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Archive 2012 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer
  
 
dslee
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


Hello,

I have two girls playing youth soccer - U11 and U9. They currently play on smaller fields but starting next year my older daughter will play on a full-size field. The equipment I've been shooting with are a 5DIII, 70-200/2.8 non-IS and 1.4X teleconverter. This being Arizona, the soccer games are all outdoors and we have plenty of light.

Please help me with a few questions:

1. Upon reviewing my images, the 70-200 and 1.4X combo still comes up short. I've looked into upgrading into a 300/2.8 but my jaw dropped when I saw how much $$$ it was. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a lens with one specific purpose, namely, soccer. What are your thoughts on the 100-400/4.5-5.6 or the 2X teleconverter? Are there any other options I should consider? Will image quality significantly degrade with the TC, and will I still be able to focus fast enough with it?

2. Any recommendations for camera settings (focusing, metering)?

3. My 1.4X TC is the original version. Is the latest one -- the Mark III I believe -- significantly better in IQ than the one I have?

Thanks for your help!
David



Aug 16, 2012 at 07:20 PM
brown_dog
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


David,
I have a son that plays U12 on a full field. I use the following:

1) 5DIII with 70-200 2.8L II and 1.4x III
2) 7D with 300 4.0L (used for <$1,000)

I usually sit on or near the end line. I get excellent pictures of midfield and closer and decent pictures of the defense. I am generally doing a fair amount of cropping which may not be okay for Sports Illustrated or the wire, the pictures turn out very good and other parents love them.

I have not tried the 100-400L.

I am happy to share a link with you if you PM me.

Cheers,
John



Aug 16, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Fish On
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


I would not recommend the 2x tc as it is slow to autofocus and you are losing 2 fstops.

If you are primarily going to be shooting outdoors and in the daytime, the 100-400 is a good lens to use.

You might want to look at a used Sigma 120-300/2.8 but I do not personally recommend one as I have used it before and have had problems with it. There's some shooters on this board who have used it and like it. Again, just be aware there are good and bad copies of the Sigma.

Here is another thread from a couple of weeks ago. I know you mentioned that the prices on the 300 are out of your range but you probably looked at the brand new ones. You can get a used one here on the B&S board where the price is not as steep as a new one.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1133582/0#10822091



Aug 16, 2012 at 07:57 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


dslee wrote:
Hello,

I have two girls playing youth soccer - U11 and U9. They currently play on smaller fields but starting next year my older daughter will play on a full-size field. The equipment I've been shooting with are a 5DIII, 70-200/2.8 non-IS and 1.4X teleconverter. This being Arizona, the soccer games are all outdoors and we have plenty of light.

Please help me with a few questions:

1. Upon reviewing my images, the 70-200 and 1.4X combo still comes up short. I've looked into upgrading into a 300/2.8 but my jaw dropped when I saw how much $$$ it was. I don't want
...Show more

A 70-300L would focus better and have better image quality than the 70-200 2.8 non-IS + 1.4x TC, although you go up to f/5.6 instead of constant f/4 and be locked at constant f/5.6 for the times you use M instead of Av (in Av mode spin it to 70mm and set f/4 and then it will slide from f/4 to f/5.6 along the way as it must). And you don;t really get any extra reach so maybe it's not what you are after.

Never used the 100-400L, some like it, some say the AF is a touch slow, you are stuck at smaller apertures again.

300 f/4 non-IS might be had for something like $600-750 these days on the used market (not produced any more). It can also take a 1.4x TC although the AF didn't seem to great with the TC on (at least not with the poor focusing 20D I had back in those days). This can be a good option, although if you need more reach then it depends whenter it focuses well for sports with TC on with 5D3 or not. No longer serviced.

300 f/4 IS might be an option. Never used it. Not sure how it focuses with TC.

Some say nice things about the sigma 100-300 f/4, i've never used one though or personally known anyone who has. Apparently some sigmas have AF problems with the 5D3, not sure which ones. No clue how it would perform for AF with TC on, might be slow??

Not sure what a used 300 2.8 non-IS goes for these days. Focuses fast, great image quality, takes a 1.4x TC well. No longer serviced. You might be able to get one these for a manageable, if not low, price.

The 300 2.8 IS used is a lot, LOT less than a new 300 2.8 IS II but still quite expensive though indeed. Great lens. Takes TC well.

