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pens92 Feb 5, 2006 5:05 PM

What lens do you recomend for shooting indoor sports i.e. volleyball and basketball for a canon 20d? Most times from the stands with the crappy lightning that almost all gyms have. Any help will be greatthanks.

mtclimber Feb 5, 2006 6:37 PM


Yes, it can be done. It will require a fast lens such as an F 2.8 or faster, and the use of ISO 3200. Keep in mind that the ISO setting is dependant on tyhe amount of light.


Homer J. Feb 6, 2006 9:39 PM

I remember the first time I took pictures in a gym...

WhenI was 12 my 6th grade class stared a newspaper.I chose to be photographer, not becauseI was into photography, but becauseI didnt feel like writing. My dad slr was in for repairs, soI brought a disposable.I walked into the gym.I sat down about 40 feet away from the players, in the small section of bleachers, in an underlit, windowless gym.I then took 27 carefully framed pictures of the action,that I couldn't wait to show my fellow classmates.

After the game was over,ran them to a store to get them developed. Two days later,I eagerly tore open the envolope thatstood beetween me andthe best pictures ever taken. Now all those out there who knowabout the power of the flash in disposable camerasrealize how this ends.

Every picture was a 4x6black rectangle. Only the one group shot that I took turned out, and all you could see were the people.Not whatI had expected.

Anyway,I hope thisstory helps you find a good lens!

JohnG Feb 7, 2006 7:27 AM


Indoor sports is pretty tough - as you have seen. Unfortunately in a lot of gyms, even a 2.8 lens may not be fast enough. The ideal indoor high school basketball lens is the 85mm 1.8 - but that's assuming you're on the baseline not in the stands. The 50mm 1.8 also works but only for close up action. Because of the low light and the noise you will get when shooting at ISO 3200, you really can't crop very much and still retain enough detail - especially in facial features. So, is there any way you can get down to the floor? Otherwise, the Canon 135 2.0 is probably the best option.

peripatetic Feb 7, 2006 8:07 AM

Also consider the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 if you need a zoom.

If you can cope with the higher ISO it's probably your best reasonably priced option.

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