Best fast zoom for shooting sports on D50


TC Morton

I have owned my D50 for better part of two years now...although certainly not my "day job" I have been shooting high school sports for a local weekly rag for more than a year. I can say with confidence that I have accumulated enough experience to take my shooting to the next level. (I currently shoot with a Nikkor 50mm 1.8 (Basketball) and Nikkor AF 70-210mm (4-5.6) (outdoor sports). I have been saving over a year for a fast f/2.8 zoom and I am pleased to report that I am now in the market. Naturally, I would love the greater ISO performance for poorly lit high school gymnasiums, and faster frames-per-second vis a vis a new body upgrade--D90 or dare I say even a D300. However, following conventional wisdom I decided to get better glass first and see how my shooting improves (not to mention saving for a new body would take another year or so). My budget has me in the market now for either the new Tamron AF 70-200 f/2.8, the Sigma HSM II 70-200mm or the Nikkor AF-D 80-200mm f/2.8.

This isn't a generic plea for a 1,2,3 ranking of the three candidates. Read tons of that already. Across the board I have a amassed a good amount of tech info and know the plusses and minuses of all three. Cost is not so much an issue...they are all within 700-900 clams. Close enough for me to disregard this a wash. My concern is choosing the best lens for my specific needs.

What I would like is feedback from those who have shot with D50 on the above lenses. (Sports shooting is a plus bot not necessary) Some talking points appear below:

Sigma claims thay have inmproved sharpness "wide open" with their HSM II iteration. Can anyone corroborate this?

I would like to convince myself that the Nikkor 80-200mm would be the best lens for sports on my D50 (I have terminal NAS like everyone else on this forum:)...but I am concerned that the prosaic CAM900 AF drive on the D50 would disappoint at times. I have read that it can hunt and be slow to AF in challenging lighting environments. Again, any thoughts on this?

In other threads I have read that the Tamron is a bit sharper than the Sigma, but is this any more than just "negligible"---and only noticable a small percentage of shooting situations? I have also learned that the Tamron is the slowest AF of all and may bot be the best for sports on my D50. But again, exactly how slow are we talking here...a nanosecond or two?

I wish there was a place where I could just bring my D50 and slap on all three lenses and have "a go at it".

I look forward to your feedback.
Jan 2, 2007
Nottingham, UK
The Sigma is the best lens out of the three for shooting sports, it's real HSM motor is much faster than the screw driven Nikon or conventional motor Tarmon. Optically the Tamron is supposed to be the best, although the Sigma and Nikon are very close behind it. There's not much in it really.

I'd get the Sigma first, Tamron second because of its better IQ, and Nikon last.
May 17, 2008
Bergen County, NJ
I use my 85mm 1.8 indoors for wrestling with great results and recently used it at a night kids soccer game. But for soccer a fast lens in the 70/80-200mm lens would of been perfect. But the 85mm still got me some good results.:smile:
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji:
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom