Need more help with lens...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Wheaten59, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Wheaten59

    Wheaten59 TPF Noob!

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    Ok so I'm in looking for a zoom lens to shoot my son's baseball games. Last week I said I didn't want to go over $400.00 but after reading what some of you had to say I decided to go after either the Canon 70-200 f/4L or 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS. Now if I go with the f/4L am I going to need a tripod? And if I go with the f/4-5.6 IS how much image quality am I giving up vs the f/4L? What would all of you get and why?

    Please help me make up my mind. BTW I am having a great time shooting with my new 30D.
     
  2. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is a bit more pricey, but worth it. Try the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. You'll be surprised how much faster shutter speed you'll get with 2.8. I am more than pleased with every single aspect of this lens, and would buy it again.
     
  3. Wheaten59

    Wheaten59 TPF Noob!

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    I can really use your help guys.:hail:
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Image quality wise, the 70-200mm f/4L is going to superior. It is a wonderful walk around lens. For a baseball game, the extra focal length at 300mm is going to be very useful.

    The decision to use or not use a tripod is more of a function of how much light you have to work with. In low light, you can almost always benefit by using a tripod. Either lens can benefit from a tripod.. IS is NOT a replacement to the tripod... this is especially true when shooting moving subjects as it does not stop frame movement.

    In bright daylight outdoors, either lens should perform well.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BTW... sports photography is EXTREMELY DEMANDING on equipment. I would take Keith's advice and consider third party lenses that might get you more bang for the buck. To subject movement sharply.. you will need a faster shutter speed and one way is to use a faster (wider) aperture... which the sigma does have.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There is no 'correct' answer here. Just like most other people, simply buying the best tool for the job is much too expensive. So either of these lenses would be a compromise in one way or another.

    That depends on the light. However, if it's dark enough that you need a tripod, then any moving subjects would be blurry anyway.
    The 70-300 with IS...Image Stabilization is a great tool and it makes it easier to hand hold the lens and get sharper shots...better to have it than not. However, it won't help to freeze a moving subject, only a faster shutter speed will do that.

    As mentioned, the Sigma 70-200 F2.8 would give you the ability to shoot at F2.8, which would give you faster shutter speeds than either of the lenses you are looking at. It's a very big and heavy lens though.

    The Canon 70-200 F4 is optically, one of the best lenses avaliable...and would be great for anything you choose to use it for. It's only shortcoming, is that it's limited to a maximum aperture of F4. However, that's only one stop slower than F2.8...so you could just turn up your ISO, another step and deal with a bit more noise.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One thing about the 70-200 f/4 (my cousin shoots with it), I found it extremely lightweight and compact. That in of itself makes it relatively easier to hand hold. I personally would at least use a monopod. If anything, you will tire less quickly which means steadier stances.
     
  8. Wheaten59

    Wheaten59 TPF Noob!

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    I don't think that the speed will really come into effect to much here, as my son is a pitcher and I'll be fixed to the mound. If I'm wrong please feel free to say so as I value all opinions. You guys have been a great help and it's much appreciated.:thumbup:

    I'm also reading about people buying bad copies of lenses. How concerning is this, if at all?
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Again, that depends. His body may be mostly stationary but his arm in mid pitch will be moving pretty fast. It might even be a good effect to have some motion blur in that case. These are things that you will have to learn for yourself.

    It's most likely a lot less common than it seems on the internet. That's not to say it doesn't happen but I'd say it's pretty rare. Canon especially had pretty good QC. If you are really concerned, then I'd suggest you buy your gear at a good local shop, that way you can deal with people face to face and hopfully have them deal with Canon if there are any quality problems.
     
  10. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One thing you might consider is a mono-pod. Tripods are a little too clumsy for sports, and mono's are nearly as stable if using good technique. They have the big advantage of being able to get out of the way in a hurry. Think fowl ball or line drive OUTSIDE the line. Or the big back getting knocked out of bounds. Got to be quick on your feet. Another advantage, the monopod let's you get just that little bit closed to the action, about the distance from the tripods foot to the center column.
     
  11. Wheaten59

    Wheaten59 TPF Noob!

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    You make some very good points and ones that I will consider. Thank you very much.
     

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