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-   -   Lens for HS basketball on a 40D (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/canon-lenses/173958-lens-hs-basketball-40d.html)

SoberGuy Jul 14, 2010 11:59 AM

Lens for HS basketball on a 40D
 
Well, the title just about says it all.

I have a 40D, with a Canon 18-135 and a Sigma 70-200. Most of the gyms we've been in have too poor of lighting for either lens. I did get one gym where lighting was decent enough for the 70-200, and I loved the versatility. I found the 70 to be a bit tight when shooting players in the near corner (I set up at the corner).

From all of the reading and searching I've done, I'm currently trying to decide between the 50 1.8 and the 85 1.8. I think I'd prefer the extra reach of the 85, though I do believe there will be times where it's just too tight, just based on my experience with the 70-200. Conversely, I feel the 50 will be too short for most of what I want. Hence I'm looking for opinions on which to get, particularly in light of having a crop body. Or will the advise just be to get the 85, and spend an extra 100 for the nifty (thrifty) fifty?

For what it's worth, I'm certainly no pro, not even semi-pro. I'm starting to play around a little, and I realize I need some better glass to get better shots. My framing has gotten better. HS basketball will be the short-term priority, though any lens will get additional use. As such, I again see the 85 as a better choice. I think it would be a bit more versatile than the 50, and (from what I've read) the IQ (particularly bokeh) are going to be much better on the 85 than the 50. We're mainly talking portraits here, something fast enough to stop action with a couple of 5 year olds running around, and still get decent IQ on it. Nothing super fancy, just memorable shots of kids.

So, on a crop body (40D with a max ISO of 1600), shooting baseline in pretty poorly lit gyms for basketball, which do you think is the better choice? Considering additional use outside of basketball (portraits and such), would you change your lens recommendation? Thanks in advance.

JohnG Jul 14, 2010 12:08 PM

No doubt the 85 is the better choice. It's sharper and MUCH faster to focus. As you have already figured out though - it's tight. That's the price you pay. Also realize thaht the usable range is only about 25 feet. So you're only looking at half the court from the baseline - so forget action at the other end or even action outside the arc across the key. That was my primary lens when I shot basketball with the 20d and it does a great job. You just have to accept you'll have more partial body shots - but that can be good too. The only redeeming quality for the 50mm 1.8 (which I also have) is it is inexpensive. The 85 is the better choice no question.

SoberGuy Jul 14, 2010 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 1117748)
No doubt the 85 is the better choice. It's sharper and MUCH faster to focus. As you have already figured out though - it's tight. That's the price you pay. Also realize thaht the usable range is only about 25 feet. So you're only looking at half the court from the baseline - so forget action at the other end or even action outside the arc across the key. That was my primary lens when I shot basketball with the 20d and it does a great job. You just have to accept you'll have more partial body shots - but that can be good too. The only redeeming quality for the 50mm 1.8 (which I also have) is it is inexpensive. The 85 is the better choice no question.

Thanks, John. I re-read my post, and I think I had myself convinced that the 85 is the better choice. Thanks for reaffirming that!

BTW, I've spent a few days reading through some of your posts on shooting HS basketball, all of your little tips and tricks and techniques. I can't wait to get some decent glass and give it a go. Thanks for the advice, here and in other threads!

Mark2009 Jul 14, 2010 12:43 PM

Hi,
John helped me out last basketball season, I was on a limited budget, and used the 50mm 1.8m and got some nice shots. But I have upgraded to the 85mm, waiting for this season to start. If you can afford it, the 85mm is a great lens,,,,and John knows what he is talking about.

shoturtle Jul 14, 2010 3:49 PM

You might also want to consider the ef 100mm USM F2 if you need a bit more reach then the 85mm 1.8. But like John said, the 50mm 1.8 big this is it is inexpensive. It does not focus fast and it may not keep up with the action. But if you need a wider lens the 85 or 100, the 50mm 1.4 USM is a way better lens the the 50mm 1.8. It is a faster Autofocusing lens, 1.3 stop brighter and sharper.

JohnG Jul 14, 2010 3:58 PM

As the OP is shooting baseline, the 100mm is too long.

SoberGuy Jul 14, 2010 4:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shoturtle (Post 1117805)
You might also want to consider the ef 100mm USM F2 if you need a bit more reach then the 85mm 1.8. But like John said, the 50mm 1.8 big this is it is inexpensive. It does not focus fast and it may not keep up with the action. But if you need a wider lens the 85 or 100, the 50mm 1.4 USM is a way better lens the the 50mm 1.8. It is a faster Autofocusing lens, 1.3 stop brighter and sharper.

Appreciate the tip on the 50 1.4. My dad just offered to let me borrow his to see if I like it. For the price, I think the 85 1.8 is a better fit for me and my needs. But hey, I can shoot one half with the 85, and one half with the 50. Now if I just convince the ol' man to get the 400 2.8L....

shoturtle Jul 14, 2010 4:34 PM

LOL 400mm 2.8 is pretty pricey, ;)

I have the 85mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.4, both are excellent lenses.

SoberGuy Jul 14, 2010 4:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 1117817)
As the OP is shooting baseline, the 100mm is too long.

Sorry for the double post here...

You're quite right the 100 is too long for baseline. I don't think a HS gym would present much opportunity for a 100, either. Well, put it this way, with an 85 in the corner/on the baseline, I see myself getting more keeper shots (both in IQ, and in action/framing) than I see myself getting with a 100 along the sideline/front of seats. That said, I think the 100 might be a decent addition...though it is my opinion I should be starting with the 85, and use the 100 as a supplement later. I am open to shoot from other spots if the recommendation is to do something different.

SoberGuy Jul 14, 2010 4:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shoturtle (Post 1117848)
LOL 400mm 2.8 is pretty pricey, ;)

I have the 85mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.4, both are excellent lenses.

Hence why I want him to get it and loan it to me ;)


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