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Old Aug 27, 2009, 1:05 AM   #1
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Default Thoughts on Sigma 50-500mm for Soccer Baseball and Football

I am thinking about possibly buying a Sigma 50-500mm for Soccer, Baseball, and Football All During the DAY ONLY!

I've read a bunch of posts and seen lots of bird photos from the Bigma but very little sports photos. A few I've seen have looked very good but I wonder if these are the few good keepers out of many failed attempts due to slow focus or missing sharpness.

Assuming you have day light is the Bigma a good lens for the outdoor field sports? I am going to be shooting some youth football ages 7 to 12, baseball, and a bunch of soccer and am curious as to how well this lens would function on a Canon 50D compared to my 70-200mm L with the 1.4 extender.

I am also considering renting one of these for a couple of weeks to see how it works.

Can anyone provide any info on how this lens should perform for the out door field sports in day light?

Also, does anyone have any good recommendations as to where to rent online as there are no rental places in my area?

Thanks,
Andy
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Old Aug 27, 2009, 9:34 AM   #2
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The Bigma 50-500 has HSM ultrasonic drive which is quite fast... However shooting sport as with anything that move depends more on the skill of the person behind the camera than what one's put in front. A quick google search:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...-do-sport.html
http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/bigma,vwc


The AF speed will also depends on the subject contrast and the overall lighting for example the focus will be faster on a sunny day than on an overcast or rainy day, but then this is in general true for all lenses
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Old Aug 27, 2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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Andy,

The biggest downside to the Bigma as a sports lens is it's narrow aperture of 5.6/6.3 At $1000 that's why you dont see a lot of sports images with the lens. A lot of youth sports can be covered with 300mm so people will pay half the price and use say a Canon 70-300 IS USM which, in addition to 1/2 price is also a lot lighter and easier to hand hold.

As you progress up the sports shooting 'chain', you start to get a lot pickier about quality of photos. While the Bigma has great IQ, that 5.6 aperture really hurts. Unlike birds in flight, most youth sporting events have very horrible backgrounds. Those backgrounds really detract from otherwise good or great photos. It's why people tend to prefer f4 or f2.8 lenses for sports even in good lighting.

Also, for what it's worth - daytime doesn't always mean good light. I shot a youth football game a week ago - 11:00 am. At game start I was shooting at F2.8, ISO 800 and 1/1200. If I had to use F5.6 that means I'm down to 1/300. So, to get a decent shutter I would have to go up to ISO 1250 or so (and that's for a minimum shutter - I much prefer 1/1000).

Bottom line? If you are wanting to get more serious about sports shooting, f5.6 is a poor choice. IMO you'd be better off going with the Sigma 100-300 f4. It's sharper and a stop better for subject isolation and improved shutter speeds in overcast conditions. The Bigma would only be a recommenation if you're a parent forced to shoot full field baseball from outside the fence where you need every bit of the 500mm.
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Old Aug 27, 2009, 10:51 AM   #4
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Also, you might want to look at www.renslentals.com for renting a lens. I've never used them so can't comment on how good they are - just aware of their existence.
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Old Aug 27, 2009, 1:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHL View Post
The Bigma 50-500 has HSM ultrasonic drive which is quite fast... However shooting sport as with anything that move depends more on the skill of the person behind the camera than what one's put in front. A quick google search:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...-do-sport.html
http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/bigma,vwc


The AF speed will also depends on the subject contrast and the overall lighting for example the focus will be faster on a sunny day than on an overcast or rainy day, but then this is in general true for all lenses
Thanks NHL for the feedback and the links. There are some very nice shots on those sites. I agree the photographer is an important key. I am just looking to add reach but stay in a reasonable budget with quality results. Thanks.
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Old Aug 27, 2009, 2:11 PM   #6
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Thanks John for the detailed reply. How would the Sigma 100-300 f/4 compare to the Canon 70-200L w/1.4x ? Would the small reach gain be effective? Also would the Sigma work with the Canon 1.4x (at f/5.6 I assume) with added reach? If so how does it effect the other items AF and IQ?

Also I will check out the rental place you mentioned along with some others.

Thanks again,
Andy
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Old Aug 27, 2009, 11:07 PM   #7
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Found some more sport pictures with the 50-500mm:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=5415190
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=341375
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Old Sep 6, 2009, 10:50 PM   #8
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I think the link is www.lensrentals.com

We have used them once and the service was fantastic and 100% as advertised.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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Default Thanks for the Input

Thanks everyone for the input. I think I may not like the focus speed or the backgrounds so much with Bigma for soccer, baseball, and youth football. I like John's idea of the 100-300 but not sure if that would be much better than the 70-200 with the 1.4x.

So I have decided to rent a 100-400L IS from lensrentals. It should be interesting trying the push/pull zoom. I ordered it today and it should be here in time for some soccer and baseball on Saturday.

Don't know if I can really do much better with a lens like that and would not be able to buy one anytime soon but it will be fun to experiment anyway.

I am going to slip another question in here. Most of what I've read about the 2x teleconverters say do NOT use because it kills the image quality. Well for those who may have tried it how does the 100-400L compare in quality and focus to the 70-200mm Non-IS with the 2x?


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Old Sep 9, 2009, 6:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffina6 View Post
Thanks everyone for the input. I think I may not like the focus speed or the backgrounds so much with Bigma for soccer, baseball, and youth football. I like John's idea of the 100-300 but not sure if that would be much better than the 70-200 with the 1.4x...
FYI - http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
A 500mm @ f/6.3 has less DOF than a 400mm @ f/5.6! Also a Bigma when zoomed back to 400mm is also closer to f/5.6... This is less than a 1/3 of a stop difference even though the 6.3/5.6 numbers sound big - Stop down your camera and check the actual difference (if you can see any...)

IMO a lens with TC will always be slower than a lens without
-> i.e. a Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX will beat any 70-200 f/2.8 with TC:
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/19...review?start=1
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/32...review?start=1

BTW you might want to check the MTF of the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX with TC when pitted against the 100-400L as well:
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/20...review?start=1

Last edited by NHL; Sep 9, 2009 at 8:21 AM.
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