Sigma 120-300 non-OS, the one I tried had somewhat erratic AF and everyone always picked the 300 2.8 IS first if it was avail despite the lack of zoom. It was a beat up copy though. Not sure if it has any 5D3 issues or not.

Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS, some say it's quite nice, not cheap though. Never used it. perhaps takes TC well??

400 f/5.6 a bit slow at f/5.6 but supposed to have fast AF. Never used one. Might be a good choice since it seems more reach is your main thing.

Although it sounds like you are more needing extra reach and many of the above still leave you at 300mm. The 100-400 gets you more of course and the 300 2.8 primes from canon work well with 1.4x TC and the 400 f/5.6 and sigma 120-300 OS + TC. Forget the 70-200 2.8 non-IS + 2x TC, nasty image quality and slow, less precise AF. Maybe the 300 f/4 IS + TC focuses OK Maybe the 5D3 could handle the 300 f/4 non-IS + TC AF

For more reach and general purpose I guess only 100-400 fits, although there are more ideal options for soccer.



Aug 16, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Russ Isabella
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1133582


Aug 16, 2012 at 11:09 PM
WalnutPond
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


Evolution of a soccer shooter;

Kit lens
70-200/2.8 ->
70-200/2.8 w 1.4x ->
300/2.8 ->
400/2.8

Never had the kit lens, but other than that I worked my way up the ladder. Trust me if it's at all in the budget, just swing for the 400/2.8 and get it over with. You're going to end up there anyway. Find a good used one. My 300 just collects dust but I can't bring myself to sell it.



Aug 17, 2012 at 12:15 AM
skibum5
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


WalnutPond wrote:
Evolution of a soccer shooter;

Kit lens
70-200/2.8 ->
70-200/2.8 w 1.4x ->
300/2.8 ->
400/2.8

Never had the kit lens, but other than that I worked my way up the ladder. Trust me if it's at all in the budget, just swing for the 400/2.8 and get it over with. You're going to end up there anyway. Find a good used one. My 300 just collects dust but I can't bring myself to sell it.


Yeah, that kinda sums it up pretty well although I might add a 300 f/4 in between 70-200+TC and 300 2.8. (and a few may have a sigma 120-300 2.8 or maybe a new 70-300L in there somewhere or 100-400 or 400 5.6, but less common).

So far i've done all those stages (plus the 300 f/4 but for the 400 2.8 and am at the 300 2.8 bare or with TC stage (with currently 70-300L for the close work, 70-200 2.8 would actually be better for that, but 70-300L is better general purpose for me and without completely unlimited funds....).

If I were shooting full-time paid staff pro for a major publication I'd be at 400 2.8 stage though by now (but even an older use one isn't free and it's so bulky and not so nice for stuff other than sports, I get more general use out of 300 2.8 IS + 1.4x and 2x TC, more compact and lighter, but yeah the 400 2.8 is a bread and butter lens for really serious field sports shooting).



Aug 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Shane Psaltis
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


Dave ,

The 5d I believe is a full frame camera , look at getting a Mk2 as they have come down in price, also I would never use the 2x unless you have a fantastic prime lens. We use 400 2.8 and 600 f4 and they sometimes are too short. A mk2n and a 100-400 would be a great combo. The biggest thing to learn is patience. Wait for the action to come to you or put yourself in a spot where your daughter is going to be playing most of the time.

Hope this helps!

Shane



Aug 17, 2012 at 06:26 AM
 

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CW100
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


I've gotten some very nice youth soccer pics with the 100-400, the Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS looks good for lower light but it's twice the cost





Aug 17, 2012 at 09:59 AM
PShizzy
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


dslee,

what part of phoenix? PM me.

Also, my take on it, and knowing the Arizona sunlight all too well? In order of what I'd do if budget was a concern
300 4. Amazing lens. Cheap(ish). Short for soccer, but can take a TC better than the 70-200. Although to be honest, I've had a few 1.4x TC's and I pretty much hated them all (yet another reason I like my Nikon gear more). Also, for me, I like shooting offensive, so I tend to stay halfway between the corner kick area and the goal, which sides depending on who's on offense, and which side of the field has the better scorers.

