Long Lens Question

Joined
Sep 23, 2008
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Hi Everyone, A recent trip to Yellowstone really emphasized my lack in reach I was wondering what you guys thought would be a good option for someone who wants to shoot animals and sports closer. I have thought about the renting option but i feel i will use this lens enough to justify owning it and renting would be more costly in long run.

Anyway here are the options I only want to buy one lens for now and maybe in the future(a few years from now pick up an additional long lens). What you pick?

200-400mm F4

300mm 2.8 VR with this i would probably use a 1.7x is it good with the 1.7x and autofocus well?

400mm 2.8 VR

500mm F4
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
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I have several photogs using the Siggy BIGMOS (150-500) with great results.....
As to your question: What is your budget? I would get longest lens I could afford.......

I saved money by buying a Sigma BigMa (50-500) but I have never shot it under 350mm asnd I knew that going in......just as with my 70-210 I very seldom shot it under 100mm......
 
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I have heard of several photogs using the Siggy BIGMOS (150-500) with great results.....
As to your question: What is your budget? I would get longest lens I could afford.......

I saved money by buying a Sigma BigMa (50-500) but I have never shot it under 350mm asnd I knew that going in......just as with my 70-210 I very seldom shot it under 100mm......
 
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If your going to buy one lens......200-400 or 300. 300 is better for sports in my opinion.

If you will eventually buy two.....300 & 500.

I currently have the 200-400 and love it, but I don't shoot that much sports any more.

GenoP
 
Joined
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If your going to buy one lens......200-400 or 300. 300 is better for sports in my opinion.

If you will eventually buy two.....300 & 500.

I currently have the 200-400 and love it, but I don't shoot that much sports any more.

GenoP
that is sort of what i was thinking, buy the 300mm 2.8 now and then in a few years get the 500mm. Do you know if the 300 works well with the 1.7 extender? Because with the 1.7 that makes it a 500mm F4.8 not too shabby.
 
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300/2.8 seems to be a good starting point, takes 1.4 and 1.7 nicely and on a dx body you got plenty of reach
 
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that is sort of what i was thinking, buy the 300mm 2.8 now and then in a few years get the 500mm. Do you know if the 300 works well with the 1.7 extender? Because with the 1.7 that makes it a 500mm F4.8 not too shabby.
Both the TC-1.4 and 1.7 work well on the 300.....but obviously the 1.4 is better.

If you have enough money for one, I would start with the 1.4, as it is much better for sports. If you look at Mike Mac's work on Cafe, he often uses this combination on a D300. A D700 will look better, but with less reach.

GenoP
 
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I would have to agree with everyone else that the 300 2.8 is the better choice out of the bunch. With the 1.4 and the 1.7 to give you some versatility.
 
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well the good news is I already have a 1.4, if i can swing the 300mm 2.8 (hopefully by next spring) the 1.7x will be chump change. That should give me some good options and make for an amazing 300mm, great 400mm and good 500mm :)
 
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I'll have to go against the grain with a few others and recommend the 500. It's performance is outsanding even if it's not quite as versatile as one of the shorter lenses or the 200-400 (would be my second choice). If you were shooting sports exclusively, I might recommend the 300/2.8 over the 500, but with wildlife REACH is king! That said, the 400/2.8 produces some magical bokeh and is one of Nikon's standard bearers (well, all their super teles are). As a formerly nearly exclusively wildlife shooter, I'd always go long first then back up with shorter options like the 300. Just my opinion, though. None of these are bad options, and you are the best judge of your needs. Just remember, those tcs fit the longer lenses, too to give you even more reach...
 
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Hi Everyone, A recent trip to Yellowstone really emphasized my lack in reach I was wondering what you guys thought would be a good option for someone who wants to shoot animals and sports closer. I have thought about the renting option but i feel i will use this lens enough to justify owning it and renting would be more costly in long run.

Anyway here are the options I only want to buy one lens for now and maybe in the future(a few years from now pick up an additional long lens). What you pick?

200-400mm F4

300mm 2.8 VR with this i would probably use a 1.7x is it good with the 1.7x and autofocus well?

400mm 2.8 VR

500mm F4
Andrew -

Well . . . I wish that I was in the position to think about those options!:smile:

You've had a lot of expert advice already, so take mine with a grain of salt.

I'll throw in that for sports shooting, some of your choice might depend on factors inherent to the sport(s) such as: length and width of the field; your current or probable vantage points (i.e., field/sideline pass or stands; open or restricted access to the goal area. etc.); time of day for the events (sun/ clouds during the day vs. bright/crappy night-time lighting); your support capability and options (upper arm strength; mono- or tripod capability; ball head, etc.); desired outcome (trying to capture loved ones and/or friends, or seeking to offer pics for sale and profit).

All that must be weighed against your own "keeper":budget ratio and criteria for whatever purpose.

Having been fortunate enough to get up to Yellowstone the past 6 years, and having returned with a few distant shot keepers using the 300 f/4 handheld, or with it matched with the 1.4 TC EII on a tripod, I know what you mean about wanting more reach.

Here's an example of a sports shooter whose work I really like: Andrew Davis shoots college Ultimate Frisbee typically with the 200-400 f/4 on a monopod and he is very successful (as his other galleries will show). He told me that he rents the lens for the duration of the tournaments, and that the ability to zoom gives him the flexibility to put as many pixels on the action as possible. The matches (whose action and field size resemble soccer) are held during the day without any external lighting, and it is possible to get close on the sidelines or behind the endzone without any sort of field pass:

http://freeheelimages.smugmug.com/Ultimate

Didn't mean to ramble on so long, but I had a recent "window of opportunity" and, after doing a bunch of research, I opted to go for the Sigma 500 f/4.5. It should fit what I can and would like to do, and I'll let you know how it works out.

Eric
 

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