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Thread: 50D with 300/400 Prime

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    50D with 300/400 Prime

    I'm digging up my past a little here I know.

    But.

    Will my 50D auto focus either the 300mm L F4 and or the 400mm L F5.6 quickly enough?

    If any of you have seen my rugby shots, this is what I'm chasing. My son plays under 9's, so it's like following a bunch of bee's chasing Whinny pooh around, no structure to keep up with. (See my Flickr site for examples)

    Dave DeGroot gave me some fantastic feedback on the 400, I've used the 300 handheld on an away trip and found it very comfortable and easy to use, I don't know if the IS will be of use on the 300mm due to setting it on my monopole and being in a crouched/knelling position.

    The time of day is mainly harsh Perth sunlight, so I feel the 400mm will handle it fine.

    But will my camera drive the AF quick enough? That's my main question. I need to improve my skills granted at this type of photography, but sincce I have almost hung up my boots and with my second son about to put them on, it's one I will activly seek to improve in.

    I also intend to try to get some quality shots (Near Richards or Kiwi's) for my club to have on a large screen as a screen saver type of arrangement, and maybe even pick up the odd sale,, but that's far from a concern at the monent.

    Any info is welcolme, thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Roosta; 29-06-2011 at 7:09pm.
    They call me "Blue" it's a red head thing.
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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Absolutely!

    The 50D is a very competent all-round camera. AF performance is about the same as others in the same series - 20D, 30D, and 40D. I used to do all my bird photography with a 20D and a Canon prime, and I cannot believe that a bird n flight is harder for an AF system than a child playing rugby.

    Yes, sure, a 1D III or 1D IV would do it better - but even now you are still looking at $5000 for a new copy of the (now discontinued) 1D III. The 7D is somewhere in between, and very affordable.

    But you don't need to upgrade your body if you don't want to: the 50D will do just fine.

    PS: these are both fine lenses, with fast (400L) or very fast (300/4) auto-focus. If I was after fast focus, would much rather have a 50D and the 300/4 than a 1D III and a lesser lens.

    PPS: turn the IS on and leave it on. There is almost never a good reason to turn IS off.
    Tony

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

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    Cheers Tony, No not looking to upgrade the body in the near future, not long back swaped the Oly for the then nearly discontinued 50D, but very happy with it, like I say, I am the one that needs improving. So thanks for the positive feedback, the 300 is the way i'm leaning. EFV of 480mm should be heaps, to the 280 I get with my 70-200mm L F2.8. But Dave De also mentioned as to others have mentioned the EFV of 640mm is appealing, but the 300mm will give me close focus to 4.9 feet. 11 feet for the 400mm.

    Thanks again.

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    400 on a crop body is far too long for kids footy on 1/4 or 1/2 fields. I think a lens with usm is more important than the body.
    Darren
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    I'd put a tc on the 70-200 2.8 and that should be fine

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    The other one you should consider, Roosta, is the 100-400. That is certainly the lens I would select for your task. It focuses slightly slower than the 400 prime (and I do mean slightly - I've used them both for birding) but is vastly more versatile, and has IS which can be a huge advantage. Assuming that the action moves all over the ground (which seems safe) the zoom would be ideal.

    Well ... "ideal" would be a 200-400/4. Got ten grand to spare?

    (Just to throw a complete spanner in your thinking!)

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    Roosta, done a few sports shoots for school and used the 400 on my 50d - great, but I had to sit a very long, long, long way away. Staff didn't even know I was there and were surprised when they saw my shots - its plenty fast enough, but are you .

