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Old Nov 11, 2004, 10:27 PM   #1
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Just ordered the 20D and can't wait for it's arrival. It's coming with the 18-70 lens but I need to get something longer for soccer action photos. What would you recommend? Is the Sigma 70-200 that I have seen raves about on this forum long enough for good action shots or should I look to the 100-300. If so, what do folks think of the Sigma 100-300 f4.0?



Thanks for your advice, Jim
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Old Nov 12, 2004, 10:41 AM   #2
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Jim,

I have the Sigma 70-200 and it's a great lense. By all accounts the 100-300 is terrific, but it is f4 and with the crop factor the low end will be 160mm equivelent. You may want to consider the 70-200 2.8 plus a 1.4 teleconverter (giving you a 112-448 equivlent range vs the 160-480 range of the 100-300). The cost would be about the same as the 100-300 and you would have more flexibility - i.e. the ability to shoot shorter at 2.8 for low light and still reach fairly far (Most professional sports photographers in the local sports arena by me use a Canon 400 2.8 prime (about 480 mm with a 1.2 crop on the 1D) so you're pretty close to their range. The 100-300 is about 4 oz heavier than the 70-200 which isn't too bad but now you're definitely into using a monopod fairly all the time. So, I think the 100-300 will have slightly better quality at 4.0 but the 70-200 plus converter gives you more flexibility. Just my opinion.
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Old Nov 13, 2004, 7:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. As to the 1.4 teleconvertor you recommend, is that from Sigma too? Also, you mention a "1.6 crop"-- what does that mean?



Jim
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 7:14 AM   #4
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Hi,

My first post! Beers are on me!

I've got the 20D for moto cycle racing, SuperMoto mainly, I use the following:-

70-200 IS USM L Canon Lens
100-400 IS USM L Canon Lens

I am happier using the 70-200 as the 100-400 moves in and out to decrease/increase the zoom, whereas the 70-200 is a standard twist round to go from 70-200.

You'll probably need a long lens for soccer so you may want to try to go as high as you can afford, in answer to your two questions:-

1.4 teleconverter-
It's a Canon product (others are available - i think!) that increases the length of a lens, so for my 70-200 lens, a 1.4 will make it 98-280, increasing the standard length by 1.4.

The 1.6 crop is that by just adding the 70-200 onto the 20D, it's working size isn't 70-200, no, you only get that on a 35mm SLR. On the 20D you have to multiply your lenses by 1.6, so in fact you are now working with a 112-320. Then by adding a 1.4 teleconverter, you are now working with a lens that is 156.8-448! But, you may loose some f-stops.

I am very new to photography and don't fully understand all the "photo-speak" but basically you can get closer to a subject that's further away!

Hope this helps,
Carl.

PS Please correct me where applicable!
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 9:46 AM   #5
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There are several questions that will need to be answered before we can truly pick the right lens with you. But we can still suggest a few.

How close to the sidelines are you? What age soccer players (i.e. how tall?) How much are you willing to spend? This will vary the answer quiet a bit.

If you sit on the sidelines, then the 70-200 is probably a good choice. Both Sigma and Canon have very good versions of that lens (the Canon being more expensive) with fast auto focus. Canon has an advantage of IS on the most expensive (they have two models), which could be very helpful (but is extra $$.)

If you are furhter away from the sidelines, then 200mm probably won't be enough. The Canon 100-400 has IS and isn't that heavy. The push/pull zoom design is annoying but not fatal. You get used to it. The major downside is that its f5.6 at 400mm, which isn't that great for stoping action. I have the lens, but I don't try to stop sports players with it, so I don't know how well it would work.

If you are taking picture of smaller kids, then you'll probably want more zoom range because the kids will be smaller in the frame. It's a tough choice, though. More reach means more cost.