400 5.6. If you use that TC on a 300 all the time, then the 400 makes a lot more sense, but then the 300 is a very versatile lens and you can use it for more than just sports (headshots, portraits, etc. Yes its tight but I've used a 400mm for a family shot before... long story). The 400 is sharp and light and cheap(ish).

120-300. My biggest problem with this lens is that when I used it, and from what others have told me, the focus isn't as spot on as Canons own primes. Also, it's not really a 300mm, more like a 275mm or so. That means a lot when it comes to soccer. It's not as heavy as a big boy 2.8, but it's also not as light as the prior two.

70-300 IS L. I've heard great things. You can shoot at 5.6 in Arizona daylight. Actually, you could shoot at 22. And drop an ND on there. And leave the cap on. And you'll still overexpose. So what don't I like about it? Nikon makes a similar model for 1,000 dollars less. Yes, its not all metal, but seriously, I think it's highway robbery. For that kinda money, I'd get a nikon 70-300 and a D7000, save a few bucks, and have a camera to spare.

But, it's a zoom, and the range is nice, it's light. Still, 1,000 dollars to get an all metal body? Really?

So now we're gonna get pricey, but I'll explain why it's worth it.

300 2.8. This is a great lens. All of the pros of the 300 4, but with an extra stop. Take a TC pretty well. The negatives are cost, and weight. Well, I don't mind the weight, but some people do. And I'll be honest... I'm a Nikon guy now, but I still own, and love my Canon 300 2.8 IS. Love love love it. It will be buried with me. Or if it kicks before I do, viking funeral.

Maybe find more to do with it than just shoot soccer. Again, headshots... it's great at that. Especially with a full frame camera. It's PERFECT for basketball. Maybe you can get your kids to play that? Yes, just so you can justify the lens.

Really, hate to say it, but the 300 2.8 is the last almost reasonable, but still unreasonable choice. From here on in, it's organ donor territory. Don't bother reading the rest of this. Even I'm not sure what I'm saying.

500 4. I never owned one but it's a great focal length for soccer, and light as a 300, but more reach than a 400. Daylight only you say? You hope. But nowadays we're coddled with ISO 6400 and up. Hell, I shot at f/4 over Greenway and I was popping 25,600 and still getting dark in the end zones. I'm pretty sure the corners of hs football fields are actual black holes. Kids run in, never come out. Maybe the scientists working on the LHC project should investigate. BTW its 4am here, so ya, that explains half of this post.

400 2.8. Heavy, but sharp and 2.8. It needs no explanation. Except to your wife. And kids, who may not get a few birthday gifts for a few years. But maybe get some nice shots of them, print em out, make that the gift, and hope for the best? Ya, I tried. Bottom line: badass lens.

200-400 4. I have the Nikon one. If the Canon one is anything like it, you'll swear it's like cheating. I always hated having to switch from a 400 to a 70-200 on a play that came close. With this? wrack that puppy down to 200 and laugh at your peers who do the big lens on a mono dance as they switch over. Laugh quietly, they're working, and this is serious. And ya, this is a pricey lens, plus f4.

600 4. Really the hands down #1 choice for soccer. It's a big ass field. This is what you need. You may want to find a local campground that will take you in as well, since this is also the priciest lens Canon has (well maybe except that 800 5.6, but that's another conversation), and you will be homeless after you get this and your family finds out.

Anyhow, good luck, and geez, soccer around here in daylight? As great as it sounds for the light, it's also been 115 and muggy all week. I get mad just walking outside.

Max



Aug 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM
schlotz
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


dslee,

Max hit it on the head. It comes down to how serious you are going to be. It is going to cost.

3 points here,

1- the 100-400 is slow to AF, did not like the misses it created.
2- the sigma 120-300 can be good depending on the copy you get but it does not have a focus limiter which again causes missed opportunities
3- if you are serious, the minimum I would suggest is a used 300 2.8 coupled with a 1.4tc ver II

Less serious, then you might check out the captures skibum5 has done with the new 70-300L. Pretty impressive regardless of being taken on well lit fields.

Regards,
Matt



Aug 17, 2012 at 11:56 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


PShizzy wrote:
120-300. My biggest problem with this lens is that when I used it, and from what others have told me, the focus isn't as spot on as Canons own primes. Also, it's not really a 300mm, more like a 275mm or so. That means a lot when it comes to soccer. It's not as heavy as a big boy 2.8, but it's also not as light as the prior two.


