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High School football, D3, which lens?

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Electromen, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. I been asked to shoot for a local team. I don't want to spend $5K on a lens until I see how it works out. I have a D3 and D300, 70-200VR and 1.7 TC

    I need more reach to get closeups of seniors during the game. What are my options? This could lead to much more work.
  2. I need to add that these are night games.
  3. You probably should rent the 300VR 2.8 or save up to get it, any thing else would just be wasting your time for night HS games.
  4. nipprdog


    Jun 8, 2006
    Or, like many of us have done, get a good deal on a used 300 2.8 AFS non VR, since VR is not needed, or recommended, for fast sports. :biggrin:
  5. Greg, I've been shooting our HS football for 2 years now. You really need a 300 f 2.8.
    That said, I don't have one! I use my D200 & 70-200, on Manual, AF-c, center weight, 1/250th, iso 400-640-800 if necessary. With my SB 800. I just don't shoot plays that don't come towards me,.. you know. Leave your TC at home. you'll lose what? 2 stops of light with the 1.7? I know my 1.4 puts my f2.8 @ f4. That nowhere near wide enough even with a flash.
    I'm just an admiring, learning Amateur compared to the real Wizards here. Frank, Mike, Ty, Randy, Alex, and a few others will chime in with the real knowledge.
    you should rent a 300 2.8 once, I may.
  6. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Greg, if you are shooting high school football with a D3, you are going to need a 400mm f/2.8 lens. Without the reach, you'll be cropping the heck out of your files in post. With a D300, a 300mm f/2.8 can do the job. In either case, you'll be wise to shoot the short game to minimize having action shots that are too loose. Look for a used 400mm f/2.8 at KEH.
  7. I agree he should use the 400 w/D3, but they sure aren't cheap starting @ $4500 on up vs. $3k for used 300 lens. I was just thinking cheap.
  8. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I've only shot HS football for 2 years. I'd used Canon the past two years, but now am shooting Nikon.
    I used a MKIIn (1.3 crop factor) and 200 f/2.8L lens, with 540EX flash. I was able to get some closeups. Shooting at 800-1200 ISO, Aperture priority. The D300 should work better as far as crop factor.

    Where your limits are is that you mostly have to shoot from the sidelines, (between the 20s) and have to wait for the play to come close to you.
    Of course endzones are even less lighted.
    That said ,if possible, I'd certainly recommend renting a 300 f/2.8 at the least. Especially if you want close ups of Seniors. The 200 can get a play, but tough to get a close up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2008
  9. Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll rent a 400 for the team and maybe buy one next year. Again thanks everyone.
  10. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  11. I have a few on my site:

    I was shootting at 2.8 and 1600 iso with a 70-200 on a D200. Most were not even at 200mm, but then they probably should have been. I'm terrible at tracking fast moving non predictable motion. I'll never be a birder. :frown:

    But when I do try I like the zooms better as I can zoom out to see and try and zoom in to catch and since you have a lot higher range with the D3 I can think of 3 options.

    • 200-400 Nikon f4 Sorry it is over 5k.
    • 100-300 Sigma f4 , only $1,200. But might be a little slow when you add a TC even with the D3. but maybe not
    • 120-300 Sigma f2.8, $3,000. This is the one I would think would be the best in a zoom. It also works well with the Sigma 1.4 tc

    Although as I type this B&H shows a SigMonster instock :cool:  :eek: 
  12. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Greg, I certainly agree that a 400mm lens is pricy, but I recommended it because you mention that this year's photography may lead to more opportunities. I plan to buy a 400mm lens at some point, I'm waiting to see if Nikon releases a D3 body tweaked for sports and PJ shooters.
  13. I thought the D3 was the body tweaked for sports and PJ? or do you mean with the buffer upgrade already in place?
  14. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I certainly can't speak for what PJs want, but the D3 could sure use the 1.5 magnification factor that the D300 has. I think having reach is crucial for sports action, the D3 being a full-frame body may not be optimal for many types of sports action photography.
  15. I will be making due with my 300 2.8 but in all reaity the 400 2.8 woudl be the best
  16. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Mike, have you shot an event under poor lighting, such as a high school football field, with your D3 and 300mm lens? If cropping is required, do the images remain pretty clean?
  17. Sauk


    Aug 4, 2008
    Sandy, UT
    I would think when cropping to a smaller size it would eliminate noise?
  18. Oldtime


    Jul 5, 2006
    Durham, NC
    Noise is noise , if it's there it is there
  19. Sauk


    Aug 4, 2008
    Sandy, UT

    Yeah but when you resize an image it will hide the noise more. A D3 file is over 4,000 pixels at one end, to be honest all you need for a 8x10 is around 2166 pixels. So after you crop and resize to that amount your noise will disappear in the image (it will reduce I should say).

    Thats why when posting small images on the web you can barely see noise if at all.
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