Better to put more $ in Camera or Lens???

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by mandyr76, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. mandyr76

    mandyr76 TPF Noob!

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    I am ready to upgrade to a newer camera and need some advice. I enjoy doing sports photography of my children who play soccer and run track. I also do some photography for the local middle school and high school sports. I do this as a hobby, so I can't invest tons of money into equipment like a professional photographer would do. Just trying to get the biggest bang for my buck...
    I currently have a Nikon D3100 and use a Tamron 70-300 lens. This is what I purchased when I got started about 6 years ago. If I am looking to spend $2500 or less, what would be your suggestion? And would it be better to spend more money on camera? or lens?
    TIA


     
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  2. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    $2500 is a pretty good budget and you can certainly upgrade both your camera AND your lens well under that number.
    for amateur sports, i would look into a used D7100 or D7200 and a 70-200 f/2.8 lens. (both bodies under $1000)
    if you want to go a little better camera wise, a used D500 looks like about $1500 on ebay and a used tamron or sigma 70-200 is well under $1000.

    if you want to do sports, a camera with a better AF module will make a huge difference, as will a faster lens.
     
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  3. Dragster3

    Dragster3 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I'm in the same boat as you...D5000 and a few lenses. I'm gonna get a new D7500. Nice, small, fast focus, D500 sensor and processor...D500 is big and bulky and $2k. D7500 is $1100. At $1100 you will have plenty of money to buy some prime lenses and expand you collection...I usually go used but I'm gonna "treat yo self 2017!!!"

    Sent from my RS988 using ThePhotoForum.com mobile app
     
  4. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In general (budget notwithstanding):

    1) A crappy lens on a good body, will deliver a crappy image.
    2) A good lens on a crappy body, will deliver a good image.

    3) A good lens on a good body will deliver good images and with a higher keeper rate than either 1 or 2.
     
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  5. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think a D7500 is a good choice for body. A used or refurbished D500 would be the ultimate for your budget if your willing to buy them. The Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 G2 gets good reviews and is 1/2 as much as a Nikon. But that would be 100mm less than your current lens. But you could keep using your current zoom. And the optics from the Tamron 70-200 might be such that you can crop in, and have a better output than from the less expensive lenses that goes to 300mm or so.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would uypgrade BOTH the camera body, and the lens! I would go with a Nikkor 70-200 f/4 AF-S VR-G lens--YES, the f/4 model, and a decent body that has a GOOD AF module. Honestly, I would suggest a used D3s body,. and a used 70-200 f/4 lens. I've about had it with the consumer-level Nikjon bodies...just do not have the AF capabilities of the higher-end cameras.

    I found that the old D2x had THE most-powerful AF system Nikon has designed, but it was complkicated, and had multiple modes and took a lot of effort to master, but it could focuys anywhere across the frame on any subject,m instantly, but since that era, Nikon has steadily been dumbing down and simplifying the AF area selecvtion system and the AF modes,but that camera is old now and a comparable body wouk,d be a used, PRO-level, 51-popint AF camera.

    I'd rather see you with a used D700, or a used D800, or a used D750, and the 70-200 f/4 AF-S VR-G lens than witgh any of th4 consumer-level 5000-series bodies.
     
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  7. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    D7500 and Tamron 70-200 G2.

    Done.
     
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  8. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    And then immediately start saving for a 300 f/4 so you have more reach for field sports. But I shoot with a D500 and 70-200 right now and I can crop in just fine for field sports if needed.
     
  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Get a D500. Outstanding fast focusing and low light performance. If you can't afford a fast telephoto lens right now, use the D500 with your existing 70-300 lens.
     
  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    QFT.
     
  11. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    D800s are down to about $1,100 to $1,400 on ebay. So, a D800 is very doable for his budget. Possibly with a new Tamron 70-200 G2. I have used but never owned a 70-200 f/4. It was a good lens and much lighter than my 70-200f/2.8 vrii, and a bit lighter than my 80-200mm f/2.8 af-d. Having 2 lenses in the same range kept me from adding it.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You need to ask yourself what your current equipment can't do effectively and then choose something that will fill that void. My view is that camera bodies aren't that important. Lenses are. They are what actually forms the image. If your camera records the images competently then it is all you need. If it doesn't then you need to go elsewhere.

    Having said that, I would suggest that the Tamron lens is competent if somewhat slow. It will require you to use higher ISO setting. That probably isn't all that important for typical amateur photography. To do meaningfully better you should probably consider a fixed focal length lens. Moving from a cheap zoom to a high quality fixed lens will certainly matter more than buying pixels or features.

    The camera body should be fine. You can buy more pixel density but that isn't all that important either. What is important is to find what you need to do that your current equipment can't do effectively.
     

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