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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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.
 

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jsmn4vu said:
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.
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.
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.
 

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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.
 

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AeroShooter said:
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'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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
jsmn4vu said:
AeroShooter said:
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'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.
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.
 

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AeroShooter said:
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.
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
RevolverDan said:
Puffyfish said:
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.
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:
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!
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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?"
 

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AeroShooter said:
"Do you work for Sports Illustrated?"
"Why ... why Yes, I do. And we're auditioning for the next swim suit issue starting next week."
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Fallschirmjäger said:
AeroShooter said:
"Do you work for Sports Illustrated?"
"Why ... why Yes, I do. And we're auditioning for the next swim suit issue starting next week."
Uh no, on the scale, she was right about here:

HOT................................................................................................................[*].....NOT
 

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