Sports Lens - Which One?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by william_carnahan, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Hi! First post; GREAT photo web site. About to jump into digital (My Nikon F is
    dying!). Plan on getting the D200 and while shooting daytime high-school
    soccer, will be able to stand along the sidelines. Have researched the 70-300
    vr and the 80-200/2.8 lenses (can't aford the 70-200/2.8). Any suggestions on
    the two lens and if the 80-200 is worth the extra cost? Will also use the lens
    for nature/landscape, but anticipate most of those shots will be with a tripod,
    so lens speed would not be as critical. Thanks for your help!
  2. The value of having the f/2.8 through the entire zoom range is to stop action, the f/4.5-5.6
    of the 70-300 VR could hamper that, even in better light. I have the 70-300 VR and am
    glad to have the extra reach of the 300 end, which is like a 450mm on 35mm camera, but I
    do get motion at times because of the slow f-stop at the long end. In very good light it may
    not be that big a problem for you, but as the light diminishes, it could become a problem.
  3. William

    the 80-200 is the way to go enough it has enough reach when you are on the sidelines and 2.8 is great. I shoot mine wide open a lot you can see some samples in my portfolio under sports nearly all the kid soccer was shot with an 80-200.
  4. William,

    you need a fast & light sensitive lens for shooting HS sports. Of your potions the 80-200 f/2.8 is the way to go. Consider a monopod for stability and convenience as well....

  5. I would opt for the 80-200 2.8 or the Sigma 70-200 2.8. I would agree that the 2.8 is more important than VR when it comes to sports. Even though its daytime you could get away with the 70-300 but on cloudy days it may not be fast enough to stop the action. Not to mention the image quality of the 80-200 is superior.
  6. I shoot kids soccer a few times a year with a D50 & 70-300 ED and an F100 & 80-200 2.8, both handheld. I actually prefer the 70-300 for the extra reach. Mind you , these games are in daylight, so speed isn't really that important, but I'm very pleased with the shots I get. SI may not be banging on my door, but you can pick that lens up for probably $100- $150 bucks.
  7. I shoot with the D50/70-300 VR at my daughter's outdoor track meets. I have had very good luck with hurdles and sprints. Yes there is a limit when the meet runs into the evening. If weight is a problem for you get the 70-300/VR, otherwise get the 80-200/2.8.
  8. For faster focus find a used 80-200 F2.8 D ED IF AF-S (silent wave motor). The screw drive Nikon 80- 200mm f 2.8 versions are excellent optically, but a little slow focusing for fast action sports.
  9. I agree with Robert on the AF-S version. That one should support a teleconverter as well - though there are lot of opinions on how much image quality you lose using a TC with a zoom lens. A 1.4 TC will give you a 280mm equivalent lens which on a digital gives you 420mm. Getting the AF-S allows you the option of adding a TC if and when you feel you need it and saves you buying a longer lens. Again many feel you lose a bit of IQ with a TC.
  10. You can always add a teleconverter to the 80-200. I have 1 and it works, I just don't use it
    with zooms. Kenko x1.5 works great. Also the price of the AF-S is really close to the 70-200
    in that case the 70-200 is better. just a thought.

  11. I own the 80-200 and I like it alot. The AF is fast enough for hockey (although barely) so I don't imagine you having any trouble with soccer. It doesn't have enough reach for shooting birds and wildlife, but then again neither will the 70-300. The great IQ with the 80-200 make it a no brainer when shooting landscapes and portraits as well. All in all a lens built like a tank that inspires confidence.

    One thing however, I know you say you are getting a D200, but in case you don't know the 80-200 will not autofocus on the D40, D40x, and the D60.
  12. THANKS to all who took the time to respond! Just got my D200 yesterday and am excited to get started. Still deciding on which lens; so many different and experience based opinions. This website is a gold mine of knowledge! Steve H., thanks for the invite to view your work - beautiful photos. Now, to start pouring through that instruction manual ...

Share This Page