sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?

Started Jul 19, 2009 | Discussions
mugget
New MemberPosts: 4
Like?
sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?
Jul 19, 2009

hey all,

I did search here for any topics/info about this, but couldn't quite find anything that was relevant or up to date. apologies if i missed something...

to give you a bit of background - i bought a Canon 450D nearly a year ago with the twin lens kit. i got it mostly because i wanted to take some pics of the MotoGP at Phillip Island. it is my first dSLR & i'm loving it. i think i finished up with some okay shots from the MotoGP: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mugget/sets/72157607922370444/

but i also found that 3.5fps was kind of limiting - i had to be careful and choose the shots carefully or else it was very easy to miss some action or specific moments. also the 75-300mm f4-5.6 kit lens showed some fairly noticeable aberration at 300mm.

so now i want to get kitted up for this years MotoGP in October.

i have been toying with the idea of spending about AUD$2,000 on a better (or even half-decent) telephoto lens and maybe tele-converter (extender).

but i have also been wondering about an older 2nd hand pro or semi-pro body and maybe a 2nd hand lens (even 2nd hand 3rd party lens)?

i thought i should ask some people in the know - so what would you recommend?

i'm thinking that even something like the Canon 1D MkII would blow away the 450D. 8fps and shutter speed up to 1/8000 from the 1/4000 on the 450D. and 8MP is still decent, saw a 1D MkII body on eBay currently at AU $830.

the thing that sold me on the 450D originally were the features like sensor cleaning and the large MP rating. but really now i've come to see that i need speed above photo resolution, and i am thinking that buying used will allow me to have the speed while not breaking the budget.

what about lenses? any problems or experiences with 2nd hand bodies or lens?

a big thanks for any help you can offer.

Cheers.

Hank3152
Forum ProPosts: 12,144Gear list
Like?
Re: sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?
In reply to mugget, Jul 19, 2009

mugget wrote:

the thing that sold me on the 450D originally were the features like sensor cleaning and the large MP rating. but really now i've come to see that i need speed above photo resolution, and i am thinking that buying used will allow me to have the speed while not breaking the budget.

what about lenses? any problems or experiences with 2nd hand bodies or lens?

I'd look into the 40D, 6.5fps, and a 200f/2.8 prime with the 1.4x TC for a relatively inexpensive kit that would cover your needs...........
I've had great transactions from this site............

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/10

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Hank

 Hank3152's gear list:Hank3152's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Canon EF 300mm f/4.0L IS USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mugget
New MemberPosts: 4
Like?
Re: sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?
In reply to Hank3152, Jul 21, 2009

Hank3152 wrote:

I'd look into the 40D, 6.5fps, and a 200f/2.8 prime with the 1.4x TC for a relatively inexpensive kit that would cover your needs...........
I've had great transactions from this site............

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/10

thanks for the tip - i'll check that site. i've also been trying to find some local Aussie sites and apparently there is a kind of "photography trader" magazine that is available here.

6.5fps would make a big difference from what i've been used to, but i'm still kind of thinking that an older camera like a 1D Mk.II would be better if i can find a clean one for a good price? or even older cameras? i've just seen a Nikon D2H on eBay for around AU$600 - which would still give 8fps and sure it's on 4MP but really i'm not expecting to get too many pics printed, it will be mostly viewed on-screen. plus i could then spend more on lenses?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jfriend00
Forum ProPosts: 11,090
Like?
Re: sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?
In reply to mugget, Jul 21, 2009

The #1 thing that action sports require is the proper equipment and technique to get a shot in focus and sharp. Do not underestimate technique in this equation as it is at least 50% of the equation and sometimes much more.

Next in line is the right lens that has enough reach for what you're shooting, has a good enough aperture for the light and to let enough light in to the focus sensor (f/4 at least) and can take sharp images at the focal length you will be using it at.

Next in line after that is the body's ability to track focus on a moving target and your ability to get the most out of the body's ability.

Then, way down the list is the fps as it is not a substitute for any of the previous characteristics and won't help at all if they previous items aren't giving you sharp shots.

I don't know Canon gear (you will likely find more people to comment on Canon gear in the Canon forums), but my guess is that a really good lens is the first thing you should buy. Then, you need a body that has fast auto-focus responsiveness. On the Nikon side of things, fast auto-focus is something that the more expensive cameras in the lineup generally do better than the less expensive cameras. Probably the same thing for Canon.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pat Heuvel
Regular MemberPosts: 105
Like?
Re: sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?
In reply to mugget, Jul 21, 2009

Gday Mugget,

I shoot with a 50D which gets to the frame rates you want. I don't have a teleconverter, and have been shooting with a 70-200 f2.8L and 300 f4L.

I would be looking for a quick-focussing body before frame rate, although, these days, one often gets you the other. The f2.8 is not usually important at PI, because the weather is usually bright - the excellent 70-200 f4L would probably be perfect for you.

