which lens for my D810 for sport

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by opa_diallo|1, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Hi,
    I have D810 and wanted to get a lens for my kids soccer game . I am hesitating between the 70-200 f2.8 and the latest 28-300
    The price difference is huge . Am I losing a lot besides the f2.8 on the 70-200 ?
    Thanks for any suggestions .
  2. You want the 70-200. It is one of Nikons top
    pro lenses that is used professionally
    everyday for sports and other work. The 28-
    300 is s do-everything amateur lens that had
    too far a range to do anything well. Also
    slower aperture which means poorer
    autofocus which is a problem in shooting
    sports. Only problem with Nikon 70-200 is
    price. Check out sigma or Tamron for lower
    price that would still be better than 28-200.
  3. You are comparing a pro-caliber high-end zoom that gets lauded for its sharpness with a 10.7x variable aperture superzoom that's the epitome of optical compromises. Whether or not you are losing a lot depends on how critical you are about technical image quality. "Measured objectively", there is a substantial difference in sharpness between the two - generally speaking, the 70-200 is sharper in the corners than the 28-300 is in the center in the range where their focal lengths overlap and at identical apertures.
  4. Yeah, go with the 70-200. Not only for how much better it is "out of the box", but with soccer, 200mm is a bit on the short side. The 70-200 plays very nicely with the Nikon 1.4 TC to give you some extra reach.
    I know it's expensive, but you really do get what you pay for with it.
  5. Look at the latest Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 It will do the job that the Nikon will and save you money. I make my living shooting sports and could not justify the huge price difference between the Sigma and the Nikon.
    The Sigma is well built with very fast AF and great color and contrast. The Sigma is 90% as good as the Nikon wide open and if you stop down just a little (F/3.5 in my experience) there is no difference in real world photography. I can say this because I have used both of them under the same conditions using the same camera and photographing the same subject.
  6. When I shot my son playing soccer, I often thought a 300/f4 on DX format (equal to 450mm on FX) was not long enough . I usually took two DX cameras, one with the 300 sometimes with a TC and another with an 80-200/2.8. I don't think a x-200mm lens is long enough for most soccer action.
    In addition to considering the 70-200, I would look at the new 80-400VR and/or the new 300/4 with a 1.7x TC. Another other option is the 70-300AFS. Many people like the 70-300AFS zoom, but I did not think the one my friend has produced great image quality when used wide open. I do not think that the 28-300 would be satisfactory.
    With the D810, a great advantage is to be able to crop the image a good bit.
  7. Thanks for all comment and suggestions . I am now considering the sigma because of price and the nikon 200-400 for bigger range . Deos the 200-400 has this nice background bokeh wide open like the 700-200 f:2.8 ?
    Any comment ?
  8. You are aware of the price point of the 200-400/4 VR? Not something most would consider for shooting kids' soccer games. Even the above mentioned 80-400 VR will give many pause - in particular with the consideration that's a variable aperture zoom.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The following image I posted to Nikon Wednesday yesterday was captured with the 200-400mm/f4 @ 400mm, f4, on a D750. If you can deal with the weight, it should be an excellent lens for soccer, but most likely you'll be using it on a monopod along the side or end lines. I was using a monopod in that track event.
  10. Opa, could I suggest an alternative to either of those two lenses? How about a 70-300mm VR? Either Nikon's version or Tamron's SP VC. Both have much better image quality than the 28-300mm, and if you're going to fit a 1.4x converter to a 70-200mm f/2.8, you're not losing much in aperture either.
    I can also vouch that the image quality of Tamron's 70-200mm VC offering is very close, if not equal to that of Nikon's, at about 2/3rds the cost. Tamron's build quality is plenty good enough for amateur use.
  11. If you need zoom reach on FX, how about the Sigma 120-300mm 2.8 OS. You can't get a lot better in a zoom upto 300mm.
    If you need even more reach, may be get a DX body to go with it?
  12. If it's outdoor sports, this one will make you happier than any of the ones mentioned so far:

    Optical quality is great and for outdoor sports you'll be surprised by how useful the 400-600mm range is, even on a APS-
    C (Nikonspeak: DX) format.
  13. For sports shots backgrounds with great blur, it is hard to beat something like a 300/2.8. Wish I had the one I have now when my son played soccer, but the 300/f4 AFS worked well for me at that time.
    With a larger budget, other lenses to consider might be a 200/f2 with teleconvertors, or maybe the newer Sigma 120-300/2.8 with fast AF, and , of course, the 200-400. I have not used these, but I can attest to the superb quality of my older version 1 300/2.8AFS on a D810.
    And for a bit of personal nostolga, I did get some good images of my son using the very slow to focus 80-400 version 1 on a D1H when he started soccer over a decade ago. The equipment has come a long way, and my son has grown.
  14. To try and get a fast enough shutter-speed for fast sports in the UK on an f5.6/6.3 lens is asking a lot of high ISO sensor performance as-well as AF module ability.
  15. Last post, I promise... The fast f/2.8 lenses make shooting night/indoor games possible/better. Night/indoor image quality suffers with f/4 and slower lenses with the lighting in most venues, though the D810 and other current cameras are very good at higher iso settings compared to most from previous generations.
  16. Thanks . No , I do nto want to carry a monopod to shoot soccer , I want hand held . Looks like the 200-400 is heavy.
    I don't find flexibility on the fix 300/2.8 , I would prefer a zoom .
    I will check reviews on the 70-300 VR and some sigma new super zooms. I might be wrong but I always have in mind that super zoom are not that sharp , but never tried them .
    Thanks again .
  17. Both of my kids played soccer (a lot!) and if yours stays with it, you'll want to shoot night and indoor games. f2.8 is all-important for those venues.
    If the Nikon 70-200 2.8 is in your price range, I heartily recommend it, along with a Nikon 1.4X TC (a used one for KEH would save some $$ and still have a warranty). Outdoors, the 70-200 range would be limiting, but the 1.4X will help. And when even that's not enough, your D810 in crop mode will still yield a 16 MP image and f2.8, and that's plenty. Night games outdoors probably will rule out using the 1.4X, but the crop mode still gives you f2.8.
    Indoors, 70-200 will probably be adequate, with crop mode to help out.
    Wish I'd had such a lens setup when my kids were playing. Maybe I'll get to shoot my grandkids with hardware like that!
  18. Sounds like you might be trading your D810 in for a D750 for the extra 2/3 rds of a stop you're going to need,
    There's no such thing as a free lunch. You either have light and slow or fast and heavy. The exception to that is the new 300mm f4 PF, which is pretty fast and very light.
  19. Mike , not looking for free lunch , but might have free desert . lol
    I am convinced for the need of the f2.8 , for indoors . Ok , now I will sow between nikon 70-200 or Sigma . I will post some pics to thank everybody .
  20. so this is indoor/night soccer? if so, 2.8 is a must. 6.3 on the long end wont help much there. the operative thing is sports is that you are going to need a very fast shutter to freeze motion, which may necessitate a high ISO, even with a fast lens. i can vouch for the nikon 70-200's superior AF abilities, but i also have a few sigma lenses which are pretty quick too. the 810's crop mode might indeed help out a lot here.
  21. The AF-S 70-200/2.8 option is obviously excellent but you could also opt for the cheaper and lighter one, the AF-S 70-200mm f/4. It is as sharp and works very well with converters.
    The AF-S 300mm f/4, both old and new version, will also work well for your needs. The newer version has the advantage of coming with VR and of being very light. Both work well with converters.
    When you start with a D810 you have the possibility to 1) work with higher ISO without much image degradation (so you can loose a stop on the lens side), and 2) to crop your original images and still get extremely decent final images that can be printed at large size (so you can shoot at shorter focal lengths).
    A zoom will obviously be more flexible. But as someone mentioned above reach is important too so a prime lens can be necessary.
  22. I was always surprised by just how big @ 3360g the 200-400mm f4 lens is, considering it's 'just' got a 2x zoom range and a modest f4 aperture. Current UK £4900.
    Where-as the small @ 1570g 80-400mm f4.5/5.6 has a x5 range and is only 1 stop slower, just at the mid/long end @ f5.6. £1624 current UK with cashback. Yup, that's 1/3rd the price of the 200-400mm.
    Ah, the non existent AFS 80-400mm f4 VRII strikes again!
  23. Mike: It's not much bigger than the 200 f/2. My general rule of thumb is that the weight and cost of a lens is determined to a large part by the size of the front element, which is huge for the big superteles and for ultrawides. A 200-400 is... enthusiastic for a kid's football game, but then I use a 200 f/2 for tiddlywinks, so I can talk. I'd vote for some variant of the 70-200 f/2.8 (whether Nikon or Sigma/Tamron - not the Nikon VR mk1!) as the obvious choice, with a 70-300 as the budget option if that scares you, and a 120-300 f/2.8 Sigma if you really want the range and a teleconverter won't do it for you. The 150-600 is worth a look, but I doubt you'll max out the sensor at the long end (yes, I know it's much better than the old 150-500) and f/2.8 really helps shutter speeds. The D810 has a lot of cropping power, so reach isn't quite as urgent as it might have been with a D3, say.

    On that note, a reminder - if you'd not spotted it - that in 1.2x (or DX) crop mode, the D810 hits 6fps, even without a grip. If you don't need the wide angle, the extra 1fps can be helpful...
  24. How are you using these photos? If you are printing small or just sharing on the web, I think the 70-300VR for outdoor sports is more than enough.
    if you are only sharing on the web, the superzoom will actually be fine (although, personally, I'd avoid them)
    No way would I invest in a multi-thousand-dollar lens for kids' sports. Jus' sayin'... Buy the 70-300, crop when you need to, and take that extra money and do something fun with it.
  25. I was always surprised by just how big @ 3360g the 200-400mm f4 lens is
    It's not much bigger than the 200 f/2.

