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DeepNeedle May 31, 2006 5:25 AM

Hi Y'all! John G's picture posts inspired me so I've decided to get a 30d or even a 20d. I want to shoot Little League Baseball & dog racing. My Whippet runs more than 35 MPH & turns on a dime, so its hard to get good racing shots. The distance from the dogs are about 20-30 feet. I might also like to shoot some indoor gym sports from the sidelines. I was thinking of going with the 30d & Sigma 70-200 DG. The Canon EFS 17-85 or EFS 18-55 are kit options, but I'm not sure if either would be a good indoor lens or if another brand would be better suited for me. I would appreciate feedback about which Body & set of lenses you would prefer. -Eric

JohnG May 31, 2006 12:35 PM


I'm flattered you liked my sports posts. According to specs, the 30d should be an outstanding sports body (it's only been out a short while so I haven't heard too much feedback from sports photogs on it's performance in that genre).

As far as lenses, that's a tougher situation. A 70-200 2.8 lens is a great all-purpose sports lens. Paired with a 1.4x TC it gives you the most flexibility. It sounds like it should do well for dog racing given the distances. For little league you'll want the 1.4x TC unless you're on the field.

But, for indoor sports below the college level you'll likely need a 2.0 aperture - which means prime lenses. That is a whole other area because you tend to need a lens of specific focal length for a given sport. For instance, the 85mm 1.8 is a very common basketball lens (if you're shooting from the baseline). Shooting something like gymnastics could require a 135mm or 200mm lens. While shooting volleyball from near the net might be better suited by the 50mm 1.8 or 1.4. My advice is go for a 70-200 2.8 and TC. It may just be fast enough at ISO 3200 for the indoor sports (for instance I can use it for my niece's gymnastics because she's only level 3 and they move pretty slow :) but couldn't use it for more advanced students ). Then, if you find yourself needing a prime you'll have a better idea (from using the 70-200) what focal length you need given the sports you will shoot and the distances involved.

A kit lens is another matter. Neither of the two kit lenses will be very useful for sports but either are capable of being a decent walk-around lens. Of course the 17-85 is going to be much more useful but you pay for that. There are a lot of happy 17-85 users out there.

DeepNeedle May 31, 2006 5:05 PM

Thanks for the response, John. I'll start with the 30d & Sigma 70-200mm/f2.8 AF EX DG plus a TC. If anyone has recommendations for TC brands, please LMK. As for other lenses, I'll wait a bit for those & get some experience over the summer at sports camps and such.

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