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Old Apr 19, 2011, 10:46 AM   #11
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I use the sigma for all my outdoor stuff. I shoot manual exposure (synch speed for 1dIII is 1/300. The fact that it was at 173mm shows the benefit of the zoom. For a sport like football you REALLY need either zoom or two bodies.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 11:14 AM   #12
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I use the sigma for all my outdoor stuff. I shoot manual exposure (synch speed for 1dIII is 1/300. The fact that it was at 173mm shows the benefit of the zoom. For a sport like football you REALLY need either zoom or two bodies.
So why don't you just give me a new camera body?!!!

Yes, that really is my other dilemma besides price. I'm cuious about the focal length and how well the flash works. My Nissin Di866 maxes out at 105mm, I'm assuming that your speedlight is similar. It looks like this is sufficient, however, to get the nice shots anyway, based on the pics you posted.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 11:53 AM   #13
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I'm cuious about the focal length and how well the flash works. My Nissin Di866 maxes out at 105mm, I'm assuming that your speedlight is similar. It looks like this is sufficient, however, to get the nice shots anyway, based on the pics you posted.
The 580exII that I use does have the same 105mm limitation. Guide #s are similar (nissin at 60, canon at 58). It also looks like the Nissin supports an external battery pack.

The external battery pack is the key: speeds up recycle time and keeps you from having to change batteries.

Now, there are some things you have to worry about:
1) you have to slow down. The camera will fire even if the flash doesn't have enough charge. So, every 3rd or 4th shot will be underexposed. Stinks when it's the money shot of the burst.

2) you have to slow down. You can't machine gun with a flash - you'll burn it out literally. So don't expect to take 1000 shots in a game with flash or rattle off 100 shots in 5 minutes. So you have to be more selective with your shooting.

3) leave the flash on the camera and you get horrible 'monster eye' - worse than standard red-eye - here it usually is bright silver disks larger than the eye itself so not as easily correctable as normal red-eye. Besides who wants to correct red-eye in every image? Solution is to get the flash off the camera.

But I have no issues with coverage at 300mm and 40 yards - 40 yards representing the limit at which a 300mm lens is useful. A couple pros around me use flash with 400mm and it's not a problem for them other than the same caveats I mentioned above.

My soluton for #3 is to mount the flash via clamp on my monopod under the lens. It's either that or use a bracket on top of the camera - but that's less stable than this solution IMO:
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 12:09 PM   #14
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John, I knew you had to use some kind of bracket, but I was thinking more along the lines of a traditional camera bracket. I really like your setup in the pic. I've never seen that clamp before. What brand is it?
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 4:14 PM   #15
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Yes, that really is my other dilemma besides price. I'm cuious about the focal length and how well the flash works. My Nissin Di866 maxes out at 105mm, I'm assuming that your speedlight is similar. It looks like this is sufficient, however, to get the nice shots anyway, based on the pics you posted.
You have the option of the Better Beamer, it works great for birding and goes really far too: http://www.rpphoto.com/flashextender/default.asp

Yes the Nissin does have an external battery pack to speed-up recycling, this unit can support 2 heads and is also more affordable than the Canon rechargeable version. This unit supports both Canon and Nikon flash connectors as well:
http://www.digitalrev.com/en/product...p?item_id=7738
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Last edited by NHL; Apr 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 4:27 PM   #16
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...Yes the Nissin does have an external battery pack to speed-up recycling...
NHL:

Since you're using multiple systems (Nikon, Canon, Sony), you may want to know that you can get the Nissin Di866 Mark II for Sony now. B&H has them in stock (but, I don't know of anyone that's tried one on a Sony yet).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._II_Flash.html

The newer Mark II version appears to have some improvements over the original Di866 from what I can see on their web site:

http://www.nissindigital.com/en/di866mkii.html
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 6:12 PM   #17
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Default Sigma 120-300mm

You guys have convinced the Sigma is a viable way to go, so, just for fun I did a search on Craigslist under Canon Lens & nothing came up. I decided to try 120-300mm and sure enough, there was one lens listed 9 days ago but it didn't say what mount. I called the guy, he said it was Canon & he's had it for 3 years, but seldom used it. I offered him $1400 upon approval, he agreed, we met, it was excellent plus condition, almost like new. I now own it. I thought that if I don't like it, I won't have any trouble getting my money out of it on ebay.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 6:16 PM   #18
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PS: it does have the older tripod collar, I think I'll try to find one of the newer ones on ebay. I've actually seen them occasionally.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 8:15 PM   #19
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PS: it does have the older tripod collar, I think I'll try to find one of the newer ones on ebay. I've actually seen them occasionally.
What's wrong with the older collar?
-> I rarely use it, and I prefer the smaller as it weight less (unless you want to carry more heft)... I walk around a lot and even leave it home to shave weight!
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 8:54 PM   #20
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What's wrong with the older collar?
-> I rarely use it, and I prefer the smaller as it weight less (unless you want to carry more heft)... I walk around a lot and even leave it home to shave weight!
Surely it can't weigh that much more? Maybe 3 or 4 ounces? I like to hold the front of the tripod collar when I'm using a monopod and there just doesn't seem to be enough to grab onto. I just think it would feel more stable and make it easier to mount the camera onto the lens, which is the method I've chosen for this behemoth as opposed to mounting the lens on the camera. Plus, I would have more options with the way I can mount it to my monopod (which also needs to be upgraded, LOL).
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