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Archive 2012 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?
  
 
R.Young
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p.1 #1 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


hi there,

I posted a few weeks ago about getting a 100-400 and selling my 200 2.8 for motorsports. I have not yet sold my 200 and have used my 100-400 just once at the Silverstone Classic a few weeks ago. It was great to be able to get closer with the zoom but...

To be honest, I wasn't really impressed with the 100-400. When I got home I had a surprising amount of OOF shots, even when stopped down and panning at anywhere between 1/15 - 1/1000. The shots were both back and front focused. I use a Canon 5D2 so not sure if its the camera or the slow lens AF that just can't keep up with fast motorsport. Either way, I did't find the in focus shots that spectacular anyway. I've compared the photos I got from last years Classic when I was just shooting a 200L on a 1Ds2, and they were great in comparison.

Also the small aperture of the 100-400 doesn't open up as many opportunities for varying shots, e.g. thin DOF isolation to stopped down panning. I felt that all I could do was pan as shooting wide open didn't isolate enough and led to pretty dull photos.

I've started eyeing up the possibility of a used 300 2.8 IS even though it is way out of my price range. I've began thinking if I sell the 200 and 100-400 the upgrade cost wont be so painful. But I was supposed to sell the 200 to fund the 100-400 so I need someone to tell me to stop and give up the super telephoto idea and leave the motorsports to the pros. I'm just a hobbyist and really enjoy shooting, but only if I'm getting decent photos. When I compare my shots to pros, its obvious I need a faster longer lens. But I'm not sure where to draw the line! Sell up and just watch, or splash out and have a go with a telephoto?



Jul 31, 2012 at 10:41 PM
sperraglia
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p.1 #2 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


The 300mm 2.8 IS is one of the sharpest lens Canon makes and a favorite. I am on my third copy because I have stupidly sold it twice in the past to pay for lens and then eventually bought it again because it is one of my all time favorite lens and the only lens I have ever regretted selling. I have a 100-400 and the 300 with a tele blows it away.


Jul 31, 2012 at 11:22 PM
R.Young
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p.1 #3 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


Just looked at prices on eBay. About 3,000 for the IS. I'm beginning to think the non IS is my only option. 1,500 ish for an out of service lens. Any feedback on how this lens compares to the newer IS (not version II IS). Is it still a good choice?


Jul 31, 2012 at 11:29 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #4 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I sold my 100-400 to help finance my 300 2.8 IS. I really like the lens, but do miss the flexibility and size of the zoom for some sports and other subjects. I typically use mine with either the 1d3 or 7d. I think a large part of your focus problem may be due to the body you are using also in conjunction with the slightly slower focus of the 100-400. I think I'll pick up a 100-400 again in the future just because it is so flexible and not too much money.


Jul 31, 2012 at 11:36 PM
R.Young
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p.1 #5 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I got my 5D2 in January this year, so not really wanting to sell and get another body. Do you think a 300 2.8 would be a waste on the 5D2? If so I might knock the whole thing on the head and leave the motorsports to the rich. The 300 would really wipe me out at a time when I should really be saving.


Jul 31, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #6 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I love my Canon 300 f2.8 L IS, and generally recomend it for a lot of situations, but in your case I think most of your problems with the new 100-400 are related to the 5D2 body, which is not an ideal camera for fast motorsports. Do you have a way to borrow or rent a 5D3 and check out the 100-400 with that for the same action? An upgrade of your body from the 5D2 to a 5D3 will cost you some, but the auto focus performance is a very big step up, plus you get some frame rate too. You also get a little bit better performance in the 5D3 at higher ISO, so the 100-400 is a little more tolerable.

If you need zoom, the 100-400 L IS or the 70-300 L IS or any of the 70-200 L IS lenses are all ways to have it and still get reasonable image quality. If you do not need zoom, then a 300 f2.8 L IS or a 300 f4.0 L IS are very nice lenses, both with great image quality, and they each take 1.4 tele extenders well. Do not discount the 300 f4, which you could combine with your current 200 f2.8 and have a pair of nice primes. But with most of your shots out of focus, I think you should try a 5D3 first over a new lens, and then go from there.

You did not mention about if you will be hand holding or can consider using monopod or a gimbal head, but the 300 f2.8 lens is a serious step up in weight and bulk over any other lens you have mentioned, and depending on your strength can be very difficult to hand hold for a long event, or even a short one. That is part of the beauty of the smaller lenses like a 300 f4, or the 100-400.



