Indoor lens Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR vs the other guys...

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by steve_howard|4, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Well, I have been looking at the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 vr lens probably used for indoor kids sports.
    Used I am looking at about $1250 on avg.
    Of the other lenses out there are any fairly comparable or am I gonna get quite a bit better clear photo from the Nikon. Or what about some of the older Nikon models?
    Camera body will be the Nikon d7100.
    I have in general had good luck with the Nikon AF-S 70-300 VR f4-5.6 on this body iso ~3200, but guessing being able to get below that f/4 will help a lot.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  3. Steve, I'm guessing that's a VRI price?
    Short of something exotic like the fixed 200m f2 or the maybe-too-short-and-fixed 85mm 1.8, the choice is mainly which 70-200mm 2.8 zoom to get. That comes down to $$$s. I don't think there's a bad choice, just a 'cost' choice. Bang for your buck is always a hard call. I chose the VRII with a possible view to lower depreciation, but it's not much of a factor.
    If it's a sport you can get quite close to, I'd definitely get the DX Sigma 50-150mm 2.8 OS. (75 - 225mm FOV in old money on your DX D7100) However, if you're ever going to go FX don't get it....:)
     
  4. dont discount the new Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC
     
  5. Yeah I plan to stick with a 70-200 f/2.8 of some brand or the new sigma 50-150 f/2.8.
    Plus there is always the DX crop on the d7100 to get a little extra zoom when needed.
    I also have no plan to go to an FX frame. No pan for a prime. Just want ot be sure I am not gonna give up a lot like focus speed or sharpness. Seems the d7100 gets these lenses to come out a bit sharper too since no AA filter.
    Basically I am going for bang for the buck opposed to all out sharpness.
     
  6. One more thought? Is image stabilization a concern here or should I skip it to save some cost as well?
    I plan to primarily shot at shutter speeds of 1/500-1/1000.
    Seems I can save money going with an older version of some lenses w/o IS?
     
  7. I plan to primarily shot at shutter speeds of 1/500-1/1000.​
    stabilization wont matter past 1/500. so at that point, the 80-200/2.8 AF-D comes into the picture as well.
     
  8. At those shutter speeds VR does not add much. You need higher shutter speeds to freeze action so you may be fine without VR. At night rugby games I prefer a 2.8 non-VR over an F4 with vr for that reason.
     
  9. I plan to primarily shoot at shutter speeds of 1/500-1/1000.​
    .....and when you don't (secondarily) you may well wish for those 3 extra stops of hand-holdability VR or OS will give you.
    @200mm, conventional wisdom says you'd normally need min 1/500 or more to hand-hold it with such a high-res DX sensor.
    VR/OS only stabilises you and has no effect on subject movement, for that, as you say, 1000th plus is needed for action...but when you're not shooting action sports.....who knows?
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    For the sake of AF speed, I would stick with AF-S lenses (or third party equivalents with a built-in AF motor). In particular, when you are dealing with a D7100 or something similar, the AF motor inside the body is rather weak to drive a fairly big lens. It may be a different story if you have a D3 or D4.
     
  11. Indoors with shutter speeds of 1/500th to 1/1000th?! I hope you don't expect to get good and consistent colour then Steve. Or an even exposure from top to bottom of the frame.
    See all the previous threads devoted to colour shift when shooting at speeds above around 1/125th under artificial light.
     
  12. 1/500 is unlikely for indoors but 1/250 is possible at ISO 6400. I shoot for the local newspaper and get useable images
    with that set up. You can give the image some more color and noise reduction in PS. A good solid Nikkor lens that could
    be had btwn $550-$700 is the 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D. I have one and it's awesome and I don't need VR for shooting
    sports.
     
  13. Thomas J. Sports @ 1/250? Are you sure? What are you shooting, the Sloth Olympics?
    Practically you can't even safely hand-hold it still at 200mm at that speed....never mind subject movement!
     
