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Going to spend some money soon, need feedback.

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Bigmuddy, May 24, 2007.

  1. Bigmuddy


    Feb 28, 2007
    I hate to open this thread here, but because my primary interest is sports photog I would like to get some feedback from the members.

    In about a month I am planning on upgrading my glass, and here are some of the options that I have been contemplating: Keep in mind that I will probably spend around $2000.00 - $2200.00. I like my D50, and I have only been shooting for about 7 months.

    Keeping my D50:
    1). Purchase the 70-200 Vr 2.8 and a prime like 180 2.8
    2). Purchase the 70-200 Vr 2.8 and TC.
    3). Possibly finding a used 300 mm f/4
    4). Open to other suggestions.

    Also, these options I will throw in the ring.
    A). Keep the D50 and try to find a used D2H with low miles, and a used 2.8 lens.
    B). Keep the D50 and try to find a used D200 with low miles, and a used 2.8 lens.

    I also have these thoughts in my head. Because we assume in the next 6 months to a year or two Nikon might release a new body so do I get to know my D50 even more and take options A & B out of the equation and just go with the glass and look for a new body in 2 years or so.

    Also just as a FYI I plan buying a new mono soon so I will have that, and just because I am newbie I would prefer to buy new unless buying used from NC.
    My other interest include portraits and wildlife, but I will shoot anything.:biggrin: and plan on keeping my current glass.

    And some more info, for my little league shooting I have access to go on the field, HS sports (been in contact with AD to get credentials to go on field for baseball and football). HS Basketball is a not a problem.

    Feedback, Ideas, and thoughts welcome. (this gives me about a month to look at my options). You can even tell me Im crazy but I got NAS.
  2. nipprdog


    Jun 8, 2006
    for what you're planning to spend, you could by a new 80-200 2.8 and a new 300f4. :wink:

    and a monopod. :biggrin:
  3. twig


    May 23, 2005
    I would buy a Sigma 120-300/2.8 for outdoor sports, and either a nikon 50/1.4 or Sigma 30/1.4 (better) for basketball.
  4. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    You're actually in the same situation as me, however I am not sure if I am going to be able to spend $2000-2200 on new equipment anytime soon. I'd personally love to have that money to spend and get a good Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 lens for shooting. However, I think I need to upgrade my body first to a D200 (what I'm lusting after right now) and then work on getting the lens later. I like the D50 and plan on keeping it (it never hurts to have 2 bodies and my wife can always use it) but I feel that right now it is holding me back and having to go into the menu for minor settings changes is really becoming quite bothersome.

    Plus, you can always keep an eye out for something that becomes available for sale on the FS forum and you never know what great little treasure you might find there. However, you say you only want to buy new and I can understand that.

    Personally, looking at the glas you have (which was my exact kit for the longest time) I would suggest you get a good f/2.8 zoom first (the 70-200 VR is nice, but the 80-200 f/2.8 is just as good) to get your feet wet with a good fast glass zoom. Good fast glass will last you a long time and is always a wise investment. However, once you get into fast glass (f/2.8 and lower) then you'll never want to look back.

    Good luck...
  5. I use my D50 for sports, I don't find it that limiting, a higher FPS might help, But I find the metering even on dynamic is accurate enough for me to use all the time.

    I would recommend the 70-200 VR, OR save some money and pick up an 80-200 af-s (I would recommend it over the AF-d because i've heard the D50's AF motor isn't nearly up to par compared to the speed you get out of the AF-s) (I can attest to that, I use my 80-200 af-s on my D50, took about 200 shots yesterday at the track)
    (I would post pics but my Hosts DNS servers are down right now)

    85mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.4 would be a good wider angle Low light lens aswell.
    Sigma's 30mm f1.4 is amazing but maybe too wide?
  6. twig


    May 23, 2005
    it depends on how you shoot basketball on the 30mm

    I tend to shoot sitting underneath the rim, along the baseline by the edges of the lane. I also tend to use the 30mm on the Xs with HSC -which means I am using it almost like a 50mm and using the extra pixels to help. Having used both the 30 and the 50, my strong preference is for images from the 30.

    The 30 would indeed be better on that new D0X which has 10MP, rather than a 6MP cam.

    The 120-300 is sharp enough wide open that you can use that as a second indoor lens for across court and up-court action (depending on the brightness of your gym).
  7. Bigmuddy


    Feb 28, 2007
    Thanks for the feeback everyone. I knew this was going to be long tough process...Grrrrr! I know I should go out and try the lenses that I am looking at. My concern about 70-200 Vr is will it be long enough, and then with the 300 I say to myself man that might be to big. Its like I have two little guys sitting on my shoulders saying 2.8...,300, 2.8...,300.

    I have also done some research on the 80-200 and the sigma 120-300 2.8 and have thrown them into the mix.

    For Basketball I go underneath the basket, corners, and baseline. Our gym was just built (imagine a smaller Boston garden) and the lighting is great.
  8. twig


    May 23, 2005
    a 70-200 is too short for outdoor sports, unless you only need heavily cropped shots or for the web. If you plan on doing magazine work, large prints, you need more glass.

    I think your 50/1.8 will serve you well indoors, if you shoot form the corners a 85/1.8 is better.

    300mm is minimum requirement for field sports like soccer, football (you may want somethign shorter on a second body if you are trying to catch every play).

