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Old Nov 9, 2009, 2:02 PM   #1
Big Texx's Avatar
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Default Lens for 40d, indoor sports

I have a Canon 40d and need advice on the right lens for shooting indoor sports, basketball and cheerleading. My budget is up to about 950.00US

Which lens or lenses would give me the best bang for my buck?

Thanks for your help!

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Old Nov 9, 2009, 2:57 PM   #2
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Big Texx,

You've got a couple choices:

85mm 1.8 -
  • will allow you to shoot at 1600 (ISO 1600, 1/400 f2.0 is about average).
  • Quick focusing
  • very sharp
  • less expensive - about $440
  • max range is 25 feet (just about half court when baseline)
  • on 1.6 crop body (40d) it's tight so with taller kids you'll start clipping a lot of body parts.
  • both of these mean a lack of flexibility. When shooting baseline you have to move a lot - corner of baseline for stuff in the lane then cheat towards center if you want shots outside the arc on other side of the lane.
70-200 2.8 (sigma version to stay under your budget - sells for $850)

  • greater flexibility in shot selection - can cover entire court
  • a little more room at 70mm vs. 85 for tight shots.
  • sharp
  • fairly quick to focus
  • Will force you into ISO 3200 land - be sure you like ISO 3200 results from your 40d
  • Not as quick to focus as 85mm 1.8
This applies to basketball. I don't shoot competitive cheer. The biggest question I would have on that is where will you be able to shoot from? Also realize shallow DOF will diminish the types of shots you can get. I would definitely seek out advice from people who shoot competitive cheer. I believe you can find some at Fred Miranda's sports forum.
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Old Nov 9, 2009, 3:29 PM   #3
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In addition to JohnG's excellent suggestions, another possibility might be the Sigma 50-150/2.8.
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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