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New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-16-2019

What lens could work best?

So my dad has just bought a new camera, it's a camera Canon 7D Mark II. He is currently looking for a lens to photograph horse racing but he is struggling.

He has a 35-80 mm lens right now that he uses but it just doesn't do the job. When he photographs horse racing the body of the horse is in focus but the head of the horse and the driver is not. Do you have any recommendations of what type of lens could give him a better picture?

And if anyone has recommendations on what settings would be best on the camera then it would be greatly appreciated!

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Emerging Expert
Posts: 7,220
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: What lens could work best?

Great question. I have not shot horse racing but I do a lot of Basketball and Softball. And my camera is very similar to your dads.  

First some education on my response. 

 

When taking a photo several things happen between the camera and the lens.  Your camera senses the light, then adjusts the lens aperture and the shutter speed to allow for a properly exposed photo.  

 

The aperture, or f/Stop is how big the opening in the lens is.  the confusing part is that the larger the number the smaller the opening.  and the smaller the number the larger the opening.  you will see numbers like f/2.8 or f/22

 

Also the f/stop controls the depth of field. ( you can google for a good answer to what that is)

 

The reason the Jocky and the head are not in focus is because they are moving. Your camera lens the culprit.  The f/stop problem has a maximum aperture of f/4 or smaller.  With the camera set on full auto it is going to try to get good exposure for the amount of light and give a moderate depth of field. The end result is the shutter speed is not fast enough to stop all the motion based on the automatic settings. 

 

What he can try is put the camera in Shutter Speed mode. Meaning he sets the speed of the shutter and the camera will adjust the f/Stop to what it needs to get a well exposed photo.   Set the shutter speed to 1/200 of a second and try that before you spend money on a new lens.  Horse racing takes place outside so generally speaking you should have more than enough light. 1/200 should be good enough to stop most motion.  The faster the shutter the more it will stop.  At over 1/1000 of a second you can start stopping helicopter blades.   

 

However if the photo is to dark at 1/200 you can adjust the ISO on the camera (film speed) the lower the number the slower the film, but it has better quality.  I would not set it faster than 400

 

if it is still dark then you should consider a lens made for shooting action. 

I am not an employee of Best Buy and all opinions left on this forum are my own. Please leave Kudo’s if you like a post or click Accept as Solution if a post answers your query.
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Emerging Expert
Posts: 7,220
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: What lens could work best?

Unfortunatly higher end lenses for shooting sports do cost more

 

for shooting basketball and softball I use a f/2.8 70-200mm zoom lens.  Shooting in a gym is generally bad lighting but I can get crisp clear shots.  And shooting outside for softball it results in great photos. 

 

Has he found that the 80mm gets him in close enough? The one you listed has a good range.

 

Canon 70-200 

Canon 24-70

 

However, these lenses are not cheap.  I would suggest chaning the shutter and ISO speeds first. You can experiment by taking pictures of cars moving 30 mph or less

I am not an employee of Best Buy and all opinions left on this forum are my own. Please leave Kudo’s if you like a post or click Accept as Solution if a post answers your query.