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Old Oct 1, 2007, 1:14 AM   #1
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Hi I need some advice. I have a canon 30D, came with a 15-55mm I think it is? .

I like to take sports action shots of my kids, football right now and have a limited budget. I found a couple of lenses I think will get me by but not sure which one would serve me best?

I am looking a Canon EF 28-200 USM with a 72mm filter and a Sigma 28-300 DG macro with a 62mm filter so the 2nd lense is not as big obviously and will have less light? does the varied f/stop mean if it's zoomed it's minimum is the 2nd f/stop figure?

Both are virtually the same price and the same in f/ stop. The Canon is a 3.5 to 5.6 and the Sigma a 3.5 to 6.3.

Which one will do me best? I also shoot indoor basketball also and some night games at the High School. I would like toget a 2.8 lens but don't have the $800 for the Sigma I want, maybe in the near future.

Please give me advice?

thanks
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 5:30 AM   #2
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spintight wrote:
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I like to take sports action shots of my kids, football right now and have a limited budget. I found a couple of lenses I think will get me by but not sure which one would serve me best?

I am looking a Canon EF 28-200 USM with a 72mm filter and a Sigma 28-300 DG macro with a 62mm filter so the 2nd lense is not as big obviously and will have less light? does the varied f/stop mean if it's zoomed it's minimum is the 2nd f/stop figure?

Both are virtually the same price and the same in f/ stop. The Canon is a 3.5 to 5.6 and the Sigma a 3.5 to 6.3.

Which one will do me best? I also shoot indoor basketball also and some night games at the High School. I would like toget a 2.8 lens but don't have the $800 for the Sigma I want, maybe in the near future.
Personally I would not go for either as they are compromise lenses designed for a one stop shoot option. On your budget you would be better off going for the Sigma 70-300mm APO or Tamrons 70-300mm. Unfortunately nothing is going to be great in this budget level as they are not bright (they have narrow apertures) and the are reasonably slow to focus. The first lens that gives a good focus speed is the Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM. Again it has the same aperture so not going to allow for the highest shutter speeds or the nicest background blur (very technical term I know) but will focus much quicker that the two I mentioned.

Now when it comes to indoor sports you need to have an aperture of f1.8 or f2 to be able to get anything like usable results. I personally use the Canon 85mm f1.8 and the Canon 50mm f1.8 (the latter is a little slow to focus but OK). Now if you are not going to be able to get on the sidelines you will want extra range such as the Canon 100mm f2 or the Canon 135mm f2 (I would love to have the money for this beast!!). You can get away with lenses that are not as bright and use flash, but often it is not allowed and I'm yet to see results where flash has been an essential component that are better than a bright lens. Even f2.8 is not bright enough for indoors, well not unless you are shooting college or higher.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 10:22 AM   #3
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As usual, Mark's advice is spot on. If money is tight: Sigma 70-300 and Canon 50mm 1.8 - both assuming you're on the sidelines / floor and not in the stands.

For football you gotta get on the sidelines you just can't shoot from 20-30 feet away from the field and get good shots. As Mark stated, with basketball you have some leeway to shoot from the stands but then the cost goes WAY up (135mm 2.0 is $1000).

For night games you'll need an external flash - 5.6 won't be nearly good enough. I shoot night games at 2.8 and either 3200 or 6400 ISO. Flash will get you SOME shots but not many (since you typically have to shoot single shot rather than burst).
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 11:11 AM   #4
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the prices on the lenses you all mentioned look great and I think I could easily get each of them mentioned, what can I expect from the sigma 70-300 apo?

I am using a panasonic fz15 now for the side line action shots but need to put the new one to work. Compared to this on side lines what can I expect?

I like the idea of fast focusing and I do stand on the sidelines. Would it be worth getting both the 85mm and 50mm lens f/1.8? i can get close in basketball too.

So there is no bigger lenses in my budget worth getting? These lense are all 58mm filters. I've seen some vaired in the 18-70 with 2.8 in my range also wtih 77mm filters? are any of these fast enough for both insight and outside? football is about over now and I will be going to basketball next. I can get by with my old camera for now in football.

So something about $300 to $350 would work here.

you guys are great

Dave
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 11:20 AM   #5
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Dave,

No - there isn't a lens you can get that will work for both indoors and outdoors below the college level.

The next step up from the sigma is Canon's 70-300 which Mark mentioned ($560). It will focus faster than the sigma and it will be sharper. But it's still 5.6 so it still will be useless in low light.

The next step up from that is the sigma 100-300 f4 ($1000). Exceptional lens - and much higher quality than either 70-300 BUT it's still only f4 so it won't be usable under lights or in extremely overcast conditions.

