70-200 f4 for sports

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Dec 29, 2006
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Minnesota
Looking for some feedback on AF speed for this lens for soccer.
 
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Miami, Florida
Not sure what to tell you about soccer, because I haven't used it at a real soccer match as the lens only came out after the end of last year's collegiate soccer season (personally, I also think the length is too short for soccer; other than remotes with wide angle lenses, I probably wouldn't use anything shorter than 300mm at soccer). However, I've used it to cover a football game, basketball games, sand/beach volleyball, track and field, and countless other assignments and the lens had no trouble keeping up with any of the action (I've also used it briefly for U6 soccer, but wouldn't really count that). The focus is very quick, and I haven't noticed a difference in focus speed between the 4 and 2.8 VR2 lenses. These days, whenever I'm working with daylight or strobes, I'll take the 4; I'll only pull out the 2.8 when I'm shooting a night event and need the extra stop.

I've been very happy with the AF speed on the lens.
 
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Randy
I don't own one but based on the 80-400's AF I'm pretty sure the 70-200/4 will AF fine.
IMO the issue is backgrounds at f/4 vs f/2.8
 
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Given the distances on a soccer field, I really can't see there being much of a difference in the backgrounds (which is why I wouldn't use anything shorter than a 300mm, but I digress).

Here's a sampling of images. Odds are good that I would have used the f/2.8 lens at the same settings under the various lighting conditions:

At 100mm at f/4.5:
http://www.imagereflex.com/image/I0000Lk08dQ9J7rw

At 200mm at f/5:
http://www.imagereflex.com/image/I0000s1Mbtgg.Jss

At 120mm at f/4.5 (indoors with flash):
http://www.imagereflex.com/image/I0000SPRSggDDMtQ

At 135mm at f/4.5:
http://www.iconsportsmedia.com/image/21813808

At 180mm at f/4.5:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mu...1212/nfl-cheerleaders-week-16/content.28.html

At 200mm at f/4.5:
http://www.iconsportsmedia.com/image/21813818
 
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Minnesota
I have the 300 f4 now and I find the action can sometimes be too close for the lens. I agree on the backgrounds Randy but I am not sure if the extra weight of the 2.8 is worth it.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
Joined
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Indianapolis, IN
what about a 80-200 2.8D ? Faster lens, and will save you some money too. Its an exceptional lens in regards to optics, I find the AF to be quite fast, and it balances well on my D7000 with a grip.
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
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Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Given the distances on a soccer field, I really can't see there being much of a difference in the backgrounds (which is why I wouldn't use anything shorter than a 300mm, but I digress).

Here's a sampling of images. Odds are good that I would have used the f/2.8 lens at the same settings under the various lighting conditions:

At 100mm at f/4.5:
http://www.imagereflex.com/image/I0000Lk08dQ9J7rw

At 200mm at f/5:
http://www.imagereflex.com/image/I0000s1Mbtgg.Jss

At 120mm at f/4.5 (indoors with flash):
http://www.imagereflex.com/image/I0000SPRSggDDMtQ

At 135mm at f/4.5:
http://www.iconsportsmedia.com/image/21813808

At 180mm at f/4.5:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mu...1212/nfl-cheerleaders-week-16/content.28.html

At 200mm at f/4.5:
http://www.iconsportsmedia.com/image/21813818

sure if you are using the 200mm to reach (too far) across the field but if you are properly trying to fill the frame (by waiting for the action to come to you) 2.8 vs f/4 makes a big diff

I tried the 70-200 2.8 on a d7100 and was happy w/ the IQ but not the BGs, even at 2.8, because it was dx and because I got greedy and reached too far:smile:

I am back to shooting soccer at 400mm FX at 2.8-3.5
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
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Location
Minnesota
what about a 80-200 2.8D ? Faster lens, and will save you some money too. Its an exceptional lens in regards to optics, I find the AF to be quite fast, and it balances well on my D7000 with a grip.


I have it and so far my copy is just not up to the task of action sports. I am going to give it another try at soccer tonight but so far it's no better on the 7100 than it was on the 7000. The results from my 70-300 VR beat what I am getting from the 80-200. (Before anyone asks, yes I am shooting at adequate shutter speed):smile:
 
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Messages
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sure if you are using the 200mm to reach (too far) across the field but if you are properly trying to fill the frame (by waiting for the action to come to you) 2.8 vs f/4 makes a big diff

I tried the 70-200 2.8 on a d7100 and was happy w/ the IQ but not the BGs, even at 2.8, because it was dx and because I got greedy and reached too far:smile:

I am back to shooting soccer at 400mm FX at 2.8-3.5

I respectfully disagree that the difference between f/4 and f/2.8 is significant if you're trying to reach (or overreach). As you observe, if you overreach with the lens, the depth of field becomes too great to effectively isolate anything or blur the background sufficiently to prevent it from being distracting. However, if you're shooting at 90 feet on a full-frame camera (and I still believe that distance is overreaching), the depth computes to be 10.4 feet at f/2.8, and only increases to 14.8 feet at f/4. If you cut the distance down to 60 feet, the depth becomes 6.5 feet at f/4 and 4.6 at f/2.8. All in all, that's an insignificant increase.

I agree with using the longer glass, but prefer to go longer than 400mm FX if shooting a NCAA regulation soccer field. For my tastes, the 400 is better suited to shooting U6 and U8 fields.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
10,688
Location
Holyoke, MA USA
+1 for this

what about a 80-200 2.8D ? Faster lens, and will save you some money too. Its an exceptional lens in regards to optics, I find the AF to be quite fast, and it balances well on my D7000 with a grip.

I use this lens on both the D7000 w/grip and the D300 with grip .... they make superb companions and the optics are excellent, even wide open at f/2.8.

Use the AF-ON back button focusing technique and the lens is plenty fast enough to track soccer.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
10,688
Location
Holyoke, MA USA
+1 for this

what about a 80-200 2.8D ? Faster lens, and will save you some money too. Its an exceptional lens in regards to optics, I find the AF to be quite fast, and it balances well on my D7000 with a grip.

I use this lens on both the D7000 w/grip and the D300 with grip .... they make superb companions and the optics are excellent, even wide open at f/2.8.

Use the AF-ON back button focusing technique and the lens is plenty fast enough to track soccer.

Here is a photo I took using the D1h, which is what I usually used for soccer. I had the 80-200 lens on a 2x Kenko extender. No PP as I recall.

original.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
524
Location
Minneapolis
I agree with some others that the shortcoming of the 70-200/4 will be reach rather than AF speed, but a D7100 has enough resolution for a good bit of cropping so, though not ideal, the combo would probably do fine.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
960
Location
Minnesota
I use this lens on both the D7000 w/grip and the D300 with grip .... they make superb companions and the optics are excellent, even wide open at f/2.8.

Use the AF-ON back button focusing technique and the lens is plenty fast enough to track soccer.


great recommendation, this did seem to result in more keepers with the 80-200. It is still soft at 200 though.
 

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