Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Indoor Sports Photography- Suggestions on a Budget
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Jan 12, 2020 23:22:02   #
Webbie62
 
I am looking to photograph indoor (and outdoor, again in the late spring & early fall) sports. I am currently shooting High school basketball. I am beginning to realize that a EF 70-300mm 58ᶲ f/4-5.6 is not nearly enough to get good clean photos in manual mode. I can get some while using Sport Mode - but I am not really learning at this point besides blindly experimenting. I presume I will sell the above lens and get a similar with an f/2.8. I am looking for some suggestions while on a budget.

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Jan 12, 2020 23:41:56   #
RichardTaylor Loc: Sydney, Australia
 
What is your budget (in $US)?

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Jan 12, 2020 23:44:25   #
Webbie62
 
I would like to stay under $500. I presume time will tell me if I am simply dreaming.

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Jan 12, 2020 23:58:28   #
mas24 Loc: Southern CA
 
Many High School Gyms have poor lighting. I went to a High School Gym, two years ago, sitting in the 2nd row from the gym floor, with a 70-300mm lens, and an on camera Flash, and was boldly told by Security, that Flash was not allowed. The 70-300mm did not cut the mustard. And I only needed to have the minimum of 70mm on the 70-300mm. Without the use of a flash for close up, you need a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. Or s 50mm f1.4 or f1.8. That will work, if you are close to the action. I use the 50mm f1.8 lens, from the sidelines, to shoot kids outdoor soccer games during the summertime. That lens is affordable, in most instances. Some newer High School Gyms, do have better lighting than many older Schools. Good luck.

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Jan 13, 2020 00:05:13   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
For indoor BB, if you can get down close to the court, you can buy both an 85 f1.8 and a 50 f1.8 within your budget. The next step up would be a 135 f2L or a 70-200 f2.8L IS, either of which will cost $700-800, especially if you get refurbished or used. If you had to choose just one lens and you can stretch your budget, the 70-200 f2.8L IS is a classic sports lens. Very versatile, but not a light weight (3lbs).

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Jan 13, 2020 00:06:00   #
Dave327 Loc: Duluth, GA. USA
 
What Canon body are you using?

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Jan 13, 2020 00:06:09   #
LWW Loc: REDLEGS NATION
 
Are you able bodied and mobile?

What system are you using?

Are you doing large prints?

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Jan 13, 2020 00:13:00   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Before you spend a penny, please create a reply and post and store two to four unedited JPEGs that show of some what you feel are limitations of your current equipment. You may find some helpful hints on shooting technique will be more helpful than new equipment.

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Jan 13, 2020 05:43:02   #
Gene51 Loc: Yonkers, NY, now in LSD (LowerSlowerDelaware)
 
Webbie62 wrote:
I am looking to photograph indoor (and outdoor, again in the late spring & early fall) sports. I am currently shooting High school basketball. I am beginning to realize that a EF 70-300mm 58ᶲ f/4-5.6 is not nearly enough to get good clean photos in manual mode. I can get some while using Sport Mode - but I am not really learning at this point besides blindly experimenting. I presume I will sell the above lens and get a similar with an f/2.8. I am looking for some suggestions while on a budget.
I am looking to photograph indoor (and outdoor, ag... (show quote)


If you are using a crop sensor camera, most of your options are not going to make it within your budget if you buy new or refurbished. I would pass on lenses that have apertures greater than F2.8. Yes, they let in a lot of light, but they also have very shallow depth of field when wide open. On a full frame body there is the matter of only the center of the frame being sharp, with soft edges and even softer corners - but due to the crop the softness won't make an impact.

On the other hand, a good used 70-200 F2.8 with stabilization can be found on eBay for around $500-$600.

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Jan 13, 2020 07:10:24   #
tomcat
 
Others have mentioned it here, but you cannot do this without a lens that will open up to at least f/1.8. I have been shooting high school sports for years, so trust me. An f/2.8 lens is not going to do the job. I typically use either an 85mm or a 135mm lens and I stand on the corners of the court/under the basket. A crop sensor camera is generally full of noise, so you will have to contend with that.

I could write paragraphs about this topic, but let's start with the basics first. Go get a used full frame body and a lens that is at least f/1.8 if your budget will not allow a new one.

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Jan 13, 2020 07:13:15   #
LWW Loc: REDLEGS NATION
 
LWW wrote:
Are you able bodied and mobile?

What system are you using?

Are you doing large prints?


Here's why I asked.

A 70 or 80-200 is pretty much a must for outdoor sports but can be a tiring beast to pack around all day.

OTOH a50 and 85 combo will get tack sharp images wide open ... and be very light.

With a modern DSLR that leaves a lot of available cropping, unless you are making large prints.

For 8x10 or web images you will have more than enough at 6 MP.

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Jan 13, 2020 07:31:18   #
Notorious T.O.D. Loc: Harrisburg, North Carolina
 
Looking at your planned budget I can recommend the Canon 85mm f/1.8 as a solid option. It is very sharp, fast focusing and will give you a little tighter crop with your camera body vs a full frame body.

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Jan 13, 2020 07:33:15   #
bleirer
 
Webbie62 wrote:
I am looking to photograph indoor (and outdoor, again in the late spring & early fall) sports. I am currently shooting High school basketball. I am beginning to realize that a EF 70-300mm 58ᶲ f/4-5.6 is not nearly enough to get good clean photos in manual mode. I can get some while using Sport Mode - but I am not really learning at this point besides blindly experimenting. I presume I will sell the above lens and get a similar with an f/2.8. I am looking for some suggestions while on a budget.
I am looking to photograph indoor (and outdoor, ag... (show quote)


There is nothing special about the sports mode. It just takes control of the same settings you should be learning to use and understand fully. For example sports mode might force a faster shutter speed so it has to trade either depth of field or ISO for that. If you are shooting the bench or someone at the foul line, get out of sports mode and maybe you can use your judgement to slow the shutter just for that shot and just enough, and get better dof or lower ISO.

In other words if you can get good shots only in sports mode but do not understand why, the new lens will not fix it.

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Jan 13, 2020 07:40:02   #
Webbie62
 
Canon 6D

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Jan 13, 2020 07:42:41   #
Webbie62
 
I easily get down on the gym floor and shoot from any angle (within regulations) that I think I can obtain a good shot. I am using Windows 10 Photoshop using a Canon 6D.

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