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11-25-2007, 12:08 PM   #1
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Lens for indoor High School Sports

I would like to purchase a lens for my K10D that would be good for shooting indoor High School sports such as basketball & wrestling. These would be shot from the stands w/o flash. I purchased the K10D with the 2 'kit' lenses. What lens options should I be looking at? Something w/zoom & AF capability. Thanks for the input.

11-25-2007, 01:57 PM   #2
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Considering the money needed to procure a fast zoom suitable for shooting from courtside/matside, you should reconsider your objectives.

I used constant f/2.8s from 20 to 200mm, a pile of WB devices, a ColorChecker card 'set', dedicated flashes, battery powered monolights AND stood, sat or went prone as close as possible to the action for many years. Any other way leaves a lot to be desired.

QuoteOriginally posted by dales Quote
I would like to purchase a lens for my K10D that would be good for shooting indoor High School sports such as basketball & wrestling. These would be shot from the stands w/o flash. I purchased the K10D with the 2 'kit' lenses. What lens options should I be looking at? Something w/zoom & AF capability. Thanks for the input.
11-25-2007, 06:53 PM   #3
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Going to have to have a f/2.8 lens at least. It will be too frustrating with anything slower.

One thing to consider on the wrestling...ask, or just go, to the opposite side of the mat from the bleachers. If you look like a pro...nobody will bother you.
11-26-2007, 09:46 AM   #4
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You should consider one of 2 zooms, from about 24mm to 70mm and from 70mm to 200mm

You may also consider some fast primes, like an F1.4 50mm, a fast prime in the 70-85mm range, and perhaps an 135 F2.5

The extra speed will help, and if you go with primes, you can pick the one for the position you are in and just shoot with that.

11-26-2007, 10:54 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dales Quote
I would like to purchase a lens for my K10D that would be good for shooting indoor High School sports such as basketball & wrestling. These would be shot from the stands w/o flash.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you aren't going to get much if these are your criteria. You really need to get as close to the action as you possibly (and legally) can. There are a lot of us here (and at DPR) who have shot school sports before with good results. I don't think I've seen good results come from shooting from the stands with no flash. Otherwise, you might as well just leave the K10D at home and take shots with your cellphone.

I get as close to the action by introducing myself to the coaches and/or administrators at the right moment. Once I have their trust, they allow me to be on the sidelines. I've also gained a press pass in the years by allowing the local rag to publish some of my shots in exchange. With the press pass, I have the right to be on the sidelines in the designated "media areas". I am not a PJ, I'm just a fan who also happens to be a "better than your average soccer mom" photographer. I stay out of the way of the working PJs. My shots are for myself and the families of the players. If a newspaper wants to print them, I'm happy to share because it makes the kids happy to see themselves in the paper.

As for equipment, you will need f4 or better if you are going to be able to shoot under the harsh lighting in most gyms. If you can afford the DA50-135/f2.8, I think that would be a good choice for basketball and wrestling. Otherwise, go with a combination of primes that offer f2.5 or better and zoom with your feet. Due to the nasty combination of light sources in most gyms, you will either need to shoot in RAW or learn how to manually set white balance for JPEG.

I do shoot with flash sometimes. I usually just shoe-mount my 540, but I'm not that happy with the results. When I use the flash, I'm careful to keep from shooting in the players' eyes. I also dial down the power on my 540 so it can recycle faster. I've been seeing some interesting ideas on Strobist about putting flashes in the rafters with a bungee and using radio triggers to produce enough fill light to overcome some of the harsh lighting. I have all the equipment I need, but I haven't had the time to try it.

Good luck.
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