Which lens for photographing tennis?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by MacBook, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    I have the Olympus E-M1 and two lenses that I am considering: the m40-150 and the non-SWD 50-200. The 40-150 weighs about a quarter of the 50-200, and is native m4/3 as well, but the 50-200 is faster and just a lovely lens. I also have the Panasonic 100-300, but that seems a bit long.

    I will be at the club level at the U.S. Open this week and really would like to (try to) get some sharp photographs. I basically can only fit the camera and one of these lenses, since there is other material I need to bring. No tripod or monopod or other support, and one has to be considerate of others' views, too. Any thoughts?
  2. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    Ciaran Reilly
    There was a thread with some great tennis shots started here yesterday. My thoughts are that you will need very fast shutter speeds to freeze the action so I would be tempted to bring the brighter lens the 50-200.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    The lens you use doesn't really matter that much. Focal length is going to be important and then more or less pre-focussing/following the players and catching them individually; I would never try and attempt to follow the ball. Concentrate on one player at a time, and wait for your shots, watching with your peripheral vision. You won't get everything that you want, but in an all day event, you'll get plenty.
  4. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    This will be in daylight, so the lens speed is less important, and the m40-150 will surely be easier to hold over the course of a day, as well as to pack. The one downside is the DOF, but there may be a fair amount of "solid" background (as I will be shooting angled down at the court). It served me well, together with the 12-40, on vacation this summer.
  5. Indianpeaksjoe

    Indianpeaksjoe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 1, 2012
    I have used the 40-150 for bike racing pics with some really great success.

  6. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    I would bring my Oly 75mm F1.8 if i was going to tennis, you will propably dont get the full body in all shots, but that would give a nice variation to the images i think.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    I went to Thursday's US Open and saw the men's doubles and men's quarterfinals, and it was great. I did okay with photography with the E-M1 and the 50-200, and learned what I could have done better. A challenge in tennis is getting an adequate pre-focus or frame of where the player might be, unless they're serving, of course. So I went a little wider for many shots and then cropped. Attached is one example.