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NFL training camp, which lens ?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by rocket88, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. I'm making my annual trip to training camp soon, this will be my first trip with the d300, I already have a 70-300vr, but i was thinking I might like to rent something for the week with a bit more reach... It's usually hot and bright as can be so I don't forsee that having a f2.8 type big prime is really gonna be necassary, plus they are more to rent than i really can stomach.

    Among these choices, which would you choose?

    Nikon 80-400
    Nikon 300 f/4 plus 1.4 TC
    Sigma 50-500
    Tamron 200-500

    Thanks in advance for your input and advice
  2. Don't put crap glass in front of a D300.

    Nikon 400mm 2.8

  3. I will be on a tripod...the rentals you guys are suggesting cost about $300-400 more per 7 days rental than the ones that I suggested. That's just not an option right now. The lenses I am consider are all under $100 for a week.
  4. Given this information, I might try out the 80-400. If the conditions are bright, you will be fine, maybe :biggrin:
  5. pluka


    Dec 30, 2005
    Of those choices, I would take the Nikon 80-400. I used it last year at the Chicago Bears camp and if worked well on the D200. I kept it around f8 - f11 and the shots were pretty sharp. The AF isn't the fastest, but at the distance I was shooting it was fine. Unless you have a press pass, the shooting distances are not that close, so the relative speed is low. This year it will go again on the D200, but I'm thinking of renting a 200-400 for the D3.
  6. Frankly, I think you'll be wasting your money. None of the ones you suggest will lower your aperture or increase isolation, and the difference in crop factor will be moot on a D300. Either get a 300 2.8 and use your TC, or get a 400 4.0. Otherwise, save your money and have a nice meal instead. If the sun is out, you'll probably do as well with your 70-300vr as any of them...maybe even better....you can use the VR and handhold when you want (much better for following receivers, passes in air, etc.).
  7. GKR1


    Apr 19, 2007
    San Diego
    I just got back from the Chargers training camp, I was told stop shooting because I was using a "big lens" I was shooting with 80-200mm / x1.4 - It really ticked me off. Bellicheat, ruined it for all the fans who loved going to the camp and taking pics. Anyhow, I left after only few shots.

    I would go with your 70-300 because it is not that big and it might pass the teams security policies.

    Link to few pics I took. http://amirs.smugmug.com/gallery/5562000_7ws4a/#340814414_GvopV

    I should have taken my 55-200mm.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2008
  8. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    I say its the photographer not the lens. Any of those choices would be fine. Id go for the 300 F4 my self but Im sure the 80-400 Vr would be good as well. As far as subject Isolation focal length and aperture are factors but so is your point of veiw. So try knelling on your knee's it helps to blur the background. Wear knee pads. Another thing Ill say is somtimes it's not a bad thing to have more in infocus. F/8 and be there:biggrin: If background blur was everything in sports photography everyone would be using Nikkor 300 F2 AIS. If you go with the 80-400 Vr try MF as Iv heard its not the fastest AF on the planet. Take a good hat and drink lots of water. And keep your wits about you. Side line with NFL sized men can be dangerous. Have fun. Best of luck.

  9. KeithR


    Jun 21, 2008
    No. It has nothing to do with Belichik. Teams all over the NFL are getting really paranoid about the possibility of having formations and or personnel packages photographed. This is Brad Childress's third year as head coach of the Vikings, and we in the media found out at his first minicamp(May of '06)that we were limited to shooting the first 30 minutes of practice, and were then told to pack it in. Strictly enforced, as in having your creds revoked for non compliance! I live in the Twin Cities area and went down to camp(an hour or so drive)Sunday thinking that since practice was only an hour long, that we might get the entire hour to shoot. Nope. 30 minutes in, we were all told to pack it in. Get used to it. It ain't gonna change.
    To be honest I think(and this is just an opin) the league started making the request to teams after MN tackle Korey Stringer died after collapsing at the end of a practice on a rather hot day. Sports Illustrated published and paid a pretty penny(I'm told) for the last shots of Korey as he lay on the ground before help arrived. The shots were not gory or anything, but the photographer as not been seen at any games since. I think the pub of the instance and the pics(which weren't published until the following season) brought unwanted publicity of the kind that the NFL didn't want.
  10. lazijay


    Jul 27, 2008
    Salinas, CA
    I'm going to the 49ers training camp on August 3rd. I know I'm going to bring my 55-200, but I'm wondering if I should bring my kit lens as well.
  11. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Keith: I think you nailed right on the head.

  12. GKR1


    Apr 19, 2007
    San Diego
    I knew I would get a flaking for saying that. I find it surprising that the chargers security did not care that you can record movies on the point shoots. It was welcomed and every fan had one. I think I need to upgrade my P&S:biggrin:

  13. Ironically, the "Big lenses" are for tight crops, while the "smaller lenses" (wide-angles) are better suited for photographing formations. If that's the reason behind the rules against "big lenses", it sounds like another case of rules being established by someone who doesn't really know what they're talking about.

    (The 30 minute limit, while it stinks, makes more sense in this regard.)
  14. GKR1


    Apr 19, 2007
    San Diego
    Bert, that is exactly what I told the guy. I also told security look through the viewfinder and see. I think I'm going to write an email to Chargers front office and ask for an explanation.
  15. I agree that you need faster glass instead of the cheap lens or expect average shots at best. As one says its the photog rather than the lens has no clue about sports photography. That is true in most cases, but you will still need faster glass to separate the men from the boys since you are talking about shooting the NFL where they are the best of the best and your shots should be on par as well. Remember, this is not pop warner or your local high school where you can get away with just your average shots. IMO, average lens = average shots when compared to the 2.8 fast primes.
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