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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,993
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Telephoto for 80D

The amount of available light will greatly influence how well the lens works for each situation.

 

"Best" is such a tricky word.  There's "best" as in "I just won the lottery so cost isn't a problem" and then there's "best" as in "I have limited funds and want to know what to get that will not leave me in financial ruin."

 

Lenses for sports photography aren't cheap.  Scott Kelby once did a seminar on the topic in which he explains that what you really need... is a suitecase full of money.  This is one area of photography that really pushes the camera to perform and calls for the equipment that can handle the task.

 

For games such as basketball, the "field" (in this case the indoor basketball court), isn't particuarly large so you don't need a very high focal length lens.  But the lighting will be poor (indoor light wont be anywhere close to outdoor daytime photography light).  This means consumer-grade lenses with variable focal ratios wont be able to take shots at very high shutter speeds unless you really crank up that ISO setting (and that will introduce a lot of "noise" into the images).

 

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II is probably "the" lens for indoor basketball shots.  It offers a low f/2.8 focal ratio which is available at every focal length (including all the way out to the 200mm end).  The f/2.8 focal ratio literally allows the lens to gather 4x more light as compared to an f/5.6 lens.  

 

To freeze action, you'd really like to keep the shutter above 1/500th (faster is better).  Typical indoor light might allow an f/5.6 lens to shoot at 1/200th at say ... ISO 1600 (moderate noise but not obnoxious and totally usable).  At 1/200th, moving subjects will show motion blur.  But with an f/2.8 lens... you could take that same shot at 1/800th... and that would likely nicely freeze the motion.

 

 

 

Outside it's a different story... for games played during the day, it's just a question of what focal length you want.  The fields are usually bigger for things like football, soccer, baseball/softball) but if it's daytime you don't need an expensive low-focal ratio lens.  But you probably DO want a lens with a nice long zoom range... such as the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6.  Large fields benefit from having lenses that can zoom out to 300 or even 400mm.

 

But if the game is played at night under artificial lights, the lighting usually becomes a problem (for as bright as it seems, it's not nearly as bright as the day).    There aren't any good, affordable, low-focal ratio zooms (they would be ludicrously expensive.)  This is why you sometimes see sports photographers with two camera bodies... one having a long focal length non-zoom lens (such as a 300mm f/2.8 or 400mm f/2.8) and the other having a shorter low-focal ratio zoom (such as a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom.)  

 

 

The gear I've listed above isn't cheap.  Can you do sports photography without the expensive gear?  Sure you can... but the budget gear is going to struggle to keep up with the high-end gear.   Entry-priced zooms usually dont' have especially fast focusing motors and they don't have low-focal ratio optics.  This means you'll either have to shoot using slower shutter speeds (which means more images with motion blur) or you'll really have to crank up the ISO (which means more noise in the images).    Sports photographers don't invest in those high-end lenses because they're rich and the love to spend the money... they do it because it's the equipment that gets them the results they need ... they have a much higher "keeper" ratio.

 

If you are younger, have access to the side of the field, and you can keep up with running up and down the sidelines of a football field so you don't need a "long" focal length lens, then that's definitely one way to save money.  Canon makes a 70-200mm f/4 version of the lens which is a LOT cheaper than the f/2.8 version.  It's only 2x as fast as an f/5.6 lens... whereas the f/2.8 lens if 4x as fast.  But it's a LOT cheaper.

 

 

 

As for question #2

 

Refurbished lenses from the Canon online store are probably the BEST place to find deals.  But it's not like new retail lenses in that the lens you might want only comes along from time to time.  But if they have the lens, it'll probably be the cheapest way to get a lens that you can absolutely trust will be in just as good condition as a "new" lens.

 

Next up are the "used" departments at the online stores like B&H Photo, Adorama, or KEH.com.  But this is like buying a used car from a dealer rather than from a private seller.  The dealer needs to stay in business, account for their overhead costs, and they want to make a profit.  So they try to buy the used gear for a llittle less than private party value... and they try to sell it for a bit above private party value.  So you'll pay a little more.  But you get some piece-of-mind.  

