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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Motor Sport Lens...I'm going to splash out and buy a Canon L series lens for my 7D. Although I like to shoot ...
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Old 23-03-2011, 01:16   #1 (permalink)
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Motor Sport Lens

I'm going to splash out and buy a Canon L series lens for my 7D. Although I like to shoot various things, my main passion is motor sport, stationary as well as motion blur shots. I've been researching my backside off as to what to buy and I keep being drawn to the EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM ii. However, much as I have a decent enough budget, I'm still slightly choking on paying approaching twice the price of my camera. Any thoughts anyone, including alternative suggestions?
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Old 23-03-2011, 07:59   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Motor Sport Lens

Well the IS'll add nothing to your motion blur shots (as it'll be switched off - or at position 2 at the very least) albeit reports suggest it's a sharper lens than the Mk I

Personally, I went for a good secondhand copy of the non-IS Mk I as I reckoned I wouldn't need IS that much - so far I've been pleased with the results and not missed IS at all (but could always borrow OH's as she has the IS version! LOL!)
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Old 23-03-2011, 09:56   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Motor Sport Lens

Just a thought, looking through my motorsport images although I have a 400mm zoom most of the images were taken around 200-300mm
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Old 23-03-2011, 10:39   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Motor Sport Lens

First thing to remember is that a camera body is just a box of tricks that will sooner or later be replaced. a lens is forever. Also, an average camera with a top quality lens will always give better results than a top of the range camera with an average lens. Therefore it makes sense to invest in good lenses.

A 70-200 is a very useful range lens, but it might fall a bit short in some situations where you need more length. So you could also consider adding a converter. This could be added at a later date. GS Gary uses 1.4x and 2x converters with good results for his sports shots.

If you are in the paddock 70mm will probably be too long, so you will find an 18-50 useful too.
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Old 23-03-2011, 17:39   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Motor Sport Lens

I've got the Mki non IS version. A sports photographer at Manchester Velodrome told me that IS is no use for sports as it slows the focus down too much.
Might be worth looking for a 2nd hand one, try your local camera shop as they will usually give a 6 month warranty.
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Old 23-03-2011, 23:30   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Motor Sport Lens

Good advice so far guys, however, something else I should have mentioned. I'm lucky enough to live in a town with a horse racing track, and some motion blur shots there would be good too, although the subject speed is obviously going to be slower, so the shutter speed will drop accordingly I would think. I wonder if IS would be more beneficial there. Maybe the slowed focus Whipspeed mentions wouldn't be so much of an issue? I suppose another thing I should mention is that although I've only ever been to day time motor sport events, at least half the horse race calender is evening events, and I would also like to expand to other types of event, like speedway for example, which I think generally are in the evening.
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Old 24-03-2011, 02:02   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Motor Sport Lens

Not having a real expensive camera body I wouldn't rely on autofocus for horse racing I use the old system of picking a fixed point focusing on that manually then allowing a bit for for my reaction time(at my age quite a bit) and hitting the shutter just before they get to the predetermined point.
This was with a 400mm and as you can see it's in focus just before the first horse and beginning to go soft on the last horse so you don't have much DOF to play with in these situations The rail made a good focusing mark

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Old 24-03-2011, 12:34   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Motor Sport Lens

Excellent shot Jake.
As for the IS, you won't really need to for slow motion blur shots either, so you may as well save some cash.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:21   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Motor Sport Lens

and i would say - if you are short on money you can buy Canon 70-200 F4 with or without IS. I have Canon EF 70-200 f/4L USM and I find it excellent, very sharp and fast. Here are examples - there is some editing as you can see but even best editing is worth nothing if the photo is bad from the very beginning. And remember that on a Canon 7D it will work even better then on my Canon 5D mark 2 because it's a small sensor so you have max 360mm instead of 200mm that I have and that means you can keep longer distance from the object.

I'm not an expert but I can see how my lens works and I recommend it. Price is around £530.





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