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Old May 16, 2006, 6:30 AM   #1
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OK, I can admit when I was wrong. I realized this weekend that the 100-400L can be a truly great sports lens - in the right environment. Here's some shots from this past Sunday's Cleveland Indians game.

This lens was the perfect choice for shooting from the stands. The light weight, great focal length - and yes, IS, were wonderful. The IS because I couldn't always hold the camera in the correct position due to people in front of me. The 5.6 aperture wasn't an issue because I was shooting down at the field so no distracting backgrounds. What a great lens.

Here's the link to the post in the sports forum:

http://stevesforums.com/forums/view_...mp;forum_id=82

Just thought some of you would appreciate me saying I was wrong :G
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Old May 17, 2006, 6:00 PM   #2
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John, I LOVE mine too. It can be a blast in the right situation, as you found out. Auto racing is another great application for this lens.

Chris M
www.imagineimagery.com
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Old May 20, 2006, 8:40 AM   #3
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I recently started a topic on whether this lens or the Sigma 80 - 400 was a good choice for sports, NHL suggested the Sigma 120 - 300 2.8. I'm about 70% sold on this lens (100 - 400L). Nice photos.
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Old May 20, 2006, 9:53 AM   #4
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Wsandman1,

You need to be careful on a sports lens. This lens can be absolutely GREAT - but it depends on the situation. It was great in this situation because I had light - although I shot at ISO 800 on an afternoon for a number of the shots. The DOF wasn't an issue because I was shooting down.

But I would still not use this lens for 'on the field' shots for field sports: baseball, softball, football, soccer. The DOF alone is reason enough to use a 2.8 lens, not to mention the low light capability.

Shooting from the stands this is a great lens for the reasons I stated. Shooting from ground level I think it's not a sports lens - not for $1400. Now, I think it's better than the Sigma 80-400, but I would much rather use my Sigma 120-300 because of the 2.8 aperture. Even with a TC - which gives the Sigma around the same reach as the 100-400 (the sigma falls a bit short of 300mm - probably around 280mm) and still a stop better. For sports, those stops are priceless.
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Old May 20, 2006, 10:41 AM   #5
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John,

I was hoping you wouldn't say that. Where did you get your 120 - 300 lens? None of the stores seen to have this one. I can find the Sigma 80 -400 and Canon 100- 400L, but not the Sigma 120 -300 F2.8.

Bill
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Old May 20, 2006, 11:29 AM   #6
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Wsandman1,

Let me ask some questions:

1. What sports do you want to shoot?

2. What time of daydo the sports occur?

3. Do you prefer to hand-hold are you OK with using a monopod?

4. Are you planning on using the lens for other purposes or just sports?



These are all important questions to get the lens that is right for you. I'm lucky enough to have both the 100-400 and 120-300 and I wouldn't sell either. The answers to the above questions will dictate which lens is right for you.

To answer your question about where you can get the 120-300:

1. bhphoto has the DG version for $2400 and Sigma4less has it for 2100 (although with sigma4less you only get a 1 year warranty from B&H you get the 1 yr plus 3 year extended warranty).

2. B&H used to have the non-DG for $2000 - personally I think the DG is a bunch of BS on Sigma's part - just a cheap excuse to charge more money for their products and I know people that jumped on some of the DG versions of the 120-300 early on had some issues and I have yet to hear or see from anyone saying the DG coatings provided any tangible benefit. It's just like a year ago when Sigma put an ETTL-II logo on their 500 DG Super flash and bumped up the price - although in that case they did NOTHING to change the flash as any flash that is ETTL is automatically ETTL II compatible (the difference is 100% in the camera not the flash).

As for picture quality, here are several galleries with the following 3 lenses: Sigma 70-200 +1.4x, Sigma 120-300 and Canon 100-400. They all have slightly different characteristics - see which you like better:

Football with 70-200 plus 1.4x TC:

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/gallery/842640

Football with 100-400

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/gallery/946097

basketball with 70-200:

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/gallery/437583

Baseball with 120-300:

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/gallery/1356563

baseball with 120-300 plus 1.4 TC

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/gallery/1433230

The link below has pro baseball with 100-400

I don't mean to make this harder, but I guess in my experience I don't own the PERFECT sports lens. Part of that is I see other peoples' work with the Canon 400 2.8 and 300 2.8 which are both in a completely different league than any of these lenses.

But if your needs are primarily field sports from ground level the 120-300 is the best but you should use a monopod with it for sports. The 100-400 has great picture quality but is 5.6 which sucks as a true sports lens. It's the perfect choice if you want Wildlife first with occasional sports. But primarily sports - the 120-300 is better if you can swing the price.

Decisions, decisions :G:G
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Old May 21, 2006, 5:11 AM   #7
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wsandman1

... Another thing to keep in mind since you're also doing outdoor portraits: A 300mm f/2.8 has a shallower DOF than my 85mm f/1.2L! :idea:

-> For dual-use the 120-300 f/2.8 EX is more affordable (than a 100-400 plus an 85 f/1.2) and doesn't require a change of lens. IMO the Sigma is not that expensive - Actually it's more like a bargain if you priced this lens against the EF-300 f/2.8L (slighly sharper no doubt) but @ twice the cost...

BTW Popular Photography actually measured the focal lenght of the EX to be 123.6-293.86mm tested:
http://www.popphoto.com/assets/downl...2003163559.pdf
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