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  1. #1
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    Default Lens for Badminton Photography

    Hello guys,

    I am not sure what lens to buy for badminton photography assuming a budget of say US$2,000.

    What are the relevant fast lens you use for badminton photgraphy? Do you use primes or zoom lens? I assume you will be taking photos from the spectator stands or courtside.

    Thanks

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    does the budget include the camera body? or budget for just the lens? if just the lens, what system? Canon? Nikon?

    what's the shooting environment? dark local gym or SIS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun
    does the budget include the camera body? or budget for just the lens? if just the lens, what system? Canon? Nikon?

    what's the shooting environment? dark local gym or SIS?
    Hi kwun,

    The budget of US$2,000 is for lens only, either Nikon or Canon (I owe a Nikon DSLR and sometimes I borrow a Canon from my friend). The budget amount is relative given that prices of lens may vary in different countries.

    I currently own a 50 f/1.8 and 18-135 kit lens. The kit lens is too slow for badminton photography imho.

    Ideally I would like to use the lens for shooting in both environments - dark local gym and SIS. Or do I have to buy separate lens for these two different environments?

    Was looking at primes like 85 f/1.8, 105 f/2, 135 f/2, 200 f/2.8 and zoom lens 70-200 f/2.8 and 80-200 f/2.8.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    wow. i wish i have a US$2000 lens budget!

    50/1.8 is a good court side lens and it will be sufficient for most gyms except for the darkest ones.

    i have a sigma 30/1.4 which is excellent fast focusing lens, but you will have to be sitting right next to the sideline in order to fill the frame.

    70-200/2.8 is a good versatile lens if you are shooting from the spectator stands, and also an excellent lens for other non-badminton shooting. a tad bit on the slow side for local gyms but more than sufficient for SIS. VR is mostly useless for badminton but the 70-200/2.8 has a much faster focus speed when compared to the 80-200/2.8 AF-D.

    Nikon 200/2.8 is supposed to be really really slow focusing, i'd avoid.

    105/2 and 135/2 tend to be too long for courtside but too short from the SIS stands. on local gym where the stands are close to the court, i use a 85/1.4 which is just around the right focal length. 85/1.4 is also an excellent portrait lens for kids or gf's.

    US$2k is a lot of money and you can easily get 2-3 lens for different possibilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun
    what's the shooting environment? dark local gym or SIS?
    sorry, what's SIS ?
    something Stadium?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Nicholls
    sorry, what's SIS ?
    something Stadium?
    Its Singapore Indoor Stadium where the Singapore Aviva Open is usually held.

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    kwun, thanks for your advice. Will start saving up now

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    Default Yah, i second...

    Quote Originally Posted by kwun
    wow. i wish i have a US$2000 lens budget!

    50/1.8 is a good court side lens and it will be sufficient for most gyms except for the darkest ones.

    i have a sigma 30/1.4 which is excellent fast focusing lens, but you will have to be sitting right next to the sideline in order to fill the frame.

    70-200/2.8 is a good versatile lens if you are shooting from the spectator stands, and also an excellent lens for other non-badminton shooting. a tad bit on the slow side for local gyms but more than sufficient for SIS. VR is mostly useless for badminton but the 70-200/2.8 has a much faster focus speed when compared to the 80-200/2.8 AF-D.

    Nikon 200/2.8 is supposed to be really really slow focusing, i'd avoid.

    105/2 and 135/2 tend to be too long for courtside but too short from the SIS stands. on local gym where the stands are close to the court, i use a 85/1.4 which is just around the right focal length. 85/1.4 is also an excellent portrait lens for kids or gf's.

    US$2k is a lot of money and you can easily get 2-3 lens for different possibilities.
    ..on most of what kwun wrote, esp. the last statement(highlighted)..For badminton photography, yes, it's very crucial to have a good lens(es). If you can stay/afford one of the (X)mm/1.2 to (X)mm/2 lens(es), that's a pretty "ideal" range.
    Abt the budget, hehe, how i wish if i can have 1/2 of what you have, sealman..
    *Btw, for those not familiar with SIS, check out some of last yr's Singapore Open's pictures, here: http://www.badmintoncentral.com/foru...ad.php?t=33674
    Last edited by ctjcad; 03-01-2007 at 01:26 PM.

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    Regular Member DinkAlot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun
    wow. i wish i have a US$2000 lens budget!

    US$2k is a lot of money and you can easily get 2-3 lens for different possibilities.
    No kidding, that's a good budget for lens...only.

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    Quiet True! I am sure with that Budget you can buy a 70-200 (nikon or canon) telephoto and also a very good prime. I also assume that the money is in SGD??? For USD 2k would be dream come true...

    As Kwun rightly said, if you have $2k budget for lens i am sure you would be in the front row somewhere and can just get away with primes and dont need the 70-200 range...

    But then again, It would be wise to get a good range if you are into travelling for various badminton championships and taking photos etc.

    Best of Luck and keep us updated on the purchase.

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    Sorry did not see that you had indeed said USD 2K.

    As to the Nikon 70-200 G dont buy it if you have a manual body or film body which is older than F80 (back ups) as there is no aprture ring on it. The 80-200 D(push pull, two ring and the AFS IF) does have the aperture ring on it.

    As kwun rightly said Nikon 85 f1.4 is a brilliant lens. If you have a Manual then think about 50mm Noct also.

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    if shooting from the spectator's stands you can try out the 300mm 2.8

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    For pictures that require out-of-focus background like in badminton, if you are using small cameras like 35mm cameras, try to buy lenses with an iris diaphragm with many blades which will make the aperture opening almost round instead of pentagon in shape. However, with dslr the automatic diaphragm cannot work well with a diaphragm with too many blades-it will just jam up. Round-shaped diaphragms will produce the most beautiful out-of-focus background, softer and more out-of-focus areas.
    Larger format cameras from medium format onwards are not so critical of diaphragm roundness.

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    WOW..you guys are rich..$2000USD budget.

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