Anyone using 300/4 PFE VR for soccer / rugby / football?

Joined
Mar 23, 2007
Messages
4,958
Location
Collecchio, northern Italy
Hello everyone
while I thought I was going to get the new 150-600 G2 with all the bells and whistles in a matter of days, for some reason I found the newer one even heavier than the G1, so I didn't even consider the 200-500 and started thinking about the new 300/4. While I know such lenses require a monopod/tripod, I'd love to think to be able to use them ALSO WITHOUT it, that is I'd like to try a few opportunities more but it would be great not lugging around extra weight. This is why I'm considering the 300: optical performance AND weight.
Well, sure, I'd lose the whole 150-300 (225 to 450) range ON THAT LENS, but I still have the 70-200 in case and I realized that some of the images I took in the past year that caught my attention most were taken just in the (equivalent) of 400/600mm which is exactly where the 300 (450 on D500) is expected to work. Keep in mind our local soccer/rugby fields are quite little, compared to pro league ones and I don't care about having subject isolation of a 400/2.8; I'd love to go to a local match without having to worry about tripods monopods back pain etc also because it must be for FUN. Likely, I'll lose some wider shots, but it means I'll have to improve my technique as I have already done other times with mf lenses.
I don't want to consider the 70-300 VR, although much less expensive. Eventually a good 80-400 VR, should I ever find one used. Still, an 80-400 is basically weighting twice the 300 which apparently seems like a toy, but I read its optics are basically superb, if you can deal with fresnel flare. I have also considered trading in my 70-200 VC USD for the newer 70-200 G2 + 1.4 TC but I'm afraid I wouldn't be that much fun and probably I'd end spending a similar amount of money.

So, if anyone of you ever worked with the 300 (on a DX body), both the newer (but also the older one), please share of your soccer / rugby / football shots so that I can have a better idea about working with that lens.

Thanks in advance
 
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
346
Location
Suwanee, Georgia
Everyone loves working with prime lens as I do. When I am shooting HS soccer, lax and football I like using the sigma 120-300 2.8. Heavy as hell but using using this 2.8 gives you a lot of flexibility in low light and allows you to shoot tight and gives you the same ability reach the action as a Nikon 300 2.8 prime. Shots are sharp as tact. I sling this combo and hand hold when i shoot. If this is you main lens you can stick it with great results also. I also use the 70-200 2.8 with extender when shooting college and pro football etc. I use this combo then because the lighting is so much better.
Hope this helps.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
170
Location
Netherlands
Real Name
Richard Ella
Everyone loves working with prime lens as I do. When I am shooting HS soccer, lax and football I like using the sigma 120-300 2.8. Heavy as hell but using using this 2.8 gives you a lot of flexibility in low light and allows you to shoot tight and gives you the same ability reach the action as a Nikon 300 2.8 prime. Shots are sharp as tact. I sling this combo and hand hold when i shoot. If this is you main lens you can stick it with great results also. I also use the 70-200 2.8 with extender when shooting college and pro football etc. I use this combo then because the lighting is so much better.
Hope this helps.

Interesting. Which version of the 120-300mm f2.8 are you using - is it he sport version.

I've been shooting the 300mm f2.8 AFS VR for the last 2 years and absolutely love that lens but I find the fixed focal length challenging when shooting junior rugby 7s, when the action moves rapidly towards me and I'm not able to switch to my 2nd camera and 70-200mm f2.8 quickly enough.

I've recently just seen a friends shots using the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 Sport and I'm now seriously considering switching to the zoom for the added flexibility. To my eye there is no discernible difference in IQ between the Nikon 300mm f2.8 prime and the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 Sport. I don't know about the AF Speed as I've never handled the lens.

On my D500 I would get an effective field of view of 180-450mm at a light gathering f2.8 with a equiv DOF of f4, which is almost ideal.

Any experience and feedback you have on the 120-300mm f2.8 sport would be most welcome
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,002
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CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
I also use it, the sport version, good lens for soccer on D4 for night (I finally sold my 400) and D500 for day but no way I'd HH it, monopod is way easier especially for a sport like soccer
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,002
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Interesting. Which version of the 120-300mm f2.8 are you using - is it he sport version.

I've been shooting the 300mm f2.8 AFS VR for the last 2 years and absolutely love that lens but I find the fixed focal length challenging when shooting junior rugby 7s, when the action moves rapidly towards me and I'm not able to switch to my 2nd camera and 70-200mm f2.8 quickly enough.

