1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Telephoto lens for kids sports

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Jason Stamper, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. Jason Stamper

    Jason Stamper Mu-43 Regular

    148
    Mar 13, 2014
    I am looking to upgrade my G5 to an EM-1 very soon. At my son's first little league basketball practice I found my Panny 14-140 f4-5.8 woefully slow (my Canon FD 135 f3.5 was better). Even with pushing the ISO to 1600 the shutter speeds were too slow for a good sports shot. I am not trying to get pro shots, but would like to get a few good ones.

    With the EM-1 I will have more lens options. What do you guys think for a tele zoom for kids sports? My current thought is either Panny 45-175PZ (only a little faster, but compact and PZ) or the older 4/3 Oly 50-200 2.8-3.5 (much faster, but big and how's AF). Anyone have EM-1 experience with these? I don't necessarily mind the size of the 50-200 if the AF and faster aperture would allow me to get some decent shots of him. Other ideas? Thanks a lot for your help.
     
  2. ivoire

    ivoire Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2011
    Naperville, IL
    mike
    Don't know how much reach you need, but the Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 would be a good choice
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    I have e-m1 and 50-200 SWD. It's adequate for sports, not great. It misses focus when the action is fast. Hunts a bit when other players cross. You will pre-focus a lot. It will hunt throughout a burst as action unfolds. Most of that is the e-m1. MFT C-AF just isn't there yet. A faster lens reduces the problem, but doesn't eliminate it.

    sounds like it would be an improvement over what you have though. The good thing about the 50-200 is that it's very versatile, very inexpensive, high IQ and you could sell it for what you paid if you don't like it.

    I don't know the G5. It's possible the G5 with a 40-150 Pro would be the best option for less money, but a G5 expert would have to tell you that. If you're mostly concerned with indoor sports then the 75,1.8 would be good. It's speed really helps. It would be great for basketball, but too short for soccer outside, so not a great choice if your shooting outdoor sports. I've successfully shot basketball with the 45,1,8. It does great under the hoop, but is too short for shooting the rest of the court.

    Hope that helps. If you're looking at spending $2000, I have to admit, that nothing in MFT would compare with a 7dmk2 and a decent lens like a 70-200,2.8. Used you might be able to stay in budget.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    The 50-200mm f/ 2.8-3.5 SWD is a better choice. For basketball games if the C-AF was too challenging then I'd just switch to S-AF+Manual. With some practice you can get some very good shots. If you need this kind of reach for the games then your options are limited and this lens holds it's own compared to the 40-150mm f/2.8.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    943
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    If you can get close enough...75 1.8. Fast, sharp, and holds up well to cropping. Not to mention a a lot smaller than the others.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Veteran

    358
    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    I own the 50-100 (and 35-100, and 100-300) and I'd third the argument - if you can, get and use the 75mm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I am on my phone at the moment so I can't (well I could but it would be pain to do) do any links, I will try to come back and put in some links later. If you search threads started by me I have a number of threads about my experiences using my EM1 and 50-200 (or the 150 f/2.0) for action. The combination is more then adequate for the job. Maybe not Canon 7D good, but it's not that far behind in my opinion. Next week I will be using for a cyclocross race I'm shooting.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    943
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    I forgot to add...I used to own a 50-200swd (and ec-14). Loved that lens...on my old e5.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Jason Stamper

    Jason Stamper Mu-43 Regular

    148
    Mar 13, 2014
    Phocal, I found some of your images from the Em-1 and 50-200. Wow they look great. I am really leaning more towards the 50-200 over the Panny 45-175. Have you used the 50-200 for an video? Thanks for the advice everyone!
     
  10. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thank you.

