Upload & Sell: On
| Re: The right lens for gymnastics |
Others here definitely have more experience than I do, but I've been shooting my daughter and her gymnastics teammates for the last 3 or 4 years, so I'll off my input based on my experience. More than any other sport, gymnastics is where you will benefit from more expensive/better equipment. Especially because lenses hold their value so well, I would definitely recommend buying (hopefully used) and then selling if/when you don't need it anymore. A lot cheaper than renting for any period of time, and these lenses really hold their value.
I bought a used 100-400mm about 6 years ago, when my kids were playing soccer, It was fantastic for my needs, but I no longer needed it since none of my kids are now playing any sports on such large fields. I sold it last year for the same price I paid for it. I have a 50mm f1.2 that I have been using for indoor basketball (where I can stand right on the sidelines) for the last 3 or so years. I suspect this will be my last basketball season, and I'll then sell it, perhaps losing a few hundreds dollars or less.
Anyway, for gymnastics, I find that the lighting for the kids' competitions is terrible. The professionals that sell their photos that some of the competitions are using 1D IVs or 5D2/3s and 70-200F2.8s, and when I've looked at their images online, they are usually shooting ISO of 3200 or 6400 and F2.8. They typically know which shots they can get at around 1/250 of a second somewhat clearly, but there is definitely a lot of action that would be very blurry at that speed. I admit, however, that I don't think I've ever captured a really good vault picture, despite the ISO and speed. In my view, it just doesn't lend itself to good pictures.
I have been using a 1D IV and the 85mm F1.8 for the last few years, with significant success. My daughter is now competing at biggest gyms, so I bought the 135mm F2 for this season, which I don't think will be too long from where I will try to sit. Just as much as with the lens, I think you need a body with superior high ISO abilities. How about a used 1D III or 1D IV?
Best of luck,
Here's a photo of my daughter on vault this weekend using a 5D3 and 135L. You can get good vault pictures but positioning and timing are paramount.