September 02, 2014, 08:32:13 PM

Author Topic: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????  (Read 10320 times)

Harv

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
    • My SmugMug Web Location
Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« on: February 25, 2012, 04:27:02 PM »
Last year I began photographing motorsports. I shot some super bike and GP car races on road courses and shot a lot of motocross and atv races. The gear I used was a 1D Mark IV along with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and 300 f/2.8L IS with great results.

I am fortunate to have full access to the motocross and atv tracks and end up strolling all over the track for extended periods of time. After a while, the gear package I mentioned above starts to take it's toll on me due to the weight. I am looking at possibly utilizing the Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS to reduce the weight while retaining the focal length range. I have no concerns regarding the image quality of that lens. I know it's excellent.

What does concern me is that given it's slower speed, will it AF fast enough and accurately enough? I have no concerns on the road races as there is usually a lot of time to lock on and track the vehicles. However, on the motocross and atv tracks, the first glimpse I often have of the bikes and quads is when they suddenly appear over the top of a jump. Immediate and accurate AF is an absolute must in these circumstances. My f/2.8 lenses perform beautifully in that regard, but will the slower 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS be up to the task?

Has anyone out there had any experience they can share using this lens in a similar environment? Your input would be appreciated.
Looking at life through a 1D4 and a 5D3 plus lots of red rings.

canon rumors FORUM

Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« on: February 25, 2012, 04:27:02 PM »

Jerrad245

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 16
  • Portrait & Wedding Photographer
    • View Profile
    • Story Lantern
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2012, 04:48:36 PM »
I haven't been in those situations with my 70-300L but I have to say the AF speed is extremely fast, and has no problems for me tracking birds in flight. i would say you will have no problem whatsoever with it's AF speed in those environments.
5DIII | 5DII | 70-200 2.8L II | 50L | 100L | 135L

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2012, 05:25:03 PM »

What does concern me is that given it's slower speed, will it AF fast enough and accurately enough? I have no concerns on the road races as there is usually a lot of time to lock on and track the vehicles. However, on the motocross and atv tracks, the first glimpse I often have of the bikes and quads is when they suddenly appear over the top of a jump. Immediate and accurate AF is an absolute must in these circumstances. My f/2.8 lenses perform beautifully in that regard, but will the slower 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS be up to the task?


Not only has it got fast AF but the light weight of the lens means you can twist and turn quickly

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8488
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2012, 06:03:14 PM »
Last year I began photographing motorsports. I shot some super bike and GP car races on road courses and shot a lot of motocross and atv races. The gear I used was a 1D Mark IV along with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and 300 f/2.8L IS with great results.

I am fortunate to have full access to the motocross and atv tracks and end up strolling all over the track for extended periods of time. After a while, the gear package I mentioned above starts to take it's toll on me due to the weight. I am looking at possibly utilizing the Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS to reduce the weight while retaining the focal length range. I have no concerns regarding the image quality of that lens. I know it's excellent.

What does concern me is that given it's slower speed, will it AF fast enough and accurately enough? I have no concerns on the road races as there is usually a lot of time to lock on and track the vehicles. However, on the motocross and atv tracks, the first glimpse I often have of the bikes and quads is when they suddenly appear over the top of a jump. Immediate and accurate AF is an absolute must in these circumstances. My f/2.8 lenses perform beautifully in that regard, but will the slower 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS be up to the task?

Has anyone out there had any experience they can share using this lens in a similar environment? Your input would be appreciated.

Everything about the lens is a step down, one other thing I'd be careful of, is shutter speed.  Can you get the shutter speeds you want at f/5.6 compared with your 300mm f/2.8?

Certainly, the IQ is not nearly up to that 300mm lens, nor the 70-200 either.

This is a case where I'd rent one first before making such a huge downgrade.

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2012, 06:12:35 PM »

Everything about the lens is a step down, one other thing I'd be careful of, is shutter speed.  Can you get the shutter speeds you want at f/5.6 compared with your 300mm f/2.8?

Certainly, the IQ is not nearly up to that 300mm lens, nor the 70-200 either.

This is a case where I'd rent one first before making such a huge downgrade.

