Why You Need Long Glass to Shoot Sports

Marlins-1 On Sunday I went to a Florida Marlins game with several of our crew members from my ship.  Of course, I always have my camera with me and was looking to get some cool shots, but there was one problem.  I don’t own any really long glass or a teleconverter.

Marlins-2 The problem can be easily fixed, but it requires that you spend some money. A teleconverter is an in expensive way to reach out further with the glass that you already own.  On the other hand, I think it’s a very wise choice to invest in some really good, long glass where the optics are going to give you a better quality image.  However, it all comes down to what you can afford.

A teleconverter will provide a magnification factor (1.5x for example) for your current glass.  So if you have an 18-200mm zoom lens, it will then become a 27-300mm lens (assuming your teleconverter is 1.5x).  You can pick one up from B&H Photo for around $360.00 if you own a Nikon DSLR.  You can see a few of them by clicking here.  Canon users can click here.

Marlins-3 As you can see from my photos, I could have benefited greatly by either having some longer glass and/or a teleconverter.  I have plans to add both to my camera bag soon, but I didn’t have them in time for yesterday.  Also, if you don’t have the cash to throw down on the glass or a teleconverter, you can always rent a lens from a place like LenPro ToGo.  The only drawback to that is there has to be at least a little planning involved.  With me being in and out of ports, it would be hard to get an address to have the lens shipped to.  When I get back to San Diego, I plan on trying to shoot some games with some really long glass and LensPro ToGo will be where I will rent from.

While we are on the topic of sports, I highly recommend that if you are shooting any kind of sport that you shoot in Shutter Priority mode and have your shutter speed set to AT LEAST 1/640th of a second if you want to freeze the action.  Otherwise, you will wind up with a lot of blurred photos and you won’t get what you were expecting.

Yesterday was very overcast, so I had to bump my ISO up to 400 to be able to get my shutter speed at 1/640th to 1/800th.  I wouldn’t have wanted to go to a higher ISO with the D40 because of issues with noise, but I could have easily done so with a D300, D700, or D3.  Apparently the new D90 will have better low noise capability too, but more on that later. 

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend and be sure to click your way back over the next few days for more photography gouge!


One thought on “Why You Need Long Glass to Shoot Sports

  1. Just purchased a TC-14EII tele-extender for my 70-200 2.8 VR. If considering adding a tele-extender to your kit keep in mind they are not compatible with every lens. Be sure to check the manufacturers specs first. My 18-70 3.5-4.5 kit lens willnot accept the extender.
    I will be putting the new combo to the test this weekend at the Great State of Maine Air Show.

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