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Old Jun 14, 2010, 9:05 PM   #1
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Hi, I am brand new here and hoping for lots of help. I have a Canon Rebel xsi. I am looking for help as to what lense I need for taking sport pictures (football, basketball, track and baseball). Right now I am taking baseball pics, some are turning out GREAT, but I am looking for better sharpness and detail on the not so perfect ones. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 7:01 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.

I've moved your thread down to our Canon Lenses forum, where some of our Canon shooters may be able to offer you some tips.
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 7:15 AM   #3
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Can you post some of the images you've gotten already? (One's that you're pleased with as well as ones you'd like to have done better.)

Also, can you list the lens or lenses you've got?
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 4:03 PM   #4
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Hi DebH,

Tcav is right about posting photos. That is the best way to get advice for what to try next.

I started out with the XSi and learned that I had to have a big aperture for basketball in our old dark gyms. I found the 85mm f/1.8 to be my main basketball lens form mid the corners and I also used the 50mm f/1.4 beyond the baseline for action in the lane.


Unfortunately the outdoor sports really need longer lenses. If you can get close to the field or track I have found the 70-200mm f/2.8 to work well with a 1.4x extender. This lens (Canon but other brands are also available) is so good it is my favorite lens that I use most of the time now with my 50D. The 70-200 w/1.4x works pretty good for baseball, and soccer (and I assume for track - I have not shot except for a triathlon this past Sunday) if you can get close. I even tried the 70-200 for basketball some but it was tough with the XSi because the ISO was limited to 1600. Now with the 50D I am able to shoot at a higher ISO and use the 70-200 for basketball.

For baseball along 1st and 3rd baselines that combo works well for the infield but not too good for the outfield and for soccer it works for half the field (or whole field for the 4 to 10 year olds that I shoot) and you just have to wait for action to come to your end or move back and forth .

Also I have gotten some pretty good football shots from the sideline and following the plays up and down the field (youth league with great access). If you can not follow the action up and down the field you would just have to be more patient and wait for the action to move to your end.

Now for the outdoor sports you could certainly go with a 100-400 L but the downside there is you are limited to very bright/daylight conditions. With the 70-200 I found I could shot with the 1.4x until dusk then would remove the extender and the wait for the really close action and shoot at f2.8.

Now obviously some of the best lenses for some of these field sports are the 300mm, 400mm, or larger primes at 2.8 but that is like financing a used car and I assume if you are using an XSi that perhaps you are like me and not ready to spend that much $$$.

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Old Jun 15, 2010, 4:08 PM   #5
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football, tack and baseball, the canon ef 70-300 IS USM would be a decent lens for day games, but depending on where you are, you will need to give up some coverage, it is 550 dollars new. The ef 100-400L IS is a great lens, but it is super expensive at 1700 dollars. But it will give you a long reach.

Basketball indoors, you can get away with the canon ef 85mm f1.8 or the ef 100mm f2. As you are shooting sports IS in to a concern really. And for regular outdoor shooting these lenses are fast enough to off set the need for IS in average lighting.
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 4:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for the thoughts... I will post a few pics hopefully later tonight. the only lenses that I have for my camera are the ones that came with it. EF 18-55mm, and the Canon zoom lens EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6. I really would like to get a fast shutter/great zoom lens to use....or maybe I am just not doing what I need to with what I have. Thanks again, and hopefully my computer will cooperate and I can post a few pics!
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Old Jun 17, 2010, 4:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebH View Post
... the only lenses that I have for my camera are the ones that came with it. EF 18-55mm, and the Canon zoom lens EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6. ...
The 75-300 really isn't very good for shooting sports. It's image quality isn't very good, and it doesn't focus very quickly.

If you can get close (on the sidlelines for football, in the dugout for baseball) then a zoom lens that goes out to 300mm should be okay. Canon's own 70-300 IS USM would do well outdoors in daylight. For indoor sports, like basketball, you'll need a larger aperture (f/2.0, f/1.8, etc.) so you can use fast shutter speeds in the dim light. The Canon 85mm f/1.8 and 100mm f/2.0 would be good if you can shoot from courtside. From the stands, you might need the Canon 135mm f/2.0.
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