DOF is an issue - however it is a variable apperture lens. Downgrade? mmm it has different strengths and weaknesses from the 300 f/2.8 of which the OP is trying to get away from towards a lens such as the 70-300L

IQ of the 70-300 is very,very close to that of the 70-200II in the 70-200 range - and it is a pound lighter as well which the OP sees as a benefit

Harv

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
    • My SmugMug Web Location
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2012, 06:46:36 PM »
I haven't been in those situations with my 70-300L but I have to say the AF speed is extremely fast, and has no problems for me tracking birds in flight. i would say you will have no problem whatsoever with it's AF speed in those environments.

Thanks for the input.  I regularly shoot birds in flight also but usually there is more warning and more time to get the bird in the viewfinder than many situations with MX and ATV racing.
Looking at life through a 1D4 and a 5D3 plus lots of red rings.

Harv

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
    • My SmugMug Web Location
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 06:47:53 PM »

What does concern me is that given it's slower speed, will it AF fast enough and accurately enough? I have no concerns on the road races as there is usually a lot of time to lock on and track the vehicles. However, on the motocross and atv tracks, the first glimpse I often have of the bikes and quads is when they suddenly appear over the top of a jump. Immediate and accurate AF is an absolute must in these circumstances. My f/2.8 lenses perform beautifully in that regard, but will the slower 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS be up to the task?


Not only has it got fast AF but the light weight of the lens means you can twist and turn quickly

I can certainly use all the help I can get to twist and turn quickly.  In less than two months I will be 70 years of age with lots of arthritis.  :)
Looking at life through a 1D4 and a 5D3 plus lots of red rings.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 06:47:53 PM »

Harv

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
    • My SmugMug Web Location
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2012, 06:50:35 PM »
Last year I began photographing motorsports. I shot some super bike and GP car races on road courses and shot a lot of motocross and atv races. The gear I used was a 1D Mark IV along with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and 300 f/2.8L IS with great results.

I am fortunate to have full access to the motocross and atv tracks and end up strolling all over the track for extended periods of time. After a while, the gear package I mentioned above starts to take it's toll on me due to the weight. I am looking at possibly utilizing the Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS to reduce the weight while retaining the focal length range. I have no concerns regarding the image quality of that lens. I know it's excellent.

What does concern me is that given it's slower speed, will it AF fast enough and accurately enough? I have no concerns on the road races as there is usually a lot of time to lock on and track the vehicles. However, on the motocross and atv tracks, the first glimpse I often have of the bikes and quads is when they suddenly appear over the top of a jump. Immediate and accurate AF is an absolute must in these circumstances. My f/2.8 lenses perform beautifully in that regard, but will the slower 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS be up to the task?

Has anyone out there had any experience they can share using this lens in a similar environment? Your input would be appreciated.

Everything about the lens is a step down, one other thing I'd be careful of, is shutter speed.  Can you get the shutter speeds you want at f/5.6 compared with your 300mm f/2.8?

Certainly, the IQ is not nearly up to that 300mm lens, nor the 70-200 either.

This is a case where I'd rent one first before making such a huge downgrade.

From what I can see in the online reviews, the IQ should be more than good enough.  It looks like it's not far behind my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II.

Shutter speed should not be a problem.  Usually there is a lot of light, shooting outdoors.  Besides, I can crank the ISO on the Mark IV pretty high with excellent results.
Looking at life through a 1D4 and a 5D3 plus lots of red rings.

Harv

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
    • My SmugMug Web Location
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2012, 06:52:12 PM »

Everything about the lens is a step down, one other thing I'd be careful of, is shutter speed.  Can you get the shutter speeds you want at f/5.6 compared with your 300mm f/2.8?

Certainly, the IQ is not nearly up to that 300mm lens, nor the 70-200 either.

This is a case where I'd rent one first before making such a huge downgrade.

DOF is an issue - however it is a variable apperture lens. Downgrade? mmm it has different strengths and weaknesses from the 300 f/2.8 of which the OP is trying to get away from towards a lens such as the 70-300L

IQ of the 70-300 is very,very close to that of the 70-200II in the 70-200 range - and it is a pound lighter as well which the OP sees as a benefit

Exactly.  Plus the benefit of leaving the 300/2.8 in the bag.
Looking at life through a 1D4 and a 5D3 plus lots of red rings.

