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Old Jan 3, 2009, 1:19 PM   #11
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The Sony and its Minolta predecessors are all very fine lenses, some of the best in their class. But they are expensive and the Minoltas are hard to find.

Your call, but for what the Sony costs, you could buy the Sigma and the Tamron, and with the change, you could buy a Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 AF 2x Teleconverter that will work with them!
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 2:44 PM   #12
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I'll second TCav's advice - go with the Sigma. The Sony / Minolta goes for around $1600-1700. Great lens by all accounts but it's better to save your pennies for a newer body vs. spending that much on the single lens.

But, there's an important question to ask - what sports are you wanting to shoot? That will be important in determining whetherANY 70-200 2.8 is a good choice. It's not brightenoughto use on your camera for indoor sports and 200mm is too short for full field baseball or soccer. So, what sport(s) are you wanting to shoot with the lens?



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Old Jan 3, 2009, 3:35 PM   #13
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JohnG

that's a very good point. there is the occasional gym where it could be used but they are few and far between. you are also right about the football field. i borrowed my son-in-law's 100-300 for a little league football game and got some good shots but noticed they were mostly shot at or close to 300. i would use it mostly for general use but wanted it to at least be available for my friends kids games (soccer, little league football, t-ball).

you bring up the point of a newer body. are the new sony's a lot better than the 5d? if so, maybe it is time to start thinking of that?

thanks for your input!

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Old Jan 3, 2009, 4:09 PM   #14
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It seems someone should have asked these questions some time ago.

I have a Maxxum 5D and am happy with the results I get when shooting equestrian sports with a Beercan, though I'm looking at a 70-200/2.8. What you'll be shooting is smaller subjects, further away, and moving faster. You should go with a longer lens and probably a Sony Alpha with a faster autofocus system. The A200 is 10MP and can shoot 3 frames per second (fps) (the same as your 5D.) The A300 and A350 add 'Live View' but have a slower frame rate. The A700 has a very good autofocus system, a 12MP image sensor and can shoot 5fps.

The Sony 75-300 is not a very good lens, and neither are the Minolta predecessors (except the big, heavy 'Big Beercan'.) The Minolta 100-300 APO (~$400), 100-400 APO (~$500)and the Sony 70-300 'G' ($750)are quite good, and the announced Sony 70-400 'G' ($1,500) is supposed to be quite nice as well. There are a number of third party lenses that are quite good as well. (See http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp )

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Old Jan 3, 2009, 7:49 PM   #15
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As someone who used to shoot with a KM5D and Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 (non HSM) I can say that the results were OK but without HSM it wasn't really fast enough for me which is why I now shoot with Canon gear. However now that HSM is an option then you are in a better position. I had to dig out an archive HD (don't panic all I have DVD backups too) to get some of my KM shots and unfortunately not all have EXIF so I couldn't confirm if I was quite wide.

The concert shot has the exif so you can see it is 200mm at f2.8 and usually for hockey I would be stopped down to f3.2 to give a little more sharpness and dof to help with everything being in focus.

There is no point in posting a reduced size shot and I was too lazy to do some crops so for a while I've put full editions on my site.

Concert shot http://www.photographysmith.co.uk/fo...%20%209502.JPG

Hockey Shot http://www.photographysmith.co.uk/fo...%20%201071.jpg

Technically I wasn't a good sports shooter back then having only started a few months earlier but hopefully it will give you an idea.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 8:31 PM   #16
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wow mark! your shotsNOW must be fabulous cuz that looks like a very nice hockey shot to me!!

i will definitely go with the sigma with the hsm if it comes down to the two lenses. Although now JohnG and TCav have me wondering if maybe i should put the $ on a newer body. say maybe the a350? does it have a noticably faster autofocus?

what d'ya think?

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Old Jan 3, 2009, 8:49 PM   #17
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They have a point, there have been some good improvements since the 5D, I would say some helpful ones for you with something like the A350 are the better AF, I believe less noise and also faster continuous shooting. Also if you are going to be doing sports then another benefit of the A350 is you can get a battery grip making it easier to shoot in portrait orientation (most field sports will be shot this way). Having the better body but not improving glass will not give any major gains so if budget it tight then get the 70-200mm f2.8 but if you could do both together then you are rally looking at a nice package. Oh, then the question is raised, if you are making this substantial investment then is Sony the best option to stay with ? Now did I just see a cat heading toward the pigeons???? I personally like the Sony range so not trying to influence you to switch. The only reason I left was that I couldn't get better AF, better lenses and faster continuous shooting with what Sony were offering. Now the market is very different and Sony has some great models and more and more lens options all the time.

