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Archive 2023 · New to sports

  
 
ASchaef
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · New to sports


So started my photog biz shooting weddings and portraits. Been slowly moving away from that doing homes instead. Was asked to partner up locally to shoot sports. Excited for that as I have dabbled in it before and out of my comfort zone to learn more. I donít have tons to spend but was looking to move some gear around for this.

Looking at
Z9
Z6ll
70-200z
24-70

My question for you sports guys is, whatís the best option for a mid price budget for those longer football baseball soccer shots

400 4.5z?
300 f4 vr?
200-400 vr?

Pretty set on the bodies but looking for that last bit of advice for the telephoto. TIA



Feb 27, 2023 at 12:41 PM
schlotz
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · New to sports


What sports and what time of day would be my first 2 questions? É4.0 glass is ok until you are under field lights or in a dimly lit gym.


Feb 27, 2023 at 03:48 PM
ASchaef
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · New to sports


Would be all over
Football day and night
Baseball day and night
Soccer day and night
Track day and night
Basketball and volleyball gyms



Feb 27, 2023 at 03:59 PM
ASchaef
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · New to sports


100 views no input?


Feb 27, 2023 at 07:29 PM
JRobertson
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · New to sports


ASchaef wrote:
So started my photog biz shooting weddings and portraits. Been slowly moving away from that doing homes instead. Was asked to partner up locally to shoot sports. Excited for that as I have dabbled in it before and out of my comfort zone to learn more. I donít have tons to spend but was looking to move some gear around for this.

Looking at
Z9
Z6ll
70-200z
24-70

My question for you sports guys is, whatís the best option for a mid price budget for those longer football baseball soccer shots

400 4.5z?
300 f4 vr?
200-400 vr?

Pretty set on the bodies but looking for that last bit
...Show more

Sports really isn't a dabble, it's more or less an all or nothing. That is, if you have any sort of photographic standards, and I assume you do since you mentioned running a business and partnering. Sports is, single handedly, the most expensive type of photography that exists. You need long, fast glass and capable and rugged bodies. Granted I'm speaking from the position of a working pro, but your post leads me to believe that you may be more than the average mom/dad on the sideline. Expect a hefty investment, because again, if you have photographic standards in place already then you won't be happy with anything less than the best quality product.

So I guess my point is, if you're looking to be paid, don't dabble. Go all in or don't go at all. There's too many terrible people with cameras and gear that perceive themselves as "sports photographers" and lack any definable talent. Just my $.02.



Feb 27, 2023 at 08:50 PM
pulper11
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · New to sports


I think the response from @Dbltfarmer is great. Answers the question better than I could. Also helps with the lenses for the indoor sports.
I shoot Canon 400 F4 for college football and I love it.
Good luck.



Feb 27, 2023 at 09:13 PM
carl_g
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · New to sports


For what you want to do you really need these three lenses IMO.
400mm
70-200mm
24-70mm
All f/2.8Ö.everything else is a compromise.



Feb 27, 2023 at 10:11 PM
henry albert
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · New to sports


JRobertson wrote:
There's too many terrible people with cameras and gear that perceive themselves as "sports photographers" and lack any definable talent. Just my $.02.


+1



Feb 27, 2023 at 10:17 PM
ASchaef
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · New to sports


Totally understandable. I guess dabble wasnít the right word. I have shot college vball, and high school baseball, football, track and softball. It just wasnít my main gig. But now that I am slowly going away from weddings I want to get more involved with sports. My budget isnít huge so thatís why I was asking about gear on a medium type budget and the best bang for the buck

JRobertson wrote:
Sports really isn't a dabble, it's more or less an all or nothing. That is, if you have any sort of photographic standards, and I assume you do since you mentioned running a business and partnering. Sports is, single handedly, the most expensive type of photography that exists. You need long, fast glass and capable and rugged bodies. Granted I'm speaking from the position of a working pro, but your post leads me to believe that you may be more than the average mom/dad on the sideline. Expect a hefty investment, because again, if you have photographic standards in place
...Show more



Feb 28, 2023 at 08:42 AM
schlotz
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · New to sports


Sports photography is the realm of Fast Glass (É2.8), just like @carl_g stated. The trinity lens line up mentioned is basically the standard. @JRobertson is pretty much spot on regarding sports shooting, it's an all-in endeavor. Unless you are shooting in NFL lit arenas, the use of É4.0 or higher lenses will not cut it. The IQ resulting from them in combination with very high ISO settings is not what many professional sports shooter will accept. Their livelihood depends on the total quality of their final product. It's not just capturing 'peak action', the final image quality matters too!


