Sports Photography Equipment
In professional Sports Photography it is not just having skill in taking a
photograph it is also about having the right equipment. To photograph different
sporting actions requires different cameras and lenses if you have any chance of
catching that perfect sports picture.
The another factor is it does not matter how much equipment you have it takes
time and skill to become a good sports photographer. Some people like in any job
have a natural ability to take the perfect shot. On "Sports Pictures" we have
included lots of information listing some of the best websites on the internet
covering all you need to know about sports photography.
Everyone wants digital images and this equipment is quite expensive, as you need
different cameras and lenses depending on what type of sports you are
photographing. To photograph fast moving sports images you will need a telephoto
lenses. At night games or indoors you will need fast lenses with large apertures
that let in a lot of light.
To shot football, baseball, and soccer you will need at least a 300mm f/2.8
lens. In using a 35-70 f/3.5 - 4.8 zoom lens that is found on a lot of cameras
is not suitable.
Many professional sports photographers have the following set of equipment:-
Extreme Wide Angle 14mm f/2.8
Angle Zoom Lens 16 - 35mm f/2.8
Short Telephoto 85mm f/1.4
Telephoto Zoom 70-200 f/2.8
Telephoto 300mm f/2.8
Long Telephoto 400mm f/2.8
Stands, Umbrellas, Lighting Equipment
with Extra Ram
Rolling Camera Case
It is not just the camera you use though making sure you use the right lens.
Many professional sports photographers shoot 90 percent of their work with a
400mm f/2.8 and a 70-200mm zoom and two bodies:-
Baseball: 400mm, 70-200mm
Basketball: 70-200mm, 16-35mm
Football: 400mm, 300mm, 50mm
Canon EF 400mm f/4.0L
USM SLR Lens
Canon 400/4.0 EF-L DO IS is a very high-quality image stabilized lens. SIdeal
for professional sports photographers and outdoor shooters. It has a length
(9.32") is 26% shorter than other lens in its class. It weighs (4.3 lb) about
36% lighter than other lens in its class. mall and light are of course relative
to out lens. Anyone used to shooting with a Canon EF 28-135mm IS Lens will
regard the Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM Lens as being large and oversized.
But, to someone used to shooting with a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS Lens, the
Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM Lens will feel a lot lighter (4.3 lb vs. 5.6 lb /
1,940g vs. 2,550g) and definitely more easily to manage. Against other lenses in
its class the new weight is an advantage. The difference between it and the 300
f/2.8 feels even bigger than the 1.3 lb (610g) spec difference indicates.
technical breakthrough in the multi-layer diffractive optical lens technology
provides superior super-telephoto performance in a smaller and lighter design.
There is enhanced correction for chromatic aberrations. Image Stabilization
system gives the equivalent effect of a shutter speed two stops faster. Built it
Canon's professional standards with fast AF, full-time mechanical focus and dust
and water-resistant construction. Aspherical effect corrects for spherical and
other aberrations, for high resolution and contrast of the image
Sports Photography Equipment
Cameras photography is dominated by digital. There are two basic types: Digital
Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras with interchangeable lenses, and
point-and-shoot snapshot digital cameras that do not have removable lenses.
Snapshot Digital Cameras Sports Photography
The problem with snapshot type cameras are difficult to use for sports
photography, because of the time lag between the camera focusing and the shutter
opens. It is very difficult to shoot sports pictures and sports action with
these cameras. The other main drawback is these cameras are not very good in low
light conditions because they have very small pixels which often cannot collect
the required light levels and consequently suffer from high noise.
In sports like baseball and football Snapshot cameras built-in zoom lenses
cannot cope with pictures that require long focal lengths. Hence the need for
cameras with different lenses in sports action pictures. ISO noise performance
and light is the main killer in these cameras for sports images. In most cases
the sports photos taken by professional sports photographers found on this
website have to use DSLR Cameras.
DSLR Cameras - Sports Photography
A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera
that works on the principle of an automatic mirror system and pentaprism or
pentamirror to focus light from the lens through the viewfinder eyepiece.
The advantage of a DSLR Camera in sports photography is the mirror reflects the
light coming through the attached lens upwards at an approximately 90 degree
angle. Light is then reflected by the pentaprism to the photographer's eye. When
sports action pictures are taken the mirror swings upward, and a shutter opens,
allowing the lens to project light onto the image sensor.
