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Zoom Lens for Sport (Cricket) and General Nature

Heccie Thump

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I use the X-T4 and the longest lens I currently own is the 16-80mm kit lens but I want to branch out a bit and have a go at some sports and nature photography.  The main sport I want to have a go at is village cricket and from a nature perspective will most likely be birds.  I have been trying to read up on the various options open to me and I find myself getting tied up in knots with all the options and could use a little advice from anyone who has experience:

50-140mm  I like the sound of this one.  Premium quality.  F2.8 all the way and usable with the teleconverters.  I worry about the range for getting decent images in the centre of a cricket pitch, the cost if you include the TCs and the possible reduction of image quality when coupled with the x2 TC.  Would probably be looking at a used one.

70-300mm  The natural lens to fit in with my 16-80 kit lens.  Reports are good for the cost, size and image quality, but again I worry about the range without adding in a teleconverter.

100-400mm  A  decent lens by all accounts, but quite pricey and leaves me with a gap between 80-100mm focal length (probably not that much of an issue, to be fair).  Seems like it should be capable of taking the right images at range without resorting to TCs.

150-600mm  A beast.  Definitely going to be long enough, but possibly a little overkill.  Probably way over any sensible keen amateur's budget.

What are people's thoughts on the matter?

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I have been shooting Football and Lacrosse games of my grandsons for several years. I use the Fuji 100-400 zoom with great results. It has the real to bring players across the field right up close. The OIS works well for handheld, although I usually use a monopod since holding the camera and lens for a full game would be pretty hard. the focussing is fast, so I don't throw many shots away.

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  • 1 month later...

Experience of 100-400 on X-T2 (sometimes with the 1.4 TC for birds) and people-  it's quite small and inconspicuous for the range. It works for a walk-around stealth camera almost anywhere. Focus, the newer bodies will do better for tracking and AF but I get an acceptable number of images. Excellent for the mid-range. Long range suffers as all lenses do from heat distortion, etc. On-body it fits into a quite small shoulder bag. Downside is the external movement which adds to dust accumulation inside, a reason not to buy used.

The 100-600, like the white prime 200 an attention getter. Like the 50-140 it's an internal movement zoom, an advantage. I find the 50-140 can be useful for the mid-range with or without TC since the quality is so high that extensive cropping mimics tele-zoom.

Both the 100-400 and the 100-600 in the overall scheme of photography are remarkably small and inexpensive. You don't need the 600 for sports. The 100-400 is currently on sale everywhere in a Fuji promotion.

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  • 1 month later...

With my full frame Canon R5 I need at least 400mm for cricket, that’s with an R5 which has a 45Mp sensor so room for cropping, sometimes I add the 1.4tc to the 400mm/2.8. The Fuji 70-300 would work ok for you on smaller grounds which are typical for village cricket. The 100-400 would be ideal, not only for reach but also better ability to blur out the background at 400mm. Also you will probably want to use a monopod as cricket matches are lengthy affairs, there is no tripod foot option for the 70-300.

For small birds the 70-300 is barely long enough without a teleconverter but obviously an excellent choice if you like to walk around.

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