genre is dedicated completely to capturing the best images in action, for any kind of sports. A
photographer in this case should have the knack to capture stunning images on
camera with great speed. There are many photographers who have dedicated themselves completely to this segment. These
photographs are mainly used by publishing houses and other branches of media.
Getting into quality sports photography is not cheap. You
can spend $4,000 to $7,000 for a camera and $1,800 to $5,000
or more for lenses
The equipment used by a professional photographer usually includes a
telephoto lens and a camera that has an extremely fast
shutter speed that can rapidly take pictures. In general,
monopods are used as well, in order to support the weight of the camera and heavy lenses. In addition, it may help
stabilize the camera.
Common bodies for the modern sport photographer are those with an excellent focusing ability, and a high
shutter frame rate (usually 8 frame/s or faster). The two main camera bodies uses by professional sports photographers are the
Nikon D3 and the Canon 1D-series.
Sport photography requires long fast lenses. Apertures of
f/2.8 or faster are usually used, with the most common lens being the 400mm f/2.8. A sports photographer may also use 15mm
70-200mm and 300mm lenses. For larger field sports such as football and soccer, a 400mm f/2.8 is used for about 99% of the pictures. Golf photographers may use a 500mm f/4 as opposed to a 400mm f/2.8 as it is a lighter lens to be carrying around all day.
Such wide apertures are required for a number of reasons:
The background is put drastically out of focus, resulting in better subject
isolation. The lenses can focus more quickly due to the increase in light
entering the lens - important with fast-moving action. Faster shutter speeds can
be used in order to freeze the action.
If you are a dedicated sports photographer, you should be very careful about choosing the right lens before making any major decisions on purchasing a new camera.
Football shooting, in particular, needs a good lens with
large apertures and a few other key factors.
Photo shot at night game with Sigma 18-200 f/4.5-6.3 - Focal
length 200mm f/6.3. (This lens is just too
slow and too
short for football from the top bleacher seat). What I
was a 300mm, 400mm f/4 Lens, or maybe the
Key factors for choosing a lens for football shooting:
Focal length: Usually outdoor sporting events like football need a
super telephoto lens with a focal length exceeding 300mm. A lens of 600mm and 800mm focal length helps to magnify the players, fill up the frame and brings gritty action right up into the photograph.
Maximum Aperture: Choose a maximum aperture of 70 – 300mm of
zoom, depending on the focal length of the lens. This will enhance the clarity of sports photographs sufficiently.
Image stabilization: Many lenses are now well equipped with
image stabilization and vibration reduction techniques. Shake reduction technology can make the difference between razor sharp and blurred pictures at the same shutter speeds.
Usually wide-angle lenses are not suitable or practical for most sports applications. Powerful telephoto lenses with 400 mm to 800 mm and upwards will totally enhance the shooting of
|Nikon 400mm f/2.8
||Sigma 70-200 f/2.8
||Canon 100-400 f/4.5
||Nikon 600mm f/4
List of fast zoom lenses good for sports