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Old Feb 1, 2010, 8:04 PM   #31
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You will use the AF allot in sport, especially if you are trying to track the action shots. With the canon you will want to set the AF mode to AI focus for your action shots. The camera is always focusing on the moving object.

With the lens, it comes down to honestly how much you want to spend. The L series are great lenses. And it is what the pros' use. And that justified the cost since they make their money with it. If you are an extreme sport photography enthusiast then for person reason the cost is justified. But since you are starting out. Is the prohibitive cost of a 1200 dollar lens worth it to you. If so the L series lens may be the right lens for you. Also factor in if you really will be shooting that much sports right away that makes the 1200 dollar investment a must.

In general this is a great forum. But there is a point where it get out of control, because you start thinking you need what the pros use. And then a fun hobby becomes less about the photos but more about the equipment.

Honestly I would check out the canon ef 70-300mm IS USM lens. See if it gets you the photos you need, if not sell it and get the better lens. Also the 70-300 IS is a better everyday purpose lens for general photography because it is hand holdable and you do not need to lug a heavy lens around. That is something to also consider, it does not sound like this is a dedicate sport hobby, but one of the family. You can get a quality used one, and if it does not fit your needs sell it on ebay for about the same as you paid for it. Around 470 for a high grade used one.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 8:45 PM   #32
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For outdoor sports, you really don't need f/2.8. Canon's 70-200mm f/4 is smaller, lighter, less expensive, and almost as good. And you might get away without a monopod.

Using a monopod to shoot sports is odd. Typically, you'd pivot on your body, but when using a monopod, you have to pivot on monopod. That takes some getting used to, especially if the lens is big and heavy and is mounted on the monopod instead of the camera.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 8:58 PM   #33
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Would the 55-250 suffice for outside then?
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:00 PM   #34
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OK, you're at small fields for the next couple years. You're in daylight for the next couple years.

Here's my suggestion: if you think in the next couple years you'll have indoor sports like basketball, swimming, gymnastics, etc. then opt for the sigma 70-200 2.8

If not, then I suggest the Canon 70-200 f4 TCAV mentioned. It's faster to focus, sharper and wider aperture than the 70-300 shoturtle mentioned. And it's better build quality - in short, a much better lens. And for several hundred less than the sigma 100-300 f4. The canon 70-200 2.8 is very nice (I use one) but the other two (sigma or canon f4) are a better spend of money right now. The f4 is great for everything you mention but will be useless indoors. The sigma 70-200 2.8 allows for both indoor and outdoor but costs another $150 or so and isn't as light.

I wouldn't obess about a monopod either until you give the lenses a try. It's completely unnecessary for the 70-200 f4 (or the 70-300) and IMO isn't necesarily needed for the sigma 70-200 2.8. Monopods can be nice but they restrict you a bit too - in your ability to rapidly recompose. There's nothing wrong with using one if you need it, but try the lens out for a while before you decide you need it as there is a price to pay in convenience. I use a monopod with my sigma 120-300 2.8 but I don't for the 70-200 2.8. Not because of anything macho - just because you give up some freedom when using one.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:01 PM   #35
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Quote:
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Would the 55-250 suffice for outside then?
It's a decent lens and fairly sharp but slow to focus. The 70-200 f4 is a MUCH, MUCH better option -sharper, wider aperture and much faster to focus and exceptional build quality. Oh yes, great resale value too if and when you need to updgrade down the road. If you know you want to shoot sports and can aford it, don't waste the money on the 55-250.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:02 PM   #36
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not for sports, it is not that fast of an auto focus lens. The ef 70-300mm would be much better for sports because it uses a USM motor vs a regular dc motor on the ef-s 55-250mm. But for general photography, the 55-250 is as sharp as the 70-300mm. And it is lighter and easier to handle.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:09 PM   #37
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The ef 70-300mm would be much better for sports because it uses a USM motor vs a regular dc motor
But it uses micro USM, not Ring USM. There is a difference. The Canon 70-200 f4, Sigma 70-200 2.8 (with HSM) and sigma 100-300 f4 will serve significantly better as sports lenses.

Go to a store that has the 70-300 and 70-200 f4 and handle both of them - see which one's build quality gives you more confidence.

The f4 aperture will also give you faster shutter speeds. And, that's important in overcast conditions. I've had to shoot daytime sports at ISO 800 and f2.8. If I had to rely on f5.6 it wouldn't be pretty.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:10 PM   #38
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Ruthless,

If you do not mine me asking, how old are your kids that are playing sports? The action from kiddies sports are really not that fast. But if they are in high school where they run the 100m in 12-13 sec. Then a real sport dedicated lens would make a hugh difference. But it we are taking about peewee football and t-ball. The ef 70-300mm will be able to handle the action without any issues.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:16 PM   #39
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But it uses micro USM, not Ring USM. There is a difference. The Canon 70-200 f4, Sigma 70-200 2.8 (with HSM) and sigma 100-300 f4 will serve significantly better as sports lenses.

Go to a store that has the 70-300 and 70-200 f4 and handle both of them - see which one's build quality gives you more confidence.

The f4 aperture will also give you faster shutter speeds. And, that's important in overcast conditions. I've had to shoot daytime sports at ISO 800 and f2.8. If I had to rely on f5.6 it wouldn't be pretty.
John,

I have that lens, and know exactly what the difference are between the different canon lenses.

That is why I ask if it is a dedicated sport shooting lens. And I have just follow up on what age the kids are. Because we need to put things into prospective.

Also you are sports pro, ruthless is just switching from a camera phono to a dslr. Adding a 900 dollar lens to the 729 for the t1i with the 18-55mm may be a bit of an extreme and does not make much sense if the lens is also meant for generally photography. The L f4 is allot heavier they the 70-300 and may not be ideal for the casual shooting away form the ball field.

I am pretty sure you will not be happy with 5.6, but you do sport for a living. Step back a bit and look at the situation for what it truly is.
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:25 PM   #40
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shoturtle, let me ask - how much hands-on experience do you actually have shooting sports? Or do you just know people that shoot sports. When you say the 70-300 is capable, what hands-on experience do you have to support your advice. On the other hand, I actually shoot soccer, baseball, softball, gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, swimming, MMA etc. I've said before your advice is dangerous because you have no first hand experience on which to make it. Sports shooting is more challenging than people that don't do it know. And just because you know photogs that shoot sports doesn't mean you understand it. I have friends that are doctors but that doesn't qualify me to give medical advice.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. The question for the OP is how much weight to give to your opinion. Perhaps you can share some of the soccer photos you've taken?
some football?


teeball:




soccer:


basketball:



gymnastics:


coach pitch:


In short, when I give sports advice I do it based on my own experience. Perhaps shoturtle you could share some of your youth sports images with us so we can see the experience your advice is based upon?
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