December 18, 2014, 08:37:47 PM

Author Topic: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range  (Read 4628 times)

thetrotnixons

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I am curious if there is anyone with a strong sentiment in support or against any of the following ways to hit 400mm for use on a 7D to capture action.  My thoughts are to consider the following

Option 1: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Option 2: EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM and a 2x iii extender
Option 3: EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM

The images will be printed and some will be enlarged for retail so sharpness is key.  I know there are better cameras but I don't have the budget to upgrade both (though I will be going after a FF in the next 12 months).   I am trying to convince myself to invest in the 70-200mm (so I can used it elsewhere) but I am not sure what to expect regarding sharpness and autofocus speed with a 2x extender at 400mm.  Also if the 400mm 5.6 prime blows the other 2 away i would consider that route as well, but prefer zoom.  400mm is my only non-negotiable as my subjects are an average 80-100m away. 

Thanks in advance for the help!

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thetrotnixons

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 04:02:48 PM »
Bummer....

stoneking

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 05:42:10 PM »
I shot an airshow this weekend with my 5d2, 70-200 f2.8II, and the 1.4 mark II extender. my buddy was using a 50d with the 70-200 f4 and we compared pictures on the LCD and i immediately removed the extender. its for sale if your interested. i saw another friends pictures that was using the 100-400 and they looked very good. if 400 is a must id go with the 100-400.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 08:07:44 PM »
Having owned all the lenses you mentioned, the 100-400mm l is the best compromise if you are using it near 400mm.  The 70-200mm f/2.8 MK II is fine for static or slow moving objects, be sure to AFMA with the extender installed, it makes a difference.
 
The 400mm f/5.6L is also very good, but it is hard to store and with no IS, you must use a very fast shutter speed, at least 1/640 on a crop body, but twice that will be better.
 
I ended up selling the 400mm L and keeping the 70-200 and 100-400.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 08:25:04 PM »
I almost get the impression that this is for a specific assignment. If so, the answer is simple: rent a 5DIII and a 600 f/4. It gives you the same field of view as a 400 on the 7D, and you will not, no way no how, get better image quality, period, full stop, end of story. You also won't get better AF performance or any of the rest (at least, not until the 1DX hits the market) with anything else.

Cheers,

b&

smirkypants

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 08:43:45 PM »
This question nagged me for three years without a good solution. The best you can do for right now with Canon that zooms is the 100-400L, and its IQ at 400 is a little sketchy and the lens needs a lot of light. I finally found a different solution that I like a lot. I shoot long with another brand and use my Canon gear for events.

I would consider a Sigma 120-300/2.8 + 1.4x.

FarQinell

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 05:22:12 AM »
Option 1: This is a good zoom - sharpish at 400 stopped down to f8 but with an old IS design - but still better than your other options.
Option 2: 2xTC on a zoom - you must be joking!!
Option 3: Very sharp little lens which due to lack of IS needs to mounted on tripod/monopod for best results - not suitable for hand held sports action photos.

Recommendations:
Option 1: Wait for new 100-400 L with 3/4 stop IS which allegedly is due end of this year.
Option 2: Buy used 400/2.8 IS!!!

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 05:22:12 AM »

Random Orbits

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 07:31:35 AM »
I'd recommend against the 70-200 II with the extender for action shots.  I use it with a 1.4x III extender and the hit on focusing speed is noticeable (it'd be worse with the 2x) especially when the subject is moving toward/away from the camera at a decent clip.

Bob Howland

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 08:16:18 AM »
A 300 f/2.8 with 1.4X and 2X teleconverters. Alternately, the 100-400. I've used both combinations on a 40D at Watkins Glen raceway and both work well. The 300 works better although focusing can be a bit slow with the 2X. I have a 20x30 inch blowup of a Daytona Prototype taken with the 300/2x combination and it looks fine. I'm waiting for the 200-400, hoping that it doesn't cost $13,000.

TexPhoto

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 09:53:41 AM »
400mm on a 1.6 crop camera is very long.  When I shoot football or soccer, it's too long, and I do much better with my 70-200 with no extenders. Of course that's from the sidelines.  A 70-200 2.8 will focus much faster and provide a crisp photo.  A cropped photo with proper focus will beat the pants off a blurry photo that is not cropped.

thetrotnixons

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 02:09:19 AM »
Thanks folks. All super helpful feedback. Unfortunately it's not just for an assignment so I have to make repeated use of whatever I go with, but it seems that the 100-400 is the best value at this point. I'll climb the ladder when I get a FF camera, but I can't see anything else making more sense.  I think I'll order tomorrow.  Cheers.

vbi

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2012, 03:02:57 AM »
Just come back from shooting wildlife in Botswana with the 7D plus 100-400 option.

Mostly used F6.3 which gave bery sharp images except when pushing ISO hard, and even then the images would be more than acceptable for a 10X12 print. My 7D has a tendency to underexpose in evaluative mode in a backlight situation, which I would have expected with my 5D, but which the 7D's metering system was uspposed to be improved on.

In future I will shoot using partial metering, not as narrow as spot, but far closer to spot-on when using the centre point plus expansion points.

So all in all the 7D and 100-400 is actually a great combo.
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IIIHobbs

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2012, 08:01:22 AM »
Do not ignore the new 70-300 L. For what you are describing using a crop body, the 300 should bring you plenty close enough and provide you with better speed and flexibility than the others you mentioned.

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2012, 08:01:22 AM »

chasn

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2012, 10:01:00 AM »
I use a 7D with a 70-300 L with Kenko 1.4 TC as needed which autofocuses - sold the 100-400 as too cumbersome

smirkypants

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2012, 11:43:26 AM »
Thanks folks. All super helpful feedback. Unfortunately it's not just for an assignment so I have to make repeated use of whatever I go with, but it seems that the 100-400 is the best value at this point. I'll climb the ladder when I get a FF camera, but I can't see anything else making more sense.  I think I'll order tomorrow.  Cheers.
Please do NOT ignore the Sigma 120-300/2.8 + 1.4 adaptor. As far as image quality goes, it's absolutely your best bet. You get a constant f4 and 420mm on the long end. With a 7D that's a 269-672mm equivalent at a constant f4. It costs a bit more and weighs more, but it's way better than anything Canon offers in a 400mm zoom range.

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Re: Sport Photography: Targeting 400mm preferably with a zoom range
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2012, 11:43:26 AM »