Yeah good points, I forgot to mention in my talk above that the 120-300 non-OS is more like 275mm and the f/2.8 is more like f/3 when compared to the Canon primes. Supposedly the new OS versions rectifies those issues. But it's a lot of coin and with the talk now that some slightly older sigma 70-200 2.8 are not compatible with the new 5D3/1DX and the sometimes dodgy AF, I don't know. Many people swear by them but....


70-300 IS L. I've heard great things. You can shoot at 5.6 in Arizona daylight. Actually, you could shoot at 22. And drop an ND on there. And leave the cap on. And you'll still overexpose. So what don't I like about it? Nikon makes a similar model for 1,000 dollars less. Yes, its not all metal, but seriously, I think it's highway robbery. For that kinda money, I'd get a nikon 70-300 and a D7000, save a few bucks, and have a camera to spare.

But, it's a zoom, and the range is nice, it's light. Still, 1,000 dollars to
...Show more

It's definitely a better lens than the Nikon, better everything about it, not the same thing. Only down side is it does bleed focal length with subject distance getting close (doesn't matter as much for sports of course but even then it can often be more like 285-290mm perhaps). It is a little pricey though yeah and they don't even chuck in the tripod collar (not that the tripod collar would have any relevance for sports and it's light enough you can mount the body on a tripod for landscape stuff but it's not quite as stable as with a collar). But it does have the best AF and best optics of any of those sorts of lenses and shots fine through hard rain.



200-400 4. I have the Nikon one. If the Canon one is anything like it, you'll swear it's like cheating. I always hated having to switch from a 400 to a 70-200 on a play that came close. With this? wrack that puppy down to 200 and laugh at your peers who do the big lens on a mono dance as they switch over. Laugh quietly, they're working, and this is serious. And ya, this is a pricey lens, plus f4.


The canon one that is upcoming will also have a built-in flip in-out 1.4x TC!
The canon one that is upcoming is also rumored to have like a 13k + price tag (!!!) .




Aug 18, 2012 at 12:48 AM
eric_m
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


WalnutPond wrote:
Evolution of a soccer shooter;

Kit lens
70-200/2.8 ->
70-200/2.8 w 1.4x ->
300/2.8 ->
400/2.8


! I skipped the kit, and used either a 135/2 with a 1.4x or 300/4 IS initially. Then moved to the 300/2.8 IS.

I sold my 300/4 to buy the 70-300L for when I'm too lazy to bring the 300/2.8. The downside to the 70-300L is I prefer the subject isolation at f/2.8 vs f/5.6. Other than that, the 70--300L is a joy to shoot with.


Eric



Aug 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM
dankopp
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


CW100 wrote:
I've gotten some very nice youth soccer pics with the 100-400, the Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS looks good for lower light but it's twice the cost



I agree. If you are only using one body, the zoom feature is nice. It may not have the fastest AF, but you will still get plenty of good shots. Since you are shooting FF, the extra 100 mm is good too. Whatever you decide, why not rent that lens for a weekend and see if it works for you?



Aug 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
acoll123
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Canon lens recommendations for outdoor soccer


skibum5 wrote:
Yeah, that kinda sums it up pretty well although I might add a 300 f/4 in between 70-200+TC and 300 2.8. (and a few may have a sigma 120-300 2.8 or maybe a new 70-300L in there somewhere or 100-400 or 400 5.6, but less common).

So far i've done all those stages (plus the 300 f/4 but for the 400 2.8 and am at the 300 2.8 bare or with TC stage (with currently 70-300L for the close work, 70-200 2.8 would actually be better for that, but 70-300L is better general purpose for me and without completely unlimited
...Show more
Ha Ha this must be a universal truth! I have made it up to a 300/2.8 and have started the search for a 400/2.8 (first generation). I have evolved to shooting HS field sports for a local paper though (football, soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse . . .). IMO if you are only shooting youth soccer during the day in Arizona, the 100-400 is worth a look but don't count on it to take you night games in any other sport even with a 5DIII (my second camera, first is a 1DIV) unless the field has a spectacular lighting system. i don't use TCs but I don't have the series IIIs, just the IIs - I think I would rather crop than use the 2X . . .



Aug 21, 2012 at 01:48 AM





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