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Lens for Motorsports

cuffit Plus
11 321 5 England
23 Nov 2007 8:24PM
I have long since wanted a Canon zoom lens and, in particular, the 70-200 F2.8 with all bells and whistles. Next year I want to go to more motorsports events (British Superbikes, moto-cross and enduro events). So, having syphoned off enough money from the wife's housekeeping, I finally have the opportunity to purchase a good lens. With my 30D the top lens should be plenty for moto-cross and enduro, but the road racing circuits pose other problems and I started to have cold feet. Even on practice days it is difficult to get close enough and often the best vantage points are closed to the public - I did manage the odd reasonable shot at Cadwell Park with my 28-135 but the bikes were moving so fast at those near points that panning was difficult and the cicuit in shadow. The 70-200 F4 would also do the job and has the advantage of being lighter and less expensive and I could also get the 1.4 extender; then the mind moves to the Canon 100-400 which is no mean lens either. I guess the received wisdom from reading previous threads would be to go for the best you can afford, but any views from those with experience of the road racing tracks or other sports events would be much appreciated? Chris

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richard00 11 504 1
23 Nov 2007 8:57PM
For the cost of a 70-200 F2.8 you can get the 70-200 F4 plus one of the following [if you shop around - Kerso for the canons when he has them in stock]
1 - Sigma 50-500
2 - Canon 300 F4
3 - Canon 400 F5.6

the F2.8 plus 1.4x is always popular - but only any good if 280mm is workable. Two lens are handy, but then you'll find you need a second body, or you end up missing stuff when swopping them

[I have the 70-200 and 300 at F4]
StevenPrice 13 30 2 England
23 Nov 2007 10:23PM
the 100-400 is a versatile lens to have if you only have one camera body, i had one & used it at tracks like cadwell & mallory & found it did a decent enough job, that was until i had to start shooting floodlight rugby games then i needed a f2.8 lens but as a motorsport lens i think you will find it an excellent choice i had a go once with a canon 300 f4 & was very impressed with that as well. So you pays your money & make your choice. Good luck with what ever you choose im sure you will be happy what ever you get.

cuffit Plus
11 321 5 England
23 Nov 2007 10:42PM
Thanks guys for you comments - food for thought. I only have one camera body so a zoom is definately the choice. As you both alude to - all the lenses would do a good job. Chris
garamerun 11 27 England
24 Nov 2007 9:12AM
you could also do what I do when I need a extra lens is hire. I hire a 300 2.8 from calumet for 65 fri-monday morning. I then have a 70-200 2.8,1.4 x and the 300 which will cover just about everything. I use 2 bodys and swap the 1.4 between the two lenses depending where I am on the track. You have plenty of time to do this between races.
cuffit Plus
11 321 5 England
24 Nov 2007 11:43AM
Gary, thanks for the ideas - I hadn't thought of hiring and looking through your pictures I can see what you have done with the 70-200; also the non-IS version might be a good buy. Liked the Farleigh Castle pictures, rode there once in my much younger days - fabulous track. Regards. Chris
samfurlong 12 2.5k United Kingdom
25 Nov 2007 11:25AM
If you only intend to use it in daylight and dont mind ramping up to ISO 800ish on a dull day then get the 100 - 400, I have just treated myself to one for occasions where the light is good and I can't be bothered to drag along the 70-200 2.8, teleconvertors, 300 2.8, 400 2.8 etc...
Optics are great, IS useful, well made, well sealed, focusses well for a zoom of that range.
Worth the cash I reckon.
If you want a more versatile setup then get the 70-200 2.8 and a 1.4 tc. If you need anything longer / faster then as has been said, hire it until you need it often enough to justify the cost of buying.
Tandberg 15 1.2k 2 England
25 Nov 2007 12:13PM
I got the 100-400 and the 70-200F4 too both work well and i'm happy with what i get
Would love a fixed prime,but no funds,but i manage well enough.

A real test is the Rally in wales this weekend?
cuffit Plus
11 321 5 England
25 Nov 2007 5:09PM
Sam, Dave, thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated. I am leaning toward the 100-400 which would give me the reach at BSB meets without the use of an extender, accepting the lower speeds though if the light drops. It is also useful to see the pictures that you have all taken with the lenses as well. Regards. Chris

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