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What lens for an indoor track meet?

Discussion in 'Other Genres' started by foxtail1, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I have to work an indoor ACC track meet tomorrow. I'll be there on standby with the rescue squad, so hopefully I won't have anything to do but watch.

    And then, I though I might as well bring my camera along, but I've never shot at an event like this. I can't bring much, because I'll have to be able to carry it discretely if I do have to respond to an injury.

    I'd appreciate suggestions for what lens to bring. I could probably bring two. It will be the usual array of sports: running, pole vault, long jump, etc. I'm not positive what's on the list for tomorrow.

    Thanks in advance! (My lens choices are below.)
  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    For discrete and low light the P14 but it might be two wide.
    The P45 can be used as a short tele if you can get near enough to the action.
    the best s the 100-300 but it is not discrete and might not work due to low light.
    You can try to set the ISO to 1600/3200 in order to achieve enough shutter speed with the 100-300.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    How close are you going to be able to get to the action?

    I'm not into shooting sports, but having a quick root around flickr I came across this EIS Indoor athletics | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (Can't embed the image). He appears to be an amateur photographer so maybe you'll be able to get a similar distance?

    Looking at the image data, was shot with a 75mm lens (so 112mm in old money?) which pretty much leaves you with only the 100-300mm to get anything similar. I think that lens might be a bit slow for indoor sports though. I think maybe the 45mm if you can get close enough or don't mind a bit wider and/or take the 7-14mm and get some UW shots of the arena.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Hmm, I should be able to get pretty close to the runners, and maybe 25-30 feet from the pole vault. The jump lane is usually in the center, so I will probably by 40-50 feet from that.

    I'll check out that link tonight, thanks.

    I KNEW I should have bought the 40-150 last week! :rolleyes: 

    I'm pulling 2 shifts, so maybe I will take the 45 in the morning and see how it does. I can have the other lenses in my car, and switch off for the later shift.
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    About a year ago a friend asked if I would take some pictures at her son's junior high school indoor gymnastics meet.

    It was awful. The place was lit like a cave and it was difficult to get very close to the action. I ended up shooting my G1 with the 14-140mm wide open, ISO 800, 1/60th of a second. This of course smears all of the participants' motion, so I added a strobe set manually to produce sort of a fake stop-motion effect. Kind of like a slightly aggressive fill flash. It was still awful, and I did not get a single picture I liked, but here is an example of the what the approach produced:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    It's not a very stealthy setup, I know, but I would suggest using the highest ISO you can stomach, the 100-300mm, a monopod, and a decent-power strobe. Experiment a lot. Maybe you'll do better than I did.
  6. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Hmm, this does not sound promising. I definitely can't shoot with a monopod or a flash. As I recall, the lighting is pretty good (it's a fieldhouse). I think maybe I'll go stealth with the 14 in the morning and do some scenic shots of the event. Then there are all the interesting angles for the track, sand pit, timers, and vault. Maybe I'll just avoid the athletes and shoot the things that don't move!
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