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05-23-2010, 03:59 AM   #1
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Sports Lens Help

Hello

I am looking for advice on choosing a lens that will grow with me over the years as my children play sports and dance...and Dad gets further away from the field or stage.

I shot most games with the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 combo. I've had to do a number of crops to make the action stand out.
I shot one game recently with a cheap old Tokina 70-210 F4.5 I found used two years ago. The results were not very sharp open wide when compared to the 50-135 (of course).
The Tamron 18-250 is another lens I shot with, and while incredibly versatile, it of course picked up the softness at its far end and was too slow to catch motion during late twilight games.

What I was looking at was:
Pentax DA* 60-250 F2.8
Sigma 100-300 F4
or the Sigma 70-200 II, HSM F2.8 and picking up a 1.4x teleconverter for when I need to go longer (I understand it would be an F4 and lose contrast)

One last option was just to get a Pentax DA 55-300 and save money for something else like an upgrade from my K200D.

Advice if welcome...thanks in advance

05-23-2010, 04:39 AM   #2
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I'm pretty new at sports photography myself but I'll throw in my two cents worth anyway. Firstly, isn't the DA* 60-250 F4 (not F2.8). My comments come from using a DA* 50-135mm and a DA L 55-300mm.

If (or perhaps it should be when) I look to upgrade my longer telephoto zoom lens for sports photography, I'd be more inclined to go with something like the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 than something that reaches 300mm but is only f/4. It really depends on what you're shooting, when and from how far. But I think there is a bit more versatility being able to use f/2.8 at 200mm in lower light situations but then in better lighting conditions when you wan the extra reach to throw on the TC and have 300mm at f/4.
05-23-2010, 05:27 AM   #3
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Thanks...I should have caught that on the 60-250

I like your thoughts on the 70-200. I've heard it is very fast focusing which I would need, plenty sharp and has a macro function to boot...
05-23-2010, 06:40 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ecwoj Quote
Thanks...I should have caught that on the 60-250

I like your thoughts on the 70-200. I've heard it is very fast focusing which I would need, plenty sharp and has a macro function to boot...
The Sigma 70-200/2.8 is the obvious choice. I have the older screwdriver-AF version and it is simply a excellent lens and very useable wide open. Build-quality is also excellent, which is something I really value.

If Sigma ever comes out with a HSM/SDM version of their Apo Tele converter, you should add the 1.4x tc as well. This is a combination I often use and there is no visible image quality loss with that tc.

Ben

05-23-2010, 07:34 AM   #5
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Thanks Ben for the advice
05-23-2010, 10:29 AM   #6
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I have a friend who uses the Canon version of the 70-200/2.8 and gets very good results. I have shot a little with his setup and it does a fine job. He uses a 2x converter at times and it still has very good IQ. The 100-300/f4 is also a well spoken of lens.

Shooting sports doesn't always mean you need a super long lens. For dance and school basketball games, I think you wouldn't need much more than 135mm. For myself, I find that I get far more keepers shooting a little wider and cropping. A fast moving game like basketball or hockey is much easier to follow the action shooting wide and cropping than trying to zoom in real close. Less DOF issues and less issues with motion blur. My daughter rowed Crew in HS and college and that required crops of shots with a 500mm at times. My granddaughter is a cheerleader for her basketball team and I shoot nearly everything with a fast 50mm. There are those who say shooting wide and cropping is cheating but I'm not shooting for Sports Illustrated, just a Dad and Grandfather shooting pictures of my kids and grandkids and their friends. Crops from a sharp, quality lens is often better looking than shots from a longer zoom.
05-23-2010, 10:41 AM   #7
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Interesting perspective, and similar to the situation I may face.

Whatever I get I'd like to hold on to for a while, so your points are helpful as I round out the collection one day...

Thank You!
05-23-2010, 05:58 PM   #8
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I use a Sigma 70-200 and TC for my sports shots. Good to have the option of f2.8 when you need it (inside or late in the day in winter etc.) I would go with this option again if given the choice.
And you always have cropping.

05-28-2010, 07:01 PM   #9
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Thanks. It seems that this is the way I will go...

I have one more lens to sell to get the coin!
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