09-12-2015 07:22 AM
You will want a 'fast" lens, meaning one with a wide max aperture (low f/number) so you can keep a faster shutter in the typically somewhat dim light.
A 70-200 f/2.8, is a great bright sports lens. You can even skip the IS if you need to for budgetary reasons as at fast ports shutter speeds you don't need image stabilization. On the other hand, on a crop body you'd be getting camera shake handheld below 1/320rh zoomed in so I'd go with the IS.
If your budget doesn't go up to $2000 or if you need an even brighter aperture, a bright prime could work. Try out focal lengths on your zoom and see what lengths you need. 50mm might work if you Are close to the action. If not then 85mm? those focal lengths can be had in around f/1.8 or an f/1.4 at a price below $400.
09-13-2015 09:05 AM - edited 09-14-2015 09:33 AM
"I have a t5i body and a 18-135 lens that came with it."
Generally people that buy Rebels are not into lenses that cost two to three times what the Rebel and/or the kit did. But the facts are you need a pretty expensive lens to get good sharp and blur free shots. I would forget any prime unless you are free to roam the sidelines which is unlikely.
A good quality zoom is your best answer. Two less expensive options are used Canon zooms and third party vendor lenses. Canon professional glass is extremely durable and a very good buy used. Examples from Sigma or Tamron are also very good but be careful buying used if you can not test it thoroughly on your camera. They also need to come with a return privilege.
Look for apertures in the f4 to f2.8 range and constant instead of variable like the kit lens is.
And for a free option, choose your spot in the gym carefully as it can make or break you. Even with good gear, where you are or stand is important. Also try to go and do some test shots before just to see what you can use for camera settings. What you can get away with for good shots if you will.
Lastly get a good post editor such as Photoshop Elements.
Remember great photos are 1/2 camera/lens, 1/2 post editing and 1/2 you.
09-13-2015 03:46 PM
The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II is pretty much the lens for this. It's about $2k, but worth it if this is primarily what you shoot.
There is a non-IS vesion which substantially brings the price down. The general guideline is that, assuming you have good camera holding technique to minimize your movement while shooting, the typeical person is able to hand-hold a full-frame camera steady enough to shoot as clean shot as long as the shutter speed is at least 1/focal-length. So for a 200mm lens, that would be 1/200th. But this is for full-frame cameras. With a crop-factor camera you have to multiply the shutter speed by the crop factor (for your camera the crop-factor is 1.6). That means as long as your shutter speed is at least 1/320th sec or faster then you can likely hand-hold the camera without needing IS.
There are also f/4 versions of the 70-200 (one with IS, one without). But at f/4 you lose half the light and that requires that you either double the ISO setting (which increases noise) or slow down the shutter speed (resulting in higher risk of blur.)
The challenge with most action sports is that they're played in very poor lighting conitions -- requiring more expensive low-focal ratio lenses to capture the action.