Indoor sports pictures

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by BlissD, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. BlissD

    BlissD New to TalkEmount

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    Mar 3, 2017
    Bliss D. Jensen
    I take a lot of indoor sports pictures of my grad kids. I use the A6300 camera. I have the 18-200mm lens which has plenty of reach but poor light performance and I have the 1.8 50mm which has good light performance but not enough reach for many shots. So far I seem to be getting better pictures with the 50mm but many of them require major cropping which impacts their final quality. Any ideas for either e or fe lenses that would be best (and worth the costs) for indoor sports?
     
  2. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I have and use the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS on my A6000 as a versatile all-around lens. It has some pluses and minuses. Like the 18-200, it covers from wide angle at 18mm to telephoto, but only reaches out to 105mm, just a tad more than one-half the reach of the 18-200 (and exactly half the reach of the 55-210mm which I also have). However, as a constant aperture f/4 lens, it is faster than the 18-200 from about 28mm on up, and at 105mm it is still f/4 and reasonably sharp while the 18-200 can only reach f/5.6 at that focal length. Compared to the 50/1.8, the 18-105G has twice the reach but is about 2-1/3 stops slower, so it is not the low-light machine that the 50/1.8 is... but few affordable long telephotos are. If you don't always need the full 200mm of the 18-200 and find that many of your shots are actually between 50 and 105, then the 18-105 might be a good and reasonably affordable solution, as it goes for just US$600 when not on sale. Anything else in native E-mount long telephoto is going to cost more.

    If you can go above US$1200, then there are the reputedly excellent FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS, and the FE 70-300 G f/4.5-5.6 G OSS (but the latter is likely only about 1/3 to 1/2 stop faster than your 18-200 at 200mm). Oh, and there's also the FE 24-240 f/3.5-6.3 OSS, but that is not likely much faster than your 18-200 at 200 at all. Of course, if you can go over US$2000, there's the incomparable new FE 70-200 f/2.8 G Master (yeah, right). And, if you are willing to go outside Sony and try adapters, there is the Sigma MC-11 advanced autofocus adapter for Canon EF-mount glass that opens up some excellent long Sigma and Canon lenses (especially the Sigma Art and Contemporary lines), some of which can be fairly fast and found used for decent prices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I can't add to Steve's excellent summary, Bliss, but I think you've run up against the indoor sports lens conundrum. Any lens that works well for indoor sports is going to be expensive. And probably big and heavy too.

    I know! Buy an A7RII and then you be able to crop more! :p
     
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  4. BlissD

    BlissD New to TalkEmount

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    Mar 3, 2017
    Bliss D. Jensen
     
  5. BlissD

    BlissD New to TalkEmount

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    Mar 3, 2017
    Bliss D. Jensen
     
  6. BlissD

    BlissD New to TalkEmount

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    Mar 3, 2017
    Bliss D. Jensen
    Thanks for your input. I have been thinking about the f4 105. Very few of my pictures use the full range of my 200, so as you point out I may not get more than one f stop using the f4 105. Do you think that is enough to justify the cost or is there an improvement in lense quality that may make the improvement even more?
     
  7. BlissD

    BlissD New to TalkEmount

    8
    Mar 3, 2017
    Bliss D. Jensen
    I am actually thinking of the A7RII or the A7SII (is that the one with 12Meg Pixels?) to get better low light performance but then I need even a longer range lens because of the crop factor.
     
  8. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I would add that if you don't mind Manual Focussing, there are some great Legacy lenses that can be had for a lot less $$.
     
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  9. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    You wouldn't need a longer lens for the A7SII, it's still full frame. Yes, it's "only" 12MP, but that's what, 4000x3000 pixels? You can get a very large print from that, and it will fill a 4K monitor at full resolution. There are some technical savants here who might set me straight, but if indoor shooting were a priority for me, I'd give the A7SII a serious look. I've seen good shots from that camera at crazy high ISO.
     
