Which Lens for Aspiring Sport Photographer (Pick one of five)

Hof8231

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Ok, I have narrowed it down to these five options:

1. Canon EF 300mm 2.8 IS Mk I
2. Canon EF 400mm 2.8 IS MK I
3. Canon EF 400mm 2.8 Mk II
4. Sigma 120-300 2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM (QRSTUV, WXY and Z lol :p)
5. Canon EF 300mm 2.8

I have two camera bodies (5D Mark III and 60D). What I currently shoot is mostly basketball and a little bit of indoor soccer so my current setup is my FF with the 24-70 and the crop with my 70-200. But with football season coming (and me possibly taking photos for a couple local high schools/small colleges. Here's hoping), I feel like I should get a longer lens and I was wondering what your thoughts would be comparing these five options. I know IS is all but irrelevant when it comes to sports, so I was leaning towards option 3 or 5, but I've heard very good things about the new version of the Sigma, and I like the idea of having the flexibility of zoom. I'll try to handle as many of these as possible, but there's a chance I won't get my hands on all of them before I make my choice, so I was looking for some input.

Thanks for any advice, guys and gals!
 

Juga

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I have no input but how is that 5DIII treating you? Also could you PM me and tell me how you like your Tamron 24-70?
 
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Hof8231

Hof8231

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I love the 5DIII, it's been really helping me progress as a photographer. I know that it's the photographer and not the camera, and I believe that, but this camera is allowing me to be much more creative try a lot of different things with its better performance and flexibility. I'll send you a PM about the Tamron.
 

Derrel

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I'd say you need a 70-200 f/2.8 L-IS Mark II before you need any of the other lenses. Indoors for basketball a 300/2.8 is tough to deploy except from the baseline, shooting down to the far end of the court, and you need to pick it up and put it down on its lens front EVERY TIME the ball comes into your court!!!! NO monopod either!!! It's a giant PITA for indoor basketball.

Soccer indoors...the ball moves..a LOT, and FAST. 300 is too long quite often except for tight, meaningless less-than-half-body shots...indoor soccer. You now have a HIGH-rez camera that can be cropped.A 135/2-L is better indoor soccer than a longer prime, in my experience with youth indoor soccer. I own every lens from 20mm to 400mm...and the SHORTER, FASTER primes like 35/1.4 or 50/1.4 or 85/1.8 or 135/2 are actually VERY useful indoors on court sports. We no longer have 4- or 8-MP cameras...you can throw away HALF of a 5D-III frame and still have a good image. If you have credentials and are shooting from a good position, longer is not really always automatically better. A TON of soccer action is going to be right down the sidelines, and the 24-70 will be what you need from 15 feet away.

When you are stuck with a long tele-prime indoors, a LOT of shots have no context...they are ONE player, with no opponent, no feet, no ball...tight close-ups that show...nothing,really. Fort basketball, I can see more need for a 24mm than a 300 or 400. Not kidding.
 
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Hof8231

Hof8231

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I'd say you need a 70-200 f/2.8 L-IS Mark II before you need any of the other lenses. Indoors for basketball a 300/2.8 is tough to deploy except from the baseline, shooting down to the far end of the court, and you need to pick it up and put it down on its lens front EVERY TIME the ball comes into your court!!!! NO monopod either!!! It's a giant PITA for indoor basketball.

Soccer indoors...the ball moves..a LOT, and FAST. 300 is too long quite often except for tight, meaningless less-than-half-body shots...indoor soccer. You now have a HIGH-rez camera that can be cropped.A 135/2-L is better indoor soccer than a longer prime, in my experience with youth indoor soccer. I own every lens from 20mm to 400mm...and the SHORTER, FASTER primes like 35/1.4 or 50/1.4 or 85/1.8 or 135/2 are actually VERY useful indoors on court sports. We no longer have 4- or 8-MP cameras...you can throw away HALF of a 5D-III frame and still have a good image. If you have credentials and are shooting from a good position, longer is not really always automatically better. A TON of soccer action is going to be right down the sidelines, and the 24-70 will be what you need from 15 feet away.

When you are stuck with a long tele-prime indoors, a LOT of shots have no context...they are ONE player, with no opponent, no feet, no ball...tight close-ups that show...nothing,really. Fort basketball, I can see more need for a 24mm than a 300 or 400. Not kidding.

Oh no I understand that completely, and I'm honestly thinking of upgrading my 70-200 to the II version, but I haven't tried it out and don't know if it's worth upgrading or not.

The 300/400 prime was going to be used mainly for football that I hopefully will be shooting this season. I use the 24-70 and 70-200 for basketball and indoor soccer and wasn't really planning on using the 300/400 for that for the reasons you stated. Maybe I should wait and see if I'm actually going to be shooting football this season before I drop the money on a long prime, though.

I have been looking very closely at the 135 f/2. That lens really intrigues me. It's a definite possibility. It'd be a nice length on my 5D for indoors and the reach would be really nice on my 60D.
 

Juga

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I am renting the 70-200 2.8ii in early September. I can offer my thoughts afterwards if you want
 
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Hof8231

Hof8231

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I am renting the 70-200 2.8ii in early September. I can offer my thoughts afterwards if you want

That would be much appreciated!
 

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