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Lens(es) for baseball (MLB)?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by j-rad, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. j-rad

    j-rad Mu-43 Regular

    45
    May 20, 2015
    I'll be going to a few MLB games this year and want to try taking some photos. My current setup is:

    E-M1
    12-40 pro
    40-150 (non-pro)
    O25

    Is there an additional/better lens you'd recommend? I don't know exactly where I'll be sitting, but imagine I'll need some reach. P100-300 perhaps?
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  3. j-rad

    j-rad Mu-43 Regular

    45
    May 20, 2015
    Thanks, I did check the stadiums I'm going to and camera are fine there (no tripods).
     
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  4. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    144
    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    The good news about shooting baseball games is that the field is always well lit, so you don't necessarily need a fast lens.

    The focal length you need depends in part on how close you're sitting to the field. The more you spend on your seats, the less you'll need to spend on your lens, dontchaknow.

    Before spending any money, you might want to see if the 40-150 is long enough and to gauge how much more reach you want. I shot the attached files with the Panny 100-300 and did a little cropping in post. The shot of Jackson pitching was at 300mm. Morse whiffing was shot at 218mm (I was sitting pretty close to home plate, so I needed less reach to shoot the batters). ejax on the mound. beast mode k.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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  5. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    144
    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    I just dug out the originals so that you could see the angle of view pre-cropping. Both shot at f/8.0, 1/500 sec, ISO 250. I wanted to keep the shutter speed down to capture a little motion blur. On a well-lit field like that, even with a slow zoom, you don't have to crank the ISO way up to use fast shutter speeds.

    Pitchers mound @ 300mm:
    P1040792.

    Home plate @ 218mm:
    P1040757.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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  6. j-rad

    j-rad Mu-43 Regular

    45
    May 20, 2015
    Thanks - I feel like the 100-300 will probably come in handy. I'm seeing a couple teams that always demand high prices so I don't think my seats will be the best.
     
  7. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Ya one long reach lens and then one wider angle lens. In addition to the players and field, take shots of the people around you, nearby stands, the concourse, etc. You will need the wider lens for that. Maybe bring the Oly 25mm and then whatever long lens you have.
     
  8. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    I think you'll need longer than 150 if you have, or can borrow one. A lot depends on where you're located, but baseball fields are big spaces.
     
  9. agray88

    agray88 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Mar 3, 2016
    Richmond, VA USA
    Adam
    Like you, I have the EM-1 and the old 40-150 (before I got the PRO version). I've taken that combo to multiple games and never seemed to have enough reach. I wind up cropping too much and lose substantial detail. Plus, the lens is just OK for detail. The PRO is so much sharper but still not long enough. I'm planning on getting the Pan-Leica 100-400 which would be just about ideal. Sharp with great reach. Keep in mind I didn't have lower level seats during my visits to Camden Yards and was either second level or left field bleachers. If you have box seats, make sure you get 1st base side since there are so many right-handed batters. Unless , of course you want a lot of pics of a righty pitcher. Even with box seats, I don't think the old 40-150mm will really satisfy you, honestly. Also, move around and take pics from different perspectives. Get there early and you can take more candid photos of the players on the infield and taking BP. Be sure to post pics! You could also bring a fisheye lens, if you have one, as those are always great pics at baseball stadiums.
     
  10. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    The 50-200 with TC would be a great, budget friendly option.
     
  11. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    If budget is tight, an adapted 200mm could fill in for a bit. Prefocus would work fine on mound and plate, but outfielders chasing flies could be a bit more work.. :dash2:
     
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Something wider than 12mm (24mm angle of view) I use the 7.5 fish and leave it fished or defish and crop.

    P2140372.
    Personally 150mm (300mm angle) might be too short. I've used several copies of each of the 14-140, 45-175, and 45-200. I currently have the 45-175, it seems to be the best of the 3 optically. But still short for serious game stuff, a 100-300 / 75-300 100-400 would be my picks. I just don't do that much of it to justify one now. Some of my favorite images over the years were ones I took with a Nikon 80-400, so 600mm angle of view.

    Nikon 80-400 on a crop body at 400mm (the full 600mm angle of view)
    RedSox_2005-09-05_Seq205-2.
     
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