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Which lens for photographing tennis?

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

  1. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    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
    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 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    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 Veteran Subscribing Member

    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 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    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 Veteran Subscribing Member

    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.

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