Choosing a Tele 80-200/120-400?

Started Oct 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
cosmicnode
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Re: Choosing a Tele 80-200/120-400?
In reply to Giovanni_1968, Oct 12, 2012

The previous image is off a Sigma, the 120-300 f2.8 with a 1.4x converter, A superb lens, these two photos are with the lens alone, taken at Brands Hatch which suits this range. other tracks need longer reach.

Its not all about image quality, the 80-200 does not have the reach, As I said before you are not close enough to the track at F1 races to make use of the shorter zoom. its often required to move to the top of grandstands or find other locations looking over the high fencing (probably around 12-15" high) to get unobstructed views, unless you enjoy shooting through a metal chain link filter. Local or national tracks can allow you to use shorter zooms  because they are not hosting FIA international races and do not have the same level of safety,and viewing is not as restricted The 80-200 is a fine lens, I have owned one but you would need a 2x  converter to get the range up to 400mm, then how does it compare with the Sigma lens reaching to 500mm. It is of course always possible to heavily crop the images from the 80-200, but better to have the reach and not require cropping and so get a more useful image. The images were taken on a DX body and effectively they are around 400mm.

This Porsche is taken with a 80-200 at a location where I could get close enough with only the top of a 4" high fence showing , the other two are with a 200-400 and 1.4x teleconverter in order to get reach and the versatility of the zoom on a D800.

A lens such as the 50-500 Sigma or 150-500 is very very versatile at a motor race and covers most, if not all focal lengths needed, I have seen many amateur photographers using these lenses at events. By the way all my photos are taken from spectator areas.

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