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Old Jul 31, 2008, 11:24 PM   #11
q95
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Nice shots.

My boys wrestle and I'm looking at buying a camera (probably in the range of Cannon XSI or Nikon D90).

I'd rather not use a flash, in fear of disrupting the competitors. Have you shot wrestling without a flash ?

What lenses did you use for these shots ? What would you recommend for non-flash ?








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Old Aug 1, 2008, 4:44 AM   #12
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Flash isn't really a bother to them. The trouble with NOT using a flash is you get some pretty harsh shadows. More often than not, the mat is dark and fairly non-reflective of light. So when they're on the mat, the faces are often in shadow. These were with 70-200 2.8 & flash. I've used an 85mm 1.8 w/o flash - but again I didn't like the shadows I got so I prefer to use the flash.
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 10:36 AM   #13
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I've been shooting youth-rec and scholastic wrestling for over 8 years and never had anyone complain about the flash. I've even asked some wrestlers if it bothered them and they said it did not. In over a thousand of matches that I've shot I only had one coach tell me to get off the mat but that's another story.

99.9% of the pictures here were taken with a flash:
http://www.hillbillywrestling.com/pix2/main.php

This one was taken with a flash in a resonably lit gym:

This one, with the flash. The only light source in the gym was a single overhead light (my son in red):


This last one was no flash in a gym with large frosted windows on a sunny day:

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Old Aug 11, 2008, 11:34 AM   #14
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You have some nice pictures.

What can you suggest about lenses ? Seems like many are suggesting 70-200mm f2.8. Can be a bit pricy. I may try to borrow something like an 85mm f1.8 and see how that goes. Its not like you need a wide variety of distance when next to a wrestling mat.


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Old Aug 11, 2008, 11:39 AM   #15
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q95 wrote:
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Its not like you need a wide variety of distance when next to a wrestling mat.
Actually you'd be surprised. The 85 is too short to reach the other side of the mat and still retain quality. And on a 1.6x crop sensor it's too tight when they're near you.

If you do decide to take our advice and use an external flash you could use the 70-200 f4 - that would cut your lens cost in half.

The 85 is a great lens. But once you've shot with the flexibility of a 70-200 you'll never want to go back to the restricted 85mm.

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Old Aug 11, 2008, 12:34 PM   #16
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Thanks.

As for my preferred lens I love the 70-200mm f/2.8. Before I got it I had tried other lenses. In fact the first time that I saw another photographer using that lens I thought that he was nuts. Rather than telling him that I decided to give it a whirl. Now I won't go back.

You do need a variety of width considering that when you are matside sometimes the object can be 5 feet away and sometimes 40 feet. Below are two examples of the extremes.

JohnG makes a good suggestion about the f/4 version. I was lucky enough to get mine in a package with two other lenses for an excellent price on fleabay.

This shot was right in front of me. Right after I got it I had to roll out of the way!


For this one the podium was on the opposite side of the mat directly across from me:



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Old Aug 11, 2008, 9:09 PM   #17
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ok, I am convinced I "should have" the 70-200mm f2.8 lens.

for wrestling (and football, soccer & lacrosse), is the "IS" going to be a waste of money ? I'd kind of like to have the IS (which I can turn off when I don't want/need it) but the $$$ difference (IS to non-IS) is huge. Should I "hold out" and get the IS version ? Or should I skip the IS so I can get the lens much sooner (or at all) ?.


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Old Aug 12, 2008, 6:00 AM   #18
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I wouldn't bother with IS but someone else might have a different opinion. My 70-200mm f/2.8 doesn't have IS. For most other sports, including football, hockey, baseball and lacrosse, I use a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6. That lens has IS but I never use it.
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Old Aug 12, 2008, 6:13 AM   #19
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For this type of work, I agree IS is pointless on a 70-200. The lens is easily hand-holdable at the shutter speeds being used. The extra $$$ can be better spent on other gear (like the external flash you'll need if you dont already own one)or simply saved.
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Old Aug 12, 2008, 6:06 PM   #20
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Isn't it very hard to shoot in gyms using available light?

Most gyms are illuminated with metal halide lights running on 60 Hz, so the shutter speed has to be slow enough to avoid the effect of power line cycle (unless the lights are staggered across different phases on the polyphase circuit) and I find it very difficult to get the white balance light on metal halide discharge lights.

If it's a mercury vapor lamp, now quite uncommon, getting the right white balance is impossible, because the light is just so poor.
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