I was recently at a game where I had both my 600mm and 70-400mm lens. The 600 mm is definitely a great tool if you want to attract attention and spend more time talking to people. It seems that many people develop an instant bad case of gear envy. So many people seem to dream about a big Glass but is it really better ?
Lets get the negatives for the 600mm lens out of the way first.
- The lens is super heavy, requires it dedicated backpack
- When you have to clean the front element you realize that the the weight is not the worst thing about this lens
- There is no easy way to handle this lens and multiple other cameras it will always get in the way
- The price of these lenses is really really expensive and you will need a special gimbal, monopod, …
I may sound over negative but just trying to keep it real. The lens is however really nice because it has that extra reach and allows you to get really tight on the action. My other lens is the 70-400 G lens V1. I have a love hate relationship with this lens. Some times it is the most awesome and other days I just can’t get any decent picture with it. Also packed it has the same size as the 70-200 f2.8. When I go on assignment and have the wrong lens my job just got so much harder. it is still heavy yes it will get “bigger” as you zoom in. To be honest most of the time the lens is just fine and yes it may only be 5.6 but still good enough to blur the background when there is enough distance between your subject and the background.
The 600mm may however have a great benefit. When I place it next to the field it seems players are like “OH wow that is some big gear lets take the action there”, I have no proof of this but give then recent shots where the players where headed straight at me rather than one of the big agencies.
The best way to compare is to show some pictures. I did not use the same camera for the 600mm I used the older A99 and for the 70-400 I used my new A99II . At every game I make the decision which lens is likely to give me the better pictures. I may get it wrong some times, The “old” A99 still takes pretty good pictures and they are much easier to work on some times smaller is better (24 vs 42 mpix
Zeiss 24-70 Make sure to not forget the wide shots to capture the ambiance