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Old Jul 6, 2006, 11:53 AM   #11
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bobbyz wrote:
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JohnG, can you post some sports shots from your sigma f2.8 zoom with 1.4xTC.
Bobby,

Here is a gallery of 70-200 2.8 plus 1.4x TC shots:

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/gallery/842640

Here is a gallery of 120-300 2.8 plus 1.4x TC shots (from picture 34 on I had the TC on, pics 1-33 were without TC):

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/galle...035/3/72113611


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Old Jul 6, 2006, 12:54 PM   #12
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John, the sharp background in your example shot is a result of the background being so close to the subject, and not so much a result of the aperture. The difference in the depth of field of an f2.8 aperture versus an aperture of f5.6 is only about 3 feet at 400mm (give or take a little depending on the camera distance from the subject). Meaning, in your example shot, to get the background out of focus, even with an f2.8 lens, there would need to be significantly more distance between the subject and background. What I do note from your photograph is how this "slow" lens captured very fast-moving action sharply.

And while I agree that the Sigma combination you mentioned is an effective way to get a max aperture of f4, any zoom lens with a teleconverter sacrifices image quality over a pro-caliber lens without a teleconverter attached, not to mention the vast difference in image quality versus the prime telephoto L lens I referred to earllier. But as we know, every lens decision is a tradeoff, whether you sacrifice image quality for affordability or versatility, or vice versa.

An finally, saying that any alternative is "absolutely" better than the other is short-sighted. For some, the IS capability of the Canon 100-400L will be a better alternative than the fast aperture of the sigma 120-300, such as landscape photographers like myself who strive for maximum depth of field. In these instances, a 2.8 aperture is nothing more than extra weight and cost, but the value of IS is worth it's weight in gold. But of course, as I said originally, it simply depends on the subject matter.

Chris M
www.imagineimagery.com




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ChrisDM wrote:
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Well, it depends much less on the subject and much more on the amount of available light. For instance, the 100-400L doesn't make a great wildlife lens if the lildlife is moving rapidly at dusk, but it makes a great field sports lens as long as the sports are played outdoors during daylight hours, or under bright stadium lights at night.


Also, f5.6 is a decent aperture for a 400mm lens. You'd have to spend over $5,000 for Canon's 400mm f4, and this only buys you one more stop.

Chris M
http://www.imagineimagery.com
A couple points on this:

Here is an example of just why a 5.6 lens is a poor field sports lens because of too much DOF. Taken with 20D and 100-400 5.6 lens:



The background is WAY too distracting. It's one thing when the lens is a $300 lens but to pay $1400 you shouldn't be so limited.

As for bright stadium lights at night - what stadiums are you talking about? I've never shot in a high school stadium with bright enough lights throughout the field for a 5.6 lens to work. Most stadiums I shot in last year were getting me around 1/500 or 1/600 at 2.8 and ISO 3200 and that was at mid field. By the endzones the light drops off a bit and I was at around 1/320.

As for $5000 - actually I spent $2100 on a Sigma 120-300 2.8 Slap a $170 Sigma 1.4x TC on it and you have a 420mm 4.0 lens.

Again - if you're on a budget and can only afford say a Sigma 70-300 lens ($220) that's one thing - but $1400 is too much to spend for the limitations of a 5.6 apertrue IF (again big IF here) field sports is your main objective. The Sigma 100-300 f4 NHL mentions is a better, and cheaper, alternative and Sigma 120-300 2.8 is absolutely a better alternative (although $600 more than the 100-400).

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Old Jul 6, 2006, 1:03 PM   #13
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Chris,

We're in agreement on the subject driving the decision - which is what I also said in my first post. My 'absolutely better' statement was in reference to a field sporting lens which is where our discussion was at.

I think we've come full circle again - the right lens depends 100% on what you want to use the lens for.

So, Shadow - please ignore our little diversion :Gand let us know what you want to use your new lens for.
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 9:48 PM   #14
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It is interesting to note that both JohnG and I have the 100-400L(among other IS zooms), but it's not our 1st choice...

If the need arise we tend to use the Sigma where the Canon's can't...
(it's also not cost because a Sigma EX can also costs more than any 'L' zooms...)
-> It depends on what you shoot or need :idea:



On another note, one can argue the image quality of a lens with TC against another without (the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX with TC for one proves to contradict that), but if one looks at the results that JohnG and I can achieve (and posted) with the flexibility of the 120-300 f/2.8 with TC - Is it good enough?

