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Old Sep 30, 2007, 10:53 AM   #21
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Altos wrote:
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I just saw a couple of posts for the 70-300mm Canon (verses 70-200mm). Different type of lens but might... might be suitable for softball. I need to do more a lot more research. The softball seems an easier fix/solution (obviously)than the volleyball due to the lighting. While I would rather invest towards the softball-centric effort I was informed... today... that she now wants to do basketball. At 5'4". And she's serious. Read:indoor.

I need 2 gold bars in the driveway. Any assistance appreciated.
Sorry, I missed your post in the other posts here.


In good light, the 70-300 is really a very nice lens and the best budget solution at $560. However if it gets heavily overcast or under the lights the lens will be of no use. But, we all have to make compromises. The 70-300 isn't a bad choice you just have to accept the limitation of shooting only in good light. But, in that good light you'll get better shots than you would with a shorter focal length lens and having to crop. And, given the fact you're shooting outside the fence I don't know that having a 70-200 2.8 is a wise investment. You just won't be able to cover much of the field with 200mm.

If you could afford it my advice is:

Sigma 100-300 4.0 ($1000)for softball and

Canon 85mm 1.8 or 100mm 2.0 for volleyball/basketball ($360). The 135mm 2.0 is a fantastic lens as well but it's $1000 and either of the other two lenses would give you more bang-for-the-buck.

If you can't afford the sigma then the canon is the next logical choice. There is a sigma 70-200 2.8 that sells for $850. But you'd need a TC to shoot softball from outside the fence - and the combo would be more than the 100-300 and not as sharp.

The one challenge I will point out - just so you're aware - aperture not only affects shutter speed but depth-of-field as well. With a 5.6 lens like the 70-300 a lot more of the background will be in focus. And you can get some pretty bad backgrounds: cars, porta-johns etc in many of the diamonds. Especially if you're shooting the catcher.

Here's a 274mm 6.3 shot:



Now here's 274mm at 2.8:



Both of these shots were cropped - they were not framed this tightly in camera. But they were taken from roughly the same position and the exact same focal length. So they give a good idea regarding what the extra stops of aperture do to help with the backgrounds.

Again, good luck in your search. When you've made a choice and have your equipment, stop by the sports forum and we (myself and the other sports shooters there) can give you some tips on each of the sports. All three (vball, basketball, softball) have their nuances and challenges.


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Old Sep 30, 2007, 12:50 PM   #22
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I shall bow to your knowledge. I know I get results that I like from my slower gear. True, I do make compromises, but I am mostly a wildlife photographer, and the gear I use is more then adequate for my needs. All the sport shots I have were taken at the school I work at. Most of them are for yearbook. I am hesitant to post their photos in here, as I know I would not like mine pasted without prior permission.

Sorry Altos if my opinion clashes with others in here. I do not like a pissing contests. Please do buy the most expensive gear out there; I am sure it will make your photography much easier. You get no arguments from me on that point.

Cheers.


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Old Sep 30, 2007, 2:29 PM   #23
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Chako wrote:
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Sorry Altos if my opinion clashes with others in here. I do not like a pissing contests. Please do buy the most expensive gear out there; I am sure it will make your photography much easier. You get no arguments from me on that point.
It's not about buying the most expensive gear, it's about buying the best gear for the job within available budget and being aware of limitations. You notice that John is not saying get the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 (a lens both he and I use) but is giving logical advice that I will wholeheartedly agree with. Yes you can get 'acceptable' shots with flash (where allowed) but there are extra limitations to shooting when you do so and this is adding extra cost.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Altos, pretty much you have only Canon and Nikon who have lenses fast enough in AF and F stop to do what you want and until we see what the new Nikon D300 can do Canon is the only one that has good enough results at high ISO so you are on the right path for sure.
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Old Sep 30, 2007, 10:25 PM   #24
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Well, I am in hot water now. I leaped. Don't know if the bath will be boiling or iced over.

Found a 30D with 350 shutter actions that has a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 DG macro on it. $1300 for the whole set-up. Both about8 months old and used little. It seemed like a good price and it links up closely to what I was trying to aim at. Should be here in about a 7-8 days.So now I need something like the 85mm Canon 1.8, a 77mm UV filter for the Sigma, a couple extra batteries.... the usual "stuff". That, in theory, might cover indoors and outdoors. Maybe. And some sort of camera bag...gawd... does it ever end ?

Oh... need some talent, too.... knew I missed something.


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Old Oct 1, 2007, 4:11 AM   #25
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Congratulations on your purchase I hope you enjoy your new 'toy'!! I'm slightly concerned that you've been told it has only 350 actuations in 8 months as even a conservative shooter would do that in a month and someone doing sports would do that in a day/weekend (for me that would be about one hockey/football/rugby match).

As for the "does it ever end", I will tell you when I get there but there are always extras that would be nice.
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