Help! I need some lenses. Help! Not just any lenses...

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My father and I are looking for a sporting lens that is fast and can get across the field with decent range. Moving around the sideline is not a problem, but limiting that movement would be nice, as some referees prohibit moving much.
We have narrowed the focal range down a little bit, but at this point we need some help. We want somewhere around 300-400mm of reach. The lenses we have looked at so far are the

Nikon 70-200
We checked this lens out, but I am a bit worried that, while an awesome lens, it is a little short on the long end. It is also quite expensive, and our budget allows for about $1000.

Sigma 70-200 2.8
Same distance conerns. The price is right on these at $500 in japan, but can we put a teleconverter on it? If we can, which one and how much is it. Together this is our top pick, if the combined total is under 1000

300mm 2.8 AF-S
This is my lens of choice, but the one I had found sold a few weeks ago and now it is a waiting game. cost is a big factor on this one, same budget applies.

Nikon 200-400
I do not know anything about this lens except that it is costly, and i have seen people with it on the forum. Is this a good sporting lens? or is it simply too much? I will be scoping this out next trip to Shinjuku.


If there are other lenses we should consider please let us know. My father and I are in the dark about sports photography, and we could really use some advice. Nikkor glass is preferred but in no way required. The only requirement is the budget.

Thanks a lot,

Daniel
 
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Sigma makes two teleconverters for their lens. A 2.0 and a 1.4. both run $250 each here in the States.

The Nikon 80-200 should be considered also.
 
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How about the Nikon 300mm f4? There are rumours of an updated VR version coning out in the near future.
I forgot about that one. I am trying to keep with the faster lenses, but due to my restrictions, lens restrictions should also be lessened. Thanks for the suggestion!!!

I wont need the VR version. We shoot from tripods, arguably the best VR there is unless you live in Japan. Earthquakes every 5 minutes here.


Daniel
 
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Sigma makes two teleconverters for their lens. A 2.0 and a 1.4. both run $250 each here in the States.

The Nikon 80-200 should be considered also.
Thanks for the heads up on teh Sigma TCs. 200mm is a bit short for what my dad wants. We both agreed that 300mm is the place to be. I will check it out again though.

Daniel
 
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the 200-400 is also f4

The 300mm f4 AFS is the fastest high quality Nikon lens you will find for anywhere near to $1000, even used, unless you want to use an older AIS manual focus lens.

Larry
 
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If we are talking soccer, I would go the Nikon AF-S 300/4. You probably won't need a TC using this lens on your DX body. I use this lens for soccer and field hockey (both with and w/o a TC14E) and it is very good. VR is not required (at least on the D700 using auto-ISO).
 
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If you have never done sport before you may want to start off cheap - 70-300 even. Check our Randy's posts with this not so long ago

It's unlikely a good lens will magically produce great results. Sports photography is tricky and takes lots of practice.

Anyhow

For what it's worth here is my list of sports use lenses ranked in order of desirability

Nikon 70-300
Sigma 70-200 with Sigma 1.4TC
Nikon 300 F/4
Nikon 70-200 with Nikon or Kenko 1.4TC
Sigma 120-300 F/2.8
Sigma 300 F/2.8
Nikon 200-400 F/4
Nikon 300 F/2.8 AF-S I
Nikon 300 F/2.8 AF-S II
Nikon 300 F/2.8 AF-S VR
Nikon 400 F/2.8 AF-S
Nikon 400 F/2.8 AF-S VR
 
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