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Old May 31, 2005, 1:16 PM   #1
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I need help deciding on a telephoto lens for my Rebel XT. I'll be taking 90% of my photo's outdoors from the sidelines of football, baseball and soccer fields. (Outside) The rest will be indoor basketball games. I really want to be able to stop the action and get pretty good close up shots. I need help deciding on a lens which will meet my needs now and in the future. I'm fairly new at this but don't want to "trade up" in a year or so if I can start with a lens I'll be happy with yrs from now. I'm not a pro and don't intend to be one anytime soon!! Just a dad anxious to capture great shots of my children doing what they love to do. Sports! Here's what I've considered:

Canon EF 75-300 F/4-5.6 IS USM

Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 EX HSM

Sigma 80-400 F/4.5-5.6 EX OS

I'm not limited to these, just considering them. I really don't want to spend over 1K but don't know if I can get by with something much cheaper considering what I want to do with the camera. I'm willing to listen...All help is welcome.


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Old May 31, 2005, 1:45 PM   #2
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Well IS and OS are out for action shots - it freezes your camera shakes with shutter speeds too slow to be handheld but doen't work on the fast movement of the subject(s)

-> You are left with whatever fast lens of f/2.8 or more... so you can use the faster shutter speed to stop the action indoor

Flash is probably the best bet (if allowed) - or see how far you can push the ISO with slower lenses :idea:
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Old May 31, 2005, 2:34 PM   #3
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Have a look at canon 70-200 f4. If ´90 percent of your shotsare taken outdoor it could benice option. Fairly inexpensive too. Light and very sharp.

I´m not too clued up on the prices really at the moment of these lens as I´ve had mine a while and kinda picked them up with the pay. Anyway you mentioned having 1000 to spend. You may even consider the 70-200 f 2.8 if you can get it for about that price. Now thats a lens to last a lifetime. One of the best ever produced.

Its always nice to get some action shots off. But I think you´ll find with time a lot of your shots and some of the best will be presented to you when your subjects are not involved in moving (ie involved in the action). To be able to lift the camera fire off a number of shots at these times, you´ll find the IS a priceless addition.

However the f4 which is much less expensive might be fine if the halls are well lit. Bump up ISO to 400/800. I think a lot has been said about noise levels on these cameras. I had a quick try on the 20D and wouldn´t recommend relying to heavily on more than 800.

Sorry cant comment to much on the three you mentioned as have only tried the Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 EX HSM seriously, and much preferred my canon 2.8to it. But thats just me.

You can always add a 1.4 of 2 x extender to a 200 mm lens laterif your looking for some extra reach. With your camera you´ll have 448mm with the 1.4x and 640mm with the 2x. Just quickly in my head, I´m sure someone will correct me if wrong.

Actually the 70-200 f4 and a 1.4x converter might be really good for what your after with some cash left over for a 50mm f1.4 for catching the winning smiles on your kids face after the game, inalmost any lighting conditions?
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Old May 31, 2005, 4:05 PM   #4
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My personal suggestion is to get a 70-200 2.8 lense (either Canonor Sigma) and a 1.4x teleconverter. A 5.6 lense is too slow for indoor sports - especially in school gyms so 2 of your 3 suggestions would not be advised.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Now, the Canon 70-200 f4 is a terrific lense, but again if you want to shoot indoor sports f4 is still too slow. So I think if you settle on an f4 lense you will be disappointed with your indoor shots.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"This is where we come to the 70-200 2.8. The Sigma you mentioned is what I use and it's a great lense. It's about $120 more than the Canon f4 but it's about $380 less than the Canon 2.8 (non-IS). Now when I researched last year whether to buy the Sigma or the Canon here is what I found from trying both in-store and from pros recommendations:

The canon has better build quality (note: the Sigma has very good build quality it's just the Canon is a little better)

On these lenses the Canon's USM is slightly faster than the Sigmas
On image quality - I have not seen any reliable evidence that the Canon's image quality is apparent to anyone's naked eye - i.e. without looking at pixels the Sigma performs as well as the Canon.

So, for me there wasn't enough reason to justify a $380 price difference and I went with the Sigma. I added a Sigma 1.4x tc (for $170) and was still under the price of the Canon. The Sigma plus 1.4 should cost just under your $1k limit.

If possible, go to a camera store and try both lenses on your camera and see if you have a preference. You will also enjoy the extra stop when you are taking pics of your kids in auditoriums (school plays recitals, etc) where flash may not be allowed. Whether you buy Sigma or Canon I think you should definitely buy a 70-200 2.8.

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Old Jun 1, 2005, 1:22 AM   #5
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I use a 70-200 f2.8 on a 20d and I normally shoot f5.6 to f8 even in good light trying to stay at 200 ISO while keeping the shutter speed up. You will not be satisfied with 200mm as your max. On full size soccer/football fields, you won't even cover half the field and be able to isolate players. A 300 max zoom is adequate while a 400 max zoom is ideal. You don't mention the lighting conditions of the "outside" fields - are these shots of your kids playing youth league during daylight hours? Even then, early morning or late afternoon will cause you push either the ISO up or open your aperature to get the shutter speed up in lower light (foggy or overcast days too). If you get a 1.4X tc, your f2.8 lens becomes a f4 lens that will not yield sharp pics until f5.6 - f8. If you get a 2X tc, it becomes a f5.6 lens and you need to stop it down at least to f8 - f11. So the 80-400 is the ideal zoom range but the slowness will wear on you plus the lack of HSM/USM for action photography is a real drawback unless you are a good manual focuser.

Indoors, f2.8 needs college level lighting or a high school fanatical about it's sports to get the shutter speed required. Really need to thing about a prime at f2 or lower. You can get the f2.8 zoom first, then test it in the specific gym. You could even use any lens you have. Just remember that for every full f stop, you raise or lower your shutter speed by double/half. If you have a f5.6 lens and your shutter speed is 1/20, f4 will yield a 1/40 and f2.8 will yield 1/80. Depending on how close you can get indoors, a 50mm f1.4 would be good.
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Old Jun 1, 2005, 4:49 AM   #6
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You might want to check this unique lens out...

No one else makes one: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...99&forum_id=65
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