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Next lens purchase

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by SteveHo, May 4, 2007.

  1. SteveHo


    May 4, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I would like some advice on my next lens purchase. I need a telephoto...the popular 70 to 200/300 range. I do a fair amount of indoor sport shooting which I usually use a 85 1.8. I have come up with a few options:

    1. 80-200 AF-D - I rented it for a couple of weeks and really liked the IQ. Most posts I have read say it is a great lens. Drawbacks no VR or AF-S, it's also heavy but that doesn't bother me much.

    2. 70-300 AF-S Vr - I have just rented this one for a week. The AF-S and VR are great and it is light enough to carry around for extended periods. The longer reach is nice, but I am really concerned about the 4.5-5.6 aperture. I would continue to use the 85 1.8 for indoor shooting, possibly picking up a used 180 2.8 (not sure about the focus speed).

    3. Unlikely scenario...wait and save up for a 70-200 AF-S VR.

    Sorry for the long post.
  2. Hi there! Good gravy, that isn't a long post. I'm not an indoor shooter but after two years here I would think that the 70-300 would not hack it. Nor would the 18-200 VR. I'm sorry to have to say it but you need lots of glass, especially from all the comments I've heard from sports shooters about the miserable indoor lights. I would suggest one I just purchased, the Sigma 120-300 f 2.8. You can get used ones for around $1700-$1900 or a new one for $2300.. yes I know :eek:  :Shocked:

    I'll try and get a spports shooter up here and comment.

  3. Steve,

    A lot of it depends on what type of sport you're shooting, and where you can shoot from. But IMHO, here is the minimum:

    1. Indoor, non-professional venues, with available light only, you need a lens with f/1.4. Sigma and Nikon make some good lenses.

    2. If you want lower ISO's and higher speeds (versus higher ISO to maintain a higher speed) for indoor, low light, not pro venues, think about strobes.

    Neither the 70-300 or 18-200 are fast enough in most venue's, IMHO.

    Good alternatives, that are cost effective, could be 35-70/2.8, Sigma 30mm/1.4, Nikon 35/f2 for shooting at floor level, and of course, the 70-200's, 300/f2.8 group of lenses (which are not necessarily as cost effective.)

    If the 85 does not have the reach, Rich's suggesstion is pretty good I would think. Also try the Sigma 70-200.
  4. SteveHo


    May 4, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    The indoor shooting I am doing is competitive cheerleading (my daughter). The action is fast but usually the floor is lit fairly well. With the 85 at 800 ISO I can usually get 1/400 to 1/600 shutter, which seems to be the minimum to stop the action. When I used the 80-200 I had to up the ISO to 1600 but still got some good shots.

    I will be shooting more in the daylight in the next year thus the 70-300 VR option. It appears that I will need pretty good light to get the shutter speeds with this lens. This option would leave me with the 85 for indoor shooting (I also have the 50 1.8). The photographs I have seen made by the 180 2.8 were impressive and this would give me some extra reach indoors...although I don't know if it would work well for sports.
  5. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hi Steve and welcome to the Nikon Cafe. If you enjoy shooting sports action, you will benefit by owning fast glass. As mentioned within this thread, the 18-200mm and 70-300mm absolutely will not handle low-light shooting opportunities. If you cannot afford the purchase of a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, then buying a used 80-200mm f/2.8 is the next best lens. You still have to keep in mind that even a f/2.8 lens may not be fast enough in a dimly lit venue. If you enjoy the performance of your 85mm f/1.8 lens, you may someday decide to opt for the f/1.4 version.

    Whatever your decision, we are enjoying ourselves down in the Sports forum, so please find your way down there and join in on the fun.
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