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Author Topic: Your choice for amateur Sportslens  (Read 7798 times)

candyman

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Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« on: November 20, 2011, 01:05:10 PM »
I am in the process of upgrading my current telelens (max reach 270mm) to a L-lens of Canon. Reason: better quality (optical & weathersealed)
I see - within my budget (max 1500 euro)  - 3 options:

- canon 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM
- canon 70-200 F4 L IS USM + extender 1.4 III (giving me 280mm & A5.6)
- canon 100-400 F4.5-5.6 L IS USM

I am using the Canon 7D camera.
I shoot soccergames photos mostly outside. The weather is typical Dutch: sunny, foggy, rain etc - you never know here....  ;)
The soccerfield length is NOT yet the full length since the players are playing minor league. But I found that 270mm is just too short

The combo 70-200mm + 1.4 extender (thus 280mm) is the minimum distance I need.

Would anyone be so kind and share experiences (focus speed, apeture, sharpness etc) of using the Canon 7D and one (or more) of mentioned lenses in regards to sports (mainly soccer, amercian football, rugby etc)

It may help me to decide

Thanks!

(pardon my English, it is not my native language)
5DIII w/grip  |  6D  |  16-35L IS  |  24-70VC  |  24-105L  |  70-200 f/2.8L IS II  |  70-300L  |  35 f/2 IS  |  50A  |  135L

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Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« on: November 20, 2011, 01:05:10 PM »

handsomerob

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2011, 01:34:34 PM »
for soccer you'll want to be near 1/1000 so you don't need IS, that means you don't need 70-200 f/4 IS version. you could get the non-IS version for half the price and add an extender.
but the 1.4x extender would make the entire lens f/5.6 (even on wide end) and AF speed would take a hit as well, so I would skip this combo altogether for sports.

then you're looking at 70-300L or 100-400L indeed. while both are really sharp and have good AF speed, you will have to bump up the ISO quite a lot to get a nice shutter speed on cloudy days, due to slow aperture.

since the reach is your problem, how about a 300mm f/4 prime? that would give you a great reach (480mm) and 1 stop better ISO (thanks to f/4 vs f/5.6). subject isolation will also be better.

you could always add a 70-200 f/4 non-IS which doesn't cost that much, if you need the flexibility of a zoom.

i hear 70-300L is extremely sharp but i just can't justify paying over 1200 euro's for a f/4-5.6 lens...
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 03:05:37 PM by handsomerob »

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2011, 01:37:02 PM »
What about an EF 70-200 f/2.8L non-IS? You can find them for under $1000 used.

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candyman

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2011, 02:32:52 PM »
for soccer you'll want to be near 1/1000 so you don't need IS, that means you don't need 70-200 f/4 IS version. you could get the non-IS version for half the price and add a converter.
but the 1.4x extender would make the entire lens f/5.6 (even on wide end) and AF speed would take a hit as well, so I would skip this combo altogether for sports.

Thanks for that info. That helps me to be critical review my options.  ;)

Quote
since the reach is your problem, how about a 300mm f/4 prime? that would give you a great reach (480mm) and 1 stop better ISO (thanks to f/4 vs f/5.6). subject isolation will also be better.

you could always add a 70-200 f/4 non-IS which doesn't cost that much, if you need the flexibility of a zoom.
I want to be able to get close and far with one lens.
If I take a prime and zoom that would require an additonal camera. I just have the 7D (for now)  :(

Quote
i hear 70-300L is extremely sharp but i just can't justify paying over 1200 euro's for a f/4-5.6 lens...

You may be right about the high price. But, if that would not bother you, would you take this lens as being the best out of those mentioned here?

5DIII w/grip  |  6D  |  16-35L IS  |  24-70VC  |  24-105L  |  70-200 f/2.8L IS II  |  70-300L  |  35 f/2 IS  |  50A  |  135L

candyman

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2011, 02:38:14 PM »
What about an EF 70-200 f/2.8L non-IS? You can find them for under $1000 used.

Sounds good for the aperture.
Thinking about that. How well can I use this lens for non-sports events - out of hand with f2.8? (parties, journalism)
I believe it is 1.3 kg
I don't have experience with that.....
5DIII w/grip  |  6D  |  16-35L IS  |  24-70VC  |  24-105L  |  70-200 f/2.8L IS II  |  70-300L  |  35 f/2 IS  |  50A  |  135L

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2011, 02:38:55 PM »
As CR said, a 70-200mm f/2.8L non is would be a big improvement, a equivalent of 320mm max on your 7D, and with a 1.4 TC, about 448 mm equivalent at f/4.  You could squeak by at $1500 with a used MK II TC if you don't already have one.