 

Those sellers know camera gear.  They know how to honestly evaluate it's condition and appraise it's value.  They always list a "grade" or condition of the lens.  So if they say a lens is in "like new" condition or in "excellent" condition, first... they explain what that means ("excellent" might mean it's not so new that you wont find the slightest sign of wear, but the wear would be minimal) ... you do NOT have to worry that when the product shows up it will look like someone wrapped a chain around it and drove down a gravel road with it dragging behind.  It will, in fact, be in the condition they advertise (they protect their repuation by giving very honest assessment of the quality.)  They will also tell you honest when a lens is merely in fair or poor condition... or even when the product doesn't work at all and should only be used to salvage repair parts out of it.

 

There are also options such as Craigslit or Ebay.  These are a bit risky because you don't quite know why the seller is unloading the gear (is it really because they no longer need it... or is it because it has a problem and they aren't tell you).  The other huge risk is that often these sellers are not experts and if there's a problem, they may not even know it.  Also, do YOU know enough about how to evaluate the function of a lens to make sure it is in working condition. 

 

I would never buy a lens from a private seller I did not know unless I had the opportunity to inspect it and test it myself.  This means Craigslist might be ok if I were buying from a local seller and we could agree to meet somewhere safe where I can bring a camera body along to test the lens.  With eBay you usually aren't local to the seller.  

 

You'd want to evalute that there is no obvious physical damage.  You would want to evalute that the lens if free of any optical damage (including issues such as fungus/mold that can sometimes grow on the internal optics if the lens was stored in humid conditions).  You'd want to know that the the lens zooms throughout the entire zoom range without anything sticking.  You'd similarly want to know that the focus operates throughout the entire range without any issues.  You'd also want to make sure the aperture blades can operate through the entire range without any problems.  

 

And then you'd also want to make sure things aren't loose on the lens and that focus responds.  I'd want to know that the lens doesn't have inconsistent focus or front/back focus issues.  That's a bit trickier to test without some knowledge (a test target makes it easier.)

 

When you buy a lens from a commerical seller, this has been done for you.  You pay more, but at least you know what you're getting.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-24-2017

Re: Telephoto for 80D

Thank you for the input!  Great info!

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎12-29-2013

Re: Telephoto for 80D

[ Edited ]

One thing that has not been mentioned is "Renting" as lens before purchasing.  I think you would have the opportunity to find the focal length you need plus the f stop for indoor. 

I have used a 28-135 F3.5 with fair results in a modern well-lighted gym. Not so good in an older gym. I have a 24mm f2.8 pancake lens I am looking forward to trying in a medium lite gym. Just worried that the 24mm length will for small images. Thus requiring more post editing efforts.

 

Oh before I forget, take a mono pod or a tripod to help steady the camera. 

Since we do not know what you want to do with the photos and how much time if any, you have to spend enhancing each photo or video.  If you are looking for a professional level of photos for large size prints then your requirements for a lens will cost a lot more. But if you are just looking to have photos to look back for viewing then the options can cost less. In other words how much grain can you stand if you viewing on your home large screen based on the high ISO setting?  

 

Finally, Tamron makes a fine 70-200 F2.8 G2 zoom lens for about $1300.00 new vs Canon for about $1950.00.

Tamron makes a perfect lens for you, 18-400 F3.5- 6.3, however, not very fast F stop plus variable aperture.

Cheap at about $449.00-500.00 or less. Quality is in the eyes of the beholder. In other words a consumer lens for day light.

 

The 80D has some improved low light capabilities. With this in mind, you may be able to obtain pictures with higher ISO settings to off set the lack of faster F stop lens such as the 50-250 zoom you already have. Try it out some evening at the high school.  {Our local high school, I am able to get close to the football field at one end. In fact, my 70-300 at the 70mm setting was to close. But the other end of the field is closed. So back to the stands where 300 will kinda reach. Working the shooting locations to obtain photos yes, I had to move back and forth. Missing a lot of the game.} 

 

Rent before purchase because you may find out you require more than one lens to fulfill your needs.  

