I Need A Good Nikon Lense- Indoor Sports

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ModestPenguin, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. ModestPenguin macrumors 6502

    ModestPenguin

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    OKC
    #1
    Hey,

    I need a good lense for my nikon D80 for indoor sports, soon. Anybody got any suggestions, price range is under 500.

    thanks
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
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    #2
    A used Nikon 80-200 f/2.8? Not sure if even f/2.8 is wide enough, although it really depends on the venue.

    If you need something longer and wider, the best suggestion I can make is a Nikon 135 mm f/2 prime, probably used.
     
  3. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #3
    The bad news is that indoor sports and cheap lenses don't generally mix... :(

    Indoor implies that you need a somewhat fast lens (or at least VR)
    Sport implies that you will need/want a telephoto.

    You can find the 180mm f/2.8 AF ED-IF nikkor for $659-759 (imported - USA) in B&H.
    If you can spend that kind of money, the 180mm is an AMAZING lens. It's not only fast enough (f/2.8) but it is regarded as one of the great nikon lenses in terms of sharpness and image quality. You wont have a zoom, but it's cheap and great.
    If you are close to the action and don't need a telephoto, then you can try the 50mm f/1.8 ($114), the 85mm f/1.8 ($339) or the 105mm f/2.8 micro nikkor ($659). They are not made for the purpose you have in mind, but they are EXCELLENT lenses and they fit the budget.
    The drawback of all the above lenses is that they are not AF-S which means they'll focus slower than AF-S lenses and that could be a problem. Still, the 180mm is used by sports journalists all over the world with excellent results.

    To give you an idea, the 70-200mm VR f/2.8, which is one of the standards for sports is $1600... so lets say you are on a tight budget.

    If you can provide a few more details, we could perhaps help you a bit better... the new 70-300 VR would probably be great for you, but alas it will not be released until december...

    And if you want quality pics, avoid the 55-200mm, 70-210 and the old 70-300.
     
  4. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

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    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    #4
    How far away will you be? A 85mm f/ 1.8 might be a good option.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    The "classic" lens for this is the 80-200 f/2.8. It is more than $500 but you can find them used for $650 in good condidtion. OK as you said "under $500" I'll say get the 85mm f/1.8 lens if you need autofocus. I've used this to shoot my daugher's gymnistics and if you can walk around the gym to follow the action the 85mm size is really nice. You can do close ups (waistup shots to groups all from reasonable distances. Assuming you have the freedom to move. I forgot the price but the f/1.8 version is resonable, under $500. but the f/1.4 version is way over your budget.

    If you can use a manual focus lens. (turnning a focus ring seems to be a vanishing skill) then you are set. Fast MF primes are dirt cheap. I'd sell you my 135mm f/2.8 for under $100 and it's sharp as a tack but only works in manual exposure mode and manual focus mode. It depends on the sport. Some are very predictable and you can pre-set the focus and exposure. Gymnastics using equipment is predictable. hockey is not.

    look at keh.com for use lenses both AF and MF. Prices there are a little high but they have "everything".
     
  6. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #6
    What kind of indoor sports? Gym lights are so poor that even 2.8 lenses won't cut it. You will need 1.8 or 1.4 lenses. Take a look at the 50mm (a short telephoto on digital cameras) or the 85mm lenses. Both are offered at 1.8 and 1.4 apertures.
     
  7. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #7
    Good thread. I am looking at adding another Nikon lens to my inventory to do sport photography to capture my daughter in her numerous sports and I currently have the Nikon 18-135mm lens so I have been lurking on these threads for a while.

    Question: How much would a f1.4 lens improve the shot/lighting over a f1.8 lens?
     
  8. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #8
    It is 2/3rd stop difference
    So if f/1.8 and 1/250, f/1.4 will get you 1/400.
     
  9. XjeffX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    #9
    I own the 80-200mm f2.8 Nikon lens. It's on my camera most of the time, even for outdoors shooting. I managed to get it for about $600 on eBay but it didn't come with a hood. Don't buy the old push/pull style. The newer 2-ring version is not much more expensive and night and day better than the old one.

    I also picked up an 85mm f1.8 af lens for about $400 new from Samys Camera. I use it for hockey sometimes and it's also great. Doubles as an amazing portrait lens.

    F2.8 is generally acceptable for indoor sports, but you'll likely have to bump the ISo up to 1600. The good news is that 1600 is wonderful on the new D80 and D200 cameras.
     
  10. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #10
    BTW, I rarely use my lens hood. What benefit would I get from using one?
     
  11. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #11
    Another thing we didn't mention is to try and get a monopod, it will help you quite a bit in getting the shots at those threshold speeds. Mount it on the tripod if it has a collar.
    If you want to go manual, as Chris said, there's a whole world out there of incredible lenses for cheap. Keh.com is the most reliable online vendor for that stuff; their EX rating will assure you the copy you get is well... excellent, plus they have a very good customer service (which you may not find on ebay).

    @ sinsinnati: in short, hoods will control flare provoked by light coming from strange angles. You can read more here: http://www.vanwalree.com/optics/lenshood.html
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    1) If there is a light source just outside of the frame it can cause lens flair and reduced constrast. The hood would shade the lans and reduce this effect.

    2) It is a better lens protector then a filter. Protects the lens from bumps and scratches and unlike the filter can actully _improve_ the image.
     

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