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Old Nov 16, 2006, 10:57 AM   #21
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Whether I agree is dependent upon the intended use. For sports shooting, again the Canon 400 2.8 prime is the king of the hill. The IQ, bokeh and speed are top notch - they're going to be better than the Sigma option. You're not going to find a single sports shooter that will say the Sigma will give better results.

Now, shooting with primes absolutely requires a different technique. But, here's the argument for shooting primes: it forces you to frame tight. Framing tight will get you a better shot 90% of the time in sports. You'll clip a few more body parts but you'll always have sharper images than if you framed loose and crop down.

Shutter speeds - if you need 2.8, you need 2.8. No way I'd count on an f4 lens for sports shooting.

Yes you need another body, but let's look at this realistically - if you can afford a $7000 lens you can swing the cash for the extra body.

Staying with reality, most mortals just can't justify spending $7000 on a lens - a few can - but most can't unless it's a business investment. Which means uneless you're independently wealthy or making your living off it, the 400mm 2.8 just isn't viable.

Which leaves us with your stated option. You'll never convince me that, cost asside, the 120-300 is better than the Canon primes for sports. It just isn't - there's a reason why the pros still choose the Canon primes (although a few do use the Sigma). But there's also a reason why I'm shooting with the Sigma 120-300 and NOT the canon primes - Return On Investment (ROI) - The ROI just isn't there for me to have gone the prime route. The 120-300 delivers outstanding results for the level of pro work that I do (small time newspaper work and sales to athletes/families). If I had to make my living off my photography i'd go the Canon prime route. But I don't, so the Sigma was a much better bang-for-the-buck.

Now, if you're talking wildlife - well I don't know how many people really use a 400mm 2.8 for wildlife - seems like a waste of $$$ since you usually want more DOF. So, I absolutely agree that the 120-300 is a more flexible wildlife option than the 400mm prime
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 2:06 PM   #22
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I think we both agree on the merit of the 400 f/2.8 and no one in their right mind would argue a Sigma with TC is better than a $7000 prime. My point was the relative small weight penalty of the 120-300 f/2.8 against the 100-400 for that extra 1-stop which seems to be the issue!
When at close to 12lbs for the 400mm, the weight is no longer a burden for that extra stop... 2nd body aside.

Which is why I wrote:

-> By the time one adds a sturdy tripod and the neccessary gymbal for the bigger gun to track the actions, the "avoir du poids" have significantly increase to the point where it's becoming more work than a hobby...
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