I may shoot some HS footbal for fun. Friends son is ***. coach so we may go to some of the games. My fasttest lens is an 80-200 afs. Games are at night too. I have the d3 and d300 BTW. Is this lens long enough for HS football?
Don't expect to get any opposite sideline or end zone shots with the 80-200. I would use the D3 instead of the D300 if they are night games. You're gonna need the better sensor for shooting high ISO at night.
Your best bet is to shoot from the sidelines.
I used a rented 300 2.8 for an all day football tourney type shoot. I'd highly reccommend using that lens if you can get your hands on one.
If you have access to the sidelines, the 200 can be enough. Shoot the action that happens on your half of the field- don't even bother shooting across the field at 200mm. I like standing about 15 yds on either side of the ball, depending on if I am shooting the offense or defense. It is the perfect lens for covering from the endzone when they are inside the 25.
I would use the D3- at least on our fields I am at iso 6400, 2.8 and still can't keep a shutterspeed above 1/400.
It's enough to shoot it, but probably not enough to shoot it very well.
I shot some college football last year with my 80-200 before purchasing my 400, and I was able to get some great shots from my endzone to about the 20 yrd line, then decent shots up till half field, and nothing useful past that.
You could always pick up a 1.7tc for some extra reach on the D3, and then crank the ISO up a bit.
Nothing new that I can really offer from what has already been written, but from my own experiences you can get some action with a max 200mm length. You just have to move a lot yourself and wait for action to come to you. Last fall I used my 200-400/4 in the first half and then switched to the 70-200 in the second half when that extra f-stop comes in pretty handy. This is also a good time to get some action away from the action: cheerleaders, crowd shots, coaches, etc. Most definitely use your D3. At my local school's field I was shooting last fall with settings of f/3.5 (trying to get a tad more DOF), 1/400, 6400 ISO. This is even a newer field with newer lights