Rhilton4u wrote in post #3687031
Thanks for the kind words. Let me get your point here so I understand you better. If you were talking to a kid who was just starting out as a photographer and knew he was going to cover sports for a local newspaper lets say. He had a limited budget and wanted to buy an L lens for the job and only had enough money to buy one. You couldn't make any type of recommendation to him because the variables are too vast to contemplate?
Close, but not quite. Changing your question also changes the answer. While I don't believe there's any meaningful panacea of an answer I can give to your original question, your latest question is easier to work with, and in fact represents adivce I've given more than once to kids in that boat.
I'd ask him what type of sports he'd be shooting, and if he gave me a list as wide-ranging as yours I'd say he can't buy one lens that will do justice to all of them. But then I'd give him the half measure response (no wide angle and no real telephoto to speak of). I'd point him in the direction of the 70-200 f2.8, either IS or non IS, and tell him his next lens purchase after that needed to depend on what he shot the most. Long distance sports such as football/baseball cry out for more focal length, though a 1.4 TC on that lens for outdoor sports give reach without taking too much aperture to compromise shutter speed.
Close-in stuff such as boxing and, to a lesser degree basketball, are asking for the wider angle of the 16-35.