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kgar2121 Jun 26, 2005 10:38 PM

Ok, here is a multi-part question. its really long, and im really sorry, but i really need help, so if you make it all the way through and offer an educated suggestion, i will love ya forever!

I am in the market for a new college football lens. I have really only shot basketball in the past. A majority of the games will be during daylight hours, with only a couple under the lights. 2 bodies are canon 350 and a 20D. In my bag, I already have a 70-200mm f/2.8L (no IS) and several other smaller lenses.

Question 1: which lens would best suit as far as AF, sharpness, etc.? Also, trying to stay under $1400 for lens.
a. Canon 400mm f/5.6L - a prime and would give the sharpest shots. problem is, its not versatile. Can you get good results with 1.4x TC (see question 2)?
b. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS - a lot more versatile, but I'm sure there is a loss of sharpness at the 400mm mark. Question is, how much? and is the added versatility worth it? Also, same as before, what are results like with the 1.4x TC (once again, see question 2)
c. Sigma APO 100-300mm f4 EX - Slightly less zoom, but has gotten good reviews but right now, ALL i own are canon lenses. Once again, how does it perform with the 1.4x TC
d. Any Other Suggestions?

Question 2: Teleconverters
a. Canon - pricey, but is it THAT much better? and compatible lenses limited
b. Sigma - cheaper, but lens compatibility is about the same as the canon. question is, is the quality the same as the canon. i have seen mixed results.
c. Kenko - cheaper, and seems to be a lot more compatible with more lenses, but is it on par with the canon or sigma?

NHL Jun 27, 2005 5:47 AM

FYI on the Sigma with 1.4x TC -

I don't have the 100-300 f/4 EX which is sharper than my 120-300 f/2.8 EX :cry:
... but all I can say is the lenses are still relatively quite sharp with a Sigma 1.4TC on with almost no loss on AF focusing speed as the above images illustrate.

As to the Canon/Sigma teleconverters - Theses are 'matched' to lenses in the telephoto range and have more correcting lenses in them -> why they are thicker in the inner barrel. This will 'butt' against the rear elements of the shorter lenses theses TC are mounted on.
General purpose TC only have 3-4 elements top and are flat to the lens mount flange and would mount on any lenses - they are just not as optimized for long tele ;)

Hards80 Jun 27, 2005 10:02 AM

i will go ahead and second the nomination for the 100-300 f4.0.. and match it with the sigma tc..

kgar2121 Jun 27, 2005 1:39 PM

thanks for your suggestions! will take them into serious consideration when i purchase. if anyone else would like to chime in, chime away....

NHL Jun 27, 2005 2:02 PM

No mixed results here: ;)

BTW there's a revised 'DG' version coming out too

bobbyz Jun 27, 2005 2:56 PM

Since you considering 1.4xTC on 400mm lenses, so it seems 400mm alone won't be enoughf for your case. With 1.4xTC on 120-300 zoom, you only reach 420mm at f5.6. I haven't shot football so don't know what's the good focal length but I would imagine zoom would help in case action is close to you.

NHL - The link you posted to the pictures doesn't help much. Any lense/TC combowould look ok at those resolutions.

NHL Jun 27, 2005 4:16 PM

bobbyz wrote:

NHL - The link you posted to the pictures doesn't help much. Any lense/TC combowould look ok at those resolutions.
My fault - I like pretty pictures instead of cut-out of test crops :cry:

There's seems to be a lot of on-line tests with that lens already (I haven't found one with the 1.4xTC though):

Ward Larson Jun 28, 2005 11:25 PM

I've shot OU games with the 100-400 IS, and the 300 f4.0 IS - both with, and without the 1.4 TC, in the past. This year I'll be bringing the Sigma 120-300 f 2.8, and will probably be leaving the 300 f4.0 IS at home. Not that it was a bad lens, it's just that the 120-300 is such an awesome action lens. It's going to run a lot more than your limit of $1,400, but once you've shot this lense, you'll never want to put it down. This is the first Sigma that I've ever owned, and I struggled with that decision for a long time. I have 7 Canon L lenses, and I just wasn't too sure about leaving the fold, so to speak. I sure couldn't afford the Canon 300 f2.8 (IS or non-IS), so I went with the new and improved 120-300. Because of that experience, I'm now seriously considering the Sigma 50-500 DG, but, that lens needs a lot more light than my 300 does. The 120-300 f2.8 works quite well for night games on a field with decent light. The 100-400 and the 50-500 will both struggle a bit in that situation. Hope this helps.


NHL Jun 29, 2005 9:47 AM

Ward Larson wrote:

...but once you've shot this lense, you'll never want to put it down.
Well I only have two 'L', but I also agree with that statement 100% even thoughthe lensweights a ton...;)

I originally intent toget this 120-300 f/2.8 EX justfor outdoor portraits, butI end up keeping it on the camera the most - more than any other lenses. It's not really cheap since one can get almost any L zoom with IS for less,however it's really a bargain if one compares this lensagainst the300 f/2.8 (a must have wide aperture focal lenght for all my cameras) which costs almost twice as much, weights about the same, but lessuseful because ofthe fixed focal lenght!

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