Nikkon 300 mm f2.8 ok for Sports Photography

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Mar 16, 2008
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You will get more deleters than keepers, if you get any keepers at all. Could depend on the sport and your abilities, but I wouldn’t try it. The 300 f/2.8 AF-I and AF-S lenses would both be superb for sports. If these lenses are out of your price range, then take a good look at the AF-S 300 f/4. Good sports lens in good light.
 
W

Wileec

Guest
Depending on which copy of the lens, it's not likely MF. Also, it's a great, fast lens, but it is a fixed focal length, so you need to know that's okay, before getting it. It's plenty fast to shoot sports photography, but that's a pretty large category. So, you should be more specific. Shooting high school wrestling in a gym isn't the same as shooting hockey in an ice rink, or cars or motorcycles traveling 200 mph. Distance to subject has to be considered, too. If you're close, then the 70-200mm f/2.8 may be a better option, since it provides some FL options. If you're at a greater distance, 300mm may not provide enough reach and a TC can increase your reach, but also cut your aperture by 1-2 stops, depending on the TC you opt to use.
 
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It's amazing that any sport's picture where made at all before AF. How do they ever get all those fantastic images in Sports Illustrated for decade's using Nikkor AIS glass. My head spins when I think about it. :rolleyes:.

Sarcasm aside, hell yes grab the Nikkor 300 2.8 ED-IF AIS and get out there and shoot . Manual focusing is a skill that take's practice. Keep at it and you will get good at it. Im sure you will be pleasantly surprised about how many keeper's you will get.
 
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I shoot primary Soccer games.. so alot of movement, sometime fast.

I have a 18-200 VR, but the reach is limited to the side of the field I am moving on.

When not shooting soccer, I love nature shots..

My son who lives in Japan, found a 300 2.8 for $800. He will check in Tokyo tomorrow to see if it is MF or AF..

If this is MF.. is there another one to look for as the used market in Japan is very reasonably priced. Much lower than the USA, but new is higher than the USA.

thank you.
 
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May 14, 2009
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If people would not mind giving a little more feedback, I am heading for the city now. I will be windowing today, and tomorrow is trigger pulling day, please post a few more thoughts.

For a new photographer, will the MF be too much? Sports is sports, but my father does mostly family sports, where a missed shot, is a missed memory of something great/sentimental. I would prefer AF myself at 300mm, and i am hoping that it is indeed a AF lens.
If it is MF, it might be worth it just for the resale value.. they are selling for 2k online, and this one is in great shape from what I heard. the old lenses are just no popular now.

Give me one more day of feedback to work with people!! Thanks

Daniel
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
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Portland, OR
It sounds like a no loose situation. Yo like it, you got a good lens for a get price. You don't like it, sell it and make a few bucks. I have a Tokina 300mm f/2.8 that I mostly manual focus. I can manually focus the lens faster than the camera can (D80). Still, its a lot more work which is sometimes bothersome.

~Chad
 
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Jan 27, 2009
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QA
I have the AFS VR version on a D3. I have been using it in many sports events, such as soccer, tennis, table tennis, superbike etc. It handles TC well when light is good, like C1 power boat, golf, etc.

I need more reach, so 400/2.8VR is on the way.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
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LA (Lower Arkansas)
There are a couple options to explore.

First, look around to see if you can find a 300 2.8 AF (Non-AF-S, non-VR). They're a good deal more expensive, but they render amazing images. I've got one in mint condition, and I paid about $1600 for it. It also works quite well with a Kenko 1.4 TC. I often worried about focusing speed, but with a reasonably robust body, it'll capture just about everything you want. Here's a few examples:

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Other options would be the 300 f/4 - both AF-S (around 900-1000 used), and non-AF-S (around $500 used) versions. I briefly had the 2.8 and f/4 AF-S versions at the same time. Although I loved the focusing speed of the AF-S version, I chose to keep the 2.8 version simply because of the low-light capabilities of the lens.

I think the MF version of this lens will be fine, but manually focusing a lens requires a lot of practice. It's just not something that someone can do easily. Combine that with the speed of a soccer game, and it could be a recipie for a lot of frustration.

But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
 
Joined
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San Francisco, CA
It's amazing that any sport's picture where made at all before AF. How do they ever get all those fantastic images in Sports Illustrated for decade's using Nikkor AIS glass. My head spins when I think about it. :rolleyes:.
That's what I always say too.

I have an early 300/2.8 AF with a D200, and it works for me when I shoot motorsports.

300/2.8 AF with Kenko 1.4x on D200, and not really a sunny day.
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MF for sports or birds is IMO going to be very frustrating
i love the comments about what did those old guys do w/o AF, i guess they watched b&w tv
if you have the tools, AF,AFS,VR, then use them or watch b&w tv
 
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thank you everyone... trying to make the best, financial decision as the the dollars are lean, but the desire it large.
 
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Wileec

Guest
Update:: Found the 300mm 4.5 AI for $160. woohoo!


Daniel
Unless that's long enough and you only plan on shooting in the middle of the day, when there is a lot of light, I wouldn't think that would be that great of a lens. That's not much reach and it's slow. But cheap enough, so if you are okay with less reach and slower, I guess it could work.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
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St Paul, MN
Yes, they managed to get sports images in the old days with MF, but their keeper rate was lower, and their subjects shot more at infinity. There are great images from the old days, there are far more great images from today.

About the only people who owned 300 2.8s in the day were pros who didn't pay for film and had the occasional image in a magazine. Now enthusiasts own these lenses and the web is packed with images.

Different time, different requirements.

People used to fish with a cane pole too, but good luck winning a bass tournament with one. Good luck winning the Masters with a persimmon driver, etc.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
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Alabama
I wouldn't get a 300 2.8 manual focus for sports purposes. Sure, you can use it and get an occasional keeper, but it is going to be frustrating when you start missing all the moment shots. You miss them with AFS too, but more so with MF.
 

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