Best MILC for Shooting Figure Skating?

Started Nov 26, 2012 | Questions
OP MicheleR Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: A counter point...

Thanks! I love doo-hickeys:-D

OP MicheleR Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Wow.

Another thought to expand on your points:

My daughter mows the lawn, dusts the furniture, cleans some of the bathrooms, brushes the dogs teeth, bathes and trims the dog, helps paint, and dog sits for neighbors...all without being paid. Our philosophy is "you shouldn't be paid for helping people". None of her friends would even think of doing any one of those things without being paid.

She gets straight As and does not get compensated for that - even though most of her friends do.

She understands commitment and hard work and responsibility. She has been skating 4 to 5 days per week for 12 years. She has passed over 30 skating tests in that time, and she is working on 2 more currently.

She goes to school for half a day, then skates, then comes home and logs onto her cyber school classes. She's 3 months ahead of the school year in her cyber classes.

She spent a year making bracelets by hand to sell at a fundraiser. She also donated all the materials. She never asked for a penny; not even a partial reimbursement for the materials. Everyone else, without exception, asked to be reimbursed.

I could go on, but I think you get the gist. My daughter gets it - she understands the value of money.

So, yes, this is quite a splurge, but, IMO she is more than deserving of it.

I do like, and agree, with your suggestions. I also employ them on a regular basis. I also like your idea of having her do her own research. I will do that; just not for something she is receiving as a gift.

Thank You

teddoman Senior Member • Posts: 2,500
Re: Wow.

MicheleR wrote:

I do like, and agree, with your suggestions. I also employ them on a regular basis. I also like your idea of having her do her own research. I will do that; just not for something she is receiving as a gift.

Your daughter sounds really grounded and hard working. That's so great to hear. I kind of thought she might be. Figure skating by all appearances is one of those hobbies that involves a lot of time motivation discipline and dedication. Those things will serve her well in life.

One small point to consider that I just thought of. For someone as practical and grounded as she sounds, you might actually still want to bring her in on the research. After all, she knows a lot more about this stuff than you do (she's the photography expert). The surprise value of a gift wears off after a few days. The camera will stay with her for many years. For example, my wife actually told me not to buy a ring for her if and when I ever proposed. She wanted to research and pick it out on her own, based on my budget. I would have bought one that was traditional gold. Turns out she likes the white gold look. Who would've known? Her friend still sometimes complains (not seriously, just in a silly way among girlfriends) about her husband not getting her white gold. Proposing to my wife was still a total surprise and a wonderful memorable experience for us both, and there was nothing lost by the lack of a ring at that moment. If your daughter is very practical, she might not expect it (since it's a gift) but she might appreciate being brought in on the research. A hand written "gift certificate" for a camera of her choice will bring her an equal amount of surprise and joy, plus she'll have all the joy and anticipation of shopping for the camera too.

 teddoman's gear list:teddoman's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony a9 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +6 more
OP MicheleR Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Wow.

That is very sweet:-)

She has absolutely no idea that she will be getting anything like this. She has never asked for anything like this either. I have seen what she has been trying to accomplish for the past year on her P&S and thought aha! Now, I've got it!

This type of photography is specialized, which is why I finally decided I needed some expert advice and posted on this forum...and, I have been receiving a great deal of help from a number of people.

She has no knowledge of this caliber of equipment, which is why I am looking into it. She is no expert, which is why this kit will help her learn about this type of shooting. But, the kit must have the potential for good shots of this type to begin with; skill notwithstanding. I have spent months researching - I want her to spend her time concentrating on school.

One of the greatest things about buying excellent used equipment is its resale value. When she is ready to either move up or to move on, we will recoup some of this money. There will be no emotional attachment to it (although I've heard stories :-)), as opposed to your wife's wedding ring.


BobSC Veteran Member • Posts: 4,404
Re: Best MILC for Shooting Figure Skating?

I hope things work out.

You might look at something like a used 80-200 AF, which can be pretty cheap, especially for the push/pull model. I think mine was under $400. It would let her gain experience with long focal lengths and wide apertures. You could probably take decent shots of people on the ice who weren't moving fast. Maybe just out there milling around or whatever. Just to get used to the way the lenses render subjects. The 180 2.8 is another option in the same range, but not as versatile. Either way, the point of having it would be to practice with the focal length and the handling and so forth. Big lenses can be difficult to use effectively.

The 18-105 is a well regarded general purpose lens. I just got one refurbished from keh for $225.

beagle1 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,434
Re: Best MILC for Shooting Figure Skating?

MicheleR wrote:

I would like to buy a mirrorless camera for my daughter's 16th birthday. She is a figure skater, and she hates the poor quality images the contracted photographers shoot at her events. I know mirrorless isn't in the same league as DSLRs, but I am concerned she won't use the camera if it's too heavy and cumbersome.

I have gone into camera shops to try a few, but I really can't duplicate the rink's challenging shooting environment in a store. The NEX6 with its standard kit lens did not do a good job shooting my quick hand gestures - my hand was a blocky smear of flesh color. The Sony Alpha SLT-A77VQ did an excellent job, but I think it's too big for her.

Lighting in the rinks is a challenge: Use of flash is prohibited, skaters move in and out of shadows if the sun is shining, shows use spotlights that change colors, the ice reflects light, it is dark at night...

Quick movement is the other major challenge: I am talking about shooting Olympic level skaters, not little kids - movement is very fast, especially during spins and jumps. Continuous autofocus and shooting is a must - there is no time to adjust anything during a skater's routine!

Range adds another dimension: Skaters will be close to the shooter at times, but they will also be far away at the opposite end of the rink for part of their routine.

My budget is $1700 for camera, lens and software (if software can easily correct common issues mirrorless cameras have in this environment).

I welcome all suggestions. Thank You!

a daughter's sweet sixteen birthday gift and all the camera suggestions !

Do you realize these suggestions - Canon 1D series, Nikon 4D and Canon 1Ds, Nikon and Canon 6D, 600D, 5D etc. with the required 70-200 2.8 lens and other large aperture lens are going to big and heavy and expensive (even used)  and require knowledge and experience to get good ice skating pics?

Good Luck !

OP MicheleR Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Best MILC for Shooting Figure Skating?

Thank you so much!

I am compiling a list of lenses from everyone's suggestions now.

I will give the camera body to her with the list, and she can decide on the lens.

We can rent a few of them so she can actually use them first.

I love the prices you found!

OP MicheleR Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Best MILC for Shooting Figure Skating?

Yes, I do!

However, the cameras I am looking at now, used d300, used d700, refurbished d7000, are all within the budget.

The lenses are available used as well. She does not need to start out with the best ones in order to learn. I have received many excellent suggestions at very good prices.

She can use a monopod to help with the weight. This will not be used as an every day camera, so she won't be lugging it around.

It will take quite a while for her to learn to take consistently good fast action shots. The expectation of this kit is to be good enough for her to learn, but upgradable later if/when she is ready.

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