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lens choice for soccer games

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by urbanek2, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. urbanek2


    Apr 29, 2006
    Hi all:

    I'm sure this topic has been discussed previously, but I can't seem to find the thread. Soccer season is here and I need to purchase glass to capture kids in action. The two lens I'm considering are the Nikon 300MM F4 and the 70-20 VR w/multiplier. Is there going to be a big difference in image quality and ease of use? Monopod/tripod required? Any tips on capturing soccer with my D70 would be appreciated.

  2. Hi, Dave,

    Last summer, I shot my grandson's lacrosse game with a 70-200VR. I didn't use a TC, but I did support it with a monopod. I loved the results... sharp, crisp, great color contrast... in spite of shooting in bright, direct sunlight at midday.

    I've not used the 300, so I can't comment on it, but based on my experience with the 70-200, I can't see how images could be much better (at least at my level of skill!). I've attached a shot below. Hope this helps.

    God bless.

  3. Hi Doug
    just to make you aware that the shot isn't visible
  4. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    Dave, day games, night games, both? Also, what other stuff do you shoot?

    If you're primarily shooting sports, especially if its low light/night games, you may want to consider switching to Canon before investing heavily in Nikon.

    I think the D70 is your weak link for sports right now...3fps just doesn't cut it for action.

    But if you want/need to stay with Nikon, I'd suggest a D2H, 70-200, and TC-14EII to start. You can pick up a 300/2.8 if/when you need one later.
  5. snownow


    Jul 13, 2006
    so cal

    Your D70 will be just fine, I would also go with the 70-200vr, It is fast, sharp and one of Nikons best lenses. A monopod will help a bunch as well. Good luck and remember to post some pics. There are some great sports photographers here and most will give you some great tips.
  6. How old are the kids and how large is the field they will be playing on? Where will you be able to position yourself?

    I take a lot of soccer photos of my kids. Now that they have moved onto larger fields, the 70-200mmVR is just too short for my liking. I generally stand 10yds behind one of the goals. I've had much better luck using my 300mm lenses. It's up to you whether you want to spend $1000 for the f4 or $4500 for the f2.8VR. I use both of these lenses on a monopod.
  7. ibcj


    Dec 19, 2006
    New York
    Mitch brings up a good point with the size of the field. My son plays on a small field for 5-6 year olds and the 70-200 vr works for me. Because the field is so small, the action can quickly move in your direction and the zoom is nice to have. While the 70-200 is quite holdable, I find using a monopod to be easier, especially towards the end of the game.

    Hopefully, by the time my little guy gets to the bigger fields, I'll have some money saved for the longer faster glass. :Soccerbal
  8. urbanek2


    Apr 29, 2006
    Thanks for the input.

    My kids currently play on a small field. Starting next year, they move to the larger field. Generally, these games are played in relatively good light. 300MM seems to be appropriate for the small field... but probably a little short for the larger one next year. So... What to do. I'd like to invest in a good piece of glass. But don't think I can swing a 300 2.8 purchase. Would be interested in monopod/tripod suggestions.


  9. Dave,
    I sense a 300mm AF-2, f4 in your future. This is a great lens for soccer on a full sized field with good lighting. Use a monopod with this lens. My keeper rate went way up once I started using a monopod. While the 70-200mmVR is a great lens, it is just too short for a full sized soccer field.

    Now don't get me started about the 300mm, f2.8:biggrin:
  10. Another choice would be the 80-200 AF-D. It's a great lens, and is often overlooked since the 70-200 was introduced. I used them for years. Slap a 1.4 TC on the back, and you've got a nice setup for sports. You can get a used 80-200, TC, and a monopod (like a Bogen 681) at about half the cost of the 70-200.
  11. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    what cowboy said ...;-)
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