    Since you do not need VR, the 80-200 or a sigma 70-200 are more cost effective than the nikon VR model.
  9. I'm in the same boat, and in fact talked to SWMBO after tonights track meet. I borrowed a 120-300, and it's a big piece of glass. I don't know what the answer is, 70-200 doesn't have enough reach. I would have killed for faster glass and faster focus tonight. Never would have guessed I would need 1600 for a track meet!
  10. i would not use a TC w/ a zoom
    my 1.4 is great w/ my 300/4 but sucks w/ my 70-200

  11. IMO the lens will make more of a diff than the d200
    the d50 is very capable
  12. Bigmuddy


    Feb 28, 2007
    Right now Im leaning towards the 300/f4 with TC, and something else with a 2.8.
    I agree Randy, keeping the D50 is the way to go for now.
  13. JMartin

    JMartin Guest


    I just went thru this process myself, except that I already had the 70-200 VR and a lot of time did not have enough reach, so was considering between the "300s".

    I borrowed Mitchell's 300 f/4 and that was the top on my list due to my finances. Unfortunately, due to some of the games being in early evening, f4 became an issue as I was loosing light too fast.

    With my limit of < $3000 it was between the Sigma 300 or the 120-300, you can see the discussions here. I had my mind set on the 300 prime, but based on several comments I went with the 120-300 2.8.

    Mainly Twig and coworker/NC member MarkM brought up the question of do I ever back off of the 200 with the 70-200 and I found I had been in quite a few shots, but mainly into the 150 - 170 range.

    Good luck on your decision. I know I was up many nights sick to my stomach trying to decide!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  14. nipprdog


    Jun 8, 2006
    Like Joe, I recently went through something similar. I was wanting another body, as well as glass. rented a D80 for a weekend. I liked it, but couldn't justify twice the price. during my decision making time, I came across a great deal here on a used Nikon 300f4. I then picked up one the last remaining new D50 bodies at my local shop. my patience paid off. for what I would have spent on a D80, I picked another D50 body, and that lens. :biggrin:
  15. Bigmuddy


    Feb 28, 2007
    Joe - here is how bad it has gotten, when I seen your reply with the link I knew it was going to reference the "little brown truck" and the 2.8..haha.
    That shows you how much thought I have put into this already, I think I can recite that whole link.

    I went thru my baseball shots and most of them are between 150-170 also.
    And the concern about F4, early evening and losing light has me thinking also.

    For every post/article/review that I read about the 300's you can find a post
    like yours where they went to the sigma 2.8 (And visa-versa).

    I even thought about buying the 300 f4 and then buying the sigma 50-150 2.8

    Anyway, thanks for your support Joe and as I type this I think geez I need a life..:Crunk:
  16. niknd501


    May 13, 2006
    Brian...just found this and have not gone through the entire post but I seriously thought about the 300 f4 and decided I would not be happy
    with it in the end....As I cannot justify a Nikon 2.8 I am saving my pennies
    for a Sigma 300 2.8....I think that lens is a fine alternative for those who
    can't or don't want to spend the cash for the Nikon glass.
  17. Bigmuddy


    Feb 28, 2007
    Rod, thanks for the info. Its not good either when I work as a computer programmer (analyst) because I have like 10 screens (lenses) open now at once.

    Just so I am not totally lost, is this the sigma you are referring to:
    Sigma Telephoto 300mm f/2.8 EX APO DG HSM Autofocus Lens for Nikon AF-D
    they have it listed $2399. Isnt a new Nikon 300 f/4 less than that new? or am I comparing apples to oranges...
  18. JMartin

    JMartin Guest

    The f4 is about $1125 new... At B&H the Sigma 300 2.8 was like $2599 and the 120-300 was $100 more.

    A lot more than I wanted to spend at the time, but I am a "spend it once" type of person that prefers to get what I want (well, not really, I wanted the 300 2,8 VR :biggrin:)  and not get something I can settle with for now.

    With the Sigma 120-300 I feel I got what I needed and will be able to use that for a long time. With the f4, I didn't have that same feeling.

    If it makes you feel better... to date the 120-300 cost me somewhere in the $30,000 to $35,000 range! :eek: 

    That is $2,700 for my lens and the $30kish price for Jennifer's new hyundai Sante Fe Limited to butter her up for the asking! :wink: It was a win/win for me because man is that a sweet ride... and it has a built in power inverter, meaning anywhere laptop usage.
  19. Hi Brian,

    You have quite a decision on your hands, but you came to the right place. I am going to though in a few thought even though I don’t like to sound like I am giving advice. As for the lens, I have found the 70-200 to be an absolute gem and a good lens to start sports shooting. It is also my favorite people lenses. As an all around lens, this would be the last one I would get rid of if I had to thin out my kit. You can shoot football with it. It is best from the 40 or so in, and on the side of the field you are shooting. Yeah, it can be a little short, but is a big leap to a 300 2.8. Around the goal line it is perfect. Baseball, I can’t comment. I have shot some softball this season, and I used it as well as the 300 2.8 (and 300 + 1.4 tc)

    GBRandy told me once that Nikon bodies may come and go, but Nikon glass is forever. In the past year or so, there have been 2-3 older Nikon 300 2.8 AF lenses sell for about $1600 or less. I have one of these now, and bang-for-the buck it might be a good option to wait for or look for…although the Sigma 120-300 is a attractive option for sports. It is a screw driven lens so the D50 probably wouldn’t drive it very fast (I notice a small difference between the D200 and D2H), but I will get to this is a second.

    I bought a D2H a year ago for a pretty good price, but I have been seeing some really good deals here in the for sale section. If you hold on you should be able to pick one of these up for a fair price anytime in the near future. It is a great camera!

    So maybe I haven’t helped you out as far as a suggestion, but good luck and have fun!

  20. the sigma 300/2.8 is an amazing lens and if you look used ones can be had for under 2K
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