    It's physically 80% longer which together with the weight distribution (most of it is in the front) makes a considerable difference in how the two lenses handle.
  26. Side line sports really requires something longer than 200mm. The value choice would be the Nikkor 70-300/4.5-5.6G-VR. Stepping up would be the Nikkor 80-400/ Also, don't rule out a prime 300mm. The 300/4.0AF-S can be had a good prices now that the 300/4.0E-PF is out.
  27. Ilkka: That I can believe. My 500 f/4 AI-P isn't much heavier than the 200 f/2, but while I can hand-hold the 200mm fairly easily, I can't remotely manage the 500 f/4 - mostly because the balance point is too far forward for me to wedge my elbow on my substantial belly. (I know others manage this, but I guess they have stronger arms than me. For me, the 500mm is effectively being held at arm's length.) I can hand-hold a 400 f/2.8, even the older one, despite it being much heavier than the 500mm, because the centre of gravity is closer to me.

    Anyway, I was just responding to Mike's comment about the weight. I don't advocate hand-holding a 200-400mm (not that I've ever tried) - that's why most of the ones I've seen have been on a monopod. Also, there's the question mark about longer focus distances with that lens, though I gather something may have changed in the D4/D4s generation to help this.
  28. I was only mentioning weight and bulk because the OP doesn't want to use a monopod/tripod.
    ....but likes f2.8 lenses.
    ....but doesn't have enough reach @ 200mm on FX...(maybe the DX crop is good enough???)
    Or get the 70-200mm 2.8 AND a D7200 for the 300mm equivalent reach.
    The 400mm 2.8 scares small children and people of a nervous disposition (and bank managers!)
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Are we really talking about indoor soccer? While I know it exists, most soccer/football is played outdoors. And are we talking about both indoor and outdoor soccer, as the lens requirement differs?
    The problem with soccer is that the players run around a large field. One fixed lens is never going to be good for everything. Professional sports photographers may have one 400mm/f2.8 on a monopod, but that is typically in conjunction with 1 or even 2 additional camera bodies (for a total of 3 DSLRs) with shorter lenses on. E.g. a 70-200mm/f2.8 on a second body and some 28-300m super zoom as a "catch all" lens or some 24-70 for the occasional wide image.
    Clearly the OP is not shooting sports professionally, but if there is going to be just one D810, I think a zoom is necessary for soccer. The lens will depend on outdoor, indoor, night games, and budget. If the 200-400mm/f4 is too heavy, most likely so will any 300mm/f2.8 and the Sigma 150-600mm Sports version.
    Concerning lens sizes, keep in mind that a 400mm/f5.6 lens requires a 400/5.6 = 71.4mm (diameter) front element while a 400mm/f4 requires a 100mm front element. The difference is terms of front element surface area is significant such that cost and weight go up exponentially. On some long teles such as the 600mm/f4 and 400mm/f2.8 (not the latest FL version), Nikon actually puts the tripod collar up front.
    There are reasons that Nikon puts tripod collars on these lenses.
  30. Hi,
    To add a little bit more details
    - I will be using for outdoor , my son is starting next week . But I will have occasion to shoot indoor too, so having a lens for both will be a plus .
    - The kids do not use the full field to play ,8years old , they only use half of it or less . SO i THINK 200 should be enough for now .
    I haven't used non of these lenses .
    Is it a good idea to by the ninon 70-200 on ebay to save money ?
    Thanks all
  31. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Unfortunately, there is no lens that is going to be optimized for both outdoors and indoors. The 70-200mm/f2.8 should be great for most indoor situations unless you are really far away. For outdoor soccer, I actually prefer the 200-400mm/f4 AF-S VR, shown above. Otherwise, the 70-300mm/f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR should be a good choice at below $600 and is fairly light weight. I am afraid that at f5.6, its AF performance is going to be rather poor for moving subjects indoors. The problem is that if it AF poorly indoors, it will be fairly obvious even with small JPGs you post to Facebook or e-mail to friends.
    If you can afford the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR, maybe you can add a 1.4x TC for outdoors. That is not going to be the most efficient way to spend money for a lens for outdoors sports, but if you want just one lens, that maybe the compromise.
    P.S. I should point out that Nikon's TC-14E is about 80% of the cost for the 70-300mm AF-S VR lens.
  32. OP I just went through the scenario on indoor hockey so the 70-200 f2.8 was a must. Sign up at KEH Camera. They
    have sales and I was able to save 15% last week on a Nikon 70-200 f2.8 in like new - condition. KEH's grading scale is
    very conservative, and the example I received was basically brand new without a box or paperwork from Nikon. It di not
    have any marks on it at all and I could not tell that it had been used. Seems to work great and KEH gives you a 6 month
    warranty, which is better than Nikon Refurbished. Good Luck!
  33. The 70-300 VR might work and the 70-200/4 could prove a wiser investment than the faster 2.8 version. If your child does not use the whole field, perhaps the 85/1.8 might be an interesting addition to the 70-300 VR to get some indoor shots if you can get close to the action.
    It depends on how close to the pitch you are allowed to stand and how strong the lightning is. I shoot both dressage and show jumping and the differences between various riding arenas is huge, sometimes more than two stops.
    Perhaps you could rent/borrow some of the mentioned lenses?
    eBay is fine, just remember to check seller's feedback ratings and return policy.
  34. Surprised nobody's suggested any of the 80-200 f2.8 lenses? Although I understand that the AF-S may not be fully compatible with D810.

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