    This is the EM1 w/ ZD 50-200 SWD + EC-14 and was prior to firmware 3.0 and was just after getting (like 3 days) my 50-200 SWD.
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/70408/

    This is the EM1 w/ ZD 50-200 after firmware 3.0
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/74463/

    This is the EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 (used all combinations of lens/EC-14/EC-20) after firmware 3.0. I include this because performance wise they are almost identical in ability to focus, speed of focus, and focus accuracy.
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/80661/

    This is the EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/81022/

    First, get the SWD version if you get a 50-200. If you are shooting in C-AF, the ability to move the focus ring and get manual focus is a huge benefit when you miss focus. From what I have read/seen there is no difference optically between the two but the SWD does focus a bit faster and the instant manual focus does make a huge difference. All the 4/3 lenses when shooting in C-AF will top out at about 6.5 fps, so use the low burst rate if you are trying to follow action. In S-AF they will shoot at 10 fps, I mostly use the high speed when I am photographing birds catching fish (for action I use low along with C-AF).

    No it is not DSLR good but it is close once you learn how to use the lens. It also gives you a weather sealed set up if you get the MMF-3, I have had mine in pouring down rain without any problems. In my honest opinion there is not lens in any system that gives you the price vs performance of the 50-200. If you need more reach you can pick up the EC-14 and have 580mm of reach in a ƒ4.0-5.0 lens.

    I have not really shot any video with it because I really don't shoot video. The occasional bird after I have gotten my photos but nothing serious, so I can't really comment on it's ability for video.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You guys are recommending an awful lot of lens for little league basketball. These aren't played in an NBA arena. 150mm and you might have to stand out in the hall and aim for the opposite side of the court!

    Personally, I'd say 42.5mm f1.7(or 45mm f1.8) from about mid court, and maybe a 25mm for some under the net shots if they will let you stand back there for a bit. 75mm could be handy, but when the action gets close, you won't have time to swap.

    If you want to go zoom, 35-100 f2.8 is ideal, but I think with a little creativity, the smaller 42.5mm is plenty. Keeping the iso lower with the faster aperture will allow for a little crop room.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    I wonder how many of us misread the OP as saying "Little League Baseball"? I know I did.

    Barry
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    360
    Nov 11, 2014
    Stuttgart
    Johannes
    Shooting sports is a challenge in the µ43 range - if you have a 7DMkII and a grey L-Lens.... This autofocus is amazing and the speed of autofocus amazing.. But I never used a "fast" lens...

    In µ43 it is the question of the sport itself. shooting basketball is a kind of Indoor field hockey. In this case I do prefer FF and a 28-300 - which works great -even if it is not fast, abut the Canon Autofocus is great, too. But I have to shoot with ISO 6400... if I want to shoot with f6.3 and 1/400s....

    In terms of µ43: I think I will test the G7 - as soon as it is back from repair... There is one stop in the ISO performance against the G6... So ISO 3200 should work... I don´t know how the EM1 is in comparison.

    I would consider the Oly 2.8 40-150 Pro as a very good opportunity, especially in combination with the EM1´s IS...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I use an EM1 and 50-200 SWD to shoot kids soccer games, sometimes with an EC14. One really needs that kind of range for that. I haven't shot basketball games but you would be working much closer distances, probably indoors. I agree with tkbslc. You probably need a 45mm f1.8 or, at most, the 75 f1.8. If you can get enough light, the Pana 35-100 f2.8 might be a good choice.

    Since you already have a 14-140, you must know what focal lengths work best for the shots you want. The issue is aperture and focus speed. Also, you don't need an EM1 for this as long as you use native M43 lenses. You could probably do fine with the EM10 II or EM5 II or an equivalent Panasonic body, especially if you use the 35-100. I figure you'd do better with an EVF.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I did not catch it but the OP specifically asked about the ability of the 50-200 and they were using the 14-140, so I would guess that they know what focal lengths they want/need.

    I don't think 42.5 or 75 are long enough depending on where you are able to stand. I agree that something wide in the 12-17 range is perfect from under the net if allowed to set up there. If standing at one end, you will need 100mm+ to get shots when they are at the other end of the court or even mid court. Until you look thru the viewfinder at a person using 150mm (on µ4/3) you don't realize how short that focal length really is.