  14. @ Mike
    I often shoot hockey at 1/250 and less sometimes. You can do it with certain sports. Slower shutter speeds can actually enhance the images when done right. Fortunately with photography, there are no set rules!
    As Rodeo Joe points out, it is often difficult to shoot at high shutter speeds because of the 'cycling' of artificial lighting. Unless you plan on using a tripod or monopod all the time, I strongly recommend you only get this type of lens with VR.
    And while it is definitely difficult to hand hold a non-VR lens at 200mm, VR lenses effectively compensate for camera shake. I like VR even at high shutter speeds as well. Although it does not help with IQ, it helps steady the viewfinder. A jumpy viewfinder due to hand movement can be very annoying if you are shooting for long periods of time.
    @ Steve.

    If you are not making huge prints or are posting your images online, you possibly can get away with one or two prime lenses if you don't mind cropping your images. You don't mention what sports you are shooting but between a 50mm f1.8 and/or 85mm f1.8 lens (I would only suggest the latest AF-S versions), you can effectively get the equivalent or close to the equivalent zoom range of the 70-200mm simply by cropping your images. The D7100 has plenty of cropping room because of the high megapixel count. Depending on the sport, a 35mm f1.8 is also recommended if you need a wider view. And the prime lenses give you one extra stop of light as an added bonus! And they are lighter in weight and more affordable than any of the larger zooms.
    By the way, I am not trying to steer you away from getting the 70-200mm lens. It is absolutely excellent in every way!
     
  15. Ok, Not sure why I can't get decent photos at 1/500 or higher shutter speeds, especially with a fast lens of f/2.8. especially compared to what I have to work with for now. Also I am new at this so feel free to pick away at these shots and make suggestions :)
    Here are some sample shots (not the best nor the worst) but atleast seem pretty decent. There are a handful of different focal lengths for comparison. Also I didn't even push the camera with real high ISO, no real post processing, and a slow Nikon f/4.5-5.6 70-300 vr lens. Also I am not in the sweet spot really for the lens as the f5.6 and even a few at 300mm. Also they had fog machines going off to. I was in stands about 200' away. Got off the floor since stage was elevated.
    All photos are just standard DxO conversion to jpg. Never played with any settings. Overall seem to be pretty good given the lens and lighting. Focus maybe off a little in spots, and will get better as I learn, let alone better lens for indoor. Did test shots early, found 1/640 was enuf to freeze action(probably would have been better at 1/800, set ISO at 3200 (auto seem to make to washed out), so went with Shutter Priority. Let me know your thoughts!!

    f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 3200, 300mm
    [​IMG]
    f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 3200, 300mm
    [​IMG]
    f/5.3, 1/640, ISO 3200, 195mm
    [​IMG]
    f/5.0, 1/640, ISO 3200, 165mm
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Elliot, thanks for the input. I really like the option of being able to adjust zoom at these events to compensate between more roup shots then to more individual shots. Also these events only last a few minutes and can't switch a lens during the competition to change focal lengths. Hmmmm
    But dragging a few prime lenses and setting one up once at the event based on where I am sitting and then doing a little cropping maybe more cost effective at this point. So maybe just renting the lens for the 6-8 events rather than buying it!
    Chess would be much easier to shoot! HAHAHA
     
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Steve Howard wrote:
    Here are some sample shots (not the best nor the worst) but atleast seem pretty decent. There are a handful of different focal lengths for comparison. Also I didn't even push the camera with real high ISO, no real post processing, and a slow Nikon f/4.5-5.6 70-300 vr lens.
    f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 3200, 300mm​
    Steve, your example images have a different setting. It seems to be some cheerleading competition inside some auditorium. Was there TV/video coverage at the venue? If so, just the presence of those TV lights is going to make a huge difference.
    Compare to Vicki Williamson's thread: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00cM5K
    Vicki was using:
    I first set the camera to 1/250 f2.8 and ISO 1600. I got a lot of blurring.​
    And Scott Pogorelc showed some indoor basketball images with settings like:
    D4 + AFS 70-200 @ 78mm, IS0 6400, 1/800s @ f/2.8​
    I think Steve your auditorium was considerably brighter than those high school gyms. You had probably 2, 3 extra stops of light and that is why you could get away with a slow f5.6 lens.
    There are indeed no standards. That is exactly why certain people are very happy with some blurry, out of focus images. If you are so easily satisfied, you are lucky that you don't need good equipment and technique.
     