Thanks for your kind words, the concert stuff was another 6 months down the line from the hockey one and it is easier to shoot someone standing at a mic than tracking the action in a hockey match so that is probably the better of the 2 shots. Both of these were back in 2006 and now I have the advantage of shooting with a Canon 1D mkIII and Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 lens for field sports, there is no comparison between my kit in 2006 and now LOL. Also I've learnt a lot by hanging out here and also getting to different events and shooting. In the following season to the hockey shot posted I covered over 30 games, let alone any other sport which I shot so that much time with the camera really pays off. Downside was I pretty much didn't have a social life back then. For just under a year now I've really dropped back on the number of events I've covered as I wasn't getting the sales to warrant my time. However this year I've decided to shoot more things for fun rather than money (not that I don't enjoy shooting when I get paid but that was becoming the only time I would get out with a camera).
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 8:57 PM   #18
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2many wrote:
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Stay as far away from Sigma as you can. Even the lens rental outfits are trying to get rid of their Sigma's failure rate is way to high for them.
I will address this for Darlene's benefit.Sigma does seem to have had some quality problems with some lenses and I've had I think 9 from them over the years since going digital (I had 2 when shooting 35mm but then I honestly knew nothing about photography so couldn't tell you if there was a problem).

The problem lenses have been Canon mount 24-70mm f2.8. Right out of the box the first one I had was not sharp and no accurate focusing. It was replaced and the current copy is fine..... well as far as I know, this is my backup lens to the Canon 24-105mm f4 L when I'm shooting weddings. I test it from time to time but next shot in anger with it..... hmmm possibly something else to do this year, play with that lens.

After about 6 months heavy use and being dropped from about 5ft my 70-200mm f2.8 HSM Macro got quite soft at 200mm and f2.8 so that went back and was replaced by a lens that then performed fine. I did choose to replace this last year with the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L IS as I was shooting more weddings so really wanted IS and just a little more sharpness, obviously with Sony the IS issue is removed.

That's about it, my other lenses have been fine and the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 does a lovely job.

Time for bed, it's 2am and was planning to be asleep by 12.... oops.
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Old Jan 3, 2009, 9:56 PM   #19
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i know you are snoozing by now but maybe tomorrow you'll see this. i would love to see some of your sports shots taken recently. do you have a website?

i strictly do this for fun. i love taking pictures but especially the sports. It's so exciting to get those good shots. As this is my baby girl's senior year and only 2 more months of basketball, i will be that aunt and friend that shows up at nieces and nephews and friends games (they don't mind of course)!! my daughter also coaches a little league basketball team and i take pictures each of them and they get a collage at the end of the season.

i wouldn't consider switching to canon because of the lenses that i already have. well actually one that i paid alot for is the minolta 85mm 1.4. i use it for basketball as well as my 50mm1.7. so i think what i'll do is look into the a350 for now and prob get the lens in about 3-6 months.



thank you so much!!

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Old Jan 4, 2009, 8:28 AM   #20
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darlenerenee wrote:
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... Although now JohnG and TCav have me wondering if maybe i should put the $ on a newer body. say maybe the a350? does it have a noticably faster autofocus?
The A200, A300 and A350 are all basically the same camera, with two exceptions:
  • The A200 doesn't have 'Live View', while the others do.[/*]
  • The A350 has a 14MP image sensor, while the others have a 10MP image sensor.
[/*]
But the consequences of those features are more far reaching.

'Live View' gives you the ability to compose your shots while holding the camera away from your eye. When usinga long, heavy lens, you won't be able to keep that up for very long. So 'Live View' won't be useful for what you want to do.

The 'Live View' feature reduces the frame rate for continuous shooting, and faster continuous shooting is very useful for sports/action/wildlife photography. So 'Live View' limits what you want to do.

AndSony's implimentation of 'Live View' places a second image sensor in the optical viewfinder, which reduces the size of the image in the optical veiwfinder, making it harder to use. So 'Live View' interferes with what you want to do.

So I think the A200 is a better choice for you than the A300 or the A350. But the only standout in the Sony dSLR product line for autofocus speed is the A700 (or the A900, but you'd have to save a lot more coins to get one of those.)
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