09-18-2013 04:00 PM
Hello I have a EF 70-300 IS and I am shooting high school tennis. I need it to reach out a little closer. What do I need? an extension, an converter, or just up grade to the next lens. Thanks
09-18-2013 04:16 PM
By far, the easiest and cheapest way to get closer is going to be, to get closer. Reach is expensive, and getting a decent lens with a longer focal length is going to cost.
You can’t use an extender with that lens and keep autofocus. And I’m guessing that you’ll want autofocus for something like tennis.
Your only chance at something in a reasonable price range with good quality is something like a 400mm prime. There’s no zoom, but the quality is quite good. Canon’s are somewhere between $1000, and $10,000 depending on which one you get.
Some of the third party manufacturers make cheap-ish long telephoto zooms, but usually the images on the long side aren’t terrific. Check out the reviews of the Sigma 150-500. If you’re ok with that quality then that’s probably the cheapest decent lens for going beyond 300mm.
09-18-2013 04:57 PM
As Skirball says... are YOU able to move around? Are you court-side or shooting from farther away?
300mm should be plenty if you're near the tennis court. You can always crop using the computer.
If you have $1600 laying around you could always buy the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM. Not cheap though.
You cannot use a tele-extender with the 70-300. If you use, for example, a 1.4x you have to multiple both the focal length AND the focal ratio by 1.4. So a 300mm f/5.6 turns into 420mm f/8 -- and it's the "f/8" part that's a serious problem.
The lower the focal ratio, the easier it is for camera's phase detect focus sensors to lock focus. It turns out most cameras can focus all the way up to f/5.6 and technically that's the limit but most cameras can still focus at f/6.3. Beyond that all bets are off. It is exceptionally rare that any camera can focus at f/8. A 1D-X can and the 5D III can (provided it has the lastest firmware). No other Canon model in the current line-up can (and the same is generally true of competitors... generally only the top-end cameras can focus at f/8.)
Generally you have to be using an f/4 lens to get away with a 1.4x extender (which turns it into an f/5.6 lens) and you have to own an f/2.8 lens to use a 2x extender (which also turns it into an f/5.6).
09-18-2013 08:01 PM
I agree with the others but I'd recommend the 100-400 L IS above any other for your needs. It's fast AF & the focus limiter switch make it a much better lens than the Sigma's when it comes to fast paced action.
09-19-2013 11:12 AM
Thanks guys, some great info. You have been a lot of help. Wow now I have to decide if I will be able to get better shoots with the 100-400 that is going to be worth the extra money.
Yea the 300 is ok right on court side if you like taking action shoot through a chain link fence. A lot of courts have bleacher and the higher you get to get over the fence, the further away you are. And then you may be shooting two court, up to six courts away depending on the poor design of the facilities.
Thanks again, There is so much I need to learn about photography. I plan on reading all post just to gain knowledge.
09-19-2013 11:31 AM
While going from 300 to 400mm seems like a huge jump (it's an extra 100mm after all) it turns out you have to factor the difference against the old focal length.
A 100mm increase on a lens that was already at 100mm would bring you to 200mm and that's going to double the magnification.
A 100mm increase on a lens that was already at 200mm would bring you to 300mm and that's a 50% increase in magnification.
But a 100mm increase on a lens that was already at 300mm brings you to 400mm and that's a 33% increase in magnification.
The point is, that jump will be noticeable... but not as noticeable the higher you go.
To evaluate whether the focal length helps in your specific situation, rent one. There are lots of places that rent (lensrentals.com, borrowlenses.com, and even B&H and Adorama have rental departments.)
09-19-2013 02:34 PM
Wow Thanks again
COOL I did not know you could rent lenses. I will defiantly do that.
Looking at your focal length logic, to me it seems like a lot of money just to get that extra 33% or is that just me?
09-19-2013 03:06 PM
OK, I have looked at the reviews on the Sigma 120-400 and the Sigma 150-500. The reviews look good and the price is a lot better compared to the Canon. The price between both sigma's is not that big of a difference, BUT which one do ya'll think I would be happier with? The 400 or 500 in my application?
09-19-2013 05:33 PM
You won't be able to hand hold the big 150-500 for very long and neither can AF as fast as the Canon 100-400 L. Sports or action requires a very fast AF system, a part of which is built into the the body and the other part is built into the lens. When it comes to zooms the 100-400 L IS is the very best in it's class no matter which brand of lens you compare it too.