-> shooting with a long prime is kind of limiting and will require a different shooting style or "kill zone" - Outside of this sweet spot one will need a second camera (and another zoom lens that we just discussed above)
Just try to tape the 100-400 fixed to 400mm and follow the actions close-in & far-out
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 8:37 AM   #15
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Well I have just gotten the 30D and also the sigma 70-200 2.8...... I happen to LOVE this lense and in checking prices in my opinion it was a good buy for the money, the cannon lense could be very nice but also at abig price!

John you were the one that sold me on this lense.

Thanks!!!

Tammie


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Old Jul 7, 2006, 12:27 PM   #16
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JohnG wrote:
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bobbyz wrote:
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JohnG, can you post some sports shots from your sigma f2.8 zoom with 1.4xTC.
Bobby,

Here is a gallery of 70-200 2.8 plus 1.4x TC shots:

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/gallery/842640

Here is a gallery of 120-300 2.8 plus 1.4x TC shots (from picture 34 on I had the TC on, pics 1-33 were without TC):

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/galle...035/3/72113611

Thanks JohnG.

What's with the weired bookeh in this shot. Is this with Sigma 70-200 f2.8?

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/photos/37802201-L.jpg

The OOF bg from 120-300 f2.8 look much better.
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 12:52 PM   #17
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BobbyZ,

I wish I had a good answer for you on the bokeh - it is a bit strange. That shot was with the Sigma 70-200 plus 1.4 TC. I agree the 120-300 has much better bokeh. So does the 100-400 under the right circumstances. Sorry I can't give a better answer. I'm not sure how the Canon bokeh with a TC compares - but it is certainly something to consider.

Now the 120-300 with TC - pretty darn close to the buttery smooth bokeh you get with the Canon 400mm 2.8 and 300mm 2.8 primes:



Tammie,

Thank you - I'm glad you're enjoying your lens. I think you have the same reaction almost everyone who gets the lens has - perfectly happy with the quality and just as happy to have saved the $$$

NHL,

To be fair, the 100-400 is not my first choice AS A SPORTS LENS. It's still the lens I use when I go on hikes and it's still the lens I take on vacation simply because it's lighter, more compact and still has excellent quality. So, there are instances where the 100-400 is indeed my first choice. But the 120-300 is definitely the first choice as a sports lens where size/portability take a backseat to the desire to have 2.8 at 300mm. But when I go to California in a couple months it will be the 100-400 that goes and the 120-300 that stays. It really is nice to have that option . And the 70-200 still gets used - when I shot a gymnastics demo last month the 120mm was too long so if I didn't have the 70-200 2.8 (and I did need 2.8) I would have been in trouble. All are absolutely fantastic lenses as I know you'll agree - they just have different areas where they excel. It's also the lens I use at outdoor family functions over both the 100-400 and 120-300 again because of size/weight and focal length.

So, my recommendation on what lens is best for the OP is still waiting on what he wants to use it for.
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 4:45 PM   #18
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Okay John,

I better stay away from your advice cause it only cost me $$! LOL! But I love to hear what you have to say....Thanks for showing what photos in your gallery you used the 1.4 with.....I was wondering if the photos would be as sharp and well you proved that they ARE! Now I will have to get me one of them before football starts!

Tammie
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 6:40 AM   #19
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JohnG

Agree - What's else do we have in common? :-) :lol: :G
o Canon 28-135 IS USM
o Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX
o Canon 100-400L IS USM
o Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 EX
o 1.4x (2x) Teleconverters

-> Kind of nice to have those many options open... (and how we got there!)
i.e. I got the 120-300 before the 100-400L while you did the exact opposite :?
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 7:23 PM   #20
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NHL wrote:
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JohnG



-> Kind of nice to have those many options open... (and how we got there!)
i.e. I got the 120-300 before the 100-400L while you did the exact opposite :?

NHL it would be nice to have the ability to buy all of these lenses and have the options,but most of cant.And because we cant we we have to be ably to invest in one great lens.I listen to you and John and make my own choice based on best lens for my cash and what I want to do with it.I went with the Sigma 100-300 F4 EX with a 1.4 converter and love the results(though I havent used it much with the convertor).I love these type of threads as they help inform alot of people from guys who know how to use their lenses and know what to buy.



Thanks alot.



Also Shadow if money is a concern then I recommend the 70-300 Sigma APO DG/nonDG.I have the nonDG and loved this lens.It isnt as good as my 100-300F4 but it is a great lens for the $200-220 it costs.




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