tapidlittle wrote in post #16949046
My 55-250mm doesn't achieve what I want for outdoor sports, my pictures are soft. I was thinking of a used 70-200mm F4 NON IS would that be a nice upgrade? Is 2.8 really needed?
Max budget is 750$. Any lens recommendation would be appreciated.
I've shot quite a bit with the 55-250 and the 70-200 F4L (non-IS) and owned them together. In reality, I ended up selling the 70-200 and kept the 55-250. Why? They basically did the same thing for me. I was shooting youth soccer in the day light. I didn't need the F4. The 55-250 was about as sharp, when I stopped down a stop. Both were fast. The 70-200 was faster. But I was able to lock and expose with the 55-250 just fine.
I pushed ISO as high as I could tolerate to push my shutter always above 1/1250s basically. And I was shooting F8 almost all the time, for depth of field and sharpness. Sometimes this was ISO 1600. I shot in AV all day, no problems. I've shot in TV too, and just let it choose ISO/aperture. Also did well. But I prefer to control the ISO, and I like AV for the most part for days with clouds where it gets really bright, and overcast in a few minutes (Florida...).
If you were shooting night games, this would be a different thing all together. Then I would certainly try to get the 70-200F4L or even F2.8. Every stop of light will help there.
But sharpness? Speed of AF? A lot of what you're having problems with are based on how you're using your camera and the lens, not the lack of the lens's ability. You can shoot clear, crisp images with it at high speed in sports.
I would try:
ISO: 800~1600 (meter and see if it puts you faster than 1/1000s, if it does, you're good)
Aperture: Wide open, or stop down 1 stop for depth of field/sharpness
AF: AI Servo
AF: Try both center point and all 9 points. I would start with the 9 point here
Metering: Center Weight or Evalative
I bump focus for this. I first focus to get it about where it needs to be on my target. Then I release focus, and re-engage focus and lock on with AI Servo and track a second, then I begin exposing, always watching my shutter in the lower left to ensure I'm not metering to the point where my shutter drops. I want it fast.
If you want a 70-200 F4L, go for it. You can get them used for $450~500. Great lens. But I think you can do what you're trying to do with the 55-250 no problem. You'll have the same issue with the 70-200 F4L, until you get into the swing of how you nab focus, and getting your settings and metering together, it will work, honest!