This is important as when shooting indoor sports photography and in low light
levels light is the vital ingredient to reduce noise and light levels in a shot.
In most other respects, a DSLR is similar in principle and operation to a
standard (non-SLR) digital camera.
Basic Camera DSLR design principles.
Cross-section view of SLR system:-
1 - 4-element lens
2 - Reflex mirror
3 - Focal-plane shutter
4 - Sensor
5 - Matte focusing screen
6 - Condenser lens
7 - Pentaprism
The latest Canon 40D Canon EOS 40D 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera costs $1,329.88 on
Amazon.com in March 2008. A Nikon D300 produce very good sports photos. An ideal
intermediate camera to take sports pictures is a Canon 350D could be purchased
at Amazon.com for $469.99 for the body only. What you will find is the latest
DSLR cameras will produce better images though the key is deciding if an older
model will give you the results you require in digital format to be loaded
straight into your computer. Its not just the Camera its also have the right
lenses to go with each type of sports shot you wish to photography.
The advantage is that there is no time lag in the image; it is always correct as
it is being "updated" at the speed of light. This is important for sports
photography, or any other situation where the subject or the camera is moving
too quickly. This improves the "resolution" of the sports image that is much
better than that provided by an LCD display or an electronic viewfinder.
DSLR Lenses Sports Photography
The ability to exchange lenses, to select the best lens for the current
photographic need, and to allow the attachment of specialized lenses, is a key
to the popularity of DSLR cameras. In sports photography shooting different
sports requires different lenses depending the position and distance from the
DSLR Lenses that have an 18mm to 55mm zoom have a low focal ratio causing
problems in shooting many sports. It costs around $119.95 dollars for a Canon EF-S
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II Lens on Amazon.com, though it not ideal for top quality
sports photography. You get what you pay for if you have that chance of that
brilliant hard to achieve sports picture. To shot top quality sports images a
Canon's top of the line lenses, such as the L series 16mm to 35mm f/2.8 zoom is,
an ideal choice the problem is it costs $1,378.98 from Amazon.com in 2008.
The key to obtaining the best images in sports is to have a range of
Interchangeable lenses for SLRs and DSLRs. A photographer will often use lenses
made by the same manufacturer as the camera body (for example, Canon lenses on a
Canon body). The key is making sure you use the right lens for the sport image
Sports Photography Lens
When shooting football, ideally you will need a lens that is at least 200mm to
300mm in focal length. Taking football images at night, it is impossible to get
around the fact that you will need a fast telephoto lens with a minimum aperture
of f/2.8. The reason for this is you need a camera that has the ability to deal
with low light levels. In lots of cases a fast focal ratio of f/2.8 might not be
fast enough as the shutter speed to stop the action and reduce the noise at a
Where expensive DSLR Cameras and Lenses come into their own they can deal with
all the above problems in shooting sports. The latest cameras such as the Canon
1D Mark III or Nikon D3 are ideal for sports photography. These cameras have
exceptionally high ISO noise and you can use them at ISO 3200 or even 6400 when
the light is really low in a sports hall or shooting sports at night to achieve
1/500th of a second at f/2.8.
The key thing to remember is you often get what you pay for in buying camera
equipment for sports. These cameras have the latest technology, and usually the
best noise performance. For sports photography at the highest level this can
make all the difference between achieving that perfect high quality sports
If you have a large budget a 50mm f/1.8 for indoor basketball and also study
fast high-end zooms with a minimum fixed aperture of f/2.8.
Camera wise if you have really wish to have the right equipment buy a high-end
DSLR like a Canon ID Mark III or Nikon D3. This will need a fast wide-angle
16-35mm f/2.8 zoom, a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom, and a fast super-telephoto lens like
a 300mm f/2.8 or 400mm f/2.8 for football, lacrosse or soccer.
Expensive High-End Equipment suitable for Sports Photography
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III 21.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) is $6,549.88
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Medium Telephoto Lens is $1,860.35
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens is $1,190.00
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens is $1,450.00
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens is $1,699.00
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens is US$6,800.00
Mid-Level Equipment suitable for Sports Photography
Canon EOS 40D 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) is $869.95
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Telephoto Lens is $355.00
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens is $549.00
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens is US$700.00
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Telephoto Lens is $1,202.70
Total Cost US$3,676.65
* Prices as of 27/01/2009 Amazon.com