Lens help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by finnigc, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. finnigc

    finnigc TPF Noob!

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    I have a Nikon D80 and would like some help on what type of lens to purchase. We take lots of action shots (swimming and soccer) and would like a nice lens to get those closeups. I currently have a NIKON AF 70-300MM F4-5.6 G ZOOM LENS but would like to get something a little nicer. I was told by a professional photographer about a 70-200 lens that is a straight 200?? I didnt get the whole description but when I looked through it I was able to get closer than my 300. I do not know a lot about photography and the camera is more than I will ever need but I got it at a great price. I just want to get those closer action shots. I see that type of lens going for about $1500 which is more than I want to spend. Can anyone suggest a lens or a place to buy used equipment (other than ebay)?

    Secondly, I also do shooting inside at an indoor pool. My current shots come out too dark based on the lighting at the pool. Would a flash help that (or a better lens)?

    Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'll bet that he said a 70-200mm lens that is a straight 2.8....as in the aperture setting F2.8.

    Yes, 300mm is longer than 200mm, so your current lens can get 'closer' than the 70-200mm lens mentioned. But the difference is the maximum aperture of the lens. The aperture is the 'hole' in the lens...and the smaller it is, the less light it can let in.
    The less light that gets in, the longer you shutter speed needs to be. The longer your shutter speed it, the more blurry your shots will be.

    So in a nutshell, the 70-200mm lens is better for shooting sports because it can give you a faster shutter speed to help freeze the action.

    A lens's maximum aperture is right in it's name. For example, you lens is F4-5.6, which means that at 70mm the max aperture is F4 and as you zoom out, the maximum goes down to F5.6. (F numbers are a ratio, so higher numbers mean a smaller aperture).

    F5.6 is 1/4th the size of F2.8...so that 70-200mm lens can let in 4 times as much light as yours, when at full zoom.

    Of course, the Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VR, is very very expensive.

    So what is your budget?
     
  3. finnigc

    finnigc TPF Noob!

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    Thank you, and thank you for the information!

    I was looking to spend around $700, give or take a little depending on how good the lens was. I dont know what would be available that is close to what I am looking for at that price.

    Is there another brand of lens that would be comparable with good quality like a Nikon lens? I've heard good and bad about Sigma, Tamron, Quantaray but obviously something may be great for one person but not for another. Since I wouldnt be using this everyday maybe another brand would be just fine for me.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  4. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I haven't priced these lately, but around $700 the following lenses come to mind:

    Nikon 80-200 or a Sigma 70-200. Probably used. The Nikon 70-200 you probably won't find much cheaper than $1500.00.

    A flash would help, depending on the venue, where you are at in relation to the action, and if they are allowed. A flash combined with a 2.8 constant aperture zoom (the lenses that have already been discussed) I think would be ideal.
     
  5. finnigc

    finnigc TPF Noob!

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    Thanks.

    Just looking at ebay really quick I see some Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 ED lenses out there in that range? Would this be a decent lens?

    You might be right on the flash indoors not being allowed also. Sometimes I am on the pool deck and sometimes in the stands. Just depends. Either way they are usually dark and blurry which is probably also because of the shutter speed on my current lens. What would you recommend for the Sigma 70-200? Again, I assume that another brand would be fine for someone like myself?

    I really appreciate all the help from everyone. What a great forum.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, while flash could help the situation...there may be situations where it's not allowed and you have to consider that a flash has a reasonable working range. The farther away you are, the less useful it will be.

    Yes, there are certainly more affordable options. Both Sigma & Tamron make a 70-200mm F2.8 lens, both available for less than $1000 IIRC. They won't be 'as good' as the expensive Nikon one, but that has more to do with image quality and it's likely that only a very picky person could tell the difference anyway. They will still allow you to get the fast shutter speeds that you need.

    Also, there is another factor. The ISO.
    You can adjust the ISO on your camera...and the higher your ISO, the faster the shutter speed you can get. So you could take your D80 and adjust the ISO from 400 to 1600, and basically get the same result as going from F5.6 to F2.8.
    So that would be the first thing I suggest you try.

    The problem with raising the ISO, is that it gives you digital noise/grain. With an older camera like yours, you may not like what you get when you shoot at ISO 1600 or higher (if you camera goes higher).
    The newer & better cameras go to higher ISO levels and with less noise. For example, you could use the Nikon D700 at ISO 6400 and get much faster shutter speeds with your current lens....and it would probably look as good or better, than your camera at ISO 800.

    You don't need something as expensive as the D700 to get better results than your D80...the D90 is better, the D300 is better...heck, maybe even the newer (but lower) models like the D5000 might be better. I'm not sure, but it's something to consider.

    But either way, try cranking up the ISO and see what that gives you. Then consider a better lens and/or better camera.
     
  7. finnigc

    finnigc TPF Noob!

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    I'll definitely give that a try and see how it works. If I buy a different lens is there some place I can check to make sure it will work with the D80?

    Thanks for the great advice.
     
  8. vansnxtweek

    vansnxtweek TPF Noob!

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    Great info in this thread. I really...really want that 70-200mm.
     
  9. sobolik

    sobolik TPF Noob!

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    I am curious about the fact that you did not mention software.

    #1 A less close up/wider angle framing allows more light into the camera thus acting as if you had a faster (2.8) lens at a tighter or closer framing. Doing this can eliminate some of the pool lighting problems you experience getting "closer actions shots"

    #2 I crop 2 or 3 4x6 photos out of 1 of my Nikon D90 photos and still produce wonderful 4x6 prints.

    Try this
    select a wider angle view photo that you have already taken and using a photo editing program "zoom in" to the "closer" view you are looking for with the crop tool.
    Save that new larger and closer photo.
    Then find that photo on the computer and take note of its dimensions. I open the my pictures folder and select view - details from the top menu. I then compare to one of the many online charts that tell you what size print those dimensions can make. Such as this one. Megapixels and print size

    By using software to get those "closer action shots" and you save your money intended for a better lens.
     

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