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Old Sep 19, 2011, 10:34 AM   #1
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Default 100-400L IS Question

Hi All,
I'll be shooting a high school football (american) game on Friday night. I currently have a Canon 50D and the 100-400L lens. The game is at night, so I'm wondering with the F/4 on the lens, will I be OK with this set up, or would another lens be better?? The other lens I have is a 18-200 kit lens, and a 50 F/1.8.

Thanks!!

Chris
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Old Sep 19, 2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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I assume the lens you have goes down to 5.6 when zoomed out to 400mm.

F/4.0 is really tough for the high school I sometimes shoot at. Just can not get very fast shutter speeds. But of the lenses you listed it is probably you best chance. Can always leave it at 100mm and AV at 4 to see what you could get.


If at all possible borrow a 2.8 or faster lens you would be much better off.

Unfortunately the 50mm is just too short unless the play in just right in front of you and only a few yeards away. It would work well for getting a few people shots or the players, cheerleaders, and fans on the sidelines.
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Old Sep 19, 2011, 12:26 PM   #3
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In short - no, the 100-400 will not be very useable for nighttime football. Focus performance will be very bad and the shutter speeds will be too slow. As the other poster mentioned, the lens becomes f5.6 when you zoom. Your other 2 lenses will be useless as well. The 50mm 1.8 has a wide enough aperture, but 50mm is pretty useless focal length for shooting football.
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Old Sep 19, 2011, 12:46 PM   #4
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http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/cano...20-300-f2.8-os
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Old Sep 19, 2011, 1:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replys, all. I do have a line on a Canon 70-200L F/2.8 to use that night. Best part is, it's FREE!!! Not the best part, no IS. But if my shutter speed is fast enough, that shouldn't be a big problem. I may have to purchase this or a like lens, since I maybe doing alot of photo shoots for my son in law who is a sports journalist and needs pics to go with his articles. I figure the 200mm will do fine for sideline work. The 100-400 should be OK for daytime baseball games.

TCav - Thank you for the link for the rental. I will definetly bookmark that site.
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Old Sep 19, 2011, 2:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisr View Post
... Best part is, it's FREE!!! Not the best part, no IS. ...
You'll be shooting football. You'll be using fast shutter speeds. You don't need IS.

Not the best part, the maximum 200mm focal length.
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Old Sep 19, 2011, 2:29 PM   #7
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This week, try the 70-200/2.8, then, next week, rent the 120-300/2.8, and see which you prefer.
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Old Sep 19, 2011, 3:12 PM   #8
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A few additional pieces of info:
Recognize that a 200mm lens doesn't provide as much reach as you think - it's good for about 25 yards of coverage (300mm is good for about 40 yards). Now, if you look at a diagram for a football field you'll soon realize that 25 yards doesn't reach from one sideline to the other. So you're stuck with action middle of the field or shorter. You'll need to follow the line of scrimmage.

You'll need to shoot at f2.8 and use ISOs around 3200-6400 - can't remember if 6400 is available on your camera or not. Target shutter speed is 1/400 or faster.

I can say the extra reach of the sigma 120-300 2.8 is nice. If you rent it though, you'll probably want a monopod. That's a heavy lens to hand-hold.

If you're really going to shoot varsity football and you're using that camera, you may need to consider the use of an external flash. The high ISO capability really is a bit limited. But it depends on the usage of the photos. For private use there's no problem. But the more you move up the totem pole of publication or print sales the more the difference between your camera's ISO capabilities and current crop of DSLRs will become evident. That's where proper use of external flash can help.
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Old Sep 19, 2011, 3:20 PM   #9
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You may get some "gooder" info over at sports shooter (note JohnG is a member )
http://www.sportsshooter.com/

Also while the shorter lenses like the 70-200 have their place they are on the anemic side for sports like football, even from the sidelines.

I find my 120-300 f/2.8 comes up short, but can't afford a 400 f/2.8 prime at moment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_photography

Side note:
For fast moving subjects, I don't find IS very useful, and a monopod is helpful to offset the weight of a long fast lens and body.
If I had to pick, the fast AF on a 1d-mkiv or 7d is much preferred over IS, often times I found my old xxD could not track fast enough to keep up.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 11:46 AM   #10
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Thanks all for the replies and info. It's much appreciated, believe me!!

I was trying out the 70-200 last nite for a bit. I think this lens might do the trick for where I'm going to be on the field. I'll know better after Friday night, I guess. I should have said in my original post, that I will be using a monopod. Although, the weight of the lens isn't really as heavy as I thought. We'll see after 4 quarters, though!!

Thanks again, guys!!!

BTW - The photos will be used in our local e-news website.
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