Since you can't afford the sigma 70-200 2.8 there's no point in discussing options other than the two 70-300 lenses. Unfortunately sports shooting is expensive.

As to the 50mm and 85mm - first of all these lenses are only going to be useful for basketball not football. Just wanted to clear that up in case there was confusion (50mm is only good for about 15 feet and 85mm is only good for about 20-25 feet). Like Mark I have both but I never really use the 50 for sports anymore. It's good if you're directly under the basket but too short from most other places. The 85mm is too tight for right under the basket - typically you'll shoot from the corners of the baseline (or creep along the baseline toward the key if you want shots of players outside the arc along the other side). But, pay attention to those 15 and 20 foot limitations. Don't expect to cover the entire floor - or heck, even HALF the floor.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 1:40 PM   #6
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well what I was saying was is there a lens I can get in the $300 range that will take descent indoor action shots for basketball? as football season is nearly over. I can get by with my panasonic thru the season fine. Then once I get some $ for selling some slide shows and other stuff I can get a better lens for football action.

I saw a sigma like 17-70mm in 2.8 in the $300 range with a 77mm filter and also a 24-70 with a 82mm filter or this too Tokina AT-X 287AF PRO SV 28-70mm f/2.8

I found this lens for $750 brand new online is this the good sports Sigma lens?

Sigma AF 70-200/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro Lens For Canon

if so I could swing that one in a few months. Is this thelens?



Now back to the indoor lens in the 50-80mm range/ or would a straight none zoom in the 80-100 be better? I saw the 50mm 1.8 which I will get for sure regardless, you can get that one for less then $80.

Well let me know more details on the sigma I pasted above and the indoor lens

thanks again

dave

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Old Oct 1, 2007, 2:24 PM   #7
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The size of the filter is only very loosely associated with the speed of the lens, it is a very poor indicator of anything important.

What counts is the maximum aperture - the f-stop.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 2:34 PM   #8
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The 50mm 1.8 is the cheapest lens you can get. But realize it's only good for about 15 feet of coverage - not very far. The next step is the 85mm 1.8 - but that's $360. There are no choices in between. A 2.8 lens is not fast enough so you're stuck using prime lenses.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 12:21 AM   #9
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Well I thought if the lens is bigger it will allow in more light and that all the f stops at 2.8 were the same, but you all sound like some focus faster then others?

I know my panasonic fz15 has a 54 mm lens and it does a nice job considering the cost and it's a point and shoot, action shots are pretty good with it. It's not very good in a basketball gym though.

So the 85mm would be a discent lens for basketball, I think I'll start to shop for it. Is the Canon better or is there any other brands that are just as good or maybe slightly better or larger in size to allow in just a little more light for indoors?

This whole lens thing is so confusing. I see the ones that at f/2.8 but how does one know if it 's fast enough for action, what description on a lens will give me this "speed" and fast focus.

On my panasonic I have it set at 5 shot bursts for action and it does a pretty good job outdoors in football. I'm no expert but it does a descent job, will other lens do as well as this that are in my price range?

No on mentioned the Sigma lens I posted above if it was the one for good action or not? or is the sigma lens you talk about a different one?

Just an amatuer

Dave
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 2:56 AM   #10
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Yes bigger lenses let in more light, but the measure of how much light it lets in is the f-stop, i.e. the aperture.

So if a lens has a maximum aperture of f2.8 it makes no difference whether the filter size is 50mm or 80mm as to how much light it lets in. f2.8 tells you that. You might as well worry about what colour the writing on the lens is.

How fast the lens focusses is a factor of a number of variables, it depends on the focus motor used - Nikon, Canon (USM) and Sigma (HSM) all have special designations for their fast & silent focus motors - not all lenses have them. It also depends on the AF sensors and processors in the camera, the more expensive cameras have more expensive sensors and more processing power.

The word "fast" when applied to a lens doesn't usually refer to the speed of the focus motor however - it usually refers to the maximum aperture. A "fast" lens is one that has a large maximum aperture. So f2 is twice as "fast" as f2.8 which is twice as "fast" as f4, etc.

So for shooting sports in dimly-lit environments you need a "fast" lens - i.e. one with a wide maximum aperture. Of course shooting sports often demands a fast-focussing lens too.

Just a warning really - the kind of shooting you are proposing requires very expensive equipment to get good results. That's not to say you can't get some good bang for your buck (John and Mark are giving you the goods on that) but just to set some realistic expectations.

You would like to see "pro" level results (wouldn't we all) but you are going into conditions where even the most expensive pro equipment would struggle. With a modest budget and a few careful purchases you will get results far better than you ever could with the P&S, but you're not going to get very many shots that look like the ones in the magazines.
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