ATTN Photogs; need long lens advice.

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by AeroShooter, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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    I'll be photographing a university marching band in a stadium from the bleachers. Given a choice a wide aperture long lens, would you recommend a 300 or
    400mm?
     
  2. jsmn4vu

    jsmn4vu New Member

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    Are you talking about a new purchase, or a selection from your existing lenses? If existing, take the one with the largest aperture. Without further probing, my first instinct would be to go with the 300. Oh, wait -- daytime? Probably the 400, depending upon where you are in the bleachers.

    Having done a fair amount of stadium work professionally, my personal preference is to use a shorter lens, and get as close to the action as possible.
     

  3. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Active Member

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    I agree going with the 300mm. Esp if you are shooting with a crop sensor. You'll want the fastest lens you can afford if you are shooting under stadium lights, but you are looking into the $3k range right now.
     
  4. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

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    Aeroshooter, I hope you will forgive me for a small hijack on your thread, sir.

    I was unpacking some boxes from previous moves and came across an ole Canon EOS 630 with a 28-70mm EF lens. Also in the box are two other lenses:
    ---a Canon FD 135mm, and a Soligor 75-250mm MC with a Vivitar 3X-4 MC to FL/FD adaptor.
    [edit: apparently the mounting area on the Soligor matches the mounting on the Canon FD lens, so I may only need 1 adaptor, IF there's one made.]
    Would there by any chance be FD to EF adapters and perhaps even MC to EF?
    If so, where might they be found?
     
  5. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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    I should add the following:

    My subject is a single band member in a half-time show. I don't really care about the others except to use them as props with my subject. While my subject is not on the field performing, I'm inclined to take some cool sports photography shots.

    I'm shooting with a T1i which uses a APS-C (cropped) sensor.

    My choice of prime lenses are:

    Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L
    Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L

    For general shooting, I may have one of the following:

    Canon 70-200mm f 2.8l is ii
    Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS

    But I'm not certain at this time. I really want to nail down the choice of primes. Cost is not a factor.
     
  6. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Active Member

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    My 70-200 on my crop camera is enough for a single subject from the sideline, but not from the bleachers. I would still go with the 2.8 over the variable zoom lens any day. When light is an issue, you will want the extra 2 stops.

    One thing you might want to take into account also is the weight difference between the 300 & 400 lenses. The 300 is less than half the weight of the 400 (a whopping 11.8 lbs). I assume you will be using a monopod for most shots, but still.....it's a BIG difference. That said, the 400 makes some AMAZING images if you are willing to put up with the weight. 400mm + f/2.8 create some very nice blurry backgrounds and very crisp subjects.

    Another option would be to add a 1.4TC to the 300 (create an effective 420mm on a FX sensor, 672 on a crop camera) and only loose one stop of light (minimum aperture become f/4) while not suffering too much in the IQ department.
     
  7. jsmn4vu

    jsmn4vu New Member

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    I'd do everything in my power to get to the sidelines and use a shorter lens. I agree with pretty much all the advice that's been offered. With a crop camera, I'd think the 400 would be a bit much.

    The considerations are a bit different for daylight vs. nighttime, of course.
     
  8. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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    I should mention that this is going to be an afternoon game. I expect the band to be on the field around 1500 to 1600.

    I have a guaranteed shooting position facing S to SE. Ideally, I'd like to be shooting to the N, NW but that may not be possible. It all depends on whether I'll be allowed to pass by season ticket holder country or not.
     
  9. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Active Member

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    Being a former band nerd I assumed there was a high chance of this being done at night, but since it's daytime you could swing using the zoom if you wanted. It just wouldn't have the same sharpness or creamy BG you would get with one of the 2.8 lenses though.
     
  10. Puffyfish

    Puffyfish New Member

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    Years ago a f- 2.8 200 would have cost me a fortune and a 2.8 in a 400 was the cost of a small car. Things are much better now.
     
  11. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Active Member

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    Today's cost:

    Canon 400mm f/2.8 = $7,190
    Canon 400mm f/4 = $5,820
    Canon 300mm f/2.8 = $4,400
    Canon 100-400mm = $1500 after rebate

    They ain't that much better. :mrgreen:
     
  12. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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    www.lensrentals.com

    I just came off a trip where I rented an 85 mm / f1.2L & 28-300 mm L IS for just over $200 for a week. Sweet!
     
  13. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Active Member

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    Based on the way your were talking I had a feeling you might be renting. If you want to use a local company, my buddy Oscar runs aperturent.com. He even lets you do local pickup to save you a little cash if you are close by. He has 2 pickup locations on the website. Just choose the Local price and the "I'll pick it up" option at checkout. He doesn't have all the lenses we've listed, but he has some of them.

    If you use the link above, I get a referral credit. :D
     
  14. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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    The 300 mm worked out nicely but hindsight, for what I wanted to do, the 400 mm or even the 500 mm would have been more appropriate.

    It's neat to walk around with a large lens. People talk. Here's what I was asked:

    "Are you covering the game for the AJC?"

    "Do you work for Sports Illustrated?"
     
  15. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

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    "Why ... why Yes, I do. And we're auditioning for the next swim suit issue starting next week."
     
  16. bgs210

    bgs210 Luggage Killer

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    For all of those that might have "lens envy" ---

    I present this:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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    Uh no, on the scale, she was right about here:

    HOT................................................................................................................[*].....NOT
     
  18. AeroShooter

    AeroShooter Active Member

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  19. bgs210

    bgs210 Luggage Killer

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    Home Made 900mm

    Definitely NOT mine...
     
  20. Whitewolf

    Whitewolf Member

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