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Photography Question 
Samantha Hotch

Sports Photography

Hi there,
I would very much like to get into sports photography but wondered what the minimum type of camera and lens I would need to capture such fast sports such as soccer. Please could you give me some advice? I have a Canon Rebel and a 70-300mm lens at the moment, and I really want to upgrade. Thanks!

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6/13/2008 2:13:11 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Hello Samantha,

Answering your question "...what the minimum type of camera and lens..."

Any point & shoot would work at a minimum. LOL

I bet you'd like to know what would really rock?

Well; if your budget will support it, at the other end of the spectrum would be a Nikon D-3 with the Nikkor 300 mm or 400mm f/2.8D ED-IF II AF-S.

All up?..about $10,000 U.S

Budget Samantha..It's all about the budget.

If you state a budget, more people will be able to render a opinion.

all the best,


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6/13/2008 7:12:32 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  Since you already have Canon Rebel, here's a very good lens: the 70-200mm F2.8 IS ... just do a google search on it. It's pricy. But it's a fast lens, and for sports photography, especially if the light isn't great, it will help. It's also heavy, so a tripod or monopod is a must!

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6/13/2008 7:36:09 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  If the games are in daylight, you already have enough. Get better at taking pictures before you get new stuff. If it's night games, then you can look into a lens with a wider aperture.

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6/13/2008 8:13:51 PM

Dennis H. Hernet   Pete is totally correct on the lens selection. I shoot plenty of daytime with my Canon Rebel EOS and a 70-300mm 4-5.6 ZOOM lens and it works great ... until about 30 minutes before sunset. I sometimes sacrifice quality by upping the ISO to 1600, shoot at "large format", then reducing the photo to a 4x6. Loss of quality is minimal (for what I want) and it keeps the relatives happy.

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6/17/2008 7:36:29 AM

Martin J. Preslar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/25/2005
  You can do what you need with the Canon Rebel. I used to and got decent shots. The big issue with sports is the focus speed of the smaller zooms.

For less than $1000 you could upgrade to a Canon EOS 20D and a Sigma APO DG 70-200mm 2.8 lens on eBay and have the gear to catch the fast action and less noise problems when you have to crank the ISO. If you add a Sigma APO DG 2X or 1.4x tele-converter you can get a bit longer reach, which you might want for soccer. I would not suggest going with the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 unless you have more money than you need. It is an AWESOME lens, but the Sigma will do what you need and cost less than half the money. I am also looking at upgrading to a 30D for the spot metering and larger burst buffer. That will run about $100 to $150 more than the 20D on eBay.

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6/17/2008 10:38:38 AM

Nancy    Hi! Samantha,
The others are completely correct for out door activities. Your current lens is fine. Indoor is a different story. I use a 50mm 1.6 lens for basketball and volleyball. To get depth of field I still have to up the ISO and keep the speed as low as practical. This also allows for croping as needed. Usually I only have to print 5X7's. This is what I sell most of.

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6/17/2008 11:05:12 AM

Jim Eichelman
  Part of it depends on what you mean by "getting into sports photography". If you are shooting for yourself because you have children playing, you are probably fine unless you get to night or indoor sports. Soccer outside you should be fine. Just keep shooting and look at your results to determine what you may need to get better. I shot with a 70 - 300 for a very long time and got great shots. You learn to adapt to the equipment. As you shoot more and talk with people about what you are shooting you may find you "need" the 70 - 200 mm f 2.8. It is very pricey (I just got the Nikon version with Vibration Reduction and its a killer piece of glass).

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6/22/2008 6:31:58 PM

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