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-24-2017

Re: Telephoto for 80D

Just decided on a used Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM.  Looking to use it at next Friday's football game.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎12-29-2013

Re: Telephoto for 80D

Great choice. Can be used for portraits and close up.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,993
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Telephoto for 80D


jbpdxor wrote:
Great choice. Can be used for portraits and close up.

This lens is the most-used lens in my collection of roughly 9 Canon "L" series lenses.  I used the original for many years (my most used lens) and now own the version II.

 

I used to use my EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM the most... but then I started using the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and just backing up a bit more... and I loved the angle of view for portraits as well as the quality of the background over the 24-70.

 

Every Canon photographer either already owns this lens... or wants to own this lens... or just hasn't discovered it yet.  

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,910
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Telephoto for 80D

"Just decided on a used Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM."

 

Probably the best lens made for a DSLR.  I would not be with out mine.  I, too, have/had both versions.  This lens alone is a top notch reason to buy a Canon DSLR.

 

" Looking to use it at next Friday's football game."

 

Depending on where you shoot from, it is probably too short for football.  Choose your location carefully and you will be good to go.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,500
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Telephoto for 80D


ebiggs1 wrote:

"Just decided on a used Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM."

 

Probably the best lens made for a DSLR.  I would not be without mine.  ...


My 70-200 belonged to my employer. (Our department had had some money left at the end of a budget year.) So when I decided to retire last year, I had to give it back. I wasn't about to do without it, so I put down the price of replacing it as just one of the unavoidable costs of retirement.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,910
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Telephoto for 80D

[ Edited ]

B form B,

 

I must say I like the 70-200mm range for a zoom so that is part of my love for the ef 70-200mm f2.8L II.  I have the other three big contenders in the 70-200mil range.  The Tamron and Sigma are equal second place choices.  The Nikkor is a no-go and it costs the most !.

The ef 70-200mm f2.8L II is just a must have for any serious or enthusiast amateur photographer.  Canon will have to go some to beat this lens when #3 comes out.

 

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!  Smiley Wink

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,993
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Telephoto for 80D


ebiggs1 wrote:

B form B,

 

I must say I like the 70-200mm range for a zoom so that is part of my love for the ef 70-200mm f2.8L II.  I have the other three big contenders in the 70-200mil range.  The Tamron and Sigma are equal second place choices.  The Nikkor is a no-go and it costs the most !.

The ef 70-200mm f2.8L II is just a must have for any serious or enthusiast amateur photographer.  Canon will have to go some to beat this lens when #3 comes out.

 

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!  Smiley Wink


Though the 70-200mm II has extremely good optics (the best of the bunch) and the new version II also has nicely improved image stabilization, one other attribute sets the Canon lens apart...

 

It's the only 70-200mm that I know of that doesn't have a huge "breating" issue.  

 

For most zooms, the focal length ranges listed are reliable when the lens is focused to infinity.  At infinity focus, the 200mm focal length should be close to 200mm (often that value is rounded... it could be 195mm but they'd call it 200).  But focus on a close subject (as if taking a portrait using the 200mm focal length) and the act of focusing the lens causes it's true focal length to change.    For Nikon, Sigma, and Tamron the change is significant (I'd have to look up the numbers but I think the Nikon's "true" focal length when zoomed to 200mm but focused to minimum focus distance is something like 135mm.  The Tamron and Sigma are only slightly better (I think they're both still below 150mm).    The Nikon, Tamron, and Sigma lenses are all considered "heavy breathers". 

 

In contrast, the Canon lens actually stays within 5% of the true focal length at all times.  All lenses breathe at least a little, but the Canon breathes the least of the bunch... at 200mm and focused to minimum focus distance the true focal length only drops to about 190mm (5%).

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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