Amateur Surf photographer trying to find right entry lens....

mexisurfgringo

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Sayulita, Mexico
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I am a new and learning sports photographer. At present I shoot with a D7000 and AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED. Of course, I would love to drop $10k for a NIKON AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR. That said, I cannot quite justify it yet. So I have found a few 600'f4's that are about 1/3 the price or less but are manual focus. I am just concerned about purchasing a manual focus for surfing. Anyone have any experience with one? I have considered buying a teleconverter for my 18-300, but would really like the fixed lens. In any case, I am open to and requesting any and all advice any sports photographers might have for a beginning surf photographer with a modest budget. Thank you in advance.
 

tirediron

Watch the Birdy!
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
45,747
Reaction score
14,804
Location
Victoria, BC
Website
www.johnsphotography.ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I wouldn't bother with a TC for your current lens; Nikon TCs won't fit and even if you go with a third-party one, you're going to be at f8-11 at the long end, which means your AF is going to be on the edge of not working, and the lenses less than stellar long-end optics are going to be even less stellar. As far as manually focusing a long prime, for something like surfing it should be fine; they're really not moving at that great a relative speed toward you. A MUCH cheaper option, albeit with a lot less reach would be an 80-200 f2.8 with a 1.7xTC - that should weigh in around $1100 or less.
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,929
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The internal focusing Nikon superteles, the 400/3.5 ED-IF, 500mm f/4-P, and 600mm f/4 ED-IF all have very light-touch, internal focusing systems that focus very well. These were designed to be manual focus lenses, and the mechanism is VERY different from what you will find on either new, AF Nikkor superteles, or smaller manual focus or AF lenses. Focusing is optimized across the distance range...and there are a lot of distance markings. You can get pretty good manual focusing on these lenses, and at "distance", it's not that hard to stay with a moving target.
 

matthewo

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,445
Reaction score
645
Location
the south
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
The is also the modified tc16a teleconverter that will give you limited auto focus with manual focus glass. I used it with the 500mm p lens and it worked ok, I bet it would work better with a manual focus 400 3.5 or 300 2.8...

You get focus close manually, then press focus exact with teleconverter
 

TheLost

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 17, 2012
Messages
1,230
Reaction score
337
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Maybe i missed this... but are you looking for more reach? better sharpness? faster AF?

Best all around sports lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII (followed by the older VRI).
Good bang for your buck Prime: Nikon 300 f/4
Better then your 18-300mm: Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G (the older D is a great deal but slower AF)
Best 3rd party Lens: Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF

I'd focus on your 'needs' then follow that with your budget... IMHO, if you need 'reach' and are on a budget the Sigma 150-500 f/5-6.3 AF ($950US) is a great choice. If you want reach but want better IQ then the Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ($2.6kUS). If you want the best 'all around' lens then its the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII ($2.3kUS).

If you are spending over $6K on a lens (~600mm , 400mm + TC) you may want to re-think your DSLR body first.
 

raventepes

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
304
Reaction score
36
Location
Soldotna, Alaska
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
One thing to consider with surfing is that even if you did buy a manual focus 600mm, the subject is far enough out to where even if you're focusing manually, all you really have to do is set the focus ring to infinity and slowly go down from there....just keep your hand on the focus ring, and you'd be fine. Above all though, a monopod will be your friend!
 

djacobox372

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,925
Reaction score
129
Location
Seattle, WA
Website
djacob372.deviantart.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
One thing to consider with surfing is that even if you did buy a manual focus 600mm, the subject is far enough out to where even if you're focusing manually, all you really have to do is set the focus ring to infinity and slowly go down from there....just keep your hand on the focus ring, and you'd be fine. Above all though, a monopod will be your friend!

The Nikon 600mm f5.6 ais ed is a fantastic manual focus lens.
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap

New Topics

Top