Hockey Telephoto / Zoom Advice

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by rxstuve, May 15, 2012.

  1. rxstuve

    rxstuve Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    I am hoping to receive my pre ordered EM5 in the next few weeks and I am looking to use it for photographing youth Hockey games. The lighting is not very good in most ice arena's so a faster lens I think would be better. I do not have any experience with the Micro 4/3 format and have not photographed Hockey since I used my "Film" slow zoom and it did not go well even using ASA 1000 film.

    I am hoping the EM5 higher ISO performance will help but I could use some advice for a good choice of lenses for this application. I am thinking the 200 to 400 range would be good but welcome your experienced ideas!

    Thanks in advance.

    Semper Fi
  2. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    I shot a couple of the Worcester Sharks games with my G2 and Panasonic 45-200. I sat in a corner behind one of the nets. Action close to me on the boards was a bit close for 45mm, about 10' away. Across the ice, the opposite net was a bit of a broad view at 200mm, but not bad. I had no problem with motion with the OIS active. I did have a problem with accurate focus. I was shooting through the plexi. Thats where the seats were and it wasn't important enough for me to move.

    At iso 1600 I got exposures of 1/200 at f/5.6. That was on aperture priority with +1 1/3 stops of exposure compensation dialed in. Don't underexpose! All that ice throws the meter way off. It blew out the ice on a few shots but the players were never underexposed.

  3. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    A nice feature on the M5 is that; if you take a white card or white piece of paper with you, the camera can calibrate the proper white balance for the lighting at the arena. This can be done by selecting Custom White Balance in Live View.
  4. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    You could try the focuses fairly fast. Keeping in mind that these shots were 5 rows from the ice. Still it would probably work well for anywhere in the lower bowl. I wasn't able to capture the action that well, but I blame the crappy E-P1 AF. I would expect much better results with a modern body and up to date firmware.



  5. At youth hockey you can get up against the glass. I recommend shooting from the goal line with a fast wide angle lens. From that location I had the most success with fast fixed focus lenses instead of slower zooms. If you're in the stands away from the glass you will have to go with a zoom to get you closer to the action.
  6. DizzyV6P

    DizzyV6P Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Unfortunatly, there isn't a lot of choices for native m43 lenses. Both of the ones previously mentioned, the 45-200 and 40-150 are good choices. The panny 100-300 is great outdoors, but questionable inside a hockey rink. There isn't a good low-light zoom native lens until the new Panasonics are released/announced at the end of the month. Even then, none are long zoom lens. The Olympus 45 f/1.8 might be a possibility if you are closer to the action.

    Olympus has the 75 f/1.8 and 60 f/2.8 and Panasonic has the 12-35 f/2.8 and 35-100 f/2.0 coming out.

    Nothing like a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS I or II.

    Also keep in mind that the Panasonic 45-200 just had a firmware upgrade so in theory, the AF is faster now, especially with the E-M5. Just don't forget to turn off OIS on the Panny lens when using it with the E-M5 :) Once my E-M5 arrives, I'll be taking it to the local rink to take pictures of my daughter figure skating so I can report back later on how well the AF works with the lighting at the rink.
  7. rxstuve

    rxstuve Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    youth hockey tele / zoom

    Thank you for all the input. I appreciate all the ideas and lens suggestions. I am looking forward to seeing the EM5 in action. Heck, I'll be happy to see it! :)

    Semper Fi
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Where are you shooting from? If you can get in ringside, which you should be able to at a youth hockey game, then I would use a wider, faster lens. The m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 should do the trick, though I personally would use an 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.2. Unfortunately, the only options for that are manual focus which is fine for me but may not be for you... so the 45mm f/1.8 is probably a safer bet.

    When it comes out, the m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 will be ideal for situations like this. :) It's expected to come very soon, but it's not here yet. The Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8 would be my second choice for upcoming lenses, but I don't know if it'll be here any sooner than the m.Zuiko 75mm/1.8. The latest rumor is that the Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8 is coming first, which doesn't help here. Well, none of these lenses are here yet, so none of them help. xD The m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 is probably the best you can get for the time being, depending on your location from the rink. The 50mm f/1.4 serves me quite well for indoor sporting events, or with a 1.4x converter to make it a 70mm f/2.

    Although... reading this comment makes me go back to the suggestion of a manual 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.2:
    If you shot in film you probably knew how to use manual focus, correct? Your hindrance there sounds like it was the speed of the slow zoom lens... an 85mm/1.4 should be plenty fast enough for the lighting conditions. If you get another native zoom, it'll be at least as slow or slower than what you were using in film. Stick with a fast prime for low-light action.
  9. rxstuve

    rxstuve Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    Hockey telephoto / zoom

    Great information!!

    As I said I am new to Micro 4/3 so some of the input was a little new but with some research and good reading on the site about non native lenses it appears that a good option would be to use an adapter / manual focus in the 85 to 135 range and a faster lens.

    researching the options as I don't have any older lenses worth mentioning it looks like Canon FD or Olympus OM series would be great options. I will look into Ebay / crags list / used B&H for some of these possiblities.

    Is there an advantage to using one over the other Canon FD / Olympus OM? Or if there are any recommendations of an outstanding lens that sets itself apart in this scenario I continue to appreciate all input.