Lense replacements or addition from 18 - 135mm to?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by stephen_liu|3, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Hi I'm new to the forum.
    I waiting for my lovely D90 to arrive which will replace my D40 and I was thinking about getting some new lenses!
    I currently have the following
    35mm AFS 1.8
    18 - 135mm AFS 3.5 - 5.6
    access to a very old 70 - 300mm G (I think) 3.5 - 5.6
    I thinking about whether to get a replacement time to take some basic shots at the next Formula 1. My budget might extend to another 70 - 300mm Sigma HSM APO or 55 - 200mm VR.
    Does another 100mm make any difference at all in terms of getting close to the access of fast moving cars?
    Other recommendations recommend..
    If the 55 - 200mm what then to the overlappint zoom range of the 18 - 135?
  2. fast moving cars means fast lens. the 35mm f/1.8 will work great in and close around pit row. farther away is still fine with this prime because you have leeway for cropping in a D90.
    an economical way is to get the old nikon 80-200mm f/2.8, the sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 (150mm might be limiting), or a third party 70-200mm f/2.8. the bottom line is your long zoom must be an f/2.8 lens. ....... the 18-135mm and the old 70-300mm just won't cut it at a formula 1 circuit. the old nikon 70-210mm AF-D will run circles around those two lenses.
    good luck and have fun at the race. oh and don't sell your D40. it's a fine camera.
  3. I just got the Nikon AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8 G ED lens. It costs a fortune but is fast, amazingly accurate, and produces great photos.
  4. Me too Norrell - I love it but it won't help the OP all that much. He needs something longer and possibly faster than the 18-135mm (which I also have). But it would be nice if he was somewhat close.
    If you're on a budget, I don't see why the newer Nikon 70-300mm VR lens wouldn't work - it's relatively fast focusing, the D90 can produce excellent pictures up to 1600 ISO and assuming the light is good (outside as long as it's not overcast) it should work fine - I had great success with it shooting an airshow on a nice sunny day. Of course, if the 70-300 VR lens would work, I can't see why the 70-300 G wouldn't.
  5. I also have the Nikon 70-300mm VR G ED and have had great success with it during the last year. It's not as fast, but as you mentioned will work well at higher ISO, and the D90 ISO performance is often considered superior to the D300s.
  6. If the budget goes up to a 55-200VR, then why on earth recommend a 24-70 f/2.8 at 8 times that price? Which also seems quite a bit too short for what OP wants...
    Given the choice between the Sigma APO 70-300 and the Nikon 55-200VR, I'd go for the Nikon. The 100mm will not be a huge difference (and cropping a little won't hurt). However, the Nikon 70-300VR is nicer than both, but also twice the price. Still, my recommendation would be to save up for that lens.
    But Ramon issues a right warning, these lenses are slow (f/5.6 at the long end) which will keep shuttertimes slow, with fast-moving cars not ideal. Though F1 is usually under enough light, you may need to bump your D90 to ISO800/1600 to keep the shutterspeeds fast enough.
    Jay, as the 'happy' owner of a 70-300G, I can pretty much assure you it won't do, even in buckets of light. The AF on that lens is so glacially slow... Would work if you can pre-focus, but any AF action and that lens will be nothing but a nuisance. The new 70-300VR should be a much better AF performer.
  7. Pardon my infatuation with my new lens. I was simply refering to the speed. I agree the 70-300 VR is a good choice.
  8. Extra range will help but I would want a lens that can focus very fast more so. The body can make a difference on how fast a lens will focus. If the 70-300mm Nikkor will focus fast with a D90 then I would save a bit more. IMHO the difference between 135 and 200mm is not that great but it really depends on how close you can get.
  9. Thanks for the info Wouter - I sort of figured the old 70-300 would be on the slow side when it came to autofocusing. I meant to add to the end of my statement "I can't see why the 70-300 G wouldn't" - "unless the autofocus is really slow" but my secretary interupted me with business stuff - the gall of her!!
  10. Since F1 only comes around once a year or so, perhaps rent something instead of buying? You can probably rent a 200-400/4 for a week for far less than the cost of buying a 70-300 VR.
  11. Hello Stephen -- You'll enjoy your D90.
    Race Cars are difficult. Definitely, give it a go, but be ready for a small proportion of keepers. When I shot at an IRL race at Watkins Glen, focusing was the hardest part. Your D90 will be better than the D70 I was using at the time, but I'll bet it's still difficult. I wound up pre-focusing the lens to avoid out of focus and too much shutter lag.
    I found it hard to get very close to the track and had the best results with a long lens, my 300 f/4 on a monopod (420mm equiv focal length).
    Here's an example of the result:
  12. Not sure what lenses you guys use but all my Nikon lenses focus fast - some are just faster. Tracking a moving car is easy with any of Nikon's DSLR bodies and any of Nikon's lenses unless the car is heading directly towards you. Unless you are sitting on the track, I can't imagine what good a 35mm lens would be at a Formula race.
    If there a big difference from 200mm to 300mm? Some will say yes. Some including me say no, but there is a difference. Whether you need 300mm (or more) depends on how far away you will be from the cars you are taking pictures of. And your budget.
  13. P.S. If you're just going as a spectator (i.e. without press privileges), be sure to check what they'll allow you to bring in before spending real money!
  14. Elliot, maybe it was the crummy AF in the D70... or maybe not. When I tried to let the camera AF, the shutter lag was a killer, and the focus was hit or miss. I got the best results by pre-focusing, then panning to follow a car till it got to my pre-focused point, then click.
    This was with a 300mm f/4 EDIF AF lens. (Not AFS).
  15. Interesting idea renting.. how do I go about that? I am limited in my budget for lenses at the moment ( with buying the D90 ).. I suspect I will be miles away from the track..
    additional question.. I'm thinking of giving up the 18 - 135mm to a VR type lense or something from the third party range, any suggestions?
  16. Stephen, it seems as though you have access to all the lenses you need. To me, the next jump up would be a 2.8 zoom, and from there you go to a fast prime lens. I don't see much point in you spending a heap of money on somthing that isn't really going to offer you a lot more. If I could be so bold, why do you want to take photos of F1 cars? More to the point, you really have to be close to the cars to take really good images. You want to slow the shutter down a bit, pan, get the background motion blurred. That is what you need for a good shot. I can't see you getting that from the stands, and if you're happy with just good shots from the stands, then I don't think you need to buy anything.
  17. F1 one is something I will be going to anyway. I'm just making the most by bringing my kit and hopefully pick up a few decent shots out of hundreds I expect I'll be taking.
    The F1 event will be a 3 day event.. My first day will be roving grandstand seating which means I have access to all grandstand during the Friday.. The Saturday we will be doing a lot more wondering around with no grandstand access.. Maybe find a sweetspot to take some qualifying pictures. The Sunday I will be in the stands all day based off the first corner.. How close I can get to the action I have no idea as I've never been before. F1 also means seeing the GP2 and GP3 and BMW and Porsche Super cars, Red Devils Parachute Display Team, The Black Cats Helicopter Display Team, Red Arrows Air Display.. hmm I now thinking about taking the D40 as a backup and save lense switching