If you are going to use a TC with your lens, keep in mind the effect it will have on the AF! From this point of view, maybe the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 would be a good alternative (esp. from the price standpoint).

Some of my pics from PI are in http://www.pbase.com/pheuvel - both SBK and MotoGP. They are lightly cropped. And yes, there are some bummers in there. PI - what a great place!

Maybe I'll see you there.

Regards,
Pat
(RSV-Mille)

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Wayneb123
Junior MemberPosts: 30
Like?
Re: sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?
In reply to mugget, Jul 22, 2009

I've used a Rebel XT (350D) for motorcycle races and it worked fine for me, I think the higher frame rates are good for capturing a crash sequence better but the 3 fps worked well enough for the kinds of shots I take. I think either a 70-200 f2.8L of a 70-200 f4L with a 1.4TC work great as long as you can get close to the track. The Canon 100-400L would be my next choice if I needed more reach. I have the 70-200 f4L I.S. and it works well with a 1.4xTC and focus is very quick in good light with the TC on the lens. One advantage these lenses have over the cheaper lenses is that they have a focus range limiter that helps with AF speed.

I don't have any recent photos from the MotoGP races but I have some older 500GP shots posted at this link , most were taken with a Sigma 70-210 f2.8 or a 300 f4L.

http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=208674

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mugget
New MemberPosts: 4
Like?
Re: sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?
In reply to mugget, Jul 23, 2009

sweet! some PI locals!

thanks for the tips.

i'm really wondering about the 1.4x TC.. i think it will be a must for most tracks especially at PI as the best spots i've seen require you to be a reasonable distance from the track on the other side of the gravel trap. does anyone know of a good review for either the 1.4 or 2x TC? i am wondering about "real world" usability and drawbacks. from what i have read so far it's a bit hard to gauge... on one hand i keep reading "lose a stop" etc. but then others say that you really only notice a massive quality loss if you are using a lower quality lens to start with?

maybe i shouldn't have titled this thread "on a budget" either. i'm now thinking i'll sell the 450D. i was thinking of perhaps keeping it as a 2nd camera. what do you think? i really only get my camera out at events like the MotoGP and track days, drag racing etc. and if i'm going to an event like that it's always planned so i'm thinking that keeping the 450D for the "spur of the moment" type stuff wouldn't be so useful for me.

and thanks all to the help/advice thus far.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Tim the Grey
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,310
Like?
Re: sports photography on a budget - which body + lens? 2nd hand?
In reply to mugget, Jul 23, 2009

I use an Olympus E-1. 3fps flat out. I rarely feel short changed...

You do NOT need 8fps. You need to understand your chosen sport!
I used to shoot Motorsport with a MANUAL focus, MANUAL wind on, film body.
I got almost as many hits then as now...

Shoot the peak of the action, or learn to SEE something about to happen?

What you have is fine for 90% of the time. Upgrade the GLASS, not the body.

-- hide signature --

The world's best Vulcan, XH558, after 14 years on the ground, lives again.
http://www.tvoc.co.uk
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandfish_imagining/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Michael_J
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,811
Like?
Photographers have been buying 2nd hand gear from day 2.
In reply to mugget, Jul 23, 2009

Most people get their start in photography with 2nd (or 3rd or 4th, or 5th) hand gear.

There's nothing wrong with buying used - as long as you buy from reputable places, like local shops or well known on-line stores. Ebay is not always the best place to buy, you have to know what you are buying and use caution, i.e., ask the right questions, look at history, etc. I have purchased and sold gear on Ebay with no problems (to date.)

People buy, sell and trade gear all the time. After you start using the gear you won't think of it as used , you'll just be happy with the images! So you are doing the right thing, get the best (used) gear you can with the budget you have and you will be a happy camper.

I heard some time ago: "Always buy quality, you'll never be disappointed."

mugget wrote:

what about lenses? any problems or experiences with 2nd hand bodies or lens?

a big thanks for any help you can offer.

Cheers.

-- hide signature --

People who claim to be open minded never see it my way.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
mugget
New MemberPosts: 4
Like?
Re: Photographers have been buying 2nd hand gear from day 2.
In reply to Michael_J, Jul 24, 2009

hey Tim,

interesting that you mention about motorsports... i was just talking with a guy tonight - he is a photographer but i didn't realise that he covered F1 for 10 years, so he knows just a little bit about sports photography.

i didn't even ask him about bodies, just lenses. his recommendation was a fast lens, so f2.8. now the only 2.8 lens in my price range would be the 70-200mm f2.8 L. with a 2x TC you get 400mm with about the same speed as the closest priced 100-400mm lens?

i'm going to try and check out a local camera shop tomorrow and see if they have any 2nd hand stock.

i'm a bit wary of buying from eBay or anywhere without seeing the gear now. but i guess you get it cheaper buying 2nd hand and you can always just sell it straight off if it's no good. but i would still think that any major problems with gear would be very noticeable by large dents and scratches etc?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads