Canon Lens for Sports?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mrcowdude20, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. mrcowdude20 macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have a Canon T3 and will be shooting some indoor basketball and was wondering what the best lens would be for shooting that. Also, my budget is under $500. I would like IS, but not necessary. All ideas welcome. Thanks!
  2. mulo, Jan 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012

    mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    I'd say your best budget lens for sports (not so far away sports, like basket) is the Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM which can be had for $600 on amazon (which is an absolute bargain!). It doesn't have IS, but then that won't help you freeze the action either, only aperture will.
  3. rebby macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2008
    +1, this lens can be found used for right about $500 as well. This is way to go w/your budget.
  4. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    Given your budget, you'd be better served by going with a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 (~$660). It gives you an extra stop, and it's already almost as sharp as the Canon f/4 at f/2.8, while about equal at f/4.

    EDIT: apparently the autofocusing capability of the Tamron is quite poor, so it's probably not the best option for sports, much less indoor sports.
  5. Dana Beck macrumors member

    Dana Beck

    Jun 13, 2010
    Blackwell, OK
    I use the Canon 85mm f1.8 ($500, fixed focus) with a Canon 7d, along with a Canon 135mm f2 L ($1100), and am delighted with both. For light qualities--and the crummy mixed lighting of indoor basketball--the 1.8 is able to freeze the action almost anywhere. I keep the 135mm on an older Canon 50d for those times I want to get a closeup portrait orientation. Both lenses are fixed focus, but on the 135mmL I wish I had stabilization; don't need it on the 1.8, of course. I think you will miss having it on the 70-200mm f4, but that's just my experience, as I know it is a great lens. Indoors I always favor aperture and fast lenses over zoom.
  6. Bonch macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2005
  7. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    f/4 is not going to cut it for indoor basketball, unless you're able to strobe the gym. And even then, you're going to be boosting the ISO way up in order to give you reasonable shutter speeds. Even f/2.8 is a stretch. IS is useless for stopping motion, which is your biggest concern.

    I'd be looking at the 85 f/1.8 or 100 f/2 for indoor basketball.
  8. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    I know a good bit of photogs that use the 85 f/1.8 lens for basket ball. It's a great lens of the price, the obvious down side is the lack of zoom.
  9. Vogue Harper macrumors 6502

    Vogue Harper

    Nov 16, 2008
    Unfortunately this is correct regarding Canon's 70-200 f/4L - amazing lens with good light but in low light/indoor conditions it is not so good especially where you will be shooting at relatively fast shutter speeds to freeze action. IS is a non-issue for sports photography because ideally you will always be shooting at a shutter speed fast enough to be able to handhold the camera.

    Previous posters are correct in suggesting the best option is something with a big aperture f/2.8 and below. But for your budget you will end up having to compromise on something whether it's ultimate aperture, auto focus speed/quality or zoom.
  10. lostgear macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2010
    I agree with the above posts. Your only real option for indoor sports photography in your budget range is going to be a fast prime Lens. On a crop body the 85 f/1.8 or 50 f/1.4 would be ideal. The 200mm f/2.8 might also be worth a look.

    The professional choice would probably be a 135mm f/2.0L but that blows your budget considerably.

    Any lenses slower than about F2 .8 would probably not be able to stop the action, and would therefore not be suitable.

    Hope that helps.

  11. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
  13. imahawki macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    LOL, no way any f/2 lens in pretty much any focal length will be $500. Maybe $1500.
  14. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010
    Hmmm canon has the 70 200 length well covered with 4 well regarded lenses so few people would choose this over say a 70 200 2.8, yes its faster but far less versitile.

    The focal length is a bit curious but if it is an EFS (crop sensor lens only) it fits in perfectly with the excellent 18 55 2.8 IS..

    Thats currently £750.00 so I suspect you pick it up for £550/600 used????

    The f2 is raising the bar though...but its only a 2x zoom rather than a 3x zoom((ish) eg 24-70, 70-200's, 18-55's etc)

    Would be nice to see it in this price range...maybe just wishful thinking though

    Even if it is 1500 at least the OP has an extra couple of years to save up :p

  15. Stotka macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2009
    Will you be shooting that indoor basketball just once? Or will it be a regular thing? If its just once then rent 70-200 f2.8 non IS. Or look for good deals on it used. Ask around maybe someone needs money fast. That means cheaper lens for you. I would guess you will be fairly close to the court. So 70-200 would IMHO be the best range. For indoor use I use the 70-200 f2.8 non IS and a sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 just in case I want to go wider.

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