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Sports Photography Lens
In sports photography without the right lens you are not to capture the perfect sports image. When shooting football, ideally you will need a lens that is at least 200mm to 300mm in focal length.
Shown above are the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens, Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens and Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens.
If you are taking football images at night, it is impossible to get around the fact that you will need onc of these 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 many instances 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 high ISO.
Where expensive DSLR Cameras and Lenses come into their own is 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 picture.
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 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.
Equipment used by professionals is expensive for taking sports photos. Everyone needs images in digital format requiring not just cameras that must be bought but computers and digital manipulation software. The key thing in taking professional-level digital photography is you must have a telephoto lens to shoot sports.
In low light levels where you are shooting sports you need fast lenses with large apertures that let in a lot of light. The minimum you will be able to get away with is a 35-70 f/3.5 - 4.8 zoom lens. You ideally need something like an 85mm f/1.8 lens for basketball, and definitely a 300mm f/2.8 lens for football, baseball, and soccer.