Which Canon Lens - Indoor Basketball

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tdmac, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    I have a Canon 20D. Looking to see which lens would be good for indoor basketball w/o flash. Shooting in a school gym.

    Canon EF 135mm f/2USM or EF 85mm f/1.8mm USM or other?
  2. al256 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2001
    Well, the perfect option for you would be either the EF 200mm F2.0 or its older version the EF 200mm F1.8. If women were lenses, these lenses would be Christie Brinkley and you'd be Billy Joel singing Uptown Girl...

    But, you should try the 135mm F2.0 and see how that works out.
  3. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    I would agree that this looks like a sweet lens. However, little out of budget :). Maybe I should have prefaced that that this is kids indoor basketball. I am also just advancing into other lenses.
  4. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    Or what about the 70-200 2.8 IS? I can see this maybe being more versatile although the 135 has a faster aperture for lower light. Thoughts?
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    You'll have to jack up the ISO pretty high even on a f/2.8 70-200. To keep a fast shutter speed in low light, a fast prime will be your best bet. The 135mm is the perfect lens for this application, but it is pricier than the 85mm.

    Also, the 135mm is tack sharp at f/2 but you would want to stop the 85mm to f/2 also, as it is not as sharp at f/1.8.
  6. tamasvarga67 macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2007
    One more vote for 135. It's an unbelivable lens with very fast AF, great colors and sharpness from f2. Only the narrow DOF on f2 can cause some problems with close moving players. I was on a kids' birthday party a week ago and I used the 135. They were just running around almost never stopped and it wasn't easy to catch them... :)
  7. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    General question in reference to the 135mm prime mentioned here...

    I notice a lot of recommendations for prime lenses for sports photography - I love prime lenses (I have the 35mm 1.4) but it seems like for something such as sports, being stuck at a fixed focal length would be tough. So my question is to those of you shooting telephoto primes such as the 135mm - do you just take the shot where ever the subject happens to be in your view finder and crop to get your shot later? I understand when taking a group photo or something like that, its easy to "zoom with your feet." But being in bleachers and trying to capture fast moving action isnt as easy to do that.

    Just curious because my next lens is likely the 2.8 70-200... but curious if a nice high aperture prime would work. Like I said, the 35mm 1.4L is just awesome.

    Thanks in advance and sorry to hijack with a subquestion -
  8. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    Another vote for the 70-200 2.8 IS. This is a great multipurpose lens. Yes, having a 1.4 or 2.0 might be nice, but you can probably make up for some of that with ISO, assuming you have a newer camera.
  9. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Most sports photographers aren't sitting in the stands, so there is a lot of moving around to get good angles and distances.

    f/2.8 or better is a necessity for fast-moving sports to get a proper shutter speed. You can jack your ISO up to try and compensate, but most zooms don't look as good wide open. The 70-200 f/2.8L IS is a different story, but it is a beautiful rarity.
  10. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I believe the 85/1.8 is a very popular basketball lens. It'll give you an additional 1 1/3 stops over a f/2.8 zoom, and its AF performance is stellar.
  11. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    The 70-200f/2.8 is more versatile, but if this lens is going to be used mainly indoors for sports go for the 135 f/2.

    It's less expensive than the zoom and many people agree that it is one of Canon's best lenses.

    Of course you can always rent a copy of both for a week prior to purchase to find out which works best for you.
  12. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    Another option is the 200/2.8 L. I have it, love it, Tack-Sharp and very reasonably priced. A helluva lot lighter than my 70-200/2.8 IS as well;) Used with a 1.4TC, you only lose a stop and gain 80mm of reach.

    I shot college baseball all summer with that little lens and came out with hundreds of great shots...first part of the season I shot with the 70-200, but I was always long...substituted the 200 the next weekend and never took it off!

  13. sangosimo Guest


    Sep 11, 2008
    50mm 1.8 is my goto lens for basketball on my 7d. Perfect focal length when shooting on the floor.

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