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Old Apr 2, 2006, 10:33 PM   #1
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After being a Pentax user for the last couple years I have thrown in the towel and am now a Canon man. I have bought my Canon 30D and am contemplating which lens to buy to use for taking photos of motor sports.

Q. Is the price difference a true reflection upon the difference between the Sigma 50-500 EX DG vs Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS lenses? Is the Canon that much better than the Sigma lens? Should I buy Canon lenses for a Canon camera? Is Image Stabilser all that it is made out to be or is it "fluff....."

Or perhaps ...... should I be looking at a different lens all together.

regards,

lenni
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Old Apr 4, 2006, 10:05 PM   #2
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I would suggest finding a camera store or two that rent lenses and take a few weekends to shoot what ever you want, then you can see for yourself which lens best suits your shooting needs.

There are several stores in the city I live in that rent such lenses for my 20d such as the Sigma 120 - 300, 2.8 ($75 for the weekend), Canon 70 - 200, 2.8 IS ($40 for the weekend and NON IS for $25), Canon 100 - 400, 4 - 5.6 IS ($40 for the weekend). I have rented all of these to shoot action swimming and my favorite out of all of these lenses is the Canon 100 - 400 IS. Below is just a couple shots from this lens.

#1. 100 - 400mm 4 - 5.6 IS


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Old Apr 4, 2006, 10:06 PM   #3
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#2. Same lens
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Old Apr 4, 2006, 10:30 PM   #4
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Hi Spy, you've taken some amazing photos. I must admit I have been leaning toward the Canon 100-400 lens. Looking at your photos I imagine that it is a very quick focusing lens.
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Old Apr 5, 2006, 12:01 AM   #5
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Thank you for the compliment The focusingof thislens is very fast and if you want to take motor sports this lens is your baby. Put on a 1.4 or 2 times adaptor for around 300 canadian and you can have up to an 200 - 800mm lens and being outside you'll have an extreemly fast shutter.

I would have to say that the 70 - 200 lens justdoesn't have the reach Ineed which is why I only rent the 100- 400 for95% of all my swimming shots now. If I know I'll be at a darkindoor pool then I will go for the Sigma 120 - 300, 2.8.


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Old Apr 5, 2006, 1:09 AM   #6
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Do you take photos professionally or as a hobbiest? Do you find you need a 2.8 aperture for low light situations?
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Old Apr 5, 2006, 11:03 AM   #7
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I am a hobbiest learning as much as I can. I have been asked to do several photo shoots and for the most part will volunteer my time but have costs paid for by others. I can see this 'hobby' growing into something more but it will always be a fun activity driven by passion.

A 2.8 lens isidealfor low light but there are tricks of the trade you can do to achieve the look your wanting in your shots if you don't have a 2.8 lens.

If you only have a 4 - 5.6 lens and find yourself in low light the tricks are:

1. Shoot in RAWand adjust your exposure at the most 2 - 3 stops darker than what is normal. This will speed up your shutter and your RAW program will allow you to adjust your exposure 2 - 3 stops brighter without causing damage to the pixels.

You do have to determine if this will stop the action crisp enough for you. For competitive swimmers I need at least a 1/250 - 350 shutter speed for a half decent action pic. For motor sports you may need a 1/800 - 1200 shutter speed to stop it enough. Adjusting my exposure 2 - 3 stops can give me my 1/250 shutter speed when normal exposure would be 1/60 with a 4 - 5.6 lens.

2. Max out your ISO's. This will increase your shutter speed as well. Don't worry about the noise as your RAW program should have 'noise reduction' so there isn't any need to be concerned.

Of course you will not want to print all your photos but the ones you do can all be corrected in RAW, saved as jpeg and you have a great edited pic to print.Here is another from the 100 - 400mm.
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