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Need Zoom lense for Canon EOS to shoot football/baseball


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Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 3, 2012 9:41:36 AM PDT
A. M. Cox says:
Currently have a 55/250 Canon lense I use to shoot football and baseball (from stands). Would like to zoom more - without too much technical stuff, can someone suggest a lense that would be best without breaking the bank!

Posted on Oct 3, 2012 11:18:39 AM PDT
T. Campbell says:
Check out the following:
Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF APO DG OS HSM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS HSM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Sigma also makes a 50-500mm but that's a bit more expensive.

Lenses that can zoom to 400mm start to get pricy, but not ludicrously pricey (you will NOT find a "cheap" lens that can do this and, if you do, you'll probably hate the quality.) Sigma has those lenses that I mentioned above that go up to 500mm. To go beyond that point the lenses will get ludicrously expensive (e.g. $5,000 - $10,000 or even more.) A "used" Canon EF 1200mm lens (not a zoom.... just a prime lens) sold at the B&H used camera department a couple of years ago for $120,000! No kidding!

Posted on Oct 5, 2012 11:54:21 AM PDT
S. Owens says:
There are a number of lens that go from somewhere in the 70s out to 300mm but you aren't gaining a lot more reach from them. Without a definition of "breaking the bank" those Sigma lens may be what you need to look for when it comes to reach but you may also need to consider the game lighting. Shooting during the day those lenses may let enough light in but if you're under the lights you still may not get good pictures despite the added reach because your shutter speeds will get too slow.

It looks to me like the only other lens that will really give you more reach is the TOKINA-80-400MM F4.5-5.6 but I know nothing about that lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2012 1:12:42 PM PDT
The Tokina 80-400mm is one of the slowest focusing lenses I've ever tried out. Definitely not optimized for fast sports.

Posted on Oct 5, 2012 2:56:27 PM PDT
S. Owens says:
That may be so Technology Guy but it also like like it's the cheapest 400mm zoom you could get. Note cheapest is said in terms of price but almost certainly carries over into other areas as well. In defense of a slow focus from the stands where everything is a long ways away and moving across your field of view (thinking football, not baseball) it may not be as much of an issue as if you're sitting behind an end zone and the action is moving towards you.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2012 4:02:15 PM PDT
I also believe the Tokina has been discontinued for some time now.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2012 4:05:39 PM PDT
S. Owens says:
And I can't argue with that but I did see someone was still selling it here. There must also be a Tamron lens in that range as well but it's cost is just below that of the comparable Sigma lens but doesn't have the zoom range or OS.

Posted on Oct 7, 2012 5:13:10 PM PDT
Tom Martin says:
If this is one of your children's sports, talk to the umpire or referee before the game about moving out of the stands and shooting from a better location. Some will allow it others will not. The important thing in any case is to stay out of the way of the play of the game.

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 7:56:14 AM PDT
The cheapest way to get a lot of zoom is to get a better shooting position. My understanding is that each additional 100mm gets you another 10 yards. Looking at the cost of going from a 300 to a 500mm lens, getting closer is very attractive. And, the very long lenses are prime, not zoom, generally speaking.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2012 9:55:52 AM PDT
"""
additional 100mm gets you another 10 yards.
"""

I'd love to read details on where that came from, as it is nothing I can visualize.

OTOH, each DOUBLING of focal length will reduce the field of view to 1/4 the starting view (that is, cut the top/bottom/left/right quarters off the scene, and "magnify" what is left to fill the viewfinder). That is a description one can easily visualize in the finder.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2012 12:16:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2012 12:20:24 PM PDT
EdM says:
Well, Dennis, it's an old "rule of thumb" in sports photography. Paul is absolutely right about the advisability to get closer for sport shooting IMO. Anyway, it's been around a long time. See this, which was originally written last century:

http://photo.net/learn/sports/overview

"Sports Photography"
"Required Equipment"

"Generally, for a 35mm camera, each 100mm in lens focal length gets you about 10 yards (9 meters) in coverage."

This is absolutely not written in stone, but for most ordinary sports in normal situations, it works out pretty well. OF course, if you're in the top of the stands in a large [80,000-100,000 seats] stadium for soccer or football, that rule of thumb fails, falls flat on its face.

ADDED: Another instance: http://blog.berger-bros.com/how-to-photography/sports-photography-by-michael-hollender/

"Zooming capabilities are critical in sports photography so choose your lens wisely... A good starting point is for every 10 yards of distance from the camera to the subject will require an additional 100 mm in lens. For example a 200mm lens will fill a vertical photo of the entire subject from 20 yards away. When possible, you should be as close to the sidelines and the subject as possible if you are unwilling or unable to make an investment on a lens."

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2012 2:20:31 PM PDT
"I'd love to read details on where that came from"

At least three of the sports photographers that I have spent time reading as I have found myself shooting a subject I never would have expected to enjoy so much.

Sports have this obsession with standardized distances. If I am shooting from behind the net, I know how far it is to midcourt, if I am shooting from the goalposts, I know how far it is to midfield, if I am shootin cageside, I know what the maximum distance to my subjects could be. A measurement of distance is helpful.

And yes, the rule of thumb falls apart shooting from the top of an NFL stadium. None of us can afford that lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2012 4:27:41 PM PDT
"""
A good starting point is for every 10 yards of distance from the camera to the subject will require an additional 100 mm in lens.
"""

This claim is more understandable in that it is talking from multiples of distance to choose a lens. The original phrasing was more confusing...

And still inaccurate to my mind -- what is the baseline?

A 50mm lens at 10yards and a 100mm lens at 20yards should have similar field of view -- that's only a 50mm change to "gain 10 yards".

A 150mm lens at 30 yards.

But claiming 100mm per 10 yards only applies if the baseline is a 100mm lens at 10 yards.

Or... (distance / 10yd) * (focal_length@10yd) => focal_length@distance

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2012 6:46:15 AM PDT
Dennis,
If you start reducing a rule of thumb to mathematical formulas, you are overthinking.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2012 12:02:37 PM PDT
S. Owens says:
The thing is that a "rule of thumb" is generally most accurate within a limited space but as you go further it becomes more inaccurate. For example you can generally use 3 for Pi and come out somewhat close but maybe not close enough for some.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2012 1:06:45 PM PDT
I'm sure hexagonal wheels would provide some weight-loss benefits at moderate speed (just like those old vibrator belts).

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2012 12:15:31 PM PDT
Michael C says:
Those vibrator belts didn't reduce weight. They just miraculously toned fat into muscle!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2012 12:59:13 PM PDT
Which is probably what riding a carriage with hexagonal wheels would do <G>
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Discussion in:  Digital SLR forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  Oct 3, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 16, 2012

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