Basketball Lens issues

Started Apr 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Scampi1965 Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: Just foolin' around, right?

Am I right in thinking this is kids sports, you've got lots of money, are new to photography, and think high prices means "better."

You fail to inform us of where you are standing - sitting at the basketball games, and what the purpose of the photos is.

If a photogapher really needs to be able to get shots all over the court, and can sit high in the stands, the lens would be a different choice than if you are leaning against the wall in a high school gym, five feet behind a net.

The L requirement demonstrates the amateurness, but if that really is a requirement, buy a 35mm L lens if standing on the edge of the court, a 50mm L lens if seated in the first three rows, an 85mm L lens if in rows 4-10, and a 135mm L lens if farther back and you refuse to use a 70-200 L lens.
Change seats when the teams change ends, if you are concentrating on one team.

Several professsional sports photgrahers use a gadget called a monopod, which not only helps keep a camera steady, but it supports the camera vertically, close to your eye, taking lots of pressure off your nexck,shoulder and arm muscles.
Tripods work even better for photographers lucky enough to have more space.

A monopod does not come in an L model,. but the closest way to spend lots is to look for a carbon fiber model. And pay attention to the top of the monopod. Finding a top that is happy to switch quickly to vertical shots is difficult.

Tripods for sports don't have to be big and really steady; the goal is mostly to provide support and take pressure off your muscles. Again, carbon fiber costs more, and therefore is a good choice for many people


Your aggressive tone seems born of your own frustrations with "people like me" as you see it. Rather judgemental and unnecessarily antagonistic. I would suggest you refrain from responding to formum messages where you are unhappy to do so without a friendly and helpful perpective.

For others who read this, please let me explain a little more in light of BAK’s response.

I would consider myself an amateur enthusiast. I have been a photographer in my younger years, and during my time as a father this pastime took a back seat, as they do. I got back to this pastime four years ago and have been shooting madly since then using Sony equipment. I simply need to grow beyond what Sony can offer me. I have had several photo’s published and find myself endeared to local sport and sailing communities due significantly to my photographic offerings.

I have shot a lot of basketball with my Sony gear. All using flash as this was my only real chance to get the shots with what I had and these have received a very enthusiastic audience who would love much more of what I do.

My experience to date tells me that investing in quality glass first and foremost is best practice. Yes, my somewhat belligerent attitude to L glass is a little off target, granted. Once the 85mm f1.8 was pointed out to me, I knew it was the right lens. I have just not had the chance to respond to the forum until now. The reason I asked the question was to find out exactly that... which lens. I guess I still don’t really have an answer as to the ability of the 100 macro to perform this task. I currently shoot on a cropped sensor camera using a Sigma 50mm Macro (so the 85mm lens on full frame is much the same), hence the question about the Canon 100mm.

I am far from out to waste my money. I have an old kit I am selling and due to separation with my wife, have decided this is the gift to myself to reward myself for times where I was so confined and limited in my ability to explore and enjoy my passion. I wish to spend my money wisely, as this is a once off chance to have a kit that does it for me. I have already spent three months considering my options and no doubt will spend another few weeks refining my selections before committing to such a significant buy.

I want L glass both for “quality glass” and for “longevity” particularly in regards to quality of build. I found that a pitfall with lower end glass and my view is simply to try and ensure I do not end up with glass that lets me down. Been there, done that. I am new to Canon so I am asking those in the know about Canon for their advice.

So yes, perhaps a little more information from me would have been helpful.

I will always shoot from the baseline and only at one end of the action. I will of course take off court shots and my feet will do the zooming required here.

Other sport? Football (soccer) so a good zoom will be essential here. Of course with sailing I also need a good zoom, so the idea of the 70-200L 2.8 was to cover everything. I now feel the 85mm and the 70-300L will spend much the same money more wisely, and give me more flexibility especially with the extra length available in the 300mm.

For those interested, with my areas of interest (landscape, abstract/people (not portrait) and sports, I have decided on the following lens kit at this time (to go with the 5Dmkiii):
Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 85mm 1.8
Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lenses
Canon EF 17-40L
Canon EF 24-105L

Any further comments are most welcome.... especially if you think the 100mm Macro can shoot basketball sufficiently!

Many thanks to all the other suggestion s and helpful advice. I look forward to being a greater contributor to the forums when I am “equipped”.

Here are some photos I took a couple of years ago now so you can where I am coming FROM!



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As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters be kind to you.

 Scampi1965's gear list:Scampi1965's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
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