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09-28-2008, 12:55 AM   #1
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Sigma 70-200 2.8 indoors?

Hello,

I'm considering purchasing the Sigma 70-200 2.8 to shoot my granddaughter's soccer games, but I'm holding off until I hear about its abilities indoors. Has anyone used it at full tele indoors? I also need/want it to shoot school functions. We usually end up sitting in the rafters. Thanks in advance!

09-28-2008, 04:13 AM   #2
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Lowsy AF at 200mm f2.8, and this after shooting a whole festival with it!
09-28-2008, 04:26 AM   #3
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I use it all the time to shoot weddings (but mines the older screw drive version) and have no real isues with it at receptions and so on. My experience is the opposite but that may also depend on the camera body as well. Which model do you have?
09-28-2008, 04:37 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I use it all the time to shoot weddings (but mines the older screw drive version) and have no real isues with it at receptions and so on. My experience is the opposite but that may also depend on the camera body as well. Which model do you have?
Pentax K200. I've had pretty good results with the Pentax DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL with the soccer games so my main concern is the indoor shots at school functions.

09-28-2008, 04:42 AM   #5
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My suggestion is you buy one from B&H and have it delivered a week before an event. Use it (practice) a lot before the event. If after you shoot the event, and decide it's too slow, return it to B&H for a refund. But your only other choice is the DA*50-135mm as I've not heard much possitive about the Tamron version in other mounts.

I suspect you'll be happy with it. The K200D is reported to have slightly better AF sensors and should be better than my K10D.
09-28-2008, 04:53 AM   #6
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Thanks Peter. I've been considering the DA*50-135mm as well, but was worried about it not having enough reach (We always get stuck in the rafters). Bad thing is that I don't have a good way to test them before hand with my main goal being indoor school function shots. Of course the school function shots are the ones you can never retake.
09-28-2008, 06:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Substitute Quote
Lowsy AF at 200mm f2.8, and this after shooting a whole festival with it!
Could you possibly post some images made at 200mm f/2.8? I'm more interested in image quality at thos settings than in autofocus ability. Thanks.

CN
09-28-2008, 08:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
Could you possibly post some images made at 200mm f/2.8? I'm more interested in image quality at thos settings than in autofocus ability. Thanks.

CN
Same here... though AF would be a big plus to my aging not so perfect eyes.

09-28-2008, 08:13 AM   #9
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I'm not going to paint an "everything is perfect" image of low light focus as many cameras have issues with dim or poor contrast shooting situations (ask a Canon 40D owner!). But I've found the Sigma to do a decent job. The lens that surprises me is the FA*300mm f4.5. It does a very good job in dim situations but you loose the flexiblity of a zoom. I wonder how the DA*300mm does?

My 'trick' if you can call it that, is to look at the subject (Spot Focus) and find anything with more contrast (white shirt against black hair, contrasting colours in clothing) and use that to lock focus. If you just point the lens at a face, the colour is too monotone for the AF sensors. Boost the ISO to 640 or 800 and set the camera at +0.3 Ev or +0.5 Ev (helps avoid noise) and stop down enough to get some DOF, even f4 will help. Shoot in AV mode to control the aperture.
09-28-2008, 10:10 AM   #10
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A point should be made about indoor photos for sports. If you watch the pros, they sit close to the action for more than one reason. I don't want to list them all as it should be obvious. If gear was available to do it for the rafter, they be there to. Problem with most facilities is the poor lights not like pro places which are often televised requiring great illumination for the tv camera. To acheive a good photo you must tackle 2 major problems in these places, amount of light and action. It all comes down to using a fast lens F2.8 minimum and fast ISO, often 1600 to 3200. Now with these settings you have a DOF and noise issues which one has to minimize.

Here is a photo at a large gym taken close to 200 at 2.8 with 70-200 EX DG HSM II. This was my first time out with theis lens indoor. Exif included.



Here one at 70mm F2.8 at 1600 iso

09-28-2008, 01:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Denis Quote
A point should be made about indoor photos for sports. If you watch the pros, they sit close to the action for more than one reason. I don't want to list them all as it should be obvious. If gear was available to do it for the rafter, they be there to. Problem with most facilities is the poor lights not like pro places which are often televised requiring great illumination for the tv camera. To acheive a good photo you must tackle 2 major problems in these places, amount of light and action. It all comes down to using a fast lens F2.8 minimum and fast ISO, often 1600 to 3200. Now with these settings you have a DOF and noise issues which one has to minimize.

The indoor school functions I will be photographing will be things like Christmas shows, choir etc.... So maybe the Sigma will do the trick. By the way.... How do I see the Exif data? Do I have to d/l the photo?

Thanks so much for everyone's replies.
09-28-2008, 02:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TYOsborn Quote
The indoor school functions I will be photographing will be things like Christmas shows, choir etc.... So maybe the Sigma will do the trick. By the way.... How do I see the Exif data? Do I have to d/l the photo?

Thanks so much for everyone's replies.

To see EXIF download the image or you have "PhotoMe" it can be done in browser but I am not totally sure. There are other programs available to do just that but not sure of names. The forum ran a thread on this topic a few months back.
09-28-2008, 02:15 PM   #13
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I can't speak of the new HSM version, as I have the origonal APO 70-200F2.8 EX.

I have literally taken thousands of shots with this lens in indoor auditoriums shooting my daughter's stage and dance productions. Most of these ahve been shot at 1600-3200 ISO uising stage lighting.

The lens does a great job with these
09-28-2008, 02:28 PM   #14
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For indoor shooting, zooms are the most convinient and the limiting factor is always f2.8 along with difficult hunting AF.

This is inevitable regardless what zoom is used in low light. Sigma 70-200 f2.8 (the old version I used to have) did hunt to a degree. As Peter had suggested, this is a common phenomenon regardless what zoom or brand of camera you are using.

I found sigma 70-200 f2.8 (old version) very sharp whose images have a sense of clarity to it. It is not so heavy and well built. Very easy to hold onto. Sigma in general takes on flare very well, much better than pentax Fa* 80-200mm f2.8. I think this is a good lens to own for indoor shooting.
09-28-2008, 02:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TYOsborn Quote
I've been considering the DA*50-135mm as well, but was worried about it not having enough reach (We always get stuck in the rafters).
If your stuck in the rafters the chances are that the lens will be at infinity during the entire game anyways.
And if this is the case just focus before the event, then turn the AF off. Then somehow ensure you don't touch the focus.

If you notice the images getting a little soft, or things just not looking right through the viewfinder re-focus and you should be set.

If you get closer to the field then you might have problems focusing with any lens.
That's when learning a technique like Peters helps.
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