Feb 28, 2023 at 08:45 AM
schlotz
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · New to sports


Best bang for the buck approach will provide others a perception of your capabilities but that will not always be a favorable one. If the 70-200 & 24-70 you mentioned are É2.8 then you should consider limiting your output to those where images captured fill the frame, i.e. little if any cropping in PP. At some point in the near future the decision on spending a significant chunk of cash to gain reach via a used 400mm 2.8 will have to be made.

Edited on Feb 28, 2023 at 08:57 AM · View previous versions



Feb 28, 2023 at 08:56 AM
cocodrillo
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · New to sports


The standard answer is to get a 400 f2.8, but I'm a bit of a nut and really like the 600 f4 for most sports, especially with the sort of AF you're going to get on the z9. I'm guessing you have all of the wide and medium tele lenses from your other work, so really you're looking at big glass. If you can swing a 400 f2.8, a 200 f2 and a 1.4 converter you're set. That definitely pushes the budget, but the 200 f2 might well pay for itself via the weddings and portraits -- some very cool stuff can also be done for portraiture with the 400. That combo will also cover you really well indoors.

I don't know the Nikon glass well, but if it is anything like Canon you can go back a generation or two (or three) and still have a stunning lens at a steep discount. The trade off is mostly in the weight of the lens, not really in the IQ department.

Sports photography is definitely a money pit. You haven't even raised the question of multiple remotes, stadium strobes, and so on! :-)



Feb 28, 2023 at 08:57 AM
JRobertson
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · New to sports


cocodrillo wrote:
Sports photography is definitely a money pit.


2000000% confirmed, agreed, and attested too!



Feb 28, 2023 at 10:23 AM
pjbuehner
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · New to sports


I agree with the above posts. If this is a gig that you are going to be making money doing, spend the money now. When I started shooting sports 20 years ago, I tried the "budget" route. It ended up being more expensive when I realized that I needed (yes, needed) the fast glass to compete.
The 400 2.8 is the workhorse of sport shooting. I think that buying a used 2.8 lens is a much better investment than a new slower lens.
Good luck,



Feb 28, 2023 at 02:42 PM
ASchaef
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · New to sports


Appreciate all your input. Iím guessing I am going to have to bite the bullet for a big boy 2.8. Anyone need a kidney at a discount?


Mar 01, 2023 at 08:09 AM
leewoolery
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · New to sports


Over the years, in my area, the demand for action photography has dropped dramatically...for any sport.

However...the team photo business is stronger than ever.

I still cover action for media and few select clients but could not justify investing in the gear I currently own if I depended on action sales to make a living.

Today our three local papers just went to two editions per week so most action photography will be displayed on line and they cut any funding for free- lancers meaning sports editors are now responsible for their own artwork.



Mar 01, 2023 at 08:33 AM
RickPJ
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · New to sports


leewollery is wise. I have had the exact same experience.

Newspapers are crayon-on-napkin quality printing anyway. Magazines are going away fast. The quality you will be required to submit will likely be online. In the past I have published a ton of sports stuff shot with a 4.1 MP D2H. (Actually, now that I think about it, I published them with a 2.7MP D1) And their high ISO performance, well, no. Just no. I mention this to venture into the realm of blasphemy. Hi. My name is Rick and I crop. There. I have said it. Many will not read further.

While it is nice to buy a $12,000.00 400 F2.8Z lens you would be hard pressed to recoup the investment. And with the Z6II and Z9 sensor size and high ISO performance you can satisfy most requirements by cropping images. As long as you can comply with the customer's image requirements (300 dpi for example) you are golden.

