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Rented 80-200 2.8 & 85 1.8, WOW

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by haze2, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    This weekend I shot a volleyball tournament, a trip to the Phoenix Zoo, and an afternoon of skydiving at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. I decided to rent the AF 85mm 1.8 for the volleyball (the 85 1.4 was not available) and the AF-S 80-200 2.8 for the zoo and skydiving. Was I ever impressed!

    First I learned that the 85 1.8 is a wonderful lens, but still not fast enough for the wicked lighting conditions in the gym at ASU. It was good during the day, but as the sun set and the skylights no longer provided light, I needed more speed. I really wanted this lens to handle the job, but it appears I'll have to get the 85 1.4 to get the performance I need.

    Second, with regard to the 80-200 2.8, I learned that the monopod is the world’s greatest invention! That sucker is much bigger and heaver than I expected. I picked up the monopod on the way to the zoo and fell in love with it over the course of the day.

    What a joy it was to use such quality lenses. It's a blessing to live in a place where I can rent the lenses until I'm able to purchase them. I've always wondered if the difference between a pro lens and a consumer lens was really that discernable. Well now I know.....there is just no comparison. I’m new to the Café and haven’t learned to post pictures yet, but I’ll get that figured out soon and post a couple shots from the weekend.

  2. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    Yes, the 80-200 AF-S is a thing of beauty. But it's nothing once you've used a 70-200 VR. Before this year, I had never even seen pro lenses up-close, much less used them. That all changed pretty fast.
  3. Haze,

    Don't rent a 70-200, or a 300 or anything else. This could get very expensive very quickly.

    And I agree, the ability to rent a lens of that quality is quite an advantage.
  4. Brian-S


    Feb 10, 2007
    Bay Area, CA
    as for the speed of the 85/1.4 over the 85/1.8, it's not as drastic as you might expect. i'd be surprised if it turned your unusable lighting situation into a good one. rather, more important here is going to lighting and/or iso. bumping the iso is going to give you more shutter speed than 1/3 of a stop or whatever the difference between 1.8 and 1.4 is. i have the 1.4 and believe me it's a fantastic lens, but think carefully about the extra money you spend. it could be the difference between an 80-200 and a 70-200 VR (assuming you have a fixed budget). if not, the sky's the limit! (pun intended based on your avatar pic) enjoy the pro glass!

  5. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ

    I had the ISO at 1600 for the volleyball shoot and I thought it was very grainy at that setting. I'm hoping that with a 1.4 I can drop the ISO a bit. Anyway, I'll rent the 1.4 before I buy it just to prove to myself that the difference is worth it.

    Mark, you are right....renting something this nice is very dangerous.

    Zach, you hit the nail on the head. Once you use this kind of lens you just don't want to settle for less.

  6. Can you rent both at the same time? Take a few with each and see how much advantage you get from the 1.4. Thanks to cafe, I learned proper exposure is the key to high ISO. Exposed properly, the noise factor almost goes away.

    When you get done messing around in the gym, try the indoor swimming pool. then start looking for the 70-200 1.05 :) 
  7. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  8. I'm still hesitant to buy strobes for indoor sport though. So most place allows you to use strobe/flash inside? Doesn't that distract the players?
  9. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    Usually, they'll want to know well in advance. Sometimes, a coach might ask you to do a setup during a practice, or some time in advance, so that they can determine if they'll allow you to use direct strobes or not. At lower levels (below college level), they'll often want you to bounce off of the ceiling. Even at college level, it depends.
  10. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Very cool Haze. Did you rent them from TCR? How are their prices and terms?
  11. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks again for all your replies. First let me weigh in on the strobe issue. They are not prohibited, but they are frowned upon. The coaches don’t like them and they distract the players. My daughter has specifically asked me not to use it. With that in mind, I decided to honor their wishes and shoot with available light. I have one other issue with strobes. In one of the big gyms where we have many of the competitions, it is laid out is such a fashion that you often have a wall as the backdrop. When you shoot with a strobe it throws large shadows on the wall and really distracts from the photo. In some cases it overwhelms the photo and I would rather deal with the high ISO than the big shadows.

    Chris, I rented from Photomark and as I recall it was around $25 per day per lens. The deposit is huge, but they credit it back to your credit card when you return the lens. As a serious hobbyist this is a great option for the more expensive lenses. I know I’ll purchase the 85 1.4 (unless I find something better) in the near future, but I plan on renting the 80-200 unless my needs change significantly.

    While we are on the subject of volleyball, I must admit that it is the most challenging indoor sport I have ever tried to photograph. Aside from the technical aspects of the camera, exposure, and lens, the art of the shoot is very demanding. The players move in very fast bursts of speed and capturing the ball and player at exactly the right moment is as much luck as it is skill. Trying to follow the ball is useless. You have to pick a player, or a particular part of the court, try to keep both eyes open, and anticipate the hell out of the action. I always come home from other indoor events with ten times more keepers than I do from a volleyball tournament. By the same token, when you come up with a real winner the sense of accomplishment is much greater too.

    I know this isn’t the Sports forum, but I would love to hear any thoughts from other VB shooters in the group.

  12. Trying to follow the ball is a useless exercise in futility. Any time I tried to do that, I would miss the spike...not that I got many anyway. Best luck I had was with our team to my right and would track the ball with my left eye and watch the girls with my right eye. Got pretty good at anticipating who would get the ball. Team that bump/set/spike is mucho easier to photograph :)  But, they didn't always cooperate. With the 85, you'll need to back up a bit. In our home gym, the top row slightly off center to the opposite side seemed to be the sweet spot.

    Noisy, extremely, but the girl LOVED this shot
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    We may reject a photo for several technical reasons, but the girls and coaches will love them. One of the most fav'd photos, was extremely OOF.

    I think of all the sports I have shot so far, VB was the most difficult, but I had the most fun. Swimming was difficult due to tough lighting, but literally quite boring. XC was the same stuff week after week. Here's johnny running, here's johnny running again, etc. Track was fun watching the individual accomplishments, especially as my daughter was pushing against the records
  13. haze2


    Mar 18, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I shot my daughters track meet today and it was fun, but still doesn't have the appeal of VB. I really had no interest in VB until I went to a play off game and saw the seniors play. I had no idea the game was so fast and so exciting. Now I'm hooked and shoot every game I can. If you like shooting sports and have never tried VB, I strongly reccommed you give it a try. It's addicting. But the bad news is, I have to fork out a lot of cash for the 85 1.4.

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