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Old Jan 3, 2007, 2:57 PM   #1
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Is the Canon 70-200 IS USM a good lens for Sports (kids playing soccer, little league, running around, etc.)?

I'm thinking of taking advantage of the double rebate.

thx.
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 12:05 AM   #2
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There is actually another post on this I think. The non IS version is a little sharper according to comparrisons. Make sure you need IS if you are going to spend the money. I have the non IS 70-200L and love it. The sigma counterpart gets very good marks though.

Good luck!

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 6:59 AM   #3
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I agree with Trique Daddi,

I shoot a lot of sports, and IS is a nice feature but not very useful in sports shooting. So if you need it for other things, great. If not, then it's a waste of $500 IMO.

Now, any of the 3mentioned 70-200 2.8 lenses is a fantastic sports lens for outdoor sports (and some indoor if the lighting is good enough) as long as the focal length is right. For kids running around, it's great. For full field soccer it's way too short. For little league it's even a bit short (remember although the field is smaller than say high school, the players are smaller too so it takes more zoom to fill the frame with them).

If I were you I would save money on the IS version and buy the Canon 70-200 2.8 non-IS and used the saved money to get a 1.4x TC.

Two other lens options to consider:

Sigma 120-300 2.8 - outstanding sports lens but big and heavy - and $2200.

Sigma 100-300 4.0 - extremely sharp and fast focusing lens and only $1000. A better solution than the 70-200 2.8 plus TC if all your needs were going to be field sports during daylight. But, you have less flexibility because this lens is only f4 so not useful if your kids play at night (and heck even my 8 year old nephew had a night baseball game last year) and 100mm is a little tight for indoor use.

But for YOUR STATED NEEDS (note to owners of the 70-200 2.8 IS I'm not bashing it - just don't think it's the right tool for this photog), any of the above would be a better use of your money than the 70-200 2.8 IS IMO.
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 10:20 AM   #4
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thx for the responses...

How is the f/4 version? I know it's a steep step down, but I can use the extra money on a TC.



http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 10:47 AM   #5
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kc571 wrote:
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How is the f/4 version? I know it's a steep step down, but I can use the extra money on a TC.
Then get the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX - you don't need the TC then! :-)
-> with the tc you'll be @ 280 @ f/5.6 :sad:
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 10:54 AM   #6
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kc571 wrote:
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thx for the responses...

How is the f/4 version? I know it's a steep step down, but I can use the extra money on a TC.
Now you're in murky waters. The 70-200 f4 is, by all accounts a fantastic lens (I've never used it personally). The question becomes: Is the 70-200 f4 paired with a TC better than the Canon 70-300 (also around $550) - they will both be 5.6 lenses at that point. Unless it were clearly better, you'd spend less money simply buying the 70-300 IS USM (since you wouldn't buy the TC).

But again, 5.6 is too slow for any low light sports work. F4 is somewhat better, but still not good enough for under-lights sports (i.e. you could take the TC off the 70-200 f4 and still shoot in heavy overcast conditions where 5.6 might be too slow). So that is something else to consider.

No doubt, in the 70-200 range the f4 is the better lens and the build quality is going to be much better as well (this being an L lens). But if you're going to end up using it with a TC a lot of the time, I don't know if it's the best solution.

That one's a toughie I'm afraid. About the best I can do is give youthe pros/cons above - neither selection appears to be a clear-cut winner. Perhaps someone else has used both the 70-200 f4 and the 70-300
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 11:32 AM   #7
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The next question is can you use the extra reach of a 420mm f/5.6? :-) :lol: :G
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 11:58 AM   #8
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NHL wrote:
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The next question is can you use the extra reach of a 420mm f/5.6? :-) :lol: :G
I agree, the Sigma 100-300 is a great choice - which is why I recommended it earlier. I've seen fantastic sports shots with that lens. To me, having a 2.8 lens for sports use provides the most flexibility unless you're absolutely positive you'll never need to shoot in low light or at least not for a few years (if low light is 2-3 years down the road you can buy 1 lens now and sell it later to buy a better lens).

So, if low light is a possibility there are only 2 options: 70-200 2.8 (actually 3 sub-options - Canon with IS, Canon without IS or Sigma) or Sigma 120-300 2.8. Then simply add a TC for reach. If some games are low light you will have very limited success with anything other than 2.8

If low light isn't in the cards, then the 100-300 is the best option but it's $1000.

Next step down is "probably' the Canon 70-300 at $550. Is the 100-300 better? You bet it is. But at a cost of size and $$$$. For me, it's worth the added cost because I shoot a lot of sports. And, if spending $1600 on the Canon IS lens was possible, the $1000 price tag of this lens should be doable.

I haven't heard of anyone using the 70-200 f4 with TC for sports use so can't really comment on how affective itt really is.

Let me just say this - if you're serious about your hobby I've never met a photographer yet that regretted buying the better lens. So, if money is available, always go with the best you can afford. In this case the 100-300 will be better than either the 70-200 f4 or the 70-300 5.6. If money is an issue, that's another matter. But even with rebate, the 70-200 2.8 IS was going to cost over $1000.

Decisions, Decisions!
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 3:28 PM   #9
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Somehow some beancounter has this all figured out... and why I asked if 420mm f/5.6 is the card (all prices from B+H):

Option 1:
70-200 f/4 L ($579) + 1.4xTC ($284) = $863
100-400 f/5.6 L = $1399
Total: $2262

Option 2: (i.e. 100 to 420 with f/5.6 reach with still excellent IQ)
100-300 f/4 EX ($1099) + 1.4xTC ($189) = $1288
... and just in case you don't believe a non-L Sigma is fast enough with a 1.4xTC (or for panning):
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=82
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 11:02 PM   #10
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The other factor that might come into play is if it is "little league" then many events may be during the day and if not a flash shouldn't be a problem. The 580EX is a great tool for the Canon set up. If you use a slower lens with more focal length and save a few $ maybe the flash would be a good investment.

Good luck with your purchase!

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