Purchase dilemma - looking for opinions

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by roger_christian|1, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Currently shooting kids sports - Baseball, Soccer, Flag Football.

    My current setup is a 5D Mk2 with an EF 2.8L 70- 200mm, and more and more with a 1.4x extended, model 2

    My reach has become shorter as the kids get bigger, and accordingly the field size gets larger.

    For purchase consideration:

    Option 1 - 7D Body. - Gives me the crop to extend my lens range, and an increase in FPS
    Option 2 - EF 70 - 300mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
    Option 3 - EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
    Option 4 - Something I have not considered.

    My budget is about $1800, certainly spending less if I can get the 7D refurbished from Canon

  2. Roger, I hate to give advise because I don't think I know enough about the equipment side of photography, but I do shoot a lot of high school sports. I have the 100-400 and I love it for sports. The kids are only going to get bigger. My humble opinion - option 3. Good luck.
  3. I generally use a 7D and 70-200 f2.8 for ice hockey and it works great - I used to do this with a 1DIIN but i am shooting from the edge of the ice. I looked at the 70-300 as a travel lens but was not theta impressed - image quality is fine but it is very expensive for such a slow lens and the biggest problem is that the zoom ring is in the wrong place. Every zoom I have ever owned (except for my old 80-200 F4 L Canon FD lens which is a push - pull design) has the zoom ring next to the camera body. The 70-300 has the zoom ring at the end of the lens. The placement of the zoom ring (my hands will not adapt to this) and the price put me off. For travel I will stick with my 70-200 F4 L IS.
    The 100-400 is a personal choice try it and see. You will either like it or dislike it. It is a fine lens but getting rather old. The push-pull design will either work for you or will not.
    Thus my suggestion is either the 7D or the 100-400. It really comes down to what you need. The 7D is not quite as sharp as the 5DII and really should be used at a maximum of 1600 ISO (I will use my 5DII at 3200 if necessary). The 5DII and 7D make a great pair of bodies at the handling is almost identical and they take the same battery. The 7D has much better AF for sports use than the 5DII and will shoot 8 fps. On the other hand the glass will last much longer.
    For longer reach I personally shoot a 300mm lens with the 7D but this is for ski racing where you know the distance.
  4. I should preface my response with the note that I'm no professional, but I have been shooting kids sports for several years now. My opinion is that you already have a great lens with the EF 70-200 f/2.8L. I've been using that on my 40D for some time now. I think the autofocus system and the frame rate of the 7D would be a great for sports (that's my next step, anyway) and would give a 1.6x "conversion" to your lens. So my vote is for option 1.
  5. I also recommend the 7D as your next step. I would rule out the 70-300, and the 100-400 gets very mixed reviews for sports. Another lens to consider down the road, after getting the 7D, is a 300/4 L.
  6. I would normally say get the glass, but in this instance I feel you have one of the best zooms out there for what you're doing. I think losing up to 2 full stops opting for the 100-300 will only hurt your work. Havn't shot with the 100-400, but friends have and their biggest gripe is that it too is a light hog. I think in this instance the 7D is the better choice, not only for reach, but also for FPS and it's very accurate AF tracking system. (7D and the 70-200F2.8II is my go to combo for most sports, I still can't believe the clarity that zoom delivers. The alternate lens is the 300F4L for that extra reach.)
  7. The 70-300 does not offer any improvement over your 70-200 + 1.4x.
    If low light is a consideration (it usually is for school sports) then grab a 7D. Your 70-200 becomes a 112-320 f/2.8. Add the 1.4x and your reach extends to 448mm at f/4. For sports I often find I can crop down to 8-10 MP out of the 18 MP and still make very good 16x20" prints. Not to mention the great AF and 8 fps.
  8. Considering what you already have and sports being your focus I would def. get the 7D and with your budget look for a 50mm prime to use with the 7d for those indoor sports due to the poor lighting in gyms.
    I would forget about the 70- 300mm.
  9. Roger, I neglected to mention that I am shooting with the 7D and I wholeheartedly agree with everyone above about its abilities.
  10. Roger,
    The 100-400 is offered in almost all of the "Lens Rental" places.
    Rent it for a weekend or so and see how you like it's performance with your 5D MKII, you may find the additional 200mm is all you really need with the full frame body.
  11. Roger, if you were to get a 7D, would you keep your 5DII?
    The reason I'm asking is that, if I were you, I wouldn't replace my 5DII with a 7D, unless action, sports, wildlife, and the like were all I shot. The 7D in combination with the 5DII is in the minds' of many the "best of both worlds."
    As for your stated options, I would go for the 7D. You already have a superb lens/teleconverter combo for shooting sports, and the 7D will give you more effective reach as well as an AF system optimally suited for fast moving subjects.
    On the other hand, Jim gives sensible advice when he suggests that you try renting a 100-400 to see how well it works on your 5DII.
  12. The 7D seems logical, but I would personally prefer a 1D III for the budget. Other than megapixels (which isn't as cut
    and dry as it looks on paper) the 1D wins in every category, oh and except for video. A body and a lens may not be
    in the budget, but the 300mm f/4L IS may be something to look into in the future. I don't want to say "get this and not that" but these are some other options to consider. Generally speaking, I would say if you have a dilemma then it's it not the right time to buy anything. When it's very clear what you need/want then it's time to pull the trigger, but that's what this community is for, to help clear things up.
  13. Another option would be adding a 2X converter to the 70-200/2.8. That would get you to 400/5.6 for significantly less money than the 100-400. I suspect it also focuses slower and has lower image quality, but might be worth a rental to see if focal length and aperture are what you need.
    Having said that, I suspect the 7D is the simplest solution to the problem.
  14. How about a Rebel T3i? Same sensor as 7D. Spend the money you save taking the kids out to dinner after their
  15. One new lens you may want to take a look at is the new Sigma 120-300/2.8 OS. It's quite a bit over budget, but it does 300/2.8. And according to initial reviews, it does it well.
  16. I am another voice for having both APS-C and 35mm-sensor cameras. I still use my old 20D for telephoto shots, so I'm easy to please, of course.
    I personally want to get a EF 100-400mm, but it will have to wait until after I get some other, even more expensive lenses, I'm afraid. In the meantime, 300mm focal length on the APS-C does very well with IS.
    Of course, the 100-400 on a 7D would be "swell" and with both cameras, would do double duty.
    Can't speak to the sports utility of these since I don't do that, but I hear the AF on the 7D is very good.

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