View Full Version : Prime Lens

2nd of March 2009 (Mon), 16:37
Hello all,

I have been surfing through this forum for quite some time now but this is my first post.

I am mostly interested if photographing rally events. I shoot with a 40d, and would love to invest in a new lens. Hope fully someone could give me some insight on the right gear. I am somewhat partial to prime lenses and was hoping to get some feedback on 85mm, 100mm, 200mm lenses or anything else you may seem suitable.


Ron Lacey
2nd of March 2009 (Mon), 20:07
FWIW I use a 100-400F4.5-5.6L for motor sports. Used to use my 300 prime but found it too restricting.


2nd of March 2009 (Mon), 20:14
All the Canon lenses at the focal points you mentioned are outstanding! Nothing average about any of them. Now, you need to decide which focal length you need and how much you want to spend. Do you presently have a zoom? What focal length do you use most?

2nd of March 2009 (Mon), 20:54
Check your EXIF data on what seems to be the most often used focal length in your photos, and that would give you your answer. I'm partial now to the 135L and it's my next purchase, due to finding alot of my sprint car shots are taken at that focal length.

3rd of March 2009 (Tue), 01:22
Mmm... I've happily used the 85mm f/1.8 USM (the 85mm f/1.2L's AF is a little slow for motorsport) 100mm f/2.0 USM and 135mm f/2.0L USM on rally stages they're all fine. I've even used the 50mm f/1.4USM a couple of times to good effect.

Most pro rally photographers tend to go for an f/2.8 zoom with the 70-200/f2.8L (IS), Sigma 70-200/2.8EX and Sigma 120-300/2.8EX being popular. There's an occasional 300/2.8 prime to be seen but not many. f/5.6 zooms (70-300,100-400, 28-300, 35-350) are not popular as they tend to struggle in the poor light found under the trees in winter conditions.

3rd of March 2009 (Tue), 08:42
Thanks guys for all the replies,

I guess the interesting thing about shooting a rally event is the close proximity you can achieve to the competing vehicles. This may force me to go with a zoom, 70-200 range. I personally have experienced that a prime lens is a much sharper image.

3rd of March 2009 (Tue), 09:25
My most used lens for rallying is the 70-200 f/2.8 - I love the flexibility a zoom gives me, and like Cadwell said, 2.8 is a must during darker months.

I would use a prime if that was the only option, but I prefer zooms.

Mike Hoyer
3rd of March 2009 (Tue), 13:00
I use a 300mm 2.8, a 70-200 2.8 and a 17-40 4 for rallying.

I find the 70-200 covers most things, and you can get a variety of compositions from one car.

The Moose
4th of March 2009 (Wed), 02:23
I don't think I'd choose a prime lens for motorsport unless you shoot for a track and you know you'll always have one spot where you can get great shots. If you're a fan or even someone who just gets a bit of access, you'd more than likely enjoy the versatility of a zoom. I know I would.