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Old Sep 24, 2007, 12:25 PM   #11
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Well, if the Sigma is F4 and then f5.6 with the TC, it is going to give the same results as the 80/400 Nikkor and frankly that is so slow that for motor sport it is about as useful as a chocolate saucepan. I tried it and I'd rather have my 70/200 with the TC17E any day. Dearer yes, but IMHO it would be money wasted to buy a lens that wasn't up to the job. I know it isn't in the budget, but for example this photo was taken with the 200/400, is not cropped or post processed, in factthe only thing was to reduce the size for posting. It is a question of "keepers". I get a much higher hit rate with the 200/400 than the 70/200 with or without converters. All I'm really trying to say is that for sport you really do need good glass. The OP should rent if possible before deciding, and I think his decision will be made for him when he has compared. If it is in the budget of course.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 1:21 PM   #12
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cameranserai wrote:
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Well, if the Sigma is F4 and then f5.6 with the TC, it is going to give the same results as the 80/400 Nikkor and frankly that is so slow that for motor sport it is about as useful as a chocolate saucepan.
Isn't it true that the 80-400 doesn't have AF-S?
(... and why the 80-400 is slow to focus)

The Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX does have the faster ultrasonic focusing (HSM) so without a TC it certainly is faster than any 70-200 which is slowed down by the TC @ f/4 as well correct - Just check the previous link - it seems to do the job quite well...
It's not very fair to compare a <$900 lens to one which is >$5000 :idea:
Come on how many D80's can the poster afford???
Cost aside - I'm assuming this is a hobby did you realize how much extra weight he'll have to carry for that 200-400 f/4???




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No stabilization though.
Agree - but see how many good panning shots the poster did get with this lens without VR?
-> It's not just what goes in the front that count but the OP behind the camera too... Most of the shots posted here look just like parking lot pictures!
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 2:07 PM   #13
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First of all ... THANK YOU ALL

I´m overwhelmed with those bike shots :?that´s exactly what i have in mind!!!that´s the kind of pictures i wish someday i was able to take myself.... great stuff!!!

So from what i´ve read so far it´s also about the money people are willing to spend on a lens right? I don´t want to go higher than 1000$ (after all this is just a hobby)... the less f stop ..the better the lens.. the better the chance to freeze the subject... right?

Is it advisable to use TC´s? what´s the pro´s and con´s of it?



Any suggestions for a zoom lens :lol:?



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Old Sep 24, 2007, 2:09 PM   #14
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Joao Ferreira wrote:
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Any suggestions for a zoom lens :lol:?
what is your budget?
i.e. is $5k (and the weight) out of the question?
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 2:17 PM   #15
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Something around1000$(weight is not a problem)- it´s just a hobby for me ... unless i sell my car... but i guess the wife wouldn´t appreciate that idea :evil:.
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Old Sep 24, 2007, 3:02 PM   #16
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Then the 200-400 f/4 VR is out!!!

What remains is as listed before:
o 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR
o any 70-200mm f/2.8 with ultrasonic (i.e. AF_S or HSM)
o Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX HSM

1. You definitely do not need VR for sport
2. A 70-200 f/2.8 is probably fast by itself but it does slow down with any TC attached, and that's a fact especially in low-contrast area
3. The Sigma 100-300 f/4 costs less than a 70-200 f/2.8 + TC and is fast by itself already



BTW there's another option (when weight is not a problem) - A lot of us here use the Sigma's big brother: the 120-300 f/2.8 with HSM, just check out the sport forum, we can guarantee you this is not a slow lens. This lens cost a lot less than the 200-400 VR (it better be good for this price). With a TC it's still a 168-420mm f/4 zoom @ 1/2 the price... but if you ever need the f/2.8 for the bokeh
-> Heck you can buy the 120-300 f/2.8 and the new D300 and still come out ahead!!! :-):lol::G
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Old Dec 18, 2007, 9:54 PM   #17
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How about the Sigma 170-500 APO lens? Is this good enough also for sports photography (outdoors)?




