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Old Jan 19, 2006, 11:15 AM   #1
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I'm doing a lot of sports shots right now, and starting to make a little money with it.
For basketball, I'm relying on my 70-200 f/2.8L IS and now and again pull out my 24-70 f/2.8 L. Thinking about baseball and football I'd love to get the 400mm f/2.8L but can't justify the price until I'm making a bit moremoney ;-) So in the mean time I'm thinking about the 1.4x Canon Extender.

I don't think I'd be happy with the image quality of the 2.0x on the 70-200 but would love the reach it would give me. Any thought on how much this extender would degrade the images? Would a 100-400L at 400mmbea lot sharper than the
70-200 with a 2x I'm assuming itwould be?

I'll probably go with the 1.4 for now, on my 20Dwith 70-200 and I assume it will produce good results. At least better than not using the 1.4 and cropping? Thoughts on this?Basically 200mm x 1.6 of camera x 1.4 of extender = effective 448mm. vs 200mm x 1.6 of camera = effective 320mm then crop "up 40%" to look like the 448mm.

I could also go with the 100-400L, but wonder what would look better. A shot with this lens at 400mm, or a shot with the 70-200 with the 1.4x then cropped to have the same view as the 400mm? Basically the 400mm is effectively 640mm on the 20d vs200mm x 1.6 x 1.4 = 448mm then crop "up 43%"

Thanks guys,
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 2:43 PM   #2
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I shoot a lot of softball, and I bought the 70-200 f2.8 (non IS) and it performs very well. I also bought the 1.4x and 2x extenders. The 1.4 does pretty well, although there does seem to be a slight loss of sharpness. I've had mixed results with the 2x. The primary reason I got it was to shoot homeplate action from the outfield fence. Using a Digital Rebel, the shots at that range are just not very sharp; it does better with objects that are closer. (For example, I took a shot of a catcher's mask lying in the grass about 15 feet away with the 2x extender, and it's pretty sharp.) Now, this could be due to inexperience on my part, or the limitations of the Digital Rebel. You might get better results with a better camera. I can only assume that you would get better results with the 100-400 than with the 2x extender, but I've never tried that lens.
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 3:27 PM   #3
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I found a good review of the older 2x on Lumnious Landscape with sample images comparing the 70-200 f/2.8 with the 2x tothe 100-400. I don't thing the 2x is an option. The 1.4 may not give me the range I want unless the image is still very sharp and I can crop up. I'm begining to think that the 100-400 is the way to go since I can't talk myself into the 400 f/2.8 just yet.

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Old Jan 19, 2006, 4:13 PM   #4
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I would suggest you look at the Sigma 120-300 2.8.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I currently shoot H.S. football and at least where I live that's nighttime. You absolutely must have a 2.8 lens for that. I currently use a 70-200 2.8 but as you guessed it just isn't long enough. I shot a college football game (during day)this past fall with the 100-400, and I will say the focus was good and the results are sharp - although due to overcast conditions and the 5.6 aperture I was shooting at ISO 800. But for me, the 4.5 aperture has too great a depth of field. So I had some shots that were otherwise very good but too much distracting stuff in focus in the background.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Here's what I'm talking about with distracting backgrounds at 5.6

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Obviously when the action is closer, the blur is slightly better

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Conversely here is what my Sigma 70-200 2.8 plus 1.4x tc provides. Unfortunately can't use this combo at night:

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Not nearly what the 400 2.8 would give you. But not as good as the 120-300 would give either - that extra stop makes a big difference.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"So, short term you can use the 70-200 plus 1.4x TC but I would seriously look into the Sigma 120-300 2.8. It's an outstanding lens by most accounts - a little less sharp than the Canon 300 2.8 prime - but at $2000-2200 it's half the price of the Canon. Also, unless you have a second body, the zoom is a huge bonus.
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 6:12 PM   #5
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Hi and Thanks JohnG,

Nice shots.

I'm not feeling too warm and fuzzy with Sigma at this point. I've tried a several of their lens's (1 of them twice since I wanted a wide "full frame") and have not been happy with them. I've returned the three I've tried. I know some folks will disagree very strongly with me, but I don't think the Sigma Pro line is on par the the L glass. Please don't flame me, I know many folks will disagree. I'm not taking price into the equation, if I did, Sigma might win out.

I agree with you on needing the speed of the 2.8 and the longer lens. I've used my 70-200 at both football and baseball this past season and I'm allowed to get right up to the action, and it's just not enough. You do miss some shots at the other end of the field. And you're right on the DOF, some of this can be fixed with "Photokit" tools pretty easilly by Pixel Genius or with others in CS2, but much better to have the right equipment.

The more research I do into this, the more I realize that I want the 400 f/2.8. Just wish I did't have to pay better than 6K for it. It might be time to sell the old Hasselblad.:sad:

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Old Jan 19, 2006, 9:24 PM   #6
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I tend to agree with JohnG

IMO the 120-300 f/2.8EX (or the 300 f/2.8L) is the most that one can still handhold. At 11.8lb the 400 f/2.8L requires a different shooting style, a support of some sort (i.e. another bulky item to carry around).
Like JohnG I have the 100-400L IS as well, and a lens without teleconverter is always better than a lens with one, only problem is IS and action don't mix very well... at slow shutter speed.

FYI - http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...c.php?id=30682
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