I've recently just seen a friends shots using the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 Sport and I'm now seriously considering switching to the zoom for the added flexibility. To my eye there is no discernible difference in IQ between the Nikon 300mm f2.8 prime and the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 Sport. I don't know about the AF Speed as I've never handled the lens.

On my D500 I would get an effective field of view of 180-450mm at a light gathering f2.8 with a equiv DOF of f4, which is almost ideal.

Any experience and feedback you have on the 120-300mm f2.8 sport would be most welcome
I shoot a 300vr and a 120-300
The only significant diff is how they handle a TC
 
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
346
Location
Suwanee, Georgia
I agree, a 120-300 sigma vr it does not work well at all with a TC, you do not a sharp image IMO. Normally i am using a 400 2.8 which i am sticking and sling the 120-300. i agree with Randy great glass working under the lights. The issue I have is getting the focal length set quickly when action is coming at me. If your last shot is at full focal length (300mm), the confusion that I have and happens when i am using two camera bodies, i have to reduce the length instantly (120-300) or I will have an issue with the subject matter coming at me or going side to side. When you use two cameras in a shoot and you are switching camera's when action gets close to you the Sigma 120-300 unforgiving at 300 mm fully extended IMO. When I am using it with another camera, I set the focal length to 160-180 after the last shot, so I then i pick up that camera combo, I can acquire the subject matter quickly and zoom in or out quickly to suit the shot. Photos then are tack sharp. Using the Sigma 120-300 by its self, i never had and problems.
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,002
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
I agree, a 120-300 sigma vr it does not work well at all with a TC, you do not a sharp image IMO. Normally i am using a 400 2.8 which i am sticking and sling the 120-300. i agree with Randy great glass working under the lights. The issue I have is getting the focal length set quickly when action is coming at me. If your last shot is at full focal length (300mm), the confusion that I have and happens when i am using two camera bodies, i have to reduce the length instantly (120-300) or I will have an issue with the subject matter coming at me or going side to side. When you use two cameras in a shoot and you are switching camera's when action gets close to you the Sigma 120-300 unforgiving at 300 mm fully extended IMO. When I am using it with another camera, I set the focal length to 160-180 after the last shot, so I then i pick up that camera combo, I can acquire the subject matter quickly and zoom in or out quickly to suit the shot. Photos then are tack sharp. Using the Sigma 120-300 by its self, i never had and problems.
The reason I sold my 400 was I got tired of 2 bodies, now I shoot 1 with the 120-300. And I think I get more keepers by not switching and having that zoom range
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,002
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Hello everyone
while I thought I was going to get the new 150-600 G2 with all the bells and whistles in a matter of days, for some reason I found the newer one even heavier than the G1, so I didn't even consider the 200-500 and started thinking about the new 300/4. While I know such lenses require a monopod/tripod, I'd love to think to be able to use them ALSO WITHOUT it, that is I'd like to try a few opportunities more but it would be great not lugging around extra weight. This is why I'm considering the 300: optical performance AND weight.
Well, sure, I'd lose the whole 150-300 (225 to 450) range ON THAT LENS, but I still have the 70-200 in case and I realized that some of the images I took in the past year that caught my attention most were taken just in the (equivalent) of 400/600mm which is exactly where the 300 (450 on D500) is expected to work. Keep in mind our local soccer/rugby fields are quite little, compared to pro league ones and I don't care about having subject isolation of a 400/2.8; I'd love to go to a local match without having to worry about tripods monopods back pain etc also because it must be for FUN. Likely, I'll lose some wider shots, but it means I'll have to improve my technique as I have already done other times with mf lenses.
I don't want to consider the 70-300 VR, although much less expensive. Eventually a good 80-400 VR, should I ever find one used. Still, an 80-400 is basically weighting twice the 300 which apparently seems like a toy, but I read its optics are basically superb, if you can deal with fresnel flare. I have also considered trading in my 70-200 VC USD for the newer 70-200 G2 + 1.4 TC but I'm afraid I wouldn't be that much fun and probably I'd end spending a similar amount of money.

So, if anyone of you ever worked with the 300 (on a DX body), both the newer (but also the older one), please share of your soccer / rugby / football shots so that I can have a better idea about working with that lens.

Thanks in advance
IMO nothing but f/2.8 for sports because of backgrounds so that leaves a few choices, 70-200, too short, 120-300 mid range, 400 2.8 perfect, 300 2.8 mid range
 

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