Halfrack

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 461
    • View Profile
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012, 11:42:07 PM »
You're thinking about this too hard - find a young assistant who will pack around the 300 2.8 in exchange for track access and advice.

Either that or find a rolling tool chest that you can store & lock your lenses but also use as a place to brace and sit comfortably.
"Me owning a lens shop is kind of like having an alcoholic bar tender." - Roger Cicala

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2012, 02:24:27 AM »
Here is a sample with the 1D4 and 70-300L.

Here is the full sized, unsharpened with exif

http://www.squibb.org.uk/pictures/B09G0782.JPG

Camera Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
Image Date: 2012-01-27 14:47:24 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 70.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200)
ISO equiv: 500




« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 02:30:12 AM by briansquibb »

Marsu42

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4417
  • ML-66d / 100L / 70-300L / 17-40L / 600rts
    • View Profile
    • 6D positive spec list
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2012, 03:49:28 AM »
Here is a sample with the 1D4 and 70-300L.

Thanks for the sample! Good exposure in spite of opposite lighting and not using a flash. Using raw would have reduced the blown highlights a bit I guess. Since I don't know full frame or the 1D, I am wondering...

* the squirrel is a little blurred at 100%. I guess it is because IS tricked into believing because the background doesn't move you can use 1/200s+low iso and the little critter will freeze, too :-) ? In this case, I don't think the lens lacks sharpness because the for on the leg farthest away is sharper.

* you're saying that the jpeg is plain out-of-camera but the fur looks somewhat over-sharpened to me - is this because of the jpeg compression (which resembles sharpness sometimes) or some setting on the 1D4?

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2012, 05:02:52 AM »
Here is a sample with the 1D4 and 70-300L.

Thanks for the sample! Good exposure in spite of opposite lighting and not using a flash. Using raw would have reduced the blown highlights a bit I guess. Since I don't know full frame or the 1D, I am wondering...

* the squirrel is a little blurred at 100%. I guess it is because IS tricked into believing because the background doesn't move you can use 1/200s+low iso and the little critter will freeze, too :-) ? In this case, I don't think the lens lacks sharpness because the for on the leg farthest away is sharper.


* you're saying that the jpeg is plain out-of-camera but the fur looks somewhat over-sharpened to me - is this because of the jpeg compression (which resembles sharpness sometimes) or some setting on the 1D4?

- the little thing is moving so it is motion blur

- the fur on these squirrels always looks over sharpened with the grey flecks - with the back lighting from the sun this gives to much contrast - and too much contrast also gives the same effect as too much sharpening

The image is cropped down to about 7mps

This picture looks much better printed than on the screen.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 05:05:27 AM by briansquibb »

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2012, 05:02:52 AM »

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 05:15:35 AM »
I dont have many action samples with the 1d4 + 70-300L - here is perhaps a better one from the 1ds3 + 70-300L

This was being displayed - flying from the shade into sunlight

http://www.squibb.org.uk/pictures/IMG_1971.JPG

« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 05:17:29 AM by briansquibb »

Tijn

  • Guest
Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 05:31:01 AM »
As your question is really about AF:

Keep in mind that the 70-300 f/4-5.6 will not make use of the increased sensitivity f/2.8 center AF point. That means that the 70-300 f/4-5.6 will probably be a slight downgrade from a 70-200 f/2.8 mk2 AF-wise (and also from the prime, if its AF is as good as the 70-200 f/2.8's - I've not read much about it, it's way out of my reach). However, the 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF is still said to be quite good.

For the level of performance that you require from the AF, I would think that the only way to check if it is really up to YOUR needs, is to rent one and test it in your kind of situations. Users showing single easy-AF or even difficult-AF shots that ended up great on a forum like this, is no way to answer your question. You want the first image bang on with AF, preferably all the time, and I'm not sure if the lens will do that as well as the 70-200 f/2.8 II does.

As said, IQ-wise it's theoretically a very slight downgrade, but probably not noticable unless you know beforehand which is which. The thing you will notice is the DOF if you were shooting wide-open.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 05:32:41 AM by Tijn »

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS for motorsports ??????????
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 05:31:01 AM »