Not everyone has the chance to shoot with the 300mm F2.8 lens. I thought a blog or two regarding this lens might be useful to someone who is wondering if this lens will help them get better images.
My daughter's high school soccer team is working through playoffs so I went to the Championship Game and took along a Sony A33 camera and the 300mm F2.8 G-series lens. Everything was shot with this combo on an old Gitzo monopod.
The game was at a park near the lake and the fog was rolling in thick most of the time. For the most part the images lack sharpness and detail because of the heavy fog. These shots are the better images from the game. They are all cropped.
The camera was set on "Aperture Priority" at around F3.5. This gave me a shutter speed around 1/1200 second with ISO 400 or 800. It was a pretty dull day overall.
The problem with the 300mm isn't the sharpness, it's the subject size in the frame. When you shoot with a 300mm f2.8 you expect to get sharp images. It is a prime lens after all and is high priced. The lens doesn't let you down for image sharpness but the window of acceptable subject size in the image is small and limiting. A 300mm lens just isn't long enough for most of the game. And then when the play is too close, you're cutting off arms and heads.
I was shooting the game, wishing Sony would finally bring out the 500mm F4 they're been showing at trade shows for three years. Then I could shoot with a long lens downfield and switch to the 70-200mm when the action is in my face. With the 300mm lens there isn't time to switch cameras without missing too much of the play.
Last week I used the zoom 70-400 G for the game, you can find the blog posting here. Although the 300mm has the great aperture speed, it doesn't have the same reach and flexibility of the less costly zoom. I can't really compare image quality because the weather and light was so different but I think I had more useful images with the zoom.
I'm going to try a second game with this combo and see if I can make something happen.