    I'm wondering whether to get something like a 55 - 200 VR to get the extra distance and help with any handheld camera shake.. £140.00 in Amazon? As I don't normally do sports photograghy at these speeds, I'm more inclined to invest more landscape wide angle lense in the future, and a general holiday snapper with possible VR or Sigma OS? General 2.8 lense is something I hope to invest into at some point.
  18. for now you can get the 55-200mm VR for the D90 and put the 35mm on the D40, especially in your first two days. you will be amazed what the 35mm can do around the tracks and pits; and almost anywhere else. on your third day the D40 with the 35mm will be great for candid shots around you.
    so elliot, i still think the 35mm is a great tool to take along in a formula race. but that is all up to stephen.
    and there's the good point about renting a fast lens brought up above.
    don't forget extra batteries and memory cards.
  19. 55-200 or 70-300 will be just fine. Unless it's the Singapore night race. I went to the Sepang F1 Friday practice session (with D90 and 70300VR) and found out AFTERWARDS that experience photographers shoot around 1/60s - 1/125s to get
    that motion blur. Any faster and the picture will be dull. And to go that low, you'll have to dial in something ISO 200 and f/11 in the bright sunlight.

    Use the opportunity to improve your panning technique. And yes, you'll throw away lots and lots of frames.

    Just make sure you bring earplugs. I lost my hearing for half a day.
  20. A picture I took at Sepang. On Friday practice, entrance was free, and you can go anywhere on the stands. I lost the EXIF, but it's f/8 and 1/1000s or higher, which apply to over 2000 frames I shot. If you can read "Bridgestone" on the tyre, the shutter's too fast. Can't wait until next to try again at slower shutter.
  21. Some great advice guys thanks.
    I think I will take on board the second camera as a candid shot.. I have have to wonder around with a camera strapped in a waist bag.. another around my next! My back will be busy with an all purpose rack sack.. I think I'll have to drop the 18 - 135mm at home.. and dig out the Non VR 18 - 55 just in case! I just that would mean I carry less..
    How many shots can a D90 take? bearing in mind there is properly a element of me playing with the playbacks and the features as I expect I'll still be new at using it?
    Its it definate I need a second battery for the D90?

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