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03/09/2015 10:09:23 PM · #1
Looking to add a lens for shooting sports and trying to decide between

1. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD

2. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens

Any idea on how the Tamron compares with the older 100-400? The MK2 version is out of my price range.
03/09/2015 11:04:00 PM · #2
Even if the image quality is comparable (and it mostly is), the older Canon would probably be a better bet. It's slightly faster, lighter, and autofocus won't work on your camera at the Tamron's long end. Bear in mind that Sigma also has a new 150-600mm lens, although the same comments apply.

Message edited by author 2015-03-09 23:05:40.
03/10/2015 12:18:04 AM · #3
I second what Shannon says. I used the 100-400mm for years and considered it a fine lens. I appreciated how (relatively) light it was too.
03/10/2015 05:01:02 AM · #4
It's important to consider what sports you are looking at before recommending any one lens. What are you aiming to shoot?
03/10/2015 06:10:03 AM · #5
Mainly lacrosse and football at the high school level.
03/10/2015 06:18:07 AM · #6
Are you looking to shoot some sports, or to seriously shoot sports? If the latter, I had the opportunity to use the Sigma 150-600mm Sport version at a show last November and it's a great lens for sport and wildlife. Sharp as can be, focus is quick and accurate, and it actually works and focuses well with Sigmas TC's if you want to go that route. I need to sell some stuff before getting one, but I will get one. Significantly heavier and larger than the Tamron, and it's going to be heavy to haul around if you're not prepared to use a monopod. My brother is a pro news photographer who shoots a ton of sports and after checking it out he said that he almost wishes he hadn't picked up the Sigma 120-300mm when he did as this would likely be the better solution for him, even at the smaller apertures.
03/10/2015 06:35:13 AM · #7
Sports? Its the 300 f/2.8 you want, everything else is inferior.
03/10/2015 12:10:12 PM · #8
Football is tough because they play it at night in high school.

Not sure about lacrosse.

For low light a 2.8 lens is great to have.

You might never need the 400mm length on a 1.6x crop sensor, if you're shooting from the sidelines.

So I'd say a 70-200mm 2.8 would be the best bet.

I believe most of the NFL and college football action shots are with a 300 or 400mm 2.8 on 1.3x crop cameras but then again they have a lot of experience and the longer the lens the easier it is to chop off body parts or miss the action altogether.
03/10/2015 12:56:59 PM · #9
Shooting the sports is mostly for my son's teams, certainly not a full time gig or anything. I do have a couple of youth teams that I do team and individuals and I always seem to get a couple of people that wan't composite action shots.

A number of the high school football games tend to be Saturday afternoon, there are some evening games and those I just won't shoot unless I have something with 2.8. Lacrosse is mostly late afternoon so lack of light isn't generally a problem.

I'd love to get the 300 or 400 f/2.8 but right now I can get either of the lenses I mentioned for $900 (used).

The 70-200 f/2.8 is in my plans to purchase, one of the reasons I am trying to find a reasonable compromise for something with more reach.

03/10/2015 01:10:20 PM · #10
Originally posted by MarkB:

Shooting the sports is mostly for my son's teams, certainly not a full time gig or anything. I do have a couple of youth teams that I do team and individuals and I always seem to get a couple of people that wan't composite action shots.

A number of the high school football games tend to be Saturday afternoon, there are some evening games and those I just won't shoot unless I have something with 2.8. Lacrosse is mostly late afternoon so lack of light isn't generally a problem.

I'd love to get the 300 or 400 f/2.8 but right now I can get either of the lenses I mentioned for $900 (used).

The 70-200 f/2.8 is in my plans to purchase, one of the reasons I am trying to find a reasonable compromise for something with more reach.


In that case, I cannot speak well enough of the 100-400mm. Mine has produced some fantastic results. It's major downfall is what I think is a lack of sharpness, but I'm comparing this against a lens that costs many times more as the 'standard' of sharpness. For me, I have to use it at f/7.1 or so to get results that make me feel really good about the lens.

I've certainly had good results from it overall...

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I've also shot sports with it, and it does fine overall - I especially like how quickly you can zoom in/out with it. Funny enough, I never submit those here, at all.. But that's probably because I'm not a huge fan of the genre and typically just do it for friends.

Message edited by author 2015-03-10 13:11:27.
03/10/2015 02:04:58 PM · #11
I've used the Canon 100-400 to shoot field hockey games in every condition, including unprotected in a driving rainstorm at night. You won't be doing that with a Tamron.
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03/10/2015 07:34:20 PM · #12
I followed ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Cory's advise some time ago and ended with a second hand 100-400. I love it. Thanks ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Cory

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03/10/2015 07:49:56 PM · #13
Originally posted by Tiberius:

I followed ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Cory's advise some time ago and ended with a second hand 100-400. I love it. Thanks ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Cory

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Couldn't be happier to have helped. I really do absolutely love this shot of yours, ridiculously cool.
03/10/2015 07:51:04 PM · #14
Originally posted by scalvert:

I've used the Canon 100-400 to shoot field hockey games in every condition, including unprotected in a driving rainstorm at night. You won't be doing that with a Tamron.
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No shit? I've always been terrified of water intrusion with that lens.
03/10/2015 07:54:37 PM · #15
ive got the 120-300 2.8 sigma amazingly sharp fast lens, used it with the sigma 2x so disappointed swapped it for the canon mk3 2x teleconverter :) what a difference :)

03/10/2015 07:57:47 PM · #16
Originally posted by Cory:

I've always been terrified of water intrusion with that lens.

Yep. 10 minutes in a torrential downpour and no problems at all.
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03/10/2015 08:03:24 PM · #17
i was really impressed with the weather protection of the pro bodies and L lens, i made this video for a friends new excavator and had my mk2 and mk3 5d and 16-35 and 24-70 on them sat in the heavy rain for over an hour+ and no problems :) id always been a bit precious about them but they were rock solid

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ro8PPbJ3vU
03/10/2015 08:15:39 PM · #18
I own both of these lenses and believe the Canon is slightly better in both sharpness and autofocus. I bought the Tamron for the extra reach when shooting birds and wildlife. I've used the Canon for football, baseball, soccer, etc. and have never felt like I needed anything longer than 400mm. For the sports, I would go with the Canon 100-400.
03/10/2015 08:38:23 PM · #19
I also have them both. I'd use the tamron for wildlife, but I'd never use it for sports. Too heavy and awkward for sports. And the push/pull zoom on the canon is much easier than the twist zoom on the tamron. Twist zooms are fine, but you can't do it all in one turn on the tamron. I actually wish I had the 70-200 for sports (the 2.8), but can't afford it.
03/10/2015 10:34:19 PM · #20
Or, you could take the Garry Winogrand approach to shooting football and use a 28mm lens instead of trying to imitate Sports Illustrated...

Message edited by author 2015-03-10 22:37:08.
03/10/2015 11:50:55 PM · #21
I've shot wide angles at football games - it's much less compelling if you have some middle-of-nowhere high school field as the setting, but I believe the paper I was working for printed some of them when they had a whole bunch of space to dedicate to the story about that particular game.
03/11/2015 02:58:12 AM · #22
My initial question of what sport you'd be using it for pertain to reach. Lacrosse fields are pretty large, and I've had difficulty using a 80-200mm 2.8 on a standard American Football field. Did it work for most shots? Yeah, but you had to make sure you were constantly repositioning, and your range was pretty limiting. While the 2.8 is wonderful for somebody with a relatively aged camera like myself, it's not terribly versatile for large field sports (even with the crop).
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