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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-09-2018

Telephoto Lens for General Sports Photgraphy

Hi -

 

Former wedding and event videographer here, so I have a decent eye for composition etc but I'm relatively new to the world of manual settings while taking still photos. The middle school where I teach finally bought me a camera (Rebel T6) to use for taking pics of sports and other afterschool activities. 

 

I'm not taking the photos to sell or display to parents, but instead to be the B-roll in news videos some of my students create.  (For example,  8 pics of the ski club will be displayed - and set to music - during the 60 second story about the ski club.) 

 

I'm going to buy a lens myself rather than wait a year and hope the budget gets approved.  Need a zoom lens for shooting sports.  Fall and spring are outside; winter is inside.  Like 12 different sports.  I have more access than a parent would  - I can get right up to the edge of the field/court - and I can move around. 

 

I'm looking for the subjects to appear closer without breaking the bank.  And I'm willing to use a monopod. 

 

Combing through these threads, I narrowed it down to the EF-S 55-250 IS STM or the EF 75-300.  From what I can tell, the former is a better lens and has image stablization, while the latter would zoom in more? Having never used one of these lenses it's hard to judge how much farther the image would appear by only having 250 mm zoom vs. 300. 

 

Would love to hear some thoughts on the matter. 

 

Also, is buying a certified refurbished lens bad? I've done with computers and had no problems.

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

 

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,340
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Telephoto Lens for General Sports Photgraphy

Canon refurbished is great.

 

I would consider the 70-300 II instead of the 75-300. (I don't know which posts you read, but I have *never* seen a recommendation (other than to throw it away) for the 75-300.) I have the older 70-300 and it works really well.

 

But if it has enough reach, the 55-250 should do fine.

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-09-2018

Re: Telephoto Lens for General Sports Photgraphy

Thanks. I guess I didn't realize there was both a 70-300 and a 75-300.  So it would be the 55-250 or the 70-300.  I'm seeing a lot of really enthusiastic reviews for the 55-250, and refurbished it's less than $175.  

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,340
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Telephoto Lens for General Sports Photgraphy

You probably want to look at the STM version of the 55-250. Much better focus - especially for video.

Super Contributor
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Telephoto Lens for General Sports Photgraphy

[ Edited ]

Depending upon what sports one of the biggest issue you may be facing is enough light to allow a suitable shutter speed and reasaonble ISO for noise and this is where the aperture setting of the lens becomes critical.

 

For action sports shooting IS isn't going to be useful but you may find an image stabilized lens useful for other activities.

 

Recently I have been shooting a lot of my daughter's indoor soccer and 1/500 is about the slowest usable shutter speed to reliably freeze action across a variety of situations.  It is forcing me to choose between using my 70-200 F2.8 with and without its 1.4X extender; and neither setup is optimal. With the extender I am shooting with the ISO at 16,000 which is OK with the 1DXM2 but not as clean as 8,000 which is a good ISO setting without the extender.  In both these cases the aperture is fully open at 2.8 resulting in 4.0 effective with the 1.4X extender in place.  I think with both of those lenses you are looking at you are at F5.6 maxium available aperture pretty quickly.

 

For outdoor (or indoor with excellent lighting) or sports where lower shutter speeds are tolerable it won't be a major issue but these "worst case" conditions need to be considered when you are thinking glass.  And because you are buying this yourself you might also think about spending a little more for the F4.0 version of the 70-200mm which is an excellent lens and will also be usable if you later buy a full frame DSLR.  Good glass is useful for a very long time but sensor technology has been moving forward rapidly as has the associated signal processing so it makes sense to think about glass in terms of future cameras.  The 1DXM2 is an upgrade for the 1DM2 I bought in 2005 and that 2005 model produced lovely results at ISO 640 and below while 1,600 was basically unusable with it while ISO 51,200 has provided a few "keepers" with the 1DXM2 so I have had to rethink my setup strategy but in a good way.

 

As others noted consider a "refurb" lens from a reliable source to stretch your budget to allow a step up on lens quality.  Almost all of my lenses are from 2005 and all work beautifully still. As the old saying goes you will never regret buying good quality tools and your lenses are at the top of the tool list in photography.

EOS 1DX M2, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses
VIP
Posts: 9,053
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Telephoto Lens for General Sports Photgraphy

Without doubt the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens is the best, cheapest lens.  But as stated above light is going to be a problem at times.  As an experienced wedding photographer you are already aware of that.  However, faster lens are a great deal more expensive. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is probably the most used lens for this type of shooting in the world.  It is the standard by which all others are judged.  One big problem with the 55-250mil is a variable aperture.  The 70-200mil has a constant f2.8 through out.  Big advantage!  A cheaper off brand option might be the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens.  But if the budget is there and possible there is nothing like the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens.

A lot less stuff for 2018 but still a lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
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