Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Canon Lenses

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 1, 2011, 5:30 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Default canon 70-200mm f/4

I shoot kids and high school sports (football at night and basketball in gyms for high school for the local paper). I have a Canon 7D and a 40D plus a canon 70-200 f2 and a 85mm 1.8 prime. in addition I have a 17-85 4-5.6 IS that I use for misc events with a flash if necessary. I also have a canon 1.4 extender. (JohnG and NHL have been quite helpful to me in the past)

My son has recently shown an interest in photography and is working with me shooting kids sports outside mostly daytime events. We share my equipment at the moment.
I am thinking about getting him a canon 70-200mm f/4 lens for his new 60D that his wife got him. He would probably use this lens as his walk around lens as well.
Any better suggestions or alternatives to the 70-200 f/4 in the approximate price range.
FYI I'm 80 yrs old and will leave all my equipment to my son, so I'm trying to think a little ahead on what group of equipment will best serve him if he chooses to continue to shoot the kinds of things I shoot....he has an interest in shooting sports plus birds, wildlife but to date other than the 70-200 2.8 with the extender we don't have the ideal package for birds/wildlife. I'll appreciate any help you can offer.
Thanks
Jerry
coachjerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 1, 2011, 6:56 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

If you're talking about big birds in flight, 300mm may be long enough.



For anything smaller or farther away, you'll definitely need something longer.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Dec 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2011, 8:23 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

As a lone lens, 70mm isn't wide enough for many people as a walk-around. a 70-200 or 70-300 is great if they already have a wider angle lens. But if they don't, I wouldn't expect a 70-200 to be a good 'walk around' - especially for shots inside the house.
F4 won't be good enough for night sports or indoor sports. For daytime it's fine. The only question is: is 200mm long enough? It can be used for football and softball (if shooting from on the field not behind a fence) or some little league or short field soccer. But full field soccer, full field baseball all require at least 300mm. If those are sports being shot, 70-300 IS USM (note 70-300, NOT 75-300) is probably a better bet.

For wildlife - 200mm is really only good for 'deer in the back yard' or seagull/pigeon type shots. Even 300mm is awfully short. But it depends on what your son wants. TCAV's shot is a good example of what you can get with a fairly sizeable crop of a wildlife shot with 300mm and a relatively close bird. To get better quality requires 400-500mm lenses which are more commonly used by amateur wildlife photogs. But then you have to start spending $1000 plus.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2011, 9:44 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
... TCAV's shot is a good example of what you can get with a fairly sizeable crop of a wildlife shot with 300mm and a relatively close bird. ...
Actually, John, that shot wasn't cropped very much. It was reduced because I don't generally post full size originals on Flickr (for public consumption.)

Here's another of a Turkey Vulture I captured with the same Tokina AT-X 100-300mm f/4.0 on a Nikon D90. It is reduced for posting here, but it is not cropped.
Attached Images
 
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Dec 2, 2011 at 10:46 AM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2011, 11:59 AM   #5
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

TCAV, doesn't really change things - you can capture better detail when the subject fills more of the frame. Look at the detail in your hawk shot vs. the detail in this. Now of course we also start getting into other aspects - like how sharp the various lenses are (the shot below was with a canon 100-400)
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2011, 12:50 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
you can capture better detail when the subject fills more of the frame. Look at the detail in your hawk shot vs. the detail in this. Now of course we also start getting into other aspects - like how sharp the various lenses are (the shot below was with a canon 100-400)
Granted, but a big reason why your shot has more detail than mine (if indeed it does, I haven't checked) is because mine was reduced more so than it was cropped. In my hawk shot, the bird took about 1/4 the height of the original image (and about 1/3 of the version I posted here.) In my buzzard shot, the bird takes about 1/2 the height of the original picture. The detail was lost when the images were reduced for posting here.

My point is that, with a suitable subject and some careful planning, a focal length of 300mm will work fine. But of course, I concede your point that a longer lens will do better.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Dec 2, 2011 at 12:58 PM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2011, 1:37 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Default

Guys thanks.
I was thinking that the use of the extender with the 70-200 f2.8 lens might work for some daytime wildlife/bird shots even though it is not quite 300mm and also sacrifices an f stop.

Another reason for thinking of the 70-200 f4 was the L factor which would give him a better image quality for things within reach and in adequate light. The 70-200 f4 lens costs $600 and the 70-300 4-5.6 USM non-IS is less than $300. Am I correct to assume that with the extender he would have near 300mm reach with near the same brightness and a better quality image.

Again I am assuming he will have all my gear at some point in time. In the meantime would he be better off with the L lens and use the extender or the 70 300.

I realize the answer to the question is so dependent on what he wants to shoot on a frequent basis.

Since he is really just starting out and is trying to decide what things he wants to focus on (pardon the pun), I'm not sure which might be the better or perhaps more appropriate collection of lenses.
Thank you both for taking the time to respond.
Jerry
coachjerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2011, 4:04 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

First, at f/4, there isn't much difference in image quality between the 70-200/2.8 and the 70-200/4. But when they're mounted on a 1.4X extender, the f/4 will be an f/5.6, while the f/2.8 will be an f/4 so it will probably focus faster and more accurately. That's important when shooting wildlife.

Second, Canon doesn't make a "70-300 4-5.6 USM non-IS" lens; they make a 75-300 but you don't want that one.

Third, the ($549) 70-300 IS USM is pretty good. And since SLRGear.com tested the Canon 1.4X extender on the Canon 70-200/2.8, you can compare the test results with the same tests on the 70-300 IS USM yourself. There really isn't much difference, plus the 70-200/2.8 with the 1.4X extender has a larger maximum aperture. So there's something to be said for taking that route.

And since you've already got all that gear, try it out before you go any further.

But again, this would work well for some things sometimes, but there are better choices.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Dec 2, 2011 at 4:06 PM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2011, 4:43 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

Since you share one pool of equipment with your son, and all of it will eventually be his, I suggest that if you wnat to get hin something that would be most useful, get hism something that he doesn't have access to and can't whip up. The combination of your 70-200/2.8 and 1.4X extender could double as a 100-300mm f/4 lens, so something longer would be more useful.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2011, 4:57 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 127
Default

TCav:
Sorry my bad. I was wrong about the 70-300 non IS....I should have said 75-300 non IS. And since neither you or JohnG recommend the 75-300 that rules that out.
I agree with your conclusion that something longer would be probably be more useful. Any suggestions for under about $600 (used) for something longer?
coachjerry is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:41 AM.