Eric
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 9:52 AM   #6
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JimReed wrote:
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Just ordered the 20D and can't wait for it's arrival. It's coming with the 18-70 lens but I need to get something longer for soccer action photos. What would you recommend? Is the Sigma 70-200 that I have seen raves about on this forum long enough for good action shots or should I look to the 100-300. If so, what do folks think of the Sigma 100-300 f4.0?
I agree with JohnG (and everyone so far) the Sigma 100-300 is a very sharp lens, but only meant for outdoor. It's too long for indoor, so the 70-200 f/2.8 (any brand) will be the most flexible
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Old Nov 14, 2004, 3:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
1.4 teleconverter- It's a Canon product (others are available - i think!) that increases the length of a lens, so for my 70-200 lens, a 1.4 will make it 98-280, increasing the standard length by 1.4.

Be careful here. THe canon 1.4 teleconverter will NOT work with the sigma lense. The sigma 1.4 I believe works with either the Canon or the Sigma. Tamron also makes a teleconverter. So, if you buy the Sigma lense I would stick with the Sigma teleconverter. If you buy the Canon lense you have a little more flexibility. The Canon teleconverter is about $250 and the sigma is about $170. I'm not sure about the Tamron but there are a couple other threads discussing teleconverters.
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 1:28 AM   #8
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JohnG is right. Good thing to point out. The design of the Canon TC hits the rear element of some lenses. I don't know where the rear element is on the Sigma 70-200, but its possible that it would be in the way.

I would probably stay away from the Tamron TC. I've heard good things about the Canon and Sigma, but mixed on the Tamron.

Eric
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 3:11 PM   #9
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Well I've read through he thread and there are several things missing I feel. Right, you want "soccer" photos so at times you will be at least 100 yds from the action, so it is clear you need a telephoto lens. Now at that distance I must ask the question whether you are expecting "professional" photos, with the player in sharp focus and the background blurred, (bokeh)because if you are that is going to cost you a very large amount of money. Just look at any soccer match and cast an eye over the photographers and their lenses - most have at least the 500/600mm lenses which cost in the region of $5000/$7000 depending on the lens. However, all is not lost. If you take the Canon 70/200 IS lens with a 2X teleconverter you won't be that farremoved and with a load of money left in the pocket. Allowing for thedigital crop factor this becomes around 210/420 in digitalspeak. HoweverIalso referhere of the ability to crop post event with PS Pro or Adobe, since if your shots aren't to be pushed in print to A3 this will suffice.

Secondly, if you have pushed the boat out and bought the 20D then I would find it a shame if you don't at least try and match the quality of the camera with an approriate lens. Sigma perhaps, since their 70/200 is highly thought of, but once again it depends on the quality and size of prints you are expecting to make.

Quite frankly I do motor sport photography with the benefit of press passes, which enable me to get close to the action, but even so I need at times 400mm and here at Le Mans sometimes 600mm just to get a good photo. Don't ry and kid yourself that if football (soccer) is your intended subject that it can be done on the cheap.

I am a Nikon man, but I use the 70/200 F2.8 a lot with a 1.4 and 2.0converter and this will produce the same result in Canon format. May I refer you to the following for an interesting review, albeit Nikon, which may help you in your decision?

http://www.bythom.com/70200VRlens.htm

You will see that he is enthusiastic as to the ability of the new IS (VR in Nikon terms) lens and the teleconverter, questioning why anyone would pay extra for the 300mm lens.

I have no doubt that the results will be the same where Canon are concerned. Finally, for good action shots you need aperture, and quite frankly you need F2.8 as a minimum, but also no one has mentioned the IS side of affairs. Image Stabilisation. It is a miracle that works. Don't think that in today's world that you can do without it unless you are a very accomplished photographer.

Fine for me to talk, but it is you who must make the decision. My final advice would be a 70/200 F2.8 ISwith a 2X teleconverter if your budget is limited (and whose isn't) and crop post photo. Hope this helps.
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 4:33 PM   #10
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cameranserai wrote:
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Fine for me to talk, but it is you who must make the decision. My final advice would be a 70/200 F2.8 ISwith a 2X teleconverter if your budget is limited (and whose isn't) and crop post photo.

Hi,

I've read that with the Canon 70-200 f2.8 L Lens the 1.4 is the better converter and that the 2x converter has issues so take your gear to the shop and test it thoroughly!

Cheers,
Carl.
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