shot. :G

a zoom is very handy and I bet you will have a hard time finding a better zoom lens than a 70-200 F2.8L.

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Old Dec 2, 2005, 12:36 PM   #4
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I recently used a Canon 70-200 f2.8 to shoot a women's college basketball game. Using a first-generation Canon Rebel with the ISO set at 800, shutter priority, I got some decent shots. Many of the more dynamic action shots were a little soft, however, either due to the shutter speed (1/350) or my unsteady hand. I was tempted to try ISO 1600, but with my camera, that setting tends to be quite grainy. I also had to brighten most of the shots in Photoshop. I think with a better camera and a photographer with more knowhow, this lens is probably up to the task. I would imagine that the IS version would also work better. I saw a pro on the floor using a lens that looked just like it, but he may have had the IS version, and I assume he was synced in with the overhead strobes as well.

I primarily use the lens for shooting softball, and it's excellent for that.
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Old Dec 2, 2005, 4:10 PM   #5
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I found that in sports the only time I was happy with the shots was when my camera wans in manual mode. Granted at first some shots came out uder exposed and over exposed at first but there is a learning curve and once you get it down its better to know how to do it your self. IMHO is better to shoot in RAW and end up with a slightly underexposed shot you can put in CS2 and fix then sell. Where is you use a slower shutter speed and get blurrly properly exposed shot that cant be saved.

Also keep in mind what your shooting for: a news paper wont mind ISO 1600 shots their printers are not know for perfect prints and in B&W you cant tell. But if they are for something that requires more quality shuch as a book or for prints for people A F2.0 or F1.8 lens will be your only hope.

Also if you shoot at high school gyms they can be very poorly lit and a F1.8 lens would be my ideal lens.
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 3:19 PM   #6
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The 70-200 F2.8 zoom lens will be the most versatile, as you could zoom out and in, depending on how near/far the action is away from you.

If you can pull courtside setting (be the resident photographer for your team), then you could probably get away with an F1.8 85mm lens, which I've seen a ton of great basketball pics on this site using that lens.

If you can afford it, show up with the 70-200 F2.8 and be done with it.

That lens is a class act that could be used for a variety of purposes.

On of the problems with F2.0 and F1.8 lenses is depth of field.

Generally I find myself shooting at F2.8 or higher just to keep a decent level of depth of field, as your subjects are moving and you can't always get a precise focus.

Of course I use a press pass so I'm never more than 20-30 feet from my subjects

-- Terry

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Old Dec 21, 2005, 9:05 PM   #7
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My experience with youth basketball is that unless you are in a brand new facility, it is most likely too dark to use f/2.8 lenses effectively. For the far end of the court, the correct answer is the 200 f/1.8... but that is $4K used, so I assume that isn't what you want to hear. What I am currently using (hoping that the current frenzy on the 200s goes cold and/or Canon comes out with another lens in this space to compete with the awsome Nikon 200 f/2) is the 135 f/2. On a 1.6 crop camera body, it is usable for the far end of youth basketball. I use one body with this, and another (1DM2) that I swap the two lenses you currently have for the near end. Without flash, the f/2.8 glass will probably disappoint you.
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