Jul 31, 2012 at 11:53 PM
R.Young
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p.1 #7 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I have shot just handheld up to now, with the 200 it is not a problem. But I have particularly been trying to push my slow shutter pans to the limit, as I like the effect when it works, which isn't often. So just this week ordered a monopod which should up my keeper rate for panning hopefully.

Unfortunately I shoot mainly MF lenses (Zeiss mainly) from 21-100mm and have noted that the 5D3 doesn't allow changing of the focus screen. I rely heavily on the EG-S screen in my 5D2 and have not heard good stories from many regarding the 5D3 for MF lenses. Ideally I would buy a 1D3 or something but as its just a hobby I don't have the money or space for two cameras and their respective boxes and chargers etc. I was hoping to keep the 5D2 until it dies but if it really is the weak link in my motorsport photography I might just give it up and stick to my BMX photography and landscape etc. Motorsport is a pain to shoot a lot of the time due to the high fences and wider and wider run off areas the tracks in the UK are moving towards. Silverstone is pretty shocking for photography unless you can wangle a press pass or something.

I'm going to Goodwood in Sept and will maybe take the 200 and 100-400 with monopod then. If I still have AF problems then I may sell the zoom, I have a feeling the 200 isn't so bad, at least it hasn't seemed to be so far with the 5D2.



Aug 01, 2012 at 12:12 AM
kentt
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p.1 #8 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


R.Young wrote:
hi there,

I posted a few weeks ago about getting a 100-400 and selling my 200 2.8 for motorsports. I have not yet sold my 200 and have used my 100-400 just once at the Silverstone Classic a few weeks ago. It was great to be able to get closer with the zoom but...

To be honest, I wasn't really impressed with the 100-400. When I got home I had a surprising amount of OOF shots, even when stopped down and panning at anywhere between 1/15 - 1/1000. The shots were both back and front focused. I use a Canon 5D2 so
...Show more

Spooky, I was up at the Silverstone classic on the Sunday, Like you I shoot for my own enjoyment, shooting motor sport is something that gets better over time and practise, also you get to know the best spots to shoot from over time, at the end of the day you will have to choose to splash the cash, if you do get a faster lens (f2.8) this will help when shooting through the fence. But remember it is always difficult from the wrong side of the fence, plan your day according to where the sun will be as this can make a big difference when shooting through the fence. Strangely an overcast day can help a lot, the air is cooler, less disturbed by the hot tarmac on a sunny day.

I shooting with my 300L 2.8 IS with x2 convertor and the results were great at this weekend classic. But a few years ago I used to shoot with a 5D classic (mk1) and the 100-400L and the result were not to bad at all, although for Silverstone reach was a problem as the track seems to get further away with each years

If you have a look at some of my galleries: http://www.kentt.co.uk a lot of the early one (before 2010) were shot with 100-400L

If you want a direct comparison, let me know and I'll dig through them and find to similar shots taken with the different lenses.



Aug 01, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Angry
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p.1 #9 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I have a 100-400 & shoot with a 7D, the AF is killer ,..
.but only when you take the time to set it up correctly.
The results are OK for a relativley affordable lens..

Maybe you should upgrade the body to a 7D...

My fav pair of lens would be the 100-400L & 70-200,F2.8L.

I thionka 70-200, f2.8 witha 300, f2.8 would be a killer combination, but on a 7D, keep your 5Dc for the 70-200..

Al



Aug 01, 2012 at 12:38 AM
R.Young
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p.1 #10 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


Thanks Kent.

For comparison, here are some shots from last year when I had only the 200 2.8L and 1Ds2, (lots of cropping, and I would prob process and crop them differently if it were now):
http://rcyoung.co.uk/Grand-Prix-Masters
http://rcyoung.co.uk/Group-C

And this year shot with the 5D2 and 100-400 (not finished this post, need to add more from other parts of the track and then delete the worst, too many similar shots atm):
http://rcyoung.co.uk/Group-C-Silverstone-Classic-2012




Aug 01, 2012 at 12:43 AM
 

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kentt
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p.1 #11 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


Some great galleries and stunning shots Robert,

I can see you like very low shutter speeds and of course this will bring down the number of keepers quite considerably especially if you do increase your focal length. I presume you stick with the centre focus point with the 5D?

Another small thing to consider, if you do go from a 100-400L to the 300, 2.8 is the extra weight will be noticeable when walk around a large track like Silverstone for a whole day



Aug 01, 2012 at 01:30 AM
surf monkey
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p.1 #12 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


A 5D2 with 300f2.8 has about the same reach as a 7D with your 200f2.8.
So instead of getting a 3000 lens, just get a 7D.
You'll have about the same reach with the 200 and better tracking AF.
You'll also have the 100-400 for even more reach.

