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Old Nov 18, 2008, 10:47 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529


First none of yourr links worked for me. I've tried at work and at home and all the links result in 404 errors (not found). So I can't see your current images.

Let me take the baseball first:

I want to know is if I sit in the outfield Left or Right is approx. 325 feet to home plate.
Would 70-300mm lens be good enough for this situation (lighting/distance) to capture better composition of the players?
First off - no, you're not going to be able to reach home plate from 325 feet away and get good shots. 300mm is good for about 160 feet. So, you're not even going to get good shots of the BASES much less home plate. The only decent shot you would get from the left field bleachers is a play by the center fielder (left fielder likely will have his back to you and right fielder will be too far away).

Also, it's difficult to say how good the lighting is there. In most stadiums here in the States lighting would be very very marginal for a 5.6 lens to work. I wouldn't count on it being good enough in your stadium with only ISO 1600.

Bottom line - I wouldn't expect great results from the combo for baseball given the information you've provided.

For fencing - that's going to be a tough one. I've used the 85mm 1.8 for indoor sports and it's a great lens for that purpose EXCEPT where framing comes into play. Beyond 25 feet the lens doesn't work well - focus certainly suffers. On a 1.6 crop body it's tough enough to keep the entire body in the frame of 2 people at close distances to one another. Given most fencing stances it may be extremely difficult. Compounding the difficulty is focus points on the 400d - especially in low light. Only the center point is really going to be accurate in low light - you're likey going to run into difficulties trying other focus points. Maybe not, but I suspect so. That's going to make framing increasingly difficult. Too difficult IMO to use the 85mm lens IMO.

That's the difficulty with using prime lenses for low light sports photography on crop cameras. The notion that the crop factor gives you more "reach" is untrue. It doesn't. Whether you use the 85mm on a full size sensor, 1.3 sensor or 1.6 sensor you'll still see problems in performance after 25 feet. The best solution is to be close to the action and use a wider lens. How close can you get to the action?
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