Focal Length Regarding Zoom, Please Help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by aromero, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. aromero

    aromero TPF Noob!

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    Well I am just starting out in photography, and I'm looking to get the Nikon D40 with the 28-80 mm lens. Now I know this is probably a stupid question, but what kind of zoom will i get with a lens like that, I'm going to mostly be doing surf photography, so zoom and being tight on the subject is key. There is also a lens option of getting a 28-200mm lens. Would this be better? Please help out
     
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Well, I don't know much about surfing, but I have a slight feeling that even a 200mm won't get you quite what you are looking for. You may want to invest in a X2 Teleconvertor with the 28-200 (I don't know my Nikkor lenses, but I suspect you won't get the quality out of this lens as you are wanting. I don't know how much you are planning on spending, but a wonderful lens is the 80-200mm VR) The 28-80mm is more for portraiture :) There is an example somehwere on here with the images with various focal lengths, so hopefully someone will dig that up for you.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    The 28-200 would be too slow with a converter. I dont' know if it would even focus because with a 2x converter and the 28-200, you'd be having a 400mm f/8. Yuck.

    I would use no less than my 80-200 with 2x converter or the 80-400 VR.

    the 28-80 wouldn't give you NEAR the reach you need.
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the kind of money you are gonna spend on a 28-200 you might just be better getting the 28-80 and a decent 70-300 lens. There has been alot of discussion here about the 28-200 and the consensus usually comes down to stay away from that (28-200) kind of range in a lens. If you are trying to shoot action even surfing in bright sunlight you still need a fairly fast lens the 70-300 4-5.6 ED at around $320 is probably a good place to start unless you can afford the 70-200 2.8 Vr (around $1500).
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Capturing sporting events...especially things like surfing, is one of the most demanding types of photography...and as such, it requires long, fast lenses. (fast meaning it has a large maximum aperture). It needs to be long...because you are probably shooting from the shore...which will most likely be a long way from the action. Having a large maximum aperture will give you the ability to get faster shutter speeds...which are needed to freeze the action.

    Unfortunately...long, fast lenses aren't cheap...in fact, they can cost as much as a small car.

    That being said, you may be able to just get by with what you can afford...you have got to start somewhere right? Consider getting a tripod or monopod...which will help to stabilize the camera & lens while you are shooting.
     
  6. aromero

    aromero TPF Noob!

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    hey thanks for all your help, does anyone have any experience in surf/snowboard photography that they can help me out?
     
  7. neogfx

    neogfx TPF Noob!

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    I do kitesurfing photography and I use a 70-300mm lens. It just about does the job, but ideally I'd like an even bigger zoom for the slightly further out shots. I believe surfers are probably a little further out to sea than kitesurfers so I wouldn't go any smaller than this.
    Sigma do some fairly reasonably priced lens that are all around the 70-300mm mark. I use a Sigma myself and have never had a problem with it. Only cost me £180 as well.
     
  8. Mad_Gnome

    Mad_Gnome TPF Noob!

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    Sigma offers a 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO zoom lens that would fit the bill fairly well. B&H currently has it listed for $589. They also have an 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 with built in image stabilization, but that one goes for $999, which may be more than you're looking to spend.

    Tokina also offers an 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens that retails for $649.95.

    Sigma and Tamron both also offer long zooms that go out to 500mm with a maximum aperture of 6.3 zoomed all the way out, although both are a bit more expensive. The Tamron 200-500mm f/5-6.3 goes for $879, while Sigma offers two long lenses within reach of mortal man: a 50-500mm f/4-6.3 for $999, and a 170-500mm f/5-6.3 APO zoom for $769. For those with money burning a hole in their pockets, Sigma also has a 300-800mm f/5.6 APO zoom lens that can be had for the princely sum of $6,999. If you're interested in Nikon glass, they have several prime super-telephoto lenses available for what would amount to a down payment on a starter home.

    Personally, I'd probably go for the 135-400mm Sigma lens. It's the least expensive, but it has a wide zoom range, and it's also an APO lens, and carries the DG designation, which gives the best correction for various kinds of aberrations.
     

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