Lenses for basketball photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shacklebolt, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #1
    I'm sure at football games and baseball games you're going to see plenty of 300mm f/2.8s and 400mm f/2.8's on the sidelines, but what about basketball games? A 300mm prime would obviously give you a great view of Kobe Bryant's nostril, but you're probably going to want something sligggghtly wider than that.

    So, to be egalitarian, say you have a Canon 1Ds Mark III and a Nikon D3, and have just been hired as a basketball photographer and have been given an unlimited operating budget. What lenses to you make sure to carry?
     
  2. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #2
    For Nikon I would opt for the 70-200 f/2.8 and a wide angle lens. Maybe the 17-55 f/2.8 would do it.

    Are you planning to get into that kind of photography? Or just curiosity?:)
     
  3. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #3
    Mostly curiosity. I don't watch a great deal of basketball, but basketball photography is so different from football or baseball because the field of play is just so much smaller. So, just curious as to what the equipment would be.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    So you are shooting with a full frame camera, not a crop body? Then you need a little bit longer lenses. I think the classic lens for this would be the 70-200mm f/2.8.
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    with Hamburglar.
    #5
    All depends on where you are seated. The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is a good zoom choice, but it can be slow when indoors. The 85mm f/1.2, 135mm f/2, and 200mm f/2 primes would do the trick quite well.
     
  6. juanm macrumors 65816

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    Fury 161
    #6
    From the top of my mind:
    - 14-24 if you get the chance to get close to the basket.
    - The 200 f/2 might be nice to get close-ups of the players.
    - A standard zoom (24-70 or the like)
     
  7. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

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    Sep 2, 2004
    #7
    Seated/standing where _this_ photograph is taken from.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #9
    However fast you go with the glass, you're still going to want faster. Not to mention, the DoF at /1.8 is so thin that you'll get one letter on the ball but not another. At lower level ball (sub-MBA, sub-NCAA) the lighting is horrendous, and you'd need strobes to get the freeze-frame speed you (i.e. I would) want. (Personally, I've tried it with 3 strobes in different corners/walls, reflecting off the walls into the court with some success.) Pros from SI put lighting systems in the rafters to get light everywhere and prevent distracting the players––but not all of us are so well endowed.

    Low aperture (/2.8) with high ISO is more realistic.
     
  9. Lebowski macrumors 6502

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    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #10
    i shoot alot of pro sports.

    i carry a 70-200 2.8 IS canon and a backup body with a 17-55 2.8 canon.

    between those, i am usuallycovered. I still keep a super wide and a fisheye for rare occasions, and will lug the fatty 400 from time to time as well.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    Strobes, strobes, strobes. Pocket Wizards, second shooter for the other end of the court, 70-200/2.8, 300/2.8.
     
  11. NeXTCube macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #12
    I used to shoot NCAA Div III basketball with TMZ 3200P and a 135 f/2.8 prime on my Nikon F2. The good old days! :) The 135 worked well from the sidelines; had to do some cropping in the darkroom afterward...
     

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