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help finding a lense for a rebel t3i. i need a good lens for capturing action shots for team sports

luvabeach
Apprentice

Need some advice in finding lense for a canon eos rebel t3i.  I primarily will use it to take action shots for team sports such as basketball, soccer, cross country, etc.  I need a good lense that is not extremely expensive as I am not a professional photographer but I would like to be able to take better pictures and do not want to have switch out lenses.  Please let me know either what to look for in a lense or if you have any recommendations on a good lense to purchase.  Thank you!

6 REPLIES 6

jrhoffman75
Legend
Legend

See this thread. 

 

http://community.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS-Rebel/Canon-Rebel-EOS-T3-Camera-with18-55mm-lens-What-other-zo...

 

 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

ScottyP
Authority

The big problem will be any INDOOR sports, because that gets you into the difficult combination of 1.) low light, plus 2.) fast action.  Without getting too far into it, your camera needs a lens that will open up to a big aperture to admit a lot of light for that, and this is pretty much EXACTLY the dividing line between cheap lenses and expensive lenses. 

 

If your basketball is outside in the daytime sunlight, you are in great shape and you have some good cheap lens options.  Something like a 70-300mm consumer zoom.

 

Otherwise you will struggle shooting indoor basketball using a cheap zoom lens.   One solution would be to buy a second lens for the indoor sports, a fixed focal length (non-zooming) lens a/k/a a "prime" lens.  Even the least expensive of them have bigger aperture openings than even the most expensive zoom lenses have,  They can be had at inexpensive prices.  They are usually smaller and lighter than comparable zoom lenses, if you care about that.  

 

And they tend to be sharper than any zoom lens at equivalent prices. Zoom lens designs must make optical quality compromises in order to deliver acceptable quality at a range of focal lengths. A prime lens has only the one focal length so the design can be optimized for just that length.  

 

For basketball, consider a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 prime lens. It lets 4 times more light into the camera than a comparable kit zoom can.  That lets you shoot a faster shutter speed to freeze sharp images of fast action without being forced to raise ISO, which badly damages your image quality. Price is about $350.00. 

 

 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

Scott's right about lens choice. I was able to find a 135mm f/2.8 lens via Google for $129, but there are no fast lenses greater then that focal length that I am aware of. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

A couple of things, first off, you need to consider where you are shooting from.  This is more important than the lens choice.

Secondly, a DSLR has as its biggest attribute, the ability to use different lenses.

If the venues you want to photograph are of greatly differing light and distance and action and so on and so forth, etc, you will need different lenses.   Make sense?

 

Plus, now you have added a constraint.  Low cost.  It simply is not possible, if you want great photos to do this. With one lens, that is.   A DSLR is an amazing camera but like all things does have its limits.

 

The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens, which is $780 bucks approx. is a outstanding choice. "I primarily will use it to take action shots for team sports such as basketball, soccer, cross country, etc."  It is going to excel at basketball in a gym especially if you are allowed to roam around.  Going to be more of a challenge if you are confined to the bleachers.  There is that, where you shoot from, part again.  It will do cross country as long as you are free to roam about.  Stuck in one spot, not so much.  It will be less good at soccer because of the large field even if you can roam around.

 

The soccer and cross country are not going to be light handicapped so they do not necessarily require a large aperture lens.  Basketball will.  That is why you are not going to get the job done with one do-all lens.

 

So my recommendation is:

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens, and  (basketball)

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM  (soccer and cross country) ((might double at BB if you are confined to the stands))(((Smiley Happy)))

 

 

Both of these are capable of fantastic pictures at a fairly reasonable cost.  Up side you will only need one of these at a time so no meed to carry both all the time.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Ernie makes a good point that is often overlooked.  Focal length/field of view is something you can and should control with your feet.  If you sit in the bleachers and shoot you will need a lot more expensive telephoto sports lens. (And if all your shots are taken from that seat they will all look the same and will not likely be terribly interesting).  

 

If you can get up and shoot from near the court/sideline/etc, you can get by with a lot shorter lens, and by doing that and by changing location to get the most dramatic angles (and some variety) your shots will be a lot better.

 

I also agree with Ernie's suggested lenses, though they are not cheap.  I have a  Canon 17-55 (though I don't have a camera that can use it anymore) and it really is a great lens.  Brighter and sharper than kit lenses, though still not quite as bright as most of the primes I described earlier.  And any of Canon's "big white" 70-200 L lenses are superb.  They are of course going to cost a fair amount of money. 

 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

TCampbell
Elite
Elite

You should probably watch this video:

 

 

He has a lot of good tips, but he will point out that this is one area where if you want those shots... you've got to have the equipment (and mostly by "eqipment" he means the lenses.)

 

For indoor sports, a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom is great.  THE lens that everybody wants it the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II but that is $2000.  There are third party options for around $1300 (give or take) -- not quite as good as the Canon.

 

And then there are the alternatives when even $1300-1400 is too much... such as a 70-200mm f/4 lens (instead of f/2.8).  An f/4 lens collects half as much light and wont deal with the subject/background isolation as well, but you can get one of those for perhaps $800.

 

For outdoor sports during the "day" (lots of light) there are a lot of low-cost options -- but for very large fields such as soccer or football, a lens with a focal lenght around 400mm is nice to have.  If the focal ratio is not low then it wont be great at subject/background isolation (what you "want" is a sharp subject and "blurred" background... but what you'll get is a sharp subject and a slightly out of focus background which is a lot more distracting than a strongly blurred background.)

 

But for outdoor sports played at "night" (artificial field lighting) the lighting is usually dim enough (though it may seem bright to your eyes) that the camera is struggling to get those shots.  You'll have to crank the ISO to freeze the action and in doing so you'll get a lot of "noise" in the images (de-noising software helps a lot -- Adobe Lightroom is pretty good at de-noising.  For Photoshop my favorite is a plug-in named "Noiseware Pro" by Imagenomic).  

 

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