There is a ton of stuff shot with the trinity. Probably most sports photos, other than major professional events, are. What should drive your search is to get the assignment and then match the equipment to it at first. If the Pittsburgh Steelers give you a chance maybe you could rent. (Good luck with that.) Taking a $12,000.00 lens to a high school football game so you can sell it to the local paper is just silly.

I shoot rodeos a lot. For that the 70-200 F2.8 is just fine. I shoot from inside the arena. I have published hundreds if not thousands of these. The biggest obstacle one finds to getting a profitable gig at rodeos are access and license . You don't get in a rodeo arena and snap away without convincing them that you will not personally become the most memorable event of the day. As you probably know you do not just stroll into a Pac 12 game and see what you can get. You need credentials. When I shoot these kinds of events it is because someone has credentialed me to do it and my permission to use the images is carefully controlled.

So I would be interested in knowing what you intend to shoot and what you have done to get access. That is what would drive my choices.

Like Lee I have a pretty good stable of glass paid for over a very long time. But for any working pro, as you know, the lens is just another tool in your kit. While it is nice to have a rack full of choices, it may not be a profitable decision to get some tools. For example. You can rent a Nikon 400 F2.8E for 25 events before you reach what you would pay for it new. And, isolation aside, these are low light tools mostly. For the average daytime game you can get by with far far less if you know what you are doing.

So what have you lined up that would call for these super-expensive lenses? Surely you are not going to spend all that money to cover events that do not pay for them.



Mar 01, 2023 at 09:40 AM
carl_g
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · New to sports


RickPJ wrote
So what have you lined up that would call for these super-expensive lenses? Surely you are not going to spend all that money to cover events that do not pay for them.


Yeah I guess I assumed that in my original post suggesting that he needed a 400 2.8, ect...



Mar 01, 2023 at 11:00 AM
leewoolery
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · New to sports


It all depends on if you are getting paid for these assignments or are you purely on spec?

My photo contracts for high school, middle school, events and youth sports create enough income to justify a Z9/D6, 200 f/2, 200-400 f/4 and 400 f/2.8 since I need to provide action photos to fulfill the contracts.

I do enough night football and soccer in the fall plus baseball in the spring and summer that a 400 f/2.8 is required gear but that is a used model I picked up from KEH for $4500.00.

Could I do that with a 70-200 or 300 f/2.8?

The answer is no. Size of fields and poor lighting require 400 mm (minimum) and an f/4 telephoto will not allow proper shutter speed.

Indoors I sometimes need the 200f/2 just to gain 1/1200 wide open at ISO 12800.

When you are photographing high school and youth sports at night and indoors...lighting is your biggest challenge...especially on deadline.



Mar 01, 2023 at 01:54 PM
RickPJ
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · New to sports


leewoolery wrote:
It all depends on if you are getting paid for these assignments or are you purely on spec?

My photo contracts for high school, middle school, events and youth sports create enough income to justify a Z9/D6, 200 f/2, 200-400 f/4 and 400 f/2.8 since I need to provide action photos to fulfill the contracts.

I do enough night football and soccer in the fall plus baseball in the spring and summer that a 400 f/2.8 is required gear but that is a used model I picked up from KEH for $4500.00.

Could I do that with a 70-200 or 300 f/2.8?

The answer
...Show more

I disagree. You not only could do it with less, you could be paid to do it with less. Your choice is based upon your own desire to present a product and not likely driven by the absolute requirements of your customers. I applaud your desire to produce the best regardless of the cost. I like my 400 f2.8 and use it sometimes. It is a nice lens. Not everyone can afford do that. Hundreds of paid photojournalists across the country would find your equipment list a pipe dream.

By far and away the majority of published sports photos at the high school and middle school (you are lucky middle school in your area plays or pays at all) are shot with modest equipment. And a goodly amount of what we see at college level also not to put to fine a point on it.

I have enjoyed your excellent photos for sure. But to assert that one cannot do well with less is not fair to someone who is not likely to recoup his investment.



Mar 01, 2023 at 02:48 PM
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