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85 1.4 or 1.8 focus performance for sports

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by chipmaster, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. chipmaster


    Nov 8, 2008
    I also posted this in the sports section also.

    I'm looking for a faster lens for indoor gymnastics then my 70-200 2.8. Looking back at my shoots looks like the 85mm will be verstile enough with crop to get the range I need. The 200 f2 is too long, too big and most of all tooo expensive.

    Any one can give me a feel for the focus of this lense, and difference between the 1.4 and 1.8? Most likely I'll shoot it at f2. Will it just be too slow to even think about using?

  2. MD2595


    Jul 6, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    What kind of exercises are you talking about?

    I would think that stationary stuff like rings and pommel horse would be fine. If you're talking running/vaulting it might not.

    I've never tried this subject, but hopefully someone who has will chime in for you.
  3. chipmaster


    Nov 8, 2008
    Shooting rythmic so yes they are all moving, combine that with their spinning hoop, throwing ball, or ribbon and its a real challenge to get focus and freeze the motion. :frown: With the 70-200 2.8 when they are running I'd say 1/3 of the pictures are blurred. At a couple meets I've seen the contracted Pros shooting fixed focal and higher shutter speed and that will be the experiment this time around. May look to get another body D300 used/borrow and try the fixed focal and shoot 1/500 or faster.
  4. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    Being a screw drive lens the 85mm focus speed will depend somewhat on the body you're shooting with. On a low end body like the D50 I doubt it'd be anything impressive, on a flagship model like the F5 the additional motor torque will push things around with considerably more speed.
  5. It is ok, see this one, taken on D300 in 3Dmode which is rubbish, since than learned to focus even better.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    B&W is due to extremly poor illumination, frozen at 1/500sec

    For other similar see flickr link
  6. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    What is your trick to focus?

  7. I have heard that the 85 1.8 is faster to focus w/ it having rear focus. I've seen some nice Basketball pic's with the 1.8.

    Check out this pic's (not mine) from the 1.8,
  8. There is no trick, you just point and shoot, i would say i get best results in AF-C and Single Point, some do get out of focus others are ok.

    DOF is shallow and i was some distance away, bear in mind that above picture is either fully open or no more than f2.

    Picture above was taken with 85 f1.4, i used to have 85 f1.8 which was also good to focus but NAS took better of me.
  9. no stop giving me NAS

    fockers stays awat from my NAS
  10. One more...only i wish i had than D700 and 200mm f2

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    For EXIF peepers

    Camera: Nikon D300
    Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/500)
    Aperture: f/1.4
    Focal Length: 85 mm
    Exposure Bias: 0/6 EV

    Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
    X-Resolution: 72 dpi
    Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
    Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 Windows
    Date and Time: 2008:06:24 00:03:25
    YCbCr Positioning: Co-Sited
    Exposure Program: Shutter priority
    Date and Time (Original): 2008:06:21 11:04:01
    Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:06:21 11:04:01
    Compressed Bits per Pixel: 1 bits
    Maximum Lens Aperture: 10/10
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Sub-Second Time: 17
    Sub-Second Time (Original): 17
    Sub-Second Time (Digitized): 17
    Color Space: sRGB
    Sensing Method: One-chip colour area sensor
    Custom Rendered: 1
    Digital Zoom Ratio: 1/1
    Focal Length In 35mm Film: 127
    Gain Control: High gain up
    Compression: JPEG
    XMP Date and Time (Original): 2008-06-21T11:04:01+01:00
    Image Width: 2693 pixels
    Image Height: 3366 pixels
  11. I love my 85 1.4, but in my experience it is not a very fast focusing lens ( no matter which body I use it on). I find it is especially slow to focus in low light.
  12. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Thanks. So I gather this works better than Dynamic AF.
  13. At the time i took those shots i used 3D tracking and following another session in better light decided not to use it again as keeper rate was low. Currently i select single focusing point and shoot in either AF-C for fast moving or AF-S for moving subects.

    Here at Cafe there are much better experts than me to advise on good focusing practice.
  14. chipmaster


    Nov 8, 2008
    All, thanks for your responses! A good friend is going to be lending me his 85 1.4 and maybe his 200 F2 ( I know it'll be too long but can't deny the test ).

  15. dgh3


    Mar 13, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    Not to wander too far afield, but I've heard that the 135 and 105 f/2 Dc lenses might work very well for indoor sports, if the focal lengths fit your venues and style. I find mine to be quite sharp wide open.

    Dave Harris
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