    Now that I realize that it is basketball I am not sure the 50-200 would be my first choice but it would work. I have shot youth basketball with my 7D and found the lighting to be terrible at best and downright abysmal at worse. I would look to one of the 4/3 ƒ2.0 zooms like the 35-100 or 14-35, both would be a good range and provide that extra stop of light over the ƒ2.8 options while giving you the ability of a zoom.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    The C-AF of those two cameras is not up to action photography. I would not recommend either of them to anyone wanting to shoot any kind of action, great cameras......just not up to the task without PDAF.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I know the original EM5's C-AF isn't up to par because I have one. Are you saying the C-AF of the newer EM10 and EM5 II isn't good enough with native M43 lenses either? I know they won't be much good with the 4/3rds lenses.

    OTOH, C-AF may not work well in low-light situations (like indoors in a gym). One might have to use S-AF and pre-focus for an action shot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I don't have any of the EM10's or the EM-5mkii, but their focusing is the same as my EM-5 (as far as I know). As far as I know there is no improvement between the original EM5 and the EM10/5mkii.

    I have not shot indoor sports with µ4/3 (yet) but I have used my EM1 and ZD 150/2 at a minor league baseball game at night on several occasions. While it was a lot darker then you realize (even wide-open I was at ISO 2000+ depending on shutter speed I wanted), the camera had no problems getting focus. Don't think it would have many problems at an indoor gym. But........have not tried it yet so I don't really know.....maybe someone who has will speak up.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Jason Stamper

    Jason Stamper Mu-43 Regular

    148
    Mar 13, 2014
    Thanks for the great advice so far guys. As far as focal length in his practice I used anywhere from 50mm to 140mm. I was sitting about mid court and they were doing drills at each end. Getting him running in front of me was about 50 to 60mm, but way out at the goals it was 60 to 100mm plus depending on how much I was trying to take in. I usually limit my ISO to 1600, and I think that's a good stopping point on my G5. In that respect I am hoping the EM-1 will be better at high ISOs. I actually am wanting the EM-1 for a number of reasons, but mainly to get the best that I can afford. It has all kinds of amazing features I am looking forward to using, and especially the IBIS to go with my beloved Canon FD lens collection. I shoot photos of all kinds of things so the EM-1 represents a real step up. Plus with my love of big legacy glass the extra grip of the EM-1 is very appealing.

    Speaking of legacy glass, in my son's basketball practice my little FD 135mm f3.5 was pretty good. Since they were doing drills I could focus on the kids in front of him, and then when it was his turn bang, got him. But, in a game situation I think manual focus would be incredibly difficult! What about the Panny 45-200 lens? Pretty slow still, but at the 100mm range I think it'd be a touch faster than my 14-140. Another thought I had was the Sigma 60mm. Supposed to be a hum dinger, and if I could get a seat near the goal the focal length would be pretty good. I do have a FD 50mm f1.4 that I love dearly, but again no AF in a game seems impractical at best.

    Thanks again for all the great advice! Oh and here's a picture shot with the old Canon FD 135. ISO 1250 1/125 f3.5. Still too slow a shutter speed, arms are blurred. I forgot about pushing the ISO manually with this lens to 1600 till later, so I will try that on Thursday. I have a lot to learn here!
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  20. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I think you will find that the EM1 will be your ticket. It'll work well with legacy glass as well as adapted 4/3rds lenses and native M43 lenses. It will be better at C-AF than the other OMD or other CD-AF based M43 cameras. There is an EM1 Mk. II coming, so it is said, but it will not be out until spring or summer next year. Besides, the EM1 is going for some healthy discounts nowadays and reconditioned ones from Olympus are available, making it a good buy. It will give you flexibility and speed.

    Given what you said about your focal length ranges, the 40-150 f2.8 Pro seems like a good fit, and you probably prefer a zoom. And, it'd be good for general purpose shooting as well. A 50-200 SWD will be much cheaper, but the 40-150 Pro will be faster at focusing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1