55-200VR for sports/action? Questions....

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by malsech, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. malsech

    malsech TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys, I just had a couple quick question regarding the Nikon 55-200 Vr. I currently have an old 70-300 AF G lens for my N80 that I have been using with my D80. And its time for a change for the D80. I have been reading some reviews about the 55-200Vr, but none of them have really answered my questions. I was hoping those of you who have used/own it can shed some light on this for me. I will be doing some action/sports photos in a month or two. I really want the 18-200 Vr, but am still waiting and saving and figured this might hold me over.

    1. I have heard the lens doesnt focus all that fast? Anyone have any experience with this?

    2. Since its f/4 and with the vr, will I really be able to get a fast enough of a shutter speed to stop the action in low light conditions with out a tripod as it claims to do? Or is it more for landscapes and portraits?

    3. Am I better off going with the older 70-210 2.8?


    Thanks in advance for all of your help!!
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    1) Don't know.

    2) Possibly not. The VR will not help you freeze action in any way. It reduces the effects of camera motion, not subject motion. And the lens itself in terms of max aperture is not faster than your 70-300.

    3) Yes, if you can afford it. Or a Sigma or Tokina f/2.8.
     
  3. gravy

    gravy TPF Noob!

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    I got this lens with the intention of shooting in low light situations, and I'm kind of luke warm on it... I've been shooting bands with it, with ok results. I kind of wish I'd waited and got a f2.8.

    on the other hand, I've also used it outdoors in daylight with pretty good results... I'd say this lens focuses as fast or faster than my kit lens...

    hope that helps!
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's exactly right. VR will not help with anything but camera shake. Moving subjects won't be any sharper. Get yourself a truly fast lens (F2.8 or better) and you will be much better off.
     
  5. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Agreed. The 80-200 f/2.8 of any AF vintage will be better than a f/4.0 anything. It will be heavier, but when panning this is an advantage. The weight helps with follow through and dampens any shakiness you might have in your pan technique. But remember, practice, practice, practice.:D
     
  6. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As much as I like the 55-200 for what I use a lens for (basically, shooting pictures of animals), I wouldn't recommend it for sports... as the others have said, that's not what VR does. Sports require high shutter speeds, and big apertures. The 80-200 2.8 would be a much better choice, although it is a lot more money.

    If you are shooting in daylight, the 55-200 would be OK... but it would absolutely be no improvement over your 70-300 AF G... none... for shooting sports.

    VR basically emulates having a larger aperture lens when shooting subjects that are not moving... because it allows you to slow down the shutter speed and still handhold... something you just don't do with sports.

    For what I do, VR works great in shaded areas and indoors where I don't want to use a flash (glass glare) on subjects that are holding still, which is why we shoot with VR lenses. If I were shooting sports with any regularity, I would definitely be carrying around 2.8 glass.
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's a silly comparison if you are able to buy a 2.8 lens you would be out of your mind to buy a lens like the 55-200. And as far as shooting sports with the 55-200 forget it unless you are shooting golf and only when they are putting.
     
  8. malsech

    malsech TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys for the help. The whole VR thing didnt make sense to me. I dont have the money for a 18-200 unless I find a good deal on a used one somewhere The pictures Im doing are going to be in bright daylight anyway, and I wont be shooting sports regulary. Just a couple kids soccer games. I think Ill see what5 kind of results I'll get with the 70-300 and keep my eyes open for a used 18-200. There has been a lot of them on ebay the past couple weeks, but none worth looking at. Thanks again.
     
  9. Dm3k1

    Dm3k1 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, and for sports... I dont think the 18-200 will be much of an improvement at the 55-200 range... hold out for a 2.8 as people were saying.
     

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