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Author Topic: Any thoughts on this?  (Read 3971 times)  bookmark this topic!
dem74
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Any thoughts on this?
« on: September 21, 2009, 02:13:16 PM »

I own a Canon 50D with a variety of lenses... My zoom lens is the basic Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM & want to upgrade to a prime lens... Of course like most people the $5000+ price for most primes is outta my range so I'm looking at the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM... I've read many reviews as far as nature photography but my question is, can I get away with shooting sports (i.e. Nascar, Football, Baseball, Extreme) with this lens? By getting away with, I mean clean sharp images...

Bob has suggested the Canon EF 100-400mm, but my worry with the 100-400mm is the push pull zoom... I've heard it likes to dust up the camera w/ the air flow... I'm leaning toward the prime because I'd be zoomed out 99.9% of the time...

Also, what are your thoughts on the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM & Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM? I had actually ordered the 150-500mm but got cold feet not being the Canon name... What about the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM with 1.4x extender? I'm just wanting the best bang for the money without hitting the $5000 mark...

Thanks
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Bob Atkins
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Re: Any thoughts on this?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 02:40:27 PM »

I'm not so sure I subscribe to the idea that the 100-400 sucks in excessive dust. I had one for a while and didn't notice any problems. I don't think it's an issue which would stop me buying that lens if it had everything else that I wanted. I suspect the dust issue is something of an "urban myth", where something gets read and repeated whether or not it's actually true and whether or not the poster has actually used the lens. It sort of "seems logical" that a push pull design might suck in more dust, but I'm not at all sure the dust issue with the 100-400 is real. I've also seen reports for users of this lens in dusty conditions who say it's no worse then their other lenses.

The EF 300/4L ISis also very good and with a 1.4x it's pretty close to the quality of the 100-400 at 400mm (and both are f5.6). I currently use a 300/4L (non-IS version) as my small telephoto, with 1.4x and 2x TCs. With a 2x you loose AF and quality drops at bit, but it's usuable, especially in good light when you can stop down a stop.

I'm wary of Sigma lenses. Not that they aren't optically pretty good, it's just that past incompatibility problems and trouble with build quality on a few older lenses I owned turned me off to them a bit. The Sigma 50-500 does have a fan base, and the stabilized Sigma 150-500 OS seems to get good user feedback (though I haven't tried it myself).

If quality and reliability is the primary issue, then I'd stick with Canon and if I wanted a lens to use 90% of the time at 400mm (with a tripod), I'd probably go for the EF 400/5.6L USM. You could even get the EF 70-300IS and the 400/5.6L and still spend less (or about the same) as a 100-400IS.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 02:44:25 PM by Bob Atkins » Logged
dem74
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Re: Any thoughts on this?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 02:43:19 PM »

Thanks Bob, your knowledge is very welcomed!!!!
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russ_becker
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Re: Any thoughts on this?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 03:42:30 AM »

I have the Sigma 120-400 f/4.5 - 5.6 zoom.  Like Bob, I was wary of Sigma's reliability; I purchased the Sigma from LensRentals, since they had checked it out, for a good price..

I use it for field sports ( U14 soccer ) and birding.  I have been impressed with its performance, on a 40D, for field sports.  From 120 to 300mm it is very sharp with very good contrast; it softens a bit from 300 to 400mm, but still does quite well at 400mm.  Photos taken in good light ( day games ) need a touch more than default sharpening at 400mm.  Like most zooms, it does best stopped down a bit at 400mm.  I shoot at f/6.3 to f/8. 

The stabilization takes a little getting used to, but is quite effective, around 3 stops in practice ( I generally have IS turned off for field sports since I use shutter speeds of 1/1000 or higher).  Compared to the 70-200/f4 L which I also use, it will not get the occasional stunning images, but it will consistently deliver very good images at all focal lengths. 

The 400mm L should give consistently excellent images, but you will probably find the long length a liability when the action gets close.  I usually pick a corner to shoot from and let the game come to me.  There are times when even 120mm is too long and you have to back up. 
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