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Old Nov 30, 2009, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default hockey lens recommendation

I have the Canon EOS Rebel xsi with the 18-55 lens. I am looking to buy a lens to take action shots at my sons hockey games.
I have read through the forum and it is clear that for hockey the 70-200mm f2.8 is the recommended lens.
At this point, I simply can not afford this lens and I was wondering if there was a happy medium lens that would give me better shots than the 18-55 in a hockey rink but is still affordable. I was hoping to only spend like 400$ at this point.
I know I need a telephoto lens as currently, I can only take pictures if the kids are in the end I am standing in, so I miss allot.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 11:13 AM   #2
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i don't shoot hockey, so keep that in mind. i am sure one of our sportshooters will chime in soon.

nevertheless, for that price point, the first lens that came to mind is Canon's 100m F2.0, it focuses fast with USM and is bright 2.0 max aperture for keeping your shutter speeds high. if you are sitting around the blue line, this should let you fill the frame pretty well from about mid-court to the goal on your side.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 11:16 AM   #3
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To shoot indoors, you need large apertures. That's because there isn't much light.

In order to get a proper exposure, the aperture, shutter speed and ISO setting must all come together. Since you need fast shutter speeds to capture the action, and higher ISO settings result in image noise, that leaves aperture.

f/2.8 would be good, but you might be able to get away with f/4.0. Canon has a 70-200mm f/4.0 USM that you could use to get better results than you're getting now, but it sells for about $600, even used.

If that's too costly, you might consider one of Canon's large aperture medium telephoto primes. Canon has an 85mm f/1.8 and a 100mm f/2.0 that are closer to your price range, and will give you better results and with greater flexibility in selecting the exposure settings, but they are fixed focal length lenses so you won't be able to zoom.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 11:20 AM   #4
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The 100mm 2.0 is a pretty good recommendation. The problem you have isn't just financial - with only ISO 1600 available on your camera, chances are an f2.8 lens won't get you the shutter speeds you need anyway. You're still going to be challenged as to the shot selection as 100mm is really only good for about 30 feet of coverage. You'll get the shutter speed you need but you'll have to be careful of your shot selection.
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Old Dec 1, 2009, 10:02 PM   #5
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I recently shot some hockey with a Rebel xsi while my 40D was being repaired. I used my 70-200 2.8 USM. The photos were shot at ISO1600, f2.8 & 1/500 and were a bit under exposed. I went back for a second try and dropped to 1/350. This is the only photo (below & uncropped) I shot at less than 100mm at the nearest face off spot and about 10 rows up from the glass. I believe the f2 would get you back to 1/500. Bear in mind however, I have spent a lot of time in ice arenas over the years and this is probably the brightest arena I have ever seen. With the iso 1600 limitation you will face some tough conditions.
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