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What makes more sense for sports?

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Otter, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Just doing some thinking and planing...

    Already having a D200 and 300/f4, what would make more sense for sports (and birds)? Buying a D300 or trying to find a 300 2.8 at a reasonable price?

    I've been thinking about trying to find a decent 300 2.8. My reasoning is it's of course faster than the 300/4 and the D200 is lousy at higher ISO's. But then it occurred to me if I got a (used) D300 I'd be able to get higher acceptable ISO's and spend less money.

    I'm starting to think the D300 would offer more versatility.

    Curious what some of you might have to say/think about it.

  2. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Joe, my recommendation is to opt for a 300mm f/2.8 rather than a new camera body. Your D200 is a very able camera and you'll really enjoy the reach and performance of a 300mm prime, especially if you attach a 1.4x teleconverter. The D300 is a nice improvement, but go for the glass, you won't regret high-end glass.
  3. But Frank, I already have a 300 prime. The 300/f4 AF-S. Do you still think the same way? Oh, and I do use a 1.4 TC on it often. Especially with birds.

    Do you gain that much going from the f4 to the f2.8? Not ever having used a 2.8 or D300, I don't know.

    Thank you.
  4. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    The performance of a 300mm f/2.8 eclipses that of a 300mm f/4 lens when ambient lighting is poor and we all know that lighting is seldom perfect. Additionally, an f/4 lens is far from ideal when shooting under high school outdoor stadium lighting. You mention that the D200 isn't a stellar performer when shooting in low-light situation, I think nailing the exposure settings when using an f/2.8 lens will make a wonderful difference in your photography.
  5. Understood.
    Thanks Frank.
  6. Joe,

    Going through the same process as you, and despite the temptation, I think I'm pretty much following Frank's advice. I've rented a 300/2.8 and found it very useful, with the TC on it. I'll be doing it again next weekend for the tournament in Buffalo. I like the idea of the f/4, but for the reach that I want, I would use a TC, which would put me at f/5.6....(sigh) choices, choices.

    Now if a large brick of gold falls off the back of an armoured car, well who knows what might happen.
  7. Thanks Mark. Should that happen I recommend you take some 60 grit sandpaper and "sand" that brick real good to make sure there are no marks or scratches. It might take quite a bit of sanding. To help clean up all the "saw dust" please send the dust to me... :smile:
  8. Hey Joe,

    If it were me I would go for the 300mm f/2.8 now and once acquired I would sell both the D200 and 300mm f/4 AF-S to finance a D300 or better yet put a little money with the proceeds and grab one of the D700's and BAMM you're set!! :smile:
  9. Bigmuddy


    Feb 28, 2007
    Hi Joe.

    I agree with Tom, might as well go all out. Good luck in your choice. I have been thinking about 300 2.8 also. Maybe we can buy two and get a discount...:biggrin:
  10. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Easy. Get the 300 f2.8. Once you own one, you will never want be without it. Lenses like that tend to stay with you a long time. Well cared for ones usually sell for darn near what you paid for it years later.

    Bodies come & go and decline in value rapidly....I paid $1600 for my D100...four years ago....
  11. jamesd3rd


    May 4, 2007
    So. Cal
    Ahhh there's the rub

    The trick is actually finding a AF-S 300/2.8 at a 'decent' price. A friend of mine is waiting on delivery of one bought on e-bay for about $2400. But he doesn't know the condition. Apparently it was only used indoors.

    I settled for an AF-S 300/4 because shelling out almost 3 grand was not an option. For low light I'll either borrow his or rent.
  12. Ty gives some pretty good advice, as does Frank. Put the two together and you have a genius plan.
  13. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    One thing is for certain, photography is expensive. But, there is noting worse than settling for gear, only to find that it doesn't satisfy your expectations. I've been there and done that....it is so frustrating. Now, I research my options and make the best decision.
  14. Phil


    Nov 25, 2007
    You can't go wrong with good glass.
  15. Glass, every time.
    I'm thinking about a 300 2.8 as well.
    I thought about a D3/D700, but like it has been said before in this thread, glass will be worth it in the long run.
  16. McQ

    McQ Just your average, everyday moderator. Moderator

    Get the glass. 300 f/2.8 trumps the 300 f/4, especially under so-so stadium lighting conditions.
  17. Once you get your 5-6 fps that you need, always go after the glass. An upgrade to a 300 2.8 from a 300 f/4 is a bigger upgrade than one from a D200 to a D300.
  18. Dennis Carter

    Dennis Carter

    Jun 29, 2007
    Me, too. :smile:

    Joe, I've had the exact same thoughts, although with different equipment. I'm ramping up to sell some high dollar stuff on ebay and I'm hopeful that I might net $5k or so. With that amount of dough I could either:

    1. Buy a 200 f/2 and with my D1H, see in the dark. :biggrin: The D1H is really all I need given what/how I shoot; however, it's hard not to drool over some of the new technology! If I had just a little larger LCD. If I had just a few more pixels for cropping. Oooh, if I had an RGB histogram. I digress.

    2. Buy a D3, mount a 2.8 lens and have as good, or maybe better, high ISO performance as option 1. Also, the D3 would be more versatile than one very specialized lens.

    Of course, this is an overly simplistic analysis and there are dozens of factors not accounted for and I really don't want to start a big hoohah about this.

    THE POINT OF MY POST IS...to let you know that you're not alone in your thinking.

    It seems, in some instances, the new bodies may, give a little, just a little, pause to that adage "buy good glass." Especially in the case of the D3 in light of the notion that FX is more forgiving.

    Read what Dave Black says,

    "Photographers will now have the freedom to think in new and creative ways. I have already purchased a Nikon TC17E 1.7 Teleconverter and a Nikon 70-300mm f4-f5.6 G VR Zoom Lens [I don't think he's implying that these 2 will be used together] because the higher aperture settings will become more applicable thanks to the minimal noise level at higher ISO settings. There are many options that the photographer now has the freedom to consider thanks to the D3."

    That quote is found here: http://daveblackphotography.com/workshop/11-2007.htm

    Yes, this has been about the D3, but don't you think some of these thoughts transfer to the D300?

    My very humble $1.00 ($0.02 at today's prices). :biggrin:
  19. Tell me about it. I held Brian's (Biggmuddy) D300 early last spring. I had not held one prior. I couldn't get over the size of the LCD compared to my D200 & D70s. My eyes get worse everyday and that larger screen would sure be nice.

    Heck, pretty soon I'm going to have to lug my 22" LCD monitor around tethered to my camera just so I can chimp! :biggrin:

    You all seem to suggest the 2.8 over a D300. Guess I'll keep thinking in that direction. Pretty soon I'll have to have that dreaded conversation:

    Hi Honey. Hey listen, the guys over at Nikon Cafe told me I have to buy a 300 2.8. Yep, they sure did...what? Who said it? Frank. What do you mean where does he live... :smile:

    Think Sam Kinison on the phone...
    see about 2 minutes in to get the "picture"
    Warning - R rated content.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2008
  20. the 300 2.8 is way better than the 300/4 in every dept at any amt of light....
    in fact the 300 2.8 is a much bigger improvement over the 300/4 than the d300 is over the d200
    I would say the d200 is to the D3 what the 300/4 is to the 300/2.8 (my comp sci/math degrees coming out)
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