    Agree with Kiwi the 70-200 - which fortunately I was able to purchase (love my hubby), which I would use for sport.
    Shelley
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    A cheaper option is go for the 200mm F2.8 L prime lens. I use that for footy with a 50D and find it great. I also can use a 1.4x tele convertor and that turns it into a 280mm F4 lens with no real drop off in quality. The main thing in any lens is to ensure it has the ring USM, not micro USM or just micro motor. This lens & the lenses you are looking at have ring USM which gives amazingly fast focusing ability which is what you need to follow sport. Sigma version is HSM and Tamron with their new SP70-300 have their version of USM now, USD, Ultrasonic silent drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I think a lens with usm is more important than the body.
    All of the Canon L Series lenses have true ring USM, Kiwi, as do the better non-L models. The only longish Canon lenses I can think of that do not have ring USM are the 55-250 kit lens, the 18-200 superzoom, and the dreadful old 75-300, if they still make it. There might be a couple of others I have forgotten, but they will be cheap, slow, variable aperture things, not the sort of lens we are considering here.

    But when you say that USM is more important than the body, I agree entirely! You can get away with a stepper motor in a short lens - both my Tokina lenses (10-17 and 35mm) are non-USM, and I'm perfectly happy with the short one and OK wioth the 35mm - but as the focal length increases and your depth of field becomes less, a decent focus mechanism becomes more and more important.

    I won't comment on the choice of a suitable focal length range for sport other than to say that Kiwi is the expert, ignore him at your peril!

    Oh, I might mention that Canon now have an excellent range of different 70-300 models you might usefully consider one of, Roosta.

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    Well, where to start, Thanks Darren, the focal debate was banging around in my head, I had settled for the 300 more so over the 400, with no look to upgrade to FF for some time, also the minimum focus depth is a clear winner (4.9Ft). I have the 70-200 NON IS L F2.8 and when combined to my Kenko 1.4 tc it seems to react a lot slower, all be it the focal lenght is a lot better (Thanks Shelly) I do find that combo works well for slower moving objects, but seems to be to slow to react for rugby.

    Thanks Tony for all the usefull feedback, I was worried that my 50D might not be able to drive the prime, but I feel I might also have an issue with my old 70-200. I also understand my technique needs work, and that buying a lens is not the answer to technique, but I feel it will help with focal depth too chase the action alot better. I think I might hire one again and try it. The 100-400 did cross my mind, but I was looking at a more one use lens, not sure if that is the right though process tho. The 100-400 would be very usefull, even at nearly twice the price.

    Thanks again to all whom replied.

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    I cant speek for the Canon, but I had for some time the kenko 1.4 and with the nikon 70-200 2.8 I really couldnt tell much difference in AF performance, maybe a little but not enough to matter....so...is your 70-200 also slow "naked" ?

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    Roosts unfortunately I am away for two or so weeks, but I am happy to meet up and you can try my 400 and the new 70-200 on your camera, and the 550ex II flash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I cant speek for the Canon, but I had for some time the kenko 1.4 and with the nikon 70-200 2.8 I really couldnt tell much difference in AF performance, maybe a little but not enough to matter....so...is your 70-200 also slow "naked" ?
    Mate I'm not to sure if it's me technically or the lens in Ai. I need alot more time with it I feel, shame I'm not up your way. I'm going to give Canon a call later and see if there is any tests that can be done to determin the USM speed for focus. I might need to look at the way I've got it set up on the body and body settings, will be back home this coming weekend and if it's not hosing down, will take the camera and TC along and see if I can narrow it down at all in the different modes.

    Will post some images for CC and leave all EXIF attached in Sprt Forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
    Roosts unfortunately I am away for two or so weeks, but I am happy to meet up and you can try my 400 and the new 70-200 on your camera, and the 550ex II flash.
    Mate that would be great, we can probally make an afternoon of it again if some of the others are keen and if you would like that, would love to re-visit the coast line again. Thanks for the offer.

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    are you serious? Shelley's Avatar
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    excellent that is what I was thinking as well - great - will get back in touch when I am back in WA. Its the new flash too the 580exII too by the way .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
    excellent that is what I was thinking as well - great - will get back in touch when I am back in WA. Its the new flash too the 580exII too by the way .
    If I may suggest, maybe you could put up some dates in the WA Forum, and see what reaction you get, but if I'm home, and your home, that would be great.

    Thanks

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