  18. The photos are for you to elaborate on and ask why it is said I cannot get good photos indoors at speeds above 1/250. When I actually need atleast 1/500 to freeze the action?
    Sounds like you assume I feel these are great photos given bad equipment with your last statement? I realize the lens is not ideal hence the origination of this thread and also the pics are not spectacular, but seem very good given the lens and lower ISO i attempted. Also please elaborate and explain what you see wrong with the pics. Again, I am new to this type of shooting and want to learn.
    I will also load up some college hoops I took and HS bb, (worst lighting probably to be had indoors)
    Thanks,
     
  19. I don't know how to quote so excuss the multiple posts...
    Vicki blur was due to the low shutter speed..No??
    Scott's images looked sharp, 1 lens and 2 the high shutter spped of 1/800....Correct?
    So back to point of you can get good pics with shutter speeds over 1/250 indoors.
    And yes his high school gym pics are tons better than my HS gym pics for sure!!
    Much brighter and crisper.
     
  20. SO this brings me back to the fact that Ideally I want a 70-200 f/2.8 lens of sorts.
    The amount and type of shooting I do, I can't justify:
    ~$1200 used for the nikon 70-200 vr1
    OR
    ~$2000 used for the Nikon 70-200 VR 11
    but the sigma/tamron 70-200, sigma 50-150 or nikon 80-200 af-d price i can better stomach.
    *Good point on the AF-D and I probably don't want to sacrifice focus speed.
    **The last question is how important will the VR be given the shutter speed I plan to use this at 1/500 or higher. Since many of the no image stabilized lenses are a bit cheaper too.
    Seems I am left with a third party lens. Ideally I'd like to narrow that down to the sigma or Tamron then as far as sharpness and focus speed and accuracy.
     
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Steve, I was not referring to you specifically, but there are people who seem to be satisfied with mediocre or even terrible images.
    You can shoot indoor spors with 1/60 if you happen to find some pauses in action and still get sharp images. Since the Winter Olympics is coming up, for example, if you shoot ice skating and at the end of the routine, the athletes tend to stop and stay still for a few seconds as the music ends. As long as you restrict your photography to such moments, you can use a slow lens and 1/60 sec. However, I find that kind of "indoor sports photography" very limited.
    Generally speaking, for sports, I would use at least 1/1000 sec unless you are trying panning to get the sense of motion. When it is indoors under dim light, that translates to a fast lens, at least f2.8 and perhaps f2, f1.8 with moderate to high ISO in the 3200 to 6400 range. If it is a university or pro-level gym, especially with TV coverage, you get much better lighting. When it is a dim high school gym, it is difficult.
     
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As far as lens choices go, I would say forget about AF-D; you need an AF motor inside the lens for AF speed, especially when your camera body is not a D3 or D4.
    If even $1200 for a used Nikon 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR version 1 is too high, I would go for the earlier Nikon 80-200mm/f2.8 AF-S. I sold mine about 5 years ago for about $900. A new Sigma 70-200mm/f2.8 with OS seems to be even more than $1200.
     
  23. No need to get so defensive Steve. The issue isn't about personal skill or the sophistication of equipment, but about the type of lighting that you're likely to encounter in the average "amateur" sports hall. Mains powered lights will flicker 100 or 120 times per second, depending on what the local mains frequency is. This flicker means that both the colour and exposure will vary from frame to frame, or even from top to bottom of the frame if a high shutter speed is used.
    Those example pictures of yours were obviously shot at a professionally lit venue, and that's a completely different lighting scenario from the usual school gym.
    See this thread for what others experiences have been. It's a common issue that's been discussed a lot on this and other fora.
     
  24. Definitly not going defensive at all. Trust me, I am just trying to understand and learn here!
    Sorry if I sounded that way. I was just confused as to why you said anything over 1/250 was not really attainable indoors when I see good shots of sports all the time. ( I will read your link after this post.)
    That is why I posted the pics I took a few weeks back. They were at 1/640 and ISO 3200 and f~5-5.6.
    Way slower than an f2.8 lens and I assumed these were relatively decent photos. Not great but decent.
    Also why I am/was looking for a critique on the shots. I am by no means a pro, just a dad with a passion to take photos and improve where I can. Please provide your thoughts on the photos i posted earlier.
    I realize the average gym is way different than what I had to work with at the cheer competition.
    I will post some of those dim crumy photos I have there to compare and crituque as well.
     

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