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  10. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    If you must have AF, then there are no cost effective alternatives. Closest would be smart adapters and a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L (non IS version). Or Sony's own adapter and a Minolta Maxxum AF 70-200 f/2.8 G (or 70-210 f/4 Beercan).

    If you can live with manual focus, there are more affordable options.
     
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  11. JMM

    JMM TalkEmount Regular

    184
    Jul 29, 2016
    John
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  12. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    I've done indoor sports with my NEX-7 for the last 5 years. Indoor lacrosse, water polo, and swimming which have brutal lighting. Initially I also used the 18-200mm SEL and came up with the same frustrations as you - actually worse since the A6300 sensor has higher ISO capabilities than the NEX-7. I purchased the Minolta Maxxum 200mm 2.8 along with the LA-EA1 adaptor (manually focus) and then the LA-EA4 (auto focus). The lens is amazing and truly pro-grade (I have many samples of shots here) and can be bought for around $5-600. But this set-up has certain issues;

    The LA-EA4 takes the SLT AF capabilities of a Sony A57 and applies that to your camera complete with its own translucent mirror. You will lose the advanced AF capabilities of the A6300. Using it on my NEX-7 I didn't mind since if was actually an upgrade in AF. But this will AF slower than you are used to. You will also suffer a loss of roughly 1/3 stop of light due to the translucent mirror. So wide open instead of f/2.8, the amount of light would be actually more equivalent to an about f/3.2 while depth of field would stay the same. I noticed it on the NEX-7 because while you want the nice background separation, you also want the subject in focus. I find myself typically shooting around f/4 for that - so with this adaptor it was like shooting around f/4.8. Still significantly faster than the 18-200mm @ 200 but it's there. Ultimately, after using the LA-EA4 for about a year, I found myself switching it out to the LA-EA1, which does not have the mirror and using manual focusing. It can be done, especially with focus peaking and practice. The trade off was worth the extra light.

    So you can get a great lens for your A6300 at a good price but with certain considerations. If I had to do it again within the constraints of a reasonable budget, I would consider the FE 70-200 f/4. The FE 70-200 2.8 is obviously your best option but at a significant price difference. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
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  13. BlissD

    BlissD New to TalkEmount

    8
    Mar 3, 2017
    Bliss D. Jensen
    Great advise, I will be looking into all of the options.
     
  14. BlissD

    BlissD New to TalkEmount

    8
    Mar 3, 2017
    Bliss D. Jensen
    Great advice I will be looking into all of the options.
     
  15. JMM

    JMM TalkEmount Regular

    184
    Jul 29, 2016
    John
    I have few points with other POV here:
    1) On a6000 i didnt had faster af with any other native lens than la-ea4 and minolta HS. Cant tell nothing about a6300 which have (a bit) superior AF.
    2) While this is certainly true, it's missleading overall. As here we are referring to T-Stops here. I dont know exact minolta scores, but i can pretty safely assume that 200 2.8 will be VERY close to 2.8 Tstop and 80-200 2.8 will be probabely around 3.2 - 3.5 depending on zoom range. Add 1/3 light loss from LA-EA4 and you gonna get T3.2 on 200mm prime and T3.5-4 on zoom.

    Now lets look at your 18-200 lens:
    Sony E18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 mounted on Sony A6000 : Measurements | DxOMark
    It starts at T4.5 and ends at T7.1... so you still gain 2 full T-stops even with LA-EA4.

    As i dont know exact values of Minolta lenses, this difference can be a bit larger/smaller, but im pretty sure that it will "payback" what LA-EA4 is taking away. OFC there is no doubt, that you gonna get best results with FE70200f2.8... if you can afford it.
     
  16. BlissD

    BlissD New to TalkEmount

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    Mar 3, 2017
    Bliss D. Jensen
    I am really learning a lot hear. I had never herd of T-stops. Now I can see why the 18-200 is so poor in low light. Do you have the same analysis for the 70-210 e mount crop sensor camera that Sony sales?