sports photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rweakins, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. rweakins macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2007
    best lenses for under $500 for sports photography
  2. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    if you tell us what type of camera you have, we might be able to help you out better
  3. rweakins thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2007
  4. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    awsome i just got an XTi today:D
    i would suggest a 55-200 range, or if you have a steady hand you could go for a 75-300
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    In that price range, I would look at the 70-300mm or a long prime. Used lenses might be more realistic due to $$ restrictions. Sigma has a 50-500mm but it is not exactly a fast lens, nor a sharp one above 400mm.

    Above all, you should use a tripod. It will buy you SO many more keeper pictures.
  6. jlcharles macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2006
    Wenonah, NJ
    A tripod is practically useless for sports photography. It's too limiting and bulky. What you would want is a monopod.

    If you can find a 70-200 f/4L in that range, I'd go that direction. Ideally you'd want lenses in the f/2.8 range.
  7. tkilian macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Depends on the sport, and more importantly, the conditions.

    Outdoor, you can go a bit slower, because you have more light. But then you need to make sure you have the zoom capability.

    Indoor you need a faster lens, but usually not as much zoom.

    I love my Canon 85mm 1.8 lens. Clear, sharp, and fast.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The clasic sports lens that is much sought after is the 80-200 f/2.8 You can find used Nikon examples of this lens for as low as about $600 if you work at it. No way to buy a new one for $500

    But then if you are shooting indoors or at night under lights you can't have a fast enough lens. I used my Nikon 85mm f/1.8 and still had to bump up the ISO.

    The good news is that the crop body acts as a kind of focal length multiplier so you can get by with the shorter and less expensive lens. A 300mm lens is (fortunately for our wallets) a bit to long on the crop bodies
  9. mbcracken macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2006
    XTi with Tamron 18-250

    Here are some samples of that I took with my XTi and Tamron 18-250 mmlens. I was across the arena from the gates at the Ellensburg Rodeo so I had to extend almost fully to fill the frame. One of my fav's is

    I was sitting but had no tripod. Should have brought one, if I had one.

    Just thought I would throw out a sports example for you.

  10. rohn macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2007
    Lake Worth, FL

    I have a Rebel XTi with a 70-200 f/4L and have used it to take pics of hockey, indy cars, surfing, etc. I picked it up used on Ebay for about $520. Probably the cheapest canon lens you can get in the L series. Great lens, for the price.
  11. scamateur macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2007
    which sport?

    So much depends upon the sport in question! Basketball vs. surfing -- very different requirements.
  12. srf4real macrumors 68040


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    That's for sure! I need about 1000mm lens to get close ups at the beach breaks where I live... I have a 12x zoom panasonic fz 50 that gives me 420mm equiv at 10 megapixels and then crop a ton to get a good compositioned photo. I decided to go 4/3 system in dslr one reason being that a 400mm lens with 2x crop factor on the 4/3 sensor gives me 800mm equivalent field of view, and Olympus, Leica have an excellent reputation for quality glass, and the lenses are waay more compact than the competition.;)
  13. PimpDaddy macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2007
    For boxing/Thai boxing/MMA I can only recommend the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8.

    I know that the quality control of Sigma is not the best. But if you get a good one, it really does the job. At least that's what I think. So does one of my good friends who are "signed" with :).
  14. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    It's a bit over $500, but look around for a non-macro Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. It's a nice lens!
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Good color and you caught some good action but not exactly
    what I'd call "critically sharp" The images are a bit soft. A faster
    lens could have allowed a faster shutter. Also the faster lenses
    tend to be overall better quality. Remember the rule of thumb
    abut the slowest shutter being 1/(focal length)
  16. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    You need to worry about 2 things: focal length and maximum aperture.

    Focal length: Prime lenses (fixed focal length) tend to be more cost effective while delivering optimal performance, but you will probably want to stick with zoom for sports. Focal length needs can change constantly during the game. With XT/XTi's APS-C crop sensor, 70-300mm tend to be ideal for sports (70 = 112mm, 200 = 320mm, 300 = 480mm).

    Maximum aperture: if you are shooting with limited amount of light (e.g., night time game, not-so-brightly light indoor game), you will want all the aperture you can afford, ideally at or faster than f/2.8 across all focal lengths. Popular examples include Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM ($1100-1300) and and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8EX ($800-1000).

    If you will be shooting against good lighting sources, or don't mind shooting at ISO 1600 most of the time (although even 1600 may be limiting under some conditions), Canon's EF 70-200mm f/4L USM and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM are two very good choices, both just slightly above your price range.

    If you don't have tripod, or can't carry one all the time, you may want to spring extra for image stabilized lenses (indicated with "IS" designation on Canon lenses), such as Canon's EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM ($900-1200) or EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM ($1600-1900). (Above mentioned Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM is also image stabilized.) As you go longer in telephoto shots, it becomes harder to hand hold the camera for steady shots against limited light.

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