That will allow you to get the high shutter speeds you need, which should be about 1/800 sec - 1/2000 sec.  Even so, you may have to crank up the ISO.

The next step up is a 300mm f/2.8, and the price is very high.

JR

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2011, 03:18:08 PM »
I use the 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.  I am waiting for the next version of the 100-400L to go longer.  Personally if I needed longer now I would consider the 70-300L.  I dont like extenter and their impact on image quality.

What about an EF 70-200 f/2.8L non-IS? You can find them for under $1000 used.

Sounds good for the aperture.
Thinking about that. How well can I use this lens for non-sports events - out of hand with f2.8? (parties, journalism)
I believe it is 1.3 kg
I don't have experience with that.....


You are correct this lens seem heavy.  I got only recently and I am getting used to its weight.  I would not make it my walk around lens but it is perfect for parties especially if they are inside the house.  Any invent where I dont need to walk too much, this lens will be my pick, assuming this is the focal lenght I need.

1DX, 24mm f1.4L II, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L II, 135mm f2L, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II :  D800, D4, and a whole bunch of Nikon lenses

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2011, 03:18:08 PM »

CanonFanNum1

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2011, 03:43:39 PM »
I use the 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.  I am waiting for the next version of the 100-400L to go longer.  Personally if I needed longer now I would consider the 70-300L.  I dont like extenter and their impact on image quality.

What about an EF 70-200 f/2.8L non-IS? You can find them for under $1000 used.

Sounds good for the aperture.
Thinking about that. How well can I use this lens for non-sports events - out of hand with f2.8? (parties, journalism)
I believe it is 1.3 kg
I don't have experience with that.....


You are correct this lens seem heavy.  I got only recently and I am getting used to its weight.  I would not make it my walk around lens but it is perfect for parties especially if they are inside the house.  Any invent where I dont need to walk too much, this lens will be my pick, assuming this is the focal lenght I need.

I know it's not "amateur" but I recently shot 6 soccer games with 5 different lenses, and the best (naturally) was the 300 F2.8/L II IS.

I also tried (all on a 1DmkIV):
  • 300 F2.8/L II IS: Epic.  On the 1.3x crop body, I got great body shots full-frame.  DOF is amazing.
  • 70-200 F4/L IS: OK... but good for wider angle shots, but not enough zoom when action is far away.
  • 70-200 F2.8/L II IS: Better, the DOF is nice.  Agreed, IS not necessary (1/1000).
  • 400 F5.6/L: Major hit-or-miss action.  Great when action is far, very tough when it isn't.  Love the weight and IQ.
  • 100-400 F4.5-5.6/L IS: Sigh... yes, it is the right zoom range.  But I hate the push-pull so much... especially in the heat of the moment. If you like push-pull, it is the best for soccer.

I didn't try 70-200 F2.8/L II IS with a 1.4x extender... but that would be my next attempt (since I cannot stand the 100-400 push-pull action).  2nd body with a 300 or 400 prime makes for ideal setup.

candyman

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 03:50:00 PM »
I use the 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.  I am waiting for the next version of the 100-400L to go longer.  Personally if I needed longer now I would consider the 70-300L.  I dont like extenter and their impact on image quality.

What kind of impact is that?
Would you be so kind to describe that compared to the image quality of a lens not using an extender?
5DIII w/grip  |  6D  |  16-35L IS  |  24-70VC  |  24-105L  |  70-200 f/2.8L IS II  |  70-300L  |  35 f/2 IS  |  50A  |  135L

handsomerob

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2011, 04:03:34 PM »
one thing, none of these lenses mentioned are "light". they are all over a kilogram and you WILL feel them in your hand/arm :) especially if you're coming from cheap telezooms.
70-200 f/2.8 L is a fantastic lens, constant & fast aperture, but you will add an extender for your needs (soccer), that will slow down AF speed (which will reduce your rate of keepers) and lower the IQ a bit as well.
70-300L is great, maybe the best of the bunch (between those 3 you listed) for your needs, since it's the lighest, the most recent design, weather sealed, extremely sharp and has latest generation IS. but i can't justify it's cost for a variable aperture lens. and it's not a fast lens (f/4-5.6), so you'll need lots of ISO to stop action, especially above 200mm or so (the range you'll need most?).
100-400L has great reach and the zooming is different, it's a hate or love thing i think. but it's again not a fast lens so i pass...

