High school sports photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by puckhead193, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    My job description is changing again and besides doing video they also could assign me to cover a game or an event for stills.

    My budget isn't great. Ideally I would like to stay under $1,000 which doesn't give me a lot of play. (Ideally 850ish with all accessories etc.)
    I was thinking of the Nikon D5000 because its cheaper then the Canon's (T1i/t2I) and it also has an 11 point focus system compared to 9. I was going to get the kit lens 18-55 and the 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR DX AF-S ED Zoom-Nikkor Lens. Will the camera/lens be able to handle it? Most of the gyms lighting are awful and they normally don't allow flashes. Would I have a problem with these lenses? Since I'm not really familiar with stills, could I just leave it sports mode and let the camera do the work with pretty good results?
    I don't think they expect it to look like it was shot for sports illustrated but they do want it to look somewhat professional.
    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #2
    40d

    As far as canon goes, get used 40D and a used 70-200 f/4L. a bit over a grand, but great gear.
     
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #3
    11 vs 9 AF points is moot. none of them are reliable enough for tracking except the center.

    buy used. I dunno how much D90's are, but a 40D can be had for around $600. for lenses, both Nikon and Canon have a stabilized 70-300 (I think), and Canon has a 70-200 f/4 which you can get used for something like $500. If you want cheaper, there's the Canon 55-250 and Nikon 55-200, both of which are stabilized.
     
  4. BrianMR macrumors regular

    BrianMR

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Its a bit tight on budget. I'd recommend prime lenses myself for this. Nikon or Canon, but I'll mention Canon specifics since that's what I know.

    Grab the "nifty fifty" EF 50mm f1.8 for about $90-100 new. Get the amazing EF 85mm f/1.8 for $380. Let's see, that's almost half the budget... pick up a used 40D with what's left over and you're done. In the poor lighting you'll be experiencing in those gyms, you'll be wishing for more than an f/4 lens. I shoot in gyms some, its not easy.
     
  5. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #5
    Cheap slow lenses will make crappy pictures in crappy light situations. 70-200/f4 should be a minimum starting point (2.8 is better suited, but would destroy your budget). 100/f2 could work too depending on the sports you are shooting.

    Stabilized lenses aren't that helpful for sports. The action is fast, so any shutter speed fast enough to freeze action will eliminate camera shake. Larger aperture and higher ISO are needed to keep the shutter speed up.

    To get a functional system within your budget, you may have to go with an older body. Something like a 20D can be picked up for ~$200-300 to free up more money for glass. If the pictures are just being used for web or newspapers, higher megapixel cameras don't buy you that much (unless you need to crop a shot a lot). Canon seems to be cheaper with their telephoto options than Nikon, but I'm sure Nikon has some excellent choices too.

    How often are you going to be shooting? Give some thought to renting when required as with your budget you will have a hard time producing the results you want (for indoor sports at least, daytime outdoor sports, the described kit should work). Renting also allows you to determine what focal lengths and apertures you need to do your job. Maybe f4 works for you and 2.8 would be a waste of money, or maybe even f4 can't reliably produce images and you really need 2.8 to do the job.
     
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #6
    ^ he mentions a good point. indoors, you'll have to use primes. you could strobe the gym for more light, but that'll go over your budget.

    IS can still make a difference in sports, just less so than with slower subjects. 200mm still requires at least 1/320 to eliminate camera shake, and there's no guarantee that you'll be steady all the time or that you'll be shooting significantly faster than that.

    so are you tasked with just indoor or outdoor, or both?
     
  7. puckhead193 thread starter macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #7
    both indoors and out. baseball and lax and volleyball/badminton maybe some golf. (that's its for spring sports but then next year its all the sports football/soccer/basketball etc. but who knows if i'll be still doing this, hence why I don't want to spend a lot of money.
    whats your thoughts on this lens? Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD (IF) Macro Lens (for Nikon AF BIM). Instead of getting the kit lenses?
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    you won't be doing both for < $1000. either you have speed for indoors or reach for out. closest thing is a used 20D and Sigma 50-150/2.8, but that's over $1000 total (unless you find a used lens), not-quite-fast-enough for indoor HS sports, and way too short for field sports.

    a superzoom is not the answer. slow AF and poor resolution at the telephoto end, where it matters, and way too slow for indoor work.
     
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    As other's have said, if reach is not your key need, then the Canon 70-200mm f4/L is an amazing lens from what I've read. However, if reach is important, and you go with Canon, there's the 70-300 IS USM f4-5.6 (and I'm guessing Nikon has something similar?). It's not a fast lens by any stretch but a decent value that will give you lots of reach and a reasonably sharp image throughout the range for what should fit within your budget. I got mine refurbished from Adorama (indistinguishable from brand new) for under $500.
     
  10. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #10
    As others have said, this is getting worse. Superzooms are very convenient at the expense of being crappy in almost every situation.

    Something to keep in mind is if you buy good glass used (something like a 70-200) and decide this isn't for you or you need something different, when you sell it in a year you should get almost all of your money back.
     

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