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Old 1st of November 2006 (Wed)   #1
snavlee
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Default Sports Photography- Need Advice

I have an opportunity to begin doing some freelance sports shooting on the side. My only camera body is the original digital rebel (aka 300D). My fastest lens is a 60mm 2.8, so I'm figuring on buying the 85 1.8. I'm approaching the winter sports season and I'll mostly have the chance to photograph wrestling and basketball. Is the 85 1.8 a good lens for bball and wrestling? Could I get away with a 2.8 aperture indoors or will I benefit greatly from the 1.8 or faster? Lastly, will the 300 D suffice or is a 30 D in my near future? As the spring roles around I would then be looking to pick up a 70-200 2.8
Any input from sports shooters would be great. Thank you.

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Old 1st of November 2006 (Wed)   #2
Billginthekeys
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Default Re: Sports Photography- Need Advice

the 85 1.8 is a simply great indoor sports lens, one of the best. you would benifit from the 30D aswell, if for no other reason than better noise contol with high ISOs indoors.
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Old 1st of November 2006 (Wed)   #3
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Default Re: Sports Photography- Need Advice

My buddy is using the 300 in sports photography now. He is shooting basketball and volleyball in standard high school gymnasium. The two lens' he uses is a 50mm 1.8 and a 70-200 2.8 (which is actually mine). With the two he produces outstanding shots. He does speak of wanting to get an 85mm at some point which would be a little more flexible than the 50mm so he doesn't have to be right on top of them. 2.8 should suffice in most conditions in the gym's that i have experienced, but if you shoot in RAW you have more flexibilities in your white balance. I'm new here, but hope this helps.
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Old 1st of November 2006 (Wed)   #4
snavlee
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Default Re: Sports Photography- Need Advice

I appreciate the info so far, thank you very much. Anyone else have any input / experience on using the 300D?
How about using the 70-200 f2.8 vs. a faster prime? could I get away with using a 2.8 in gymnasiums?
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Old 1st of November 2006 (Wed)   #5
Billginthekeys
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Default Re: Sports Photography- Need Advice

2.8 is the minimum i would feel comfortable with in most gyms. at 2.8 and 1600 you should be able to cope with some pretty poor conditions. which is where the advantage of less noise on the 20D/30D would come in.
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Old 2nd of November 2006 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: Sports Photography- Need Advice

I started shooting sport with the 300D.

Shortly after, I picked up the 70-200 2.8L which made a huge difference. My biggest problem with the 300D was the lack of AI focus when not in the "Sport" mode, and the lack of ISO control in the sport mode.

There are 2 ways to get around this:
1 - Install one of the firmware hacks. I never did, but when the 300D was more popular I saw many that did sucessfully.

2 - If you zoom in or out after focusing with the shutter depressed the camera will drop into AI focus. I could only get this to work occasionally.

I think you might be able to get away with the 2.8 in a well lit gym, but some of the darker ones you'll like the 85 1.8 a lot better. With th e2.8 you might need to under expose by a stop or so for more shutter speed.
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Old 2nd of November 2006 (Thu)   #7
IndyJeff
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Default Re: Sports Photography- Need Advice

The problem you will find shooting at a wide open apt setting is you will be getting a lot of soft shots. I don't think the 300 will focus fast enough to get sharp action wide open. Yeah it looks neat when the main player is in focus and everything behind him/her is blurred but, fast moving action sports is gonna be real hard to do with a 300, no matter what lens you have if your wide open.

If your shooting high school sports you most likely will be able to use a hot shoe mount flash. Advantages of using the flash is you can get away from cycling lights found in a lot of gyms. White balance isn't as much an issue since the flash is the dominate light. All these shots you see from the NBA, NCAA are shot with flash. It isn't camera mounted but remotes mounted in the catwalks and rafters. Without the use of flash you wouldn't see nearly the amount of sharp images from high level sports.
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