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Old Dec 26, 2007, 1:36 PM   #18
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mika888 wrote:
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How about the Sigma 170-500 APO lens? Is this good enough also for sports photography (outdoors)?
Mika--

The rap on the 170-500 is that its a hit or miss with getting a good copy.:sad:Some have reported having good success with it.

As others have pointed out, Distance to subject, subject size and IQ of the lens are all inter-related. -- The first two correlate to determining the long end needs and the latter is strongly related to cost. At close distances, even a kit lens is sometimes capable of great images -- its when you start getting distance between the lens and subject that good glass shows its value.

Mothman13 did a chart for a Nikon D80 with a 1.5X crop Factor for different FOV image sizes (18mm - 600mm)... Look at the vertical height of the field of view at each subject distance.

http://www.pbase.com/mothman13/image/74511515 (5 - 30 feet)
http://www.pbase.com/mothman13/image/74511517 (35 - 60 feet)

Evaluate your intended subjects' sizes in light of his FOV chart above/below.... A perched Bald Eagle stands about ~24" tall so it would fill ~one-third of the vertical field of view of a 500mm lens if the subject was at ~200' distant (FOV ~72"-see below). -- within cropping 'reach'

For track side shooting, your location will play a large part in how much cropping of the subjects will be needed.



The following uncropped imagewas shot at the California Speedway in Fontana, CA with my consumer (cheap) kittie Tamron 70-300 LD lens at 155mm (232mm EQ) from the pit area behind the safety wall near the position pylon... not a position many would be able to get permission for (This was while the Petty Racing firm had a corporate client offering free NASCAR rides to some of their employees so we were able to watch some of the runs from Pit Road behind the barrier...




Not the greatest lens nor image but an indication of what one could expect of a subject size versus lens reach. Assuming the car is ~4.5' vertical, the vertical FOV is about 25'. To crop so that it filled the FOV would mean one would need to crop ~75% and would really take a hit on IQ/detail/sharpness.

In my experience, IQ starts to take a hit when an image is cropped more than 1/3 - 1/2 of the original FOV. Less cropping usually equates to more detail/better IQ of a properly exposed image.

Using my D50/Bigma, I've derived the additional following relationship...
Subject Distance -- ~Vertical FOV (assuming 2,000 vertical pixels)
50-ft -- 20"
100-ft -- 40"
200-ft -- 72"
300-ft -- 110"
400-ft -- 140"
500-ft -- 175"
600-ft -- 210" (~17.5')


What this all means is that the distance to the subject and subject size will also play a large part in just how detailed and sharp a croppedimage will be. In the case of a 500mm lens and a 5' tall subject, one would need to be within 600' to have the subject fill 1/3 of the vertical FOV and be within a ~30% crop to maintain the IQ/detail/sharpness of a properly exposed image.

In the end, I think one will be better served to also understand the issues of subject size/distance to subject/crop amount when evaluating ability of a lens to obtain/maintain the best IQ, detail and sharpness. Of course, the quality of the lens used plays a large part in the amount of croppingequation.

Once you've settled on the typical subject size and average distance to subject, the FOV charts will aid in determining the optimal lens reach. After that, the budget usuallybecomes the major determining factor

As to the 18-200 VR - its reputed to be a great all around vacation lens (wish I had one on my trip to China last march); the Nikon 70-300 VR is reputed to be a great system for the price. But for sports, wildlife etc, the limits of subject size; distance to subject and lens reach/IQ/cost start becoming critical issues to be carefully considered.

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Old Jan 17, 2008, 10:10 PM   #19
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wildlife wants feathers and whiskers. Short of being breathed on, the other alternative is bigma, with 1.4 or 2 adapters. suddenly we have lenses at thousands of dollars, heavy, and in dire need of a tripod (more money). If you are not Galen Rowell or Art Wolfe, and simply want evidence images (Ma, I saw it!) any of the 100 dollar 300 mm lenses will do.



Good luck



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Old Jan 24, 2008, 12:26 AM   #20
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Dont miss the afs 300f4 !There is a vy nice PQ lens with fast AF !

also 70-200 is a very flexible lens for sport ! Even at night time / indoor!

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