In Need of a Cheap Lens for Sports

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dmac77, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    Hi,

    As the title says, I need an inexpensive lens for sports photography. I'll mainly be photographing high school football games, rugby games, basketball games, and track meets.

    I have a Nikon D60, so I need something that will autofocus on it, and I know that I'm going to need a fairly fast lens.

    I have a budget of under $600 or less.

    I don't care who makes the lens, as long as it isn't a POS.

    I know I'm asking for a lot, but if anyone can give me some ideas here, I'd really appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Don
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Cheap, not POS, under $600, sports? Good luck. Really, you need a fast lens imho. You fail to say whether you'll be outside or in etc etc.
     
  3. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    I'll be outside for everything except basketball. The stadium where I'll be shooting is ungodly bright though (I'm currently able to get away with ISO 800 at f5.6 while using a tripod on my 55-200mm, although they aren't the greatest shots). I'd like to get a longer zoom then the 200mm though.

    I'm willing to go used, also.


    Don
     
  4. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #4
    For $600 I would look for a used Nikkor 80-200/2.8. You're not likely to find a longer, fast lens for that price. But you could probably get a Nikkor 1.4x TC for another $150-200 or so.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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  6. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #6
    for outdoors (field sports), you want a 300mm, minimum. a 70-200 will do for infield baseball shots and indoor.
     
  7. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    Okay, quick question.

    I just looked on eBay, and they're (Nikkor 80-200) going for $800+. Instead of the Nikkor, what about the Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8? It's a little more then I want to spend, but I can swing it. I figure it would be a better deal, because it will autofocus on my camera, plus it's cheaper then a used Nikkor, new.

    So what's your opinion on it?

    Thanks,

    Don
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    I do not know much about that lens. This is where dpreview.com comes in handy.
     
  9. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #9
    The Tamron might be OK, but unlikely as sharp as the Nikkor, which is a great lens. But with your budget you don't have a lot of options. You can pick 2 of 3 from sharp, fast, long but for all three you have to pay the big bucks.

    Sigma makes good lenses reasonably priced. You might look for their 100-300/4 used.
     
  10. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #10
    Okay, I'll take a look at that. That Tamron seems to have some focusing issues according to the guys over at dpreview.

    I'll take a look at that Sigma. It sucks to be broke.

    Thanks again,

    Don
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    For a D60, you'd need the AF-S version for AF, if you don't mind going all old school, and aren't all that enamored with the two ring version the push-pull version should be $500-650. You'll have to learn to manually focus, pre-focus and anticipate the action though- for most of today's photographers, having to work that hard for a shot seems to be untenable. For basketball, unless you can light the court, I'd expect f/4 to be pretty-much unworkable in a High School gym.
     
  12. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
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    #12
    I just got the Sigma 75-300 DL Nikon AF one and it's great for the price (I got it for $159 used but it goes on line for around $100).

    I see online that the 70, 75, or 100 - 300 Sigma lenses are a great value. I'm really pleased with it.

    I'm using it at a Stargate Convention this weekend, and plan on using it for Aviation and Model Rocketry pics. Check out the Photo of the Day thread for my pics from it this weekend.

    Good luck! Post pics!
     
  13. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    #13
    Anything but a f/2.8 (or maybe a f/4 for outdoor use) is going to be mostly unusable for sports.

    For a prime, the Sigma 150/2.8 Macro is an excellent piece of glass. Costs about $550.
     
  14. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #14
    1. 150mm is too short
    2. macro lenses don't have fast AF
     
  15. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #15
    OK on the focal length, but you are wrong about AF. I had the Sigma 150/2.8. The AF on this lens is very fast, using a high speed motor in the lens. This is a versatile and very sharp lens. Don't let the "Macro" designation fool you. I shot motorsports with it where you want fast AF. I was sad to give my Sigma up.
     
  16. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    Look for a used Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 with the HSM motor inside. It should come in under budget. Then if you can spring it you should look for a TC for those times where 200 mm isn't long enough.

    SLC
     
  17. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #17
    Dump the D60 and get a used D80. Then look again.
     
