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Lens question for photographing horses/horse sports

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  • Lens question for photographing horses/horse sports

    If you had the choice between a 300mm (longest range) best glass lens and a 400mm (longest range) very good, but not the best glass, lens, which would you purchase for photographing horses, wildlife, and horse sports (eventing)? FWIW, you would already have 200mm lens, but find you need something more. Both lenses are the same f range.

    As you can tell, I'm trying to decide my next lens purchase and I'm torn on what to get.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

  • #2
    Always buy the best glass. Never compromise there. And of course we know, that what makes the picture is the eye behind it.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
    We Are Flying Solo


    • #3
      what is the weight of the lens? If you are packing the equipment around even a pound difference adds to the load in 95F plus temps


      • #4
        Research the lenses you're considering -- there are some specific lenses where the image quality difference between the top of the line and the runner up is negligible, but the cost difference is significant.

        I love, love, love my Canon 70-200 and was looking at their 400mm f/5.6 when I was still shooting. That's where my vote would go, but it's around $1200.
        ... and Patrick


        • #5
          OH, wait. I just noticed that these are likely zooms because you said "longest range." You'll seldom need a 400mm, so unless that 400mm zoom is almost as good a quality glass as the 300mm, I'd get the 300mm
          Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


          • #6
            I'd go with the 300mm better quality lens. I have one and use it constantly. It gives me plenty of range for pretty much all the horse stuff I want to photograph.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the replies! I tend to lose my brain when I go to post questions, but yes, they are zoom lenses.

              Would your choice change if you already had a 300mm IS zoom on your Canon setup, you just prefer your Nikon setup?

              I was thinking the 300mm was the better choice, but I do want a 400mm as well, so I was torn. I've held both lenses and the 400mm is not that heavy, not as heavy as the best glass one, and is still able to be used handheld if wanted.
              Rhode Islands are red;
              North Hollands are blue.
              Sorry my thoroughbreds
              Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


              • #8
                you already have a 300mm?

                As much as I am all for the bigger lens, I have to say save your money until you can buy the longer range in better glass!

                Cheap lenses will drive you nuts. Don't bother with it.

                As for the need for the 400....it's been centries since I was at an event with a camera. and all I had was a 200.
                I am thinking you won't need the 400 much. There will be many times when you can't get enough distance between you and the object with the long lens to capture the whole shot.

                and don't kid yourself...the least little drop in light, and you will be screaming for some sort of support. the longer the lens, the more light they usually need....I have cussed that many times in the recent past. But then again I do most of my shooting in low light condition. Even when my objects move at moderate speed...


                • #9
                  Go for quality. And if your camera has a high pixel count, you can always enlarge electronically without noticeable loss of quality.

                  Back in the old days, use of fine grain film and darkroom techniques often made up for the lack of a "long" lens. Any old-timers remember developing Tri-X in Microdol diluted 3:1 @ 64 degrees F? It took a l-o-n-g time, but the results were well worth it.

                  Saved considerable stress and strain on muscles too, since those were the times before compact mirror lenses.
                  The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                  Winston Churchill