Gear Talk > Lenses

Best lens/TC setup for football game

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I am looking for the best solution for shooting a football game. I will be shooting from the side of the field and end zones. My camera is a 5D MKII; I know not the ideal sports camera. I have a 70-200mm F/2.8L which I know will be too short. I was planning on renting the 400mm F/5.6L for some wildlife photos, but now I might need something more versatile. I am considering between the options below:

70-200mm F/2.8L with 2x TC III
100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L
400mm F/5.6L

Thanks for your recommendations.

I would try to pick up a used 7d and grab a 70-200 2.8 Non IS and a 400mm

Both lenses are needed for sports photography if you want short and long shots. Throw the 400 on the 7d and the 70-200 on the 5d.

Get the 100-400mm.  In addition to the IQ hit, adding a TC to your 70-200/2.8 will slow down the AF drive speed (by 50% with a 1.4x TC and by 75% with a 2x TC), and slow AF is not what you want, especially when shooting with a 5DII.

IF you are shooting day games, 5.6 will be more than enough and the 100-400L is a great setup... night games and it becomes a whole new ball of wax...  Even shooting ISO 1600, with most college style stadium lighting, at 5.6, you are getting shutter speeds of 1/60 give or take.  bumping it up to 3200 you may get 1/120.  While it pains me to say, the 100-400 at 5.6 for night time games... unless you go real high ISOs, you are barely getting fast enough to cover camera shake let alone freezing action.  NFL stadiums have better lighting but you may need a press pass to get in with a pro dslr and pro lens.  You may want to shoot your 70-200 2.8 for night time games and crop if needed as you will need all the light you can get. 

You may find the f/5.6 too slow 30 mins before sunset.


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