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Old Apr 20, 2006, 3:13 PM   #1
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70-200mm F4.0L USM or 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM SLR Lens

Which is going to work better for what I need now?

The lens will be attached to a 30D.

I'll be doing primarily outsports photography. Soccer, little league baseball, motorcycle trackdays.

I'm thinking I'm might get the 1.4 extender as well.

The only other lens in my collection will be the 18-55mm kit lens. I'm thinking about picking up the 50 1.8 so it's so cheap, not sure yet.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 10:02 PM   #2
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The extra 100mm of the 70-300 will be appreciated when you start taking the pictures. Yes, you can put on a 1.4X on the 70-200, but then you have a 100-300 approximately, and lose 30mm on the short end. You will not want to stop to add or remove the teleconverter in the middle of an event very often. Also, at the long end the IS of the 70-300 is valuable, especially in less than bright light.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 10:31 PM   #3
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What I would be concerned about is the 70-300's micro USM . It is faster than the kit lens (and quieter), but nowhere as fast as a ring USM.

If you can squeeze a little bit more, you can try your luck with the sigma 100-300 f/4 EX with HSM (equivalent ring USM) - if you think you'll need the long reach... I don't really have experience with sports photography, so it's just a thought =| .
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Old Apr 23, 2006, 6:42 AM   #4
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Vandurin wrote:
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... I'll be doing primarily outsports photography. Soccer, little league baseball, motorcycle trackdays.

I'm thinking I'm might get the 1.4 extender as well...


I don't do much sport either, but I doknow a lot about capturing actions, andIS is not going to do any good for moving subjects (especially in lower light...)

I'll second the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX HSM as well - An f/4 is twice as bright as an f/5.6 @ the long end, which is what you need to double up on the shutter speed tostop the motion blurs! Also this Sigma EX is as sharp as a prime (if not sharper)-> You can't say that about any lens + a TC especially when the combo becomes a slower f/5.6 after the 1.4x conversion as well :evil:

I know the Sigma costs less than a 70-200 f/2.8 + TC, but you may be getting close to itscost with a 70-200 f/4 + TC too... I rather get a lens that will do the job than 1 thatmostly go back on Ebay! :-)
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Old Apr 24, 2006, 10:04 PM   #5
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Actually, the 70-300 IS has the latest IS, with two settings. Setting 2 is designed for image stabilization during panning of a moving object. Alsoat 22 0z. the Canon is lighter than the Sigma f4, which is over 3 pounds.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 2:06 PM   #6
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Vandurin,

I do a lot of sports photography. I'm not sure what your budget is, but my suggestion is to disregard any f5.6 lenses (i.e. the 70-300). There are 2 problems with ANY 5.6 lens for sports:

1. It won't be fast enough to freeze action in low light - which even in day time can be a problem on a very overcast day.

2. There is too much distracting background left in focus. Let's face it, seeing parked cars and parents and fences in decent focus really detracts from the overall image quality.

I currently shoot with a Sigma 120-300 2.8 lens - just bought this year - but it's expensive. Prior to that I used a 70-200 2.8 and sometimes a 1.4x TC.

I've heard outstanding things about the Sigma 100-300 f4 - supposedly the sharpest lens sigma has. But, you will eventually be in a situation where f4 isn't fast enough or if you move indoors, 100mm is too long. Under bright sunny days, the Sigma 100-300 f4 should give the best results for the sports you have listed. But, a 70-200 2.8 plus 1.4x TC (I have sigma and the combo is around $950 I think) offers a lot more versatility - you'll be able to use it in worse lighting and in some indoor venues (some places are bad enough to require f2.0 or 1.8 primes).

So, it's up to you - versatility or best quality for your specific sports right now. The longer you do sports photography the more you'll learn there is no single lens that does everything.

That's my 2 cents for what it's worth. Feel free to look around my sports galleries if you like - that way you can decide if I don't have a clue :shock:and you want to ignore my advice. Whatever you decide, best of luck.

www.jagsportsphotos.com


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Old Apr 26, 2006, 4:37 AM   #7
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JohnG

I realize what you try to say, but a 300mm f/4 will have a shallower DOF than a 200mm f/2.8 at amost all distances - Check it out: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

-> This is why I prefer the 120-300 f/2.8 EX for outdoor portrait over my 85mm f/1.2L :idea:
Indoor the 100mm short end could be an issue, but Vandurin is doing primarily outdoor sports

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Old Apr 26, 2006, 5:15 AM   #8
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NHL,

You raise a point that I have been wondering for some time now....

The SHALLOWER a depth of field, does that mean that the background will be MORE out of focus relative to the "in focus" dof part?

For example (using my Canon XT / 350D)... using the dof calculator...

Scenario 1. if I use my 50mm f1.8 at max aperture (f1.8) to focus on a subject 2 metres away these results occur:

near limit: 1.95m

far limit: 2.05m

total depth of field: 11cm

So my question to you is, how would a comparison be between say object X which is in the background at 20 metres away (10x the distance of the in focus subject, and about 20x the total depth of field away) to object Y in the next scenario:

---------------

Scenario 2. if I had the Sigma 100- 300 f4 lens (which I don't... yet!) at 300mm at max aperture (f4) to focus on a subject8.2 metres away (with these results occurring):

near limit: 8.15m

far limit: 8.26m

total depth of field: 11cm

and then object Y would be 82 metres away (10x the distance of the in focus subject) but in this case it is about 80x the total depth of field away, as opposed to object X which isjust 20x the total depth of field "away"

Would object X be LESS blurred (or have a less pleasing "bokeh") than object Y?

Or are there some elements that I don't understand? (or other calculations like hyperfocal distance or circle of confusion which I don't really know about...?)

NHL, I hope you understand my question.... and if possible I would really love to know your answer..

If possible could you post an example (photos) to back up any answer you might give?

Thanks in advance, your posts are always so helpful!

Paul
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 6:57 AM   #9
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NHL,

I agree totally on the f4 having a shallower DOF closer to 300. My comments in that regard are more geared towards 5.6 not being a good sports solution. It's why the 100-300 is the best solution for the current situation (assuming no nighttime games). But if low light sports are in the near future - f4 isn't fast enough. That is the dilema here. What are the possible near term future sports neads? Every option has pros/cons and as you know, 2.8 lenses are expensive - so if there's the possibility of night games in a year then spending $800 on a 100-300 this year and $800 on a 70-200 2.8 next year might not be in the budget. Just something for the OP to think about.

Obviously I'm in agreement about the 120-300 (I did buy one after all :-)) - but at $2000-$2400 that's a hefty investment.
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 8:59 AM   #10
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pj1974

You make it sounds too complex for me (and I'm a technical guy)... :-)

DOF is only 1 parameter in a portrait, and as you've shown can be made the same with two different lenses, but the X and Y out of focus objects is more involved than just their apparent distances. We have several other factors in play here which can 'shape' a portrait using a 300mm vs a 50mm, and all theses benefits come into play:

1. Compression - The longer lens compresses the distances which 'flattens' the image and make your in focus subject 'pops' out more from the now compressed backgrounds - BTW your subject facial features too get affected... (so your mileage may varies)

2. Perspective - A 300mm sees a much narrower angle which can crop the busy backgrounds (i.e. more landscape, busy streets, etc.. behind a 50mm) from your main subject

3. Isolation - Excellent for group shots where you can pick one subject out from a gathering party
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