i personally would go for a prime such as 300mm f/4 (since the f/2.8 version is way beyond the budget). you won't be zooming indeed, but once the action is in your viewfinder, it will deliver far better results (great IQ at that focal length with very fast AF). then you could save up for the legendary 300mm f/2.8 or even 400mm f/2.8 haha :D

good luck with your decision, i know it's not easy to decide :p

handsomerob

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2011, 04:07:18 PM »
You are correct this lens seem heavy.  I got only recently and I am getting used to its weight.  I would not make it my walk around lens but it is perfect for parties especially if they are inside the house.  Any invent where I dont need to walk too much, this lens will be my pick, assuming this is the focal lenght I need.

i find 70-200 on crop a bit too long/awkward inside the house but on a FF body it would be much, much better. ;)

JR

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2011, 04:14:36 PM »
I use the 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.  I am waiting for the next version of the 100-400L to go longer.  Personally if I needed longer now I would consider the 70-300L.  I dont like extenter and their impact on image quality.

What kind of impact is that?
Would you be so kind to describe that compared to the image quality of a lens not using an extender?


It really depend on the combination you make, but have a look at the following from Bryan for example:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=404&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=7&API=1&LensComp=738&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0

I am not saying extender are bad since I have had little experience with them myself, I am just saying that depending on the choice you have, a different lens without the extenter to get your focal lenght might bring better result.  again it depend on what is the choices...Play with the configurator from the digital picture and you will see.

You should not dismiss the prime option as well as many other suggest here, like the 300 f4.

Good luck.
1DX, 24mm f1.4L II, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L II, 135mm f2L, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II :  D800, D4, and a whole bunch of Nikon lenses

briansquibb

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2011, 05:35:33 PM »
then you could save up for the legendary 300mm f/2.8 or even 400mm f/2.8 haha :D

Good suggestion - and also the 1D4 to mount ot on.

I am an amateur and that is what I did. Fantastic pairing that delivers fantastic photos.

Everyone assumes that the 400/f2.8 is too heavy, well as a pensioner I have no problems with an afternoons shooting with it.

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2011, 05:35:33 PM »

handsomerob

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2011, 05:50:13 PM »
then you could save up for the legendary 300mm f/2.8 or even 400mm f/2.8 haha :D

Good suggestion - and also the 1D4 to mount ot on.

I am an amateur and that is what I did. Fantastic pairing that delivers fantastic photos.

Everyone assumes that the 400/f2.8 is too heavy, well as a pensioner I have no problems with an afternoons shooting with it.

Great combo, happy for you. I hope to get one myself some day, even if that day is far, far away ;)

It's one of the heaviest lenses out there, if not the heaviest but I don't think it's fair to complain about the weight once you see the results it can deliver. Glad to hear you manage it just fine. The new version (400 f/2.8 II) is magically 1.5kg lighter and probably slightly sharper (is it even possible?!) but everything has a price ;)

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2011, 08:27:02 PM »
I have two of those lenses and am looking at the third.

I started with the 100-400 (and the 28-135 kit lens) on a 50D. Shooting birds I found it heavy after a while & quickly bought a monopod. The push-pull is not a problem to me. I like the results from the 100-400.

The next instant rebates I added the 70-200 f/4L IS as a walkaround in the bird sanctuary lens. Much lighter and delivered shots at least as good as the 100-400 in the overlap range. Very happy with it when I do not need the 200-400 range. I added the 1.4X II later and find it does not decrease the quality very much if at all. But sometimes adding or removing the 1.4X during a shoot is a PITA.

I shoot the local Spring Training Baseball games here (seats right behind the dugout) in March and last March they started a "No lens longer than six inches" rule so even without the 1.4X the 70-200 is too long. Walk in with it in my pocket and only got caught twice and told to remove it. But the 70-300, at 70mm is less than six inches.

If I did not own the 70-200 now I think I would buy the 70-300 for the newer construction and longer reach. I may rent one next spring. Whe shooting wildlife I frequently need the 350-400 range so will keep the 100-400. Right now I an shooting with two 7Ds and the 50D as a backup or loaner to friends.

I think you should rent the 70-300 first and see if it works with what you shoot. Or come to Florida this winter and try both of my lenses. 

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Re: Your choice for amateur Sportslens
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2011, 08:27:02 PM »