Monday, August 9, 2010

What lens for football

I've been shooting pro sports for a number of years and people ask me which lenses they should pick up to be a sports photographer. If you want to see my sports portfolio click here.

The first thing I try and get across is that sports is a lot of fun to shoot but there's no money left in it. Well paying jobs are few and far between.

Anyway back to the gear.

Shooting pro sports is easy as far as gear goes. In total you only need four lenses to shoot sports, oh sure guys have more but those extra lenses are just for playing... they could have done most jobs with the basic four.

These are the lenses in order of importance

A long lens, should be a 400mm F2.8, some people prefer the 500mm F4 but I don't..... some people use a 300mm F2.8 and hope for the best..... and sometimes I use a long zoom instead of a prime but this is a new development. A few people use a 600mm F4, but this is usually in addition to the 400mm and the lens is used less often.

The 70-200 F2.8. No way around it, you're going to need it.

The 24-70mm F2.8. Rarely used but useful at press conferences and team photos.

The 16mm Fisheye on a full frame body. This lens is rarely used but comes in handy and I often get a useful picture with it if I have it with me.

Now lets consider the football game I shot on Saturday night. I took three camera bodies to shoot the game with three lenses.

I had the fisheye on a full frame body which I used for a couple frames. I had the 70-200 over my shoulder and used it in the second half when the light sucked. I had a long lens. For this game I used the Sony 70-400G lens but usually would use a prime like the Sony 300mm F2.8. When I shot with Nikon I owned the 400mm F2.8 and would still consider this a must have lens, Sony just doesn't make one.

In the next couple days I'll go over how each lens was used.

Rob Skeoch

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