5D2 + 300 = more money, shallower DOF, better possible IQ (also more OOF image)
vs
7D/5D2 + 200/100-400 = less money, more reach, better tracking, easier to handle



Aug 01, 2012 at 01:33 AM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #13 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I would just suggest adding a 7d instead of looking to a 300 2.8 IS or non IS. You'll get better focusing, better frames per second and smaller sensor for smaller pixel pitch. A mono pod will help in your panning shots. I like to go down to about 1/80th or so depending on the speed of the cars. I've only done F1 events for auto racing though. Save your 5d2 for the slow stuff where it really excells.


Aug 01, 2012 at 01:46 AM
R.Young
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p.1 #14 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


Thanks for the advice. I will see how I get on at Goodwood which is a track which is easy to get nice and close. I think the 200+5D2 will be a nice combination there. We will see.

If I find the 200 focusses well enough on the 5D2, which it seems to be so far from looking at the few shots I have taken at Silverstone, I assume the slow AF of the 5D2 combined with the relatively slow AF on the 100-400 has been causing my issues. Maybe an old 300 Non IS 2.8 would focus as fast as my 200 and that would be a nice option, especially with TCs later down the line.

I'd really rather not an extra body, especially a crop as I would be wanting the shallowest depth of field possible, hence the 300 2.8 over my current setup. A 1.3 crop would maybe be ok but again they are large cameras (I used to own a 1Ds2) and heavy to lug around. Not something I want to invest in really. I'm aiming to slim my camera gear down as much as possible.

So I'll see how I get on, and keep an eye out for any good deals (not seen any yet really) for a 300 non IS 2.8



Aug 01, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #15 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I wouldn't blame the 100-400 for not being able to focus on motorsports. You should try a 300 f2.8 before buying. It is indeed an exceptional lens, but see how long you can handhold it for.


Aug 01, 2012 at 01:55 AM
surf monkey
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p.1 #16 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


R.Young wrote:
A 1.3 crop would maybe be ok but again they are large cameras (I used to own a 1Ds2) and heavy to lug around. Not something I want to invest in really. I'm aiming to slim my camera gear down as much as possible.


That's funny, getting into the supertele lenses isn't the best way to slim down your gear.



Aug 01, 2012 at 02:33 AM
arnold1
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p.1 #17 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I second what others have said about 300 2.8 IS. I have mk I version of it and it is the best lens ever!


Aug 01, 2012 at 03:51 AM
warjoe
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p.1 #18 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


Have both the new Mkii 300 and the non-IS version great lens. I also have the 135F2 very good for Motorsport. I think your 5d will be holding you back all the same with Af and frames per second.

Warren

www.industryimage.com



Aug 01, 2012 at 10:06 AM
grahamg
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p.1 #19 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


I have shot the 100-400 and sold it in the end as not sharp enough. I have shot the 300 2.8 and would make all possible allowances for the problems in it not being a zoom. It really does take that good an image. You can be more creative, shoot wide open and get tack sharp ect. OTOH have you
could try the 300 F4 others can give more recent opinion re this lens.... Or hire a 300 2.8 for a week from lens rentals for 156?



Aug 01, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #20 · Upgrade from 200 2.8 and 100-400 to a 300 2.8?


R.Young wrote:
I got my 5D2 in January this year, so not really wanting to sell and get another body. Do you think a 300 2.8 would be a waste on the 5D2? If so I might knock the whole thing on the head and leave the motorsports to the rich. The 300 would really wipe me out at a time when I should really be saving.


I can vouch that the 100-400L while an overall excellent lens, is not the fastest AF'er for quick action and is not as good on on the non 1 series bodies except for the 7D and now 5D III. 5D II is really at best an average performer for fast action work. I can tell you based on my experience with the 20D and 40D which were also rather ordinary with the 100-40L that they did improve markedly with lenses like the 300 f/2.8L IS and the 500 f/4L IS. My keeper rated increased dramatically with these lenses for surfing and bif shots. Now I can't say for sure whether this would be the case on the 5D II as I never used it for much action, but given the AF of the 5D II is not much different to the 40D I would be surprised if that also did not improve too with the 300.

Slow fps, long shutter lag and long mirror blackout also count against the 5D II for action work, but you can still get great shots, just might take a bit more effort and timing.



Aug 01, 2012 at 11:00 AM
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