Indoor Gymnastics and other kids events -- best equipment ruminations

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by WT21, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I'm going back and forth on kids event shooting.

    I've used a DSLR with good glass before, and it's certainly great. But then the camera just sits around all the rest of the time gathering dust. I don't use them for anything else.

    I looked at my indoor event shots (b-ball, gymnastics, plays, etc.) and find that I spend most of the shots between 50 and 200mm. So, until m43 comes out with a 25-100/2.0 (or 1.8) zoom, I need to find something else.

    I just picked up an a7. Fun camera, but the lenses I would need would be maybe the 70-200 f/4, which is expensive and borderline fast enough (even with high a7 ISO)

    The f/2.8 pro zooms are too slow, and I have changing lenses.

    So, my thinking is -- two m43 bodies and three lenses -- the PL25, O45 and O75. I think depending on where you are seated, you only need two of the lenses (O45 and O75 if you are further away, and PL25 and O45 if you are closer up).

    This is still cheaper than a dedicated DSLR, and the same price of maybe even a little cheaper than the SEL70-200 (I already have one body, the PL25 and the O45, so I'm only adding in the cost of an EM10 or GX7 + O75). And I can repurpose those lenses for any other use -- travel, hiking, etc.

    The one upside of a big-arse DSLR with a white lens -- last week when I was asked to take "the" team picture at bball, I couldn't get the eager parents to clear out with my little GX7. If I have a monster DSLR and lens, that labels you "official" and causes people to give you room, lol.

    Thoughts/comments/experiences??
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I would think a 35-100mm f2.8 would be perfect. The latest m4/3 bodies can hang at ISO 6400 just fine. f2.8 at ISO 6400 can shoot most indoor action pretty well, unless it truly is in the dark. I shot my daughter's dance recital at ISO 5000, f2.8 and 1/400 last year and it was in a middle school auditorium with pretty bad lighting.
     
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  3. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
  4. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    295
    Mar 18, 2015
    Would agree with the 35-100 F2.8 statement. I recently took some shots at my school's basketball tournament and I only have the S60 and the P20 on my GX7. In a small hall with not enough space on the baseline to step back I felt 60mm were a bit too tight but for some shots the tight crop really gave great dynamics to the picture. F2.8 seemed good enough and my ISO was limited to 3200 which is perfectly acceptable. I would think a combination of 75mm and something in the 45mm range would work equally well on two different bodies or even on one, but I would prefer the zoom if I could afford it.
     
  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I was shooting an equestrian event in garbage light 2 weekends ago and the Oly EM1 with 40-150/2.8 PRO did just fine (ISO 500, 1/400, f/2.8).

    The Panasonic 35-100/2.8 should be just as good(much cheaper - just not as long FOV). If you can't get it done with those tools, then either you are shooting in total darkness or you need to look at your shooting technique.
    I doubt the AF performance of the a7 is going to be up to task as it has issues in good light focusing fast and continuous FPS is low.

    Don't forget that renting is also an option if you only need it a few times a year. You can rent body and lens combo for 4 days most places for under $200.
     
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    That's pretty good light compared to what I've got to deal with. That's an EV of 10. I'm contending with much more around EV7-8 trying to stay around 1/320 ss. 2.0 makes it much more possible without jacking up the ISO and losing the color bit depth.
     
  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    That's one heck of a nasty pit you've got to shoot in. That's unfortunate.
     
  8. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    313
    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    Have used the 40-150 pro with the EM1 the last few months shooting my son's volleyball games. Lighting varied as we went to different schools and I never knew how far/close I would be to the action.

    I have found the lens to be excellent in terms of reach and flexibility. Shooting at ISO 5000-6400 gave me speeds of 400-800 at f2.8. The files were good enough to get details out of them on LR even if I had underexposed them to acheive the speed needed. Using the Sharpening and NR tool rendered great photos that got onto the school website and magazine.

    Very happy!!!! :))
     
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