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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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I have a Pentax K2000 and am new to DLSR photography.
My son (10) starts his youth football league next week.

I currently have 2 lenses. An 18-55 and 50-200.

Would these be sufficient for this type of "action" photography at least to start with?

Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idahomemories View Post
I have a Pentax K2000 and am new to DLSR photography.
My son (10) starts his youth football league next week.

I currently have 2 lenses. An 18-55 and 50-200.

Would these be sufficient for this type of "action" photography at least to start with?

Any suggestions are appreciated.
Unless you have unlimited funds I would start with the DA 55-300. Great bang for your buck. It's fairly light and reaches out to 450mm (35mm equiv)
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 4:03 AM   #3
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As suggested a 300mm or better lens will help reach out there a little better than the 200mm.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 6:37 AM   #4
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What kind of a budget do you have?
For sports photography, focal length is only one consideration. Another very critical consideration is focus speed of the camera/lens combination.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 9:34 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the feedback!
My budget is around $300 -$400.

Thanks again,
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 10:10 AM   #6
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Ok, the budget helps. With that budget, you're squarely in consumer level lens territory. None of the lenses in that price range are going to be fast focusing lenses. But don't get down - you'll still do OK. The challenge with 10 year olds is they're using a full size football field but they are small. 200mm is going to be a bit short. You're going to have focus issues middle of the field and far hash - and that's IF you're following the line of scrimmage.

Now, the next question is - what is the field setup like? Where will you be taking photos from? For example, I took photos at my nephew's football game last weekend. The games were held at local HS football stadium which has a running track and THEN a fence. Family has to stay behind the fence (I get dispensation because I shoot sports freelance so I was able to shoot from field). The point is - being on the field put me about 20 yards closer. That is a HUGE, HUGE difference.

Now, in my community, the youth football takes place in a plain old grass field - not the HS stadium and parents set up lawn chairs along the side (very much like youth soccer). So those parents are a LOT closer to the action.

This all makes a big difference because where my sister lives, parents are going to be hard pressed to get decent shots from so far away. You need a 500mm (actual not equivelent) lens to shoot from that far away. And of course there's the problem of a lot of action taking place at mid field - exactly where the players/coaches on the sideline are standing so they're in the way when you're outside the fence. So, before spending money on a new lens, it's important to know what the game-time setup will be and where you will be shooting from.

As a general rule, here are my guidelines for how far a given focal length is good for when shooting sports:
200mm = 25 yards
300mm = 40 yards
400mm = 50-60 yards

I'm saying all this because - if you're behind a fence, then a 300mm lens won't be long enough. If you're right on the sidelines, 300mm is a good amount.
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Old Aug 27, 2009, 10:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Now, in my community, the youth football takes place in a plain old grass field - not the HS stadium and parents set up lawn chairs along the side (very much like youth soccer). So those parents are a LOT closer to the action.
This is how my son's field is as well. It is a large complex with several fields for the different league games.

Very helpful information! Thanks everyone.
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Old Aug 27, 2009, 10:36 AM   #8
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Dan,
In that case, the 55-300 sounds like a very good option and fits nicely in your budget range.
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 9:34 AM   #9
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Well, here are my first photos. I accidentally left the house with only the 18-55 lens (rookie you know!).

Please let me know your thoughts.

Here is the complete album
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 9:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Well, here are my first photos. I accidentally left the house with only the 18-55 lens (rookie you know!).

Please let me know your thoughts.

Here is the complete album
One suggestion that was made to me from a professional photographer who will be giving me lessons is to try and take most shots from the corners of the endzone. This way you get a better chance at catching facial expressions, etc. Also, it was suggested on this forum that I take the majority of my shots in portrait istead of landscape and that has improved my pictures immensly. I'm just learning this stuff as well, so maybe we can learn together. Here is a shot from my son's JV game last Thursday (subject is not my son, but a good example of an endzone shot).
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