MTB unrelated.. Any Photography knowledgeable people- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    MTB unrelated.. Any Photography knowledgeable people

    I realize this may be hijacking the forum a bit, but with all the other social/political bantering that is common on this board I thought I would give it a shot. I was hoping someone might be able to help me out with a photography question. I just got a new DSLR camera and was looking for a new zoom lens to shoot some MTB (and other sports) shots. I think I want something around the 70-200mm range but because I am so new to this I am not sure what to look for. Does anybody have any experience in this area that might be able to provide some advice as to a lens selection. By the way I am shooting with a canon 30d.

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    Jim ---

    You may want to post this info in the "General Discussion" area of MTBR. There are couple of really good photogs out there like Photo-John, jorgemonkey, anthonys. Heck I think even the infamous Pete was a good photog as well.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimi1114
    I realize this may be hijacking the forum a bit, but with all the other social/political bantering that is common on this board I thought I would give it a shot. I was hoping someone might be able to help me out with a photography question. I just got a new DSLR camera and was looking for a new zoom lens to shoot some MTB (and other sports) shots. I think I want something around the 70-200mm range but because I am so new to this I am not sure what to look for. Does anybody have any experience in this area that might be able to provide some advice as to a lens selection. By the way I am shooting with a canon 30d.
    shoot off a PM to Oldpro... She knows her cameras and she knows mountainbiking....

  4. #4
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    What lenses are you using now and what is your budget? When you say "other sports", what exactly are you thinking (indoor/outdoor, from the sideline/stands, etc...)?

    I can personally recommend the 70-200 2.8 but it is big, heavy and expensive. For intermediate range moving subjects it's almost perfect though.
    "The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bob
    What lenses are you using now and what is your budget? When you say "other sports", what exactly are you thinking (indoor/outdoor, from the sideline/stands, etc...)?

    I can personally recommend the 70-200 2.8 but it is big, heavy and expensive. For intermediate range moving subjects it's almost perfect though.
    I currently have the stock lens that came with the 30d (canon 18-55 I think). I will be shooting my kids little league, his football etc... So I will be on the sidelines for the most part. Most will be outdoors as well, but I thought it would be nice to have the flexibility of the 2.8 lens for those indoor shots, night games and ability for faster shutter speeds. My concern, maybe it's not a valid one, is when shooting MTB type of stuff in shade areas/overcast will a 2.8 help with the potentially lower light. Or is lower light considered indoors? I am a newbie to this so pardon the ignorance on my part.

    The two lens I have been looking at are the Sigma 70-200 2.8 macro, and the Canon 70-200 f4 L. I have also looked at the Canon 2.8 IS L but not interested in spending $1700.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Jim ---

    You may want to post this info in the "General Discussion" area of MTBR. There are couple of really good photogs out there like Photo-John, jorgemonkey, anthonys. Heck I think even the infamous Pete was a good photog as well.
    Thanks, I will do that.

    And Flip, I will take your advice as well.

  7. #7
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    When indoors with good lighting even f/2.8 will be fairly slow at these focal lengths. f/4, of course, is that much worse by a factor of 2. Even outdoors, in shady areas like you mention, f/2.8 defintely is useful.

    I guess the good news is that the 30D (I have a 20D which is the same imaging-wise) has very good high ISO performance, making slow lenses that much more useful. You might want to try shooting at ISO 800-1600 and see if you are happy with the results. If you aren't, then I'd definitely lean toward the faster glass.

    I assume the Sigma you looked at is the 70-200mm f/2.8 EX APO HSM DG? I haven't used it but I know it has an excellent reputation. I use the Canon 70-200 2.8, non-IS, which is considerably cheaper than the IS version and also excellent. The Canon 70-200 f/4 also has an excellent reputation (there is a rumor that Canon will announce an IS version of this lens in the next few days although for sports IS isn't quite as useful).

    Another nice thing about going f/2.8 is that if you ever want to add an extender (for example, 1.4x = 98-280mm f/4 or even 2x), you still have a reasonably fast lens. If you start from f/4, it quickly becomes difficult to use.

    One last thing I should mention is that if you haven't seen any of these in person, you should do so. 70-200 f/2.8's are beasts. I always think twice before taking mine anywhere and have never even considered taking it with me while cycling.

    I hope that helps.
    "The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the advice. It seems like the 2.8 is the way to go. I realize these are big lens and I won't be able to take on a ride with me. One reason I was looking at the Canon lens is that it is lighter, that is what I hear, than the 2.8 lens. Once again thanks for the input.

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    I'm another that can recommend the Canon 70-200 2.8 L. The Sigma also has a fantastic reputation. Jump on over to http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...splay.php?f=33 for all the info you want on Canon SLR lenses.

  10. #10
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    Look into Chromatic Aboration as well

    If you look into it I believe the higher end Canon lense and the Sigma will have far less Chromatic Aboration which means distoration at the corners...

    It might seem like no big deal until you try to stich a picture or you shoot a line up of kinds and all of a sudden the ones on the edges have huge heads...

    PS can remove this but higher end lenses adjust for this internally.

    Make sure you put a cheap UV filter on the front of all your glass you are going biking with. Think of it as a shooters condom.

    I bought a Sigma not that long for my 10D, and it is sweet. It is a 70mm though so I have no idea about the weight of a 200mm telephoto.
    Shut up and ride yer BIKE-

  11. #11
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    After a lot of going back and forth I decided on the Cano 70-200 f4/L. It is lighter and I think the resale will be better on the L glass over Sigma. I figure that 99% of my shooting will be outdoors in daylight so the 2.8 is not a must. Although I am sure it would help. It was also about $200.00 cheaper than the Sigma. I am sure the Sigma is a fantastic lens but I would like to be able to transport the lens and camera when on the trails. Probably not the smartest thing, but I really want to be able to get some quality photos that you just can't get with the normal point and shoot cameras I have been using. If I really get into this I will consider the 2.8 version of the Canon. That is probably a ways off though.

  12. #12
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    Here's a good site that contains measurements for chromatic aberration, distortion and resolution for a wide variety of lenses. I've owned quite a few lenses over the years and my own experience matches pretty well with what they see.

    http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html
    "The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."

  13. #13
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    I think you've made a great choice, you can't really go wrong with the Canon. If it doesn't work out, you should be able to unload it for around $50 less than you pay new. The used market for Canon gear is insane. I must warn you though, once you see what that lens is capable of you'll want to flush your 18-55 down the toilet .

    Speaking of used, there seems to be a very high probability that Canon will announce an IS version of this lens tomorrow. If so, soon there may be a good opportunity to get a great deal on a used non-IS version as people dump them to get the latest thing. In light of that, I should probably take back the $50 estimate above.
    "The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."

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