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While the camera you buy is very important, the lens and certain other accessories can make or break your sports photography.
After the camera, the lenses are the most important pieces of your kit.
Generally speaking, for sports photography you want a telephoto lens with a large aperture.
In my opinion, the best all around lens for sports photography is the 70-200mm f2.8 zoom lens.
This lens has the best balance of features you can get in a single lens for sports photography.
It has a fast f2.8 aperture to help you use the shutter speeds you need, it has a versatile zoom range to help you frame your subject and blow the background out of focus for great compositions, and it has fast and accurate auto focus.
What’s great about this lens is that there are a variety of options to choose from, and you can get a seventy to two hundred millimeter lens for as low as $750.
Now there are other lens options worth considering, but the thing to remember when choosing a lens is to look for the longest focal length you need with the largest aperture possible.
The next most important item is your memory cards.
For your memory cards, you want them fast and large.
I’d recommend 32 gigabyte or larger cards with a write speed that is equal to or faster than your camera’s write speed.
And you’ll want to get at least three cards, one in the camera and two for backup.
Speaking of backups, you should have at least two backup batteries for your camera as well.
That will give you a minimum viable kit for sports photography, but there are a few optional items that you might want to consider, starting with a monopod.
A monopod is a single legged tripod that allows you to hold the camera much steadier when shooting, and it makes it easier in general to manage your camera because you’re not supporting all the weight yourself.
Another option to consider is the camera strap you use.
There are lots of camera straps to choose from, but whatever strap you choose, I’d recommend some sort of over the shoulder style strap.
The key is getting it off of your neck and making sure you can comfortably manage the camera.
And finally, you might want to consider a teleconverter.
A teleconverter is a way to get more focal length without having to buy another lens.
The principal benefit of a teleconverter is getting the extra focal length, but the extra reach comes at a cost.
Using a teleconverter reduces the amount of light you get through the lens, which can limit the fastest shutter speed you can use.
Additionally, teleconverters can slow down the auto focus speed of your camera, and can degrade your image quality.
Despite that, if you need extra zoom beyond the lenses that you already have and can’t afford to buy a lens like a 300mm f4, a teleconverter is an economic way to get the zoom you need.
Your camera is an amazing tool, but it’s no good to you if you don’t know how to use it!
If you want to take control of your camera and use it to take amazing photos like a pro, check out my Guide to Shooting in Manual Mode video course.