View Full Version : Lens recomendation for Sports Photography

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 09:48
I have a 20D and am looking for a lens to use for youth sports photography. Would like an opinion on the 70-300 IS versus the 70-200 f2.8 (non IS). Or any other suggestoins?


8th of September 2006 (Fri), 10:28
if it was me I would just go with a 85 1.8, 135 2.0 and 300 2.8

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 10:33
depends on the sports and times/location. indoor/outdoor late afternoon or night sports require a 2.8 or faster lens. daytime sports can use either of those lenses, and also the 100-400 or comparable lenses. for a few sports, the 100-400 would make more sense than either of the other two, unless you like using 2x tc.

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 10:49
I have a 20D and am looking for a lens to use for youth sports photography.

The answers you've gotten so far are good, but to help us be less "confused" please give us a little more specifics as to what sports and expected lighting conditions and you'll get some more pertinent recommendations ....

Although going with the above recommended lenses will probably get you through just about all sports in all lighting conditions ....

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 11:04
As the others have stated above, lighting is a big factor. If you do not have light, you have to have $$$.

Most of the youth sports I shoot are in the daylight so you can get away with a lens that is f/4 to f/5.6 but if you are going to do gyms and night football you will need an f/2.8 in whatever range you choose. I shot most of last season’s football with the 70-200 2.8 and it is a great lens. I would recommend it highly if you are going to do any low light stuff. You can put on a TC on it and get extra length for day games and it still works great. I have the IS version and believe it is worth the extra $$. I have also had the 70-300 IS and it was a good lens for many things but shooting fast moving sports was not one of them. My keeper rate was a lot lower then the 70-200. But you are comparing apples to oranges both in price and quality.

If you are looking to just get a few shots for yourself and a website then I would not worry about spending the big $$ for the white lens and go with something like the 70-300 but if you need something more or are doing it for money, I believe it is worth the investment. You can also use the 70-300 in low light places in which you can use a flash.

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 11:18
:) Thanks so much for all the great responses. I am mainly shooting daytime outdoor sports (soccer & baseball), but may be shooting some gym sports such as volleyball and basketball. I am new to this and don't have a large budget just yet (at least that's what my hubbie keeps telling me) and was wondering if the 70-300 IS would do the trick hoping the IS would make up for the lens being f4-5.6.

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 11:26
.......and was wondering if the 70-300 IS would do the trick hoping the IS would make up for the lens being f4-5.6.

In your situation, IS will not make up for the lens being f4-5.6. The benefit of IS is the ability to hand-hold longer exposure times. This is not desireable when shooting sports (or any motion for that matter) because you'll get blurry pics. Static objects, yes, IS is great. For sports, in order to freeze the moment, you need the 70-200 2.8. and if you go indoors, an 85 f1.8.

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 11:46
I have the 70-300mm IS and I really enjoy it. But it definately isn't a low light sports lens. In the same price range is the 70-200 F4 L. I agonized between these two and am glad I got the IS. But there are limitatins. The IS won't help stop moving objects. Only fast shutter speed will. The only saving grace is that you have one of the best high ISO cameras made and that will help.

As a sidebar, I'm not sure a fast lens is always the answer, either. I play at shooting stock car dirt track racing and even at 5.6 the DOF is somewhat shallow. Shallow DOF can be interesting for some shots, but taking gym shots at 2.8, you are only going to have one person, and maybe not all of that person in focus.

As you have probably figured out the pluses and minuses, the 70-200 F4L Has a constant f4 and is supposed to be sharper (the 70-300 IS is plenty sharp) but lacks the reach and has no IS.

The price goes up from there. I find it amusing that you asked about a $500 lens and one poster suggests you buy over $4000 worth of primes to shoot kid's sports. Good advice.

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 11:46
Thank you. Any opinions on the cheaper Sigma 70-200/2.8 vs. the canon?

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 11:51
Thank you. Any opinions on the cheaper Sigma 70-200/2.8 vs. the canon? From all that I have read & heard, owners of the Sigma 70-200 2.8 are very happy with it. It seems like one of their better lenses in the tele-zoom line-up.

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 11:55
the 70-200 would be a great lens for overall sports shooting. add a TC to it and you have even more versitility. I use it for a variety of sports, indoors, field, ect, and it does very well. Short of the Canon super tele's and perhaps Sigma's 120-300 2.8 there arent many better sports lenses out there. Another great lens for indoor sports (basketball in particular) is the 85 1.8.

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 18:54
Thank you. Any opinions on the cheaper Sigma 70-200/2.8 vs. the canon?

I cannot compare to the Canon, but I have the Sigma EX APO 70-200 F/2.8 and like it very much. I shoot football and some indoor basketball and it is a very useable lens in both applications. Tomorrow I will also be using a Kenko 1.5X TC for a little more reach on the Football field. I tried a Sigma 2X EX DG TC with the lens, with not so great results. My understanding is the 1.4-1.5x TCs affect IQ much less. I am hoping that this is the case.

Good Luck

8th of September 2006 (Fri), 19:36
With my 20D I have great success using a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS for outdoor sports and a 135mm f/2.0L for indoor sports.