  18. emt1 macrumors 65816

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    Wisconsin
    #18
    Why on earth would he want to do that? The D60 is a fantastic camera.
     
  19. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #19
    I have to agree dumping the D60 is a bad idea. Glass is way more important, and when someone has a limited budget to get glass they need, the last thing you want to do is recommend they blow that on an unnecessary body upgrade, because that is not going to improve things anywhere near what better glass will do for them.
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #20
    To gain autofocus on fast glass in his price range. High School gyms are notoriously under-lit.
     
  21. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #21
    And how does that help if he's out of money for the lens?
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #22
    You'll note that it wasn't my suggestion, I was just giving the reason why it was suggested. I don't know what a D60 goes for, nor what a used D80 does, but I'd guess that the delta is probably near, if not less than the difference between an AF-D f/2.8 telephoto zoom and an appropriate AF-S or HSM one. The OP doesn't say what shutter speeds they get at 800/5.6, but the mention of a tripod seems to indicate they're pretty slow- a 300/4 EDIF might be in their price range *if* they can either manually focus or they have a body like the D80 that can focus with AF-D lenses- assuming they don't need to shoot away games, that's about the only longer option in their price range but doesn't give them any zoom, and it's not a given that they might not be better-served by adding a Kenko 1.4x TC to an 80-200 push-pull.
     
  23. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    Location:
    Michigan
    #23
    How does the lack of image stabilization affect you when you aren't using a tripod or monopod with this lens?

    I've been thinking about doing this, but as of right now, I'm more in need of glass, then a new body. I've also considered switching to the dark side (Canon), because my school has a rather large collection of Canon glass, that they will loan out to students who are in the photography club (which I am in). They have a few L line telephotos that I really wish I could use.

    If I do switch to a D80, I'm looking at $625 for a refurb, or $700 for a new body. From what I've seen, I'm looking at ~$400 if I sell my D60 with the kit lens, and I can get ~$150 for my 55-200mm lens.

    If I flip over to Canon, I'm looking at the following prices.

    - Refurb XSi $469.95

    - New XSi $569.95

    - Refurb 40D $699.95

    - New T1i $719.95

    All of the above are prices just for a body. If I do switch to Canon, I won't be lensless, because I do have an old Canon 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 lying around from a 20 year old Canon SLR. But I won't be able to get any other lenses for now (although that could change, because I have talked to my Grandma, and she is considering matching what I spend myself). So my budget could potentially go up to ~$1200.

    I am seriously considering switching to Canon, because I would gain access to some very good and very expensive lenses, that I can't even think of getting myself.

    I honestly don't know what to do now. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Don
     
  24. romanaz macrumors regular

    romanaz

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #24
    IMO a 70-200 would probably serve you best for what your looking to do, I'm looking at renting one myself before I pick one up. IMO if your school has a bunch of canon lens' and you are ok with using a canon slr over the nikon, then IMO go for it. A 40D would serve you real well in that case. I'm very excited to try out the 70-200 f/2.8L lens on my 40D.

    now about IS. Its good for when your shooting handheld/monopod at shutter speeds lower then 1/focal length. For sports, you want the FASTEST shutter possible in the situation, so IS really doesn't mean crap for people like you and me who do sports. Now, if you wanted to do portraits handheld with a long lens like a 70-200, then IS can help you because you can drop the shutter down and thus drop the ISO down, or bump the f/stop up to put more of them in focus.

    From what I hear (haven't looked myself) the nikon 70-200 or 80-200's run more then the canon's, or have less options for what kind you want. The non-IS 70-200 f/2.8L from canon is around 1200 new. The f/4 version is even cheaper.

    thing to note, IS doesn't freeze motion, shutter speed does.
     
  25. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #25
    I'm thinking that I am going to switch to Canon. I played around with a 50D, at BestBuy today, and I liked Canon's menu system more then Nikons when compared to the D90.

    I'll probably end up ordering a refurb 40D from Adorama.

    Thanks for the info on IS.

    Don
     

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