Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Canon Lenses

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 17, 2009, 11:32 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Default

I use a 40D with a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens to shoot sports for the local newspaper. There are occasions when I need something shorter but fast for covering wrestling, weight lifting and even volleyball or basketball from the baseline where I am close to the action. Would the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L USM be a good choice for this?

Coachjerry
coachjerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 18, 2009, 10:43 AM   #2
Super Moderator
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,599
Default

Well it's not a terrible choice; it's a fine lens, but...

For sports work, I would be inclined to go for the 28f 1.8 and 50 f1.4, which combined are still considerably less than the cost of the 24-70.

You get faster apertures and spend less money, at the cost of possibly having to change lenses occasionally.
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2009, 3:10 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Default

peripatetic
Thanks for the input. I probably should have added to my email that I was looking for a zoom for the shorter shots to avoid having to change lenses. I have the Canon 50m f1.8 which I use on occasion for wrestling but still would like to get a zoom in the range below 70 m.

Jerry
coachjerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2009, 9:24 PM   #4
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Jerry,

The 24-70 2.8 is a great lens and it's often used by sports shooters on a 2nd body. But, that's a hefty price to pay for limited use on a single body. For instance, are you shooting at ISO 3200 on your 40d? If not you've either got the best lit gym in the nation, you're shots will be underexposed or shutter speed will be too slow. But let's talk specifics:

Basketball: The 24-70 has limited use IMO for HS basketball. If you're right under the basket it's nice to have something wide but the number of shots you'llhave are limited - especially with only a single body. You'll be giving up a lot of shots the 70-200 is better for all for the couple shots that are right at the hoop (and that there isn't another body in the way ruining the shot anyway).

Volleyball - Nice for strikers at your corner of the action but again not good for much else because you don't have the reach. It's a heavy price to pay for that single type of shot.

Wrestling - too short. Wrestling is a sport that is easy to shoot tight on as it's rare that you need the entire body in the frame and once the action gets to the middle and far side of the mat the 24-70 is too short.

Weight lifting I don't cover so I can't advise.

All in all, the 24-70 is, IMO, a poor investment for HS sports if you just have a single body. At 2.8 you're still forced to shoot at ISO 3200 and the the number of additional shots you can get with the wider lens is completely overmatched by the number you'll miss by having the shorter lens on.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2009, 11:09 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Default

Hi John
Yes I shoot at ISO 3200 and at shutter speeds of 500th/800th I usually get good exposures on faces (except for dark skinned/black players).

The back wall of the gym is not that far from the court so I am pretty close when under the basket and am losing some shots on driving lay ups. As a result I tend to move to the corner and hope the action is closer to the opposite side of the lane. Your point is well made that I miss only a few close in shots but sometimes I would like to capture some of those.

I also have a 20D I could use with another lens (like my 50mm f1.8 or perhaps the 24-70 f2.8 ) but I expect working with two bodies could be problematic when the action is moving quickly around the court. I would probably never have the right camera ready for the close in shot when it occurred.

I agree wrestling is probably the easiest sport for me to shoot with my 70-200mm lens.

Volleyball is a real challenge for me to get the framing/timing right to capture both the face and the ball. That 's not really a lens issue but a technique issue.

Weightlifting with the longer lens is tough because the weight room is so small and also not as well light. For this I use my 50mm f1.8 or even my kit lens since really fast shutter speeds are not generally necessary--the athletes are not moving quickly and stopping the weight is not of paramount importance.

You guys have convinced me the 24-70mm is not a very good bang for the $$$. However It might be worth considering if I can find a used one at the right price.

As usual, I appreciate your help and advice.

Thanks
Jerry
coachjerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2009, 8:01 AM   #6
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,452
Default

coachjerry wrote:
Quote:
Yes I shoot at ISO 3200 and at shutter speeds of 500th/800th I usually get good exposures on faces (except for dark skinned/black players).
You either have an amazingly well lit gym or you are still under exposing especially you are not getting a good exposure for all skin tones. I'm yet to have shot in a gym where I'm getting that sort of shutter speed with a f2.8 lens.

coachjerry wrote:
Quote:
I also have a 20D I could use with another lens (like my 50mm f1.8 or perhaps the 24-70 f2.8 ) but I expect working with two bodies could be problematic when the action is moving quickly around the court. I would probably never have the right camera ready for the close in shot when it occurred.
This probably would be true if you only had one body and had to choose lenses before shooting, at least with 2 bodies you only have a few seconds to make the switch as your settings are already dialed in for the lens/body combo. Rather than chasing the action, plan the shot you want to get and then wait for the action to come to you that way you will take less shots but you will get a lot more keepers.

I would be using the 20D with the 50mm f1.8 if you wanted something wider ready to go rather than spending the cash on a lens that is very expensive and won't add much to your shooting especially as it is agreed that likely adding the lens won't gain you a lot of shots. If you wanted to keep with the 40D for the higher res then just switch to the 50mm when you want to shoot under the hoop.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2009, 9:22 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Default

Mark1616
You are absolutely right about the gym lighting. It is a brand new high school and the lighting is incredibly good. It is significantly brighter than most of the other gyms in this area. One of the schools is not only poorly lit but has a dark floor and walls. In that gym I am lucky to be able to use 200th and even then I am still under exposed.

You may be correct when you say it is likely I am underexposing shoots at the higher shutter speeds in the bright gym. I guess that's because, depending on the sport, I try to shoot as fast as possible even if the shots turn out a bit underexposed. FYI I use aperture and Noise Ninja to post process and the results are typically "acceptable" for the newspaper. That is not meant to say they are "good" since the newspaper print is in general a poor replication of the photo.

I really appreciate your comment about not chasing the action but rather to plan the shot I want and wait for the particular situation to come to me that is within range. I will try to taking that approach more in future shoots and use the 50 mm f1.8 on my 20D as the camera of choice for the close up shot. I have done that for football games where the lighting is especially challenging. In those situations I often use my second camera body with my 85 mm f1.8 lens.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate everyone's help.

This is a terrific forum!!

Jerry
coachjerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2009, 9:33 AM   #8
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,452
Default

You are right about shooting for paper print as you can get away with more than you can for general printing.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"It is always a trade off trying to get exposure and shutter speed to freeze the action, I'm sure you will find that when shooting with the f1.8 lens you will be able to get the best of both worlds.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"If you are looking to challenge yourself one day I would go for shooting with the 85mm f1.8 on the 40D and the 50mm f1.8 on the 20D, nail the exposure and still get a good shutter speed and see how pleasing the results are. Most of us get used to shooting with zooms but there is something extra about shooting with a fast prime. Drop it to f2 for a little more sharpness and have some fun. You do have to play the waiting game more but again it is you taking control of where you will get action rather than chasing it around. Then when you are rich get a 2nd hand 200mm f1.8
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2009, 9:53 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Default

Mark 1616

Thanks again Mark. I do feel more comfortable with the zoom so it will take a little practice and patience to use a prime...But as you say, I will be taking control of the shot.

As for the getting rich part--"Oh could it be so!" but that may take me a while and I'm not sure I really have a lot of time since I am 77.

I do appreciate your advice.

Jerry
coachjerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2009, 2:53 AM   #10
Super Moderator
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,599
Default

As you are using a 40D/20D how about the Sigma 50-150 f2.8 HSM? I have never used it but it gets you that extra bit of width on the crop body, without you having to change lenses! It has the HSM focus motor and the MTF charts look pretty good.

It's also only 770g, which is quite impressively light.
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:50 AM.