Cant decide on lens for daytime soccer

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by Mach0, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Mach0

    Mach0 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Messages:
    2,616
    Likes Received:
    430
    Location:
    203
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My daughters first soccer season and I cant decide what to get. I have an 80-200 but I realized quickly that 200 isn't very long on FX. Now I'm no sports shooter but I'd like something to use for this ( most likely only this unless I take a trip to the zoo). Generally, most of my casual shooting is anywhere from 85mm-135mm with the occasional 180mm range so I don't see the value in spending a large sum on a lens that will probably sit in my bag most of the time. I was debating on the 70-300VR or a 300F4 AFD. Obviously, the 300 f4 will prob yield nicer optics given its f4 vs 5.6 wide open but I am also not sure if I'd use the lens outside of the soccer games. My other choice was to sell the 80-200 and get the afs version or even a 70-200 ( both with a teleconverter) but I am leaning toward the 70-300 since its small.


     
  2. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    5,555
    Likes Received:
    1,120
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am assuming the games will be outside in bright light and thus my choice will be Nikon 70-300mm VR, excellent lens and very affordable.
    My guess in 90% of the time you will not be able to see any big difference IQ wise between the 300mm prime and this lens.
    For what you need this lens will be more then enough.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    41,401
    Likes Received:
    5,696
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I used a Nikon 70-300 VR for a while on a DX body.
    I wound up using multiple DX bodies.
    One with a Sigma 150-500 f/5-6.3
    One with a Nikon 80-200 f/2.8
    And a 3rd with a Nikon 24-85 f/2.8-4

    I shot from one end of the pitch so action would be moving perpendicular towards me, not parallel or across me.
     
  4. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9,401
    Likes Received:
    3,982
    Location:
    Mustang Oklahoma
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Why not consider a teleconverter? Looks like b&h has a 1.4x, 1.7x and a 2.0x.

    That would bring you in to 280mm, 340mm or 400mm. You will loose 1-2 stops of light depending on the on you choose but with a FX camera in bright sun, this shouldn't be an issue anyway.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Mach0

    Mach0 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Messages:
    2,616
    Likes Received:
    430
    Location:
    203
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That's pretty much where I'd be standing. I guess I will takeout my d90 and see how it does with the 80-200 and center AF lock.

    I'd have to upgrade lenses. Not the worse case scenario but its an option.
     
  6. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    13,630
    Likes Received:
    3,321
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm with Keith on this one.

    I'm on the edge of using a 2nd body.

    Last year I had a 70-300VR for a while but it's contrast detection caused major issues in focus-fubar.

    Now the one soccer team is on a not quite, but close to full sized field. I've gone to a 150-600 but even on FF when they get close, they're too close. I've been contemplating using my DX camera body with my 24-85 for closer shots.

    I wish I had the sigma 50-500 for my DX, then I think one camera could do close and far shots. I used a 150-500 Sigma on FX and it was okay .. more me learning how to use it than anything else but when the action got close I had to back away.

    I had no problems on my 80-200/2.8 on FX or DX when the field was smaller, as long as I moved back in certain situations.

    I also have a 300/4 AF lens and it's just too limiting for the up and down field stuff, especially when the action gets close. I can see it on a 2nd body though but I went another route.

    Also like Keith, I am on the corners or goal sides of the field to get action coming to me or at our goalie facing me on the far side of the field.

    Truthfully it's kind of maddening. Why can't they stay on the same size field !! I just got used to it lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  7. Mach0

    Mach0 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Messages:
    2,616
    Likes Received:
    430
    Location:
    203
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    Yea the short end of the 80-200 is fine but the long end sometimes isn't close enough. The field is pretty small right now so maybe I'll just bring two bodies and two lenses.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    44,817
    Likes Received:
    17,032
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You can crop a bit if needed. I shot three seasons of my son in youth soccer, and used the 70-300 VR on FX for most matches, used the 300/4 on one. I've shot high school and college soccer on FX using 80-400VR, 200,300/2.8,100-300/4...I kind of like the zooms actually, except for the 80-400VR which has serious,serious focusing reliability problems on action. The 70-300VR works "okay", and the flexibility of the zoom is handy when action comes close to you and you have just one camera in operation. I think focal length flexibility is a good think for soccer. Part of what you use depends on what kind of images you want...super close-in, or maybe showing a bit more environment, other players,etc..
     
  9. Microbois

    Microbois No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Greenfield Park, Qc
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm exactly in the same boat as you : my son plays soccer outside. I have a D610 and the Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 lens, and it's clearly not enough reach. Even though the 70-300m VR seems to be getting a lot of praise, I've read that its IQ in the 200-300mm range is not very good. Not so surprinsgly, I see a lot of them selling for cheap on the used market, and this is certainly a sure sign that it's not that good of a lens. I owe too many top notch lenses, I know I would not cope with a lens that is good enough for the money.

    Unfortunately, there is no obvious alternative for the kind of reach we need. Both Tamron and Sigma offer a montruous 150-600mm f/5-6.3 zoom lens, but they are big, not very bright, and I'm no so sure about their AF performances. IQ on those lenses is not very good either on FF bodies, so this is a huge downer. I also don't like the idea of buying twice more reach than I really need, at the cost of additional weight, and having a slower lens. I have no use for a powerful 600mm telephoto.

    Here are the various options that I have been thinking about to solve my problem :
    1. Buy a D7200 DX crop camera and use my 70-200mm f/4 lens on it. It will become a 105-300mm lens, and I get a backup body which is always useful. In Canada, this will cost me about 1290$ CAN. Unfortunately, I like to have a grip on my cameras, so another 350$CAN on top. It's a pricey option, but most likely the most versatile.
    2. Buy the Nikkor TC-14E III 1.4x converter, but don't like the idea of losing 1.5 stop, let alone the fact that I'm old school, and always saw converters as something to use in the very last resort, just before before giving up. This would set me back about 550$ CAN. It would convert my lense into a 98-280mm lens, which I'm not sure would make that much of a difference as I see 300mm as a very minimum.
    3. Buy the newly introduced AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens at 2200$ CAN, but don't like the idea of being stuck with a fixed lens, especially when the action is coming close to me so frequently during a soccer game.
    4. Buy either the newer AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR for 2850$ or the old AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED under 2000$, but need to read more on those lenses before I buy any one of them.
    I'm not done yet looking for alternatives, and in the meantime, I edit my pictures and crop some of them quite a bit. I'm also not ready to shell out more than 2K$, but that may change depending if I can sell enough pictures to justify such purchase. At the moment, the option I'm leaning towards is to purchase the new 80-400mm lens, hopefully used at a decent price.

    Hope this helps,

    Benoit
    --------------------
    Update : Errh, just read Derrel's opinion of the 80-400mm lens, and it's not what I'm looking for. Derrel, which lens did you use, the old one, or the new one? Thanks!
     
  10. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    13,630
    Likes Received:
    3,321
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    44,817
    Likes Received:
    17,032
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Benoit,
    I was using the first version 80-400VR, on the Nikon I think had the best AF module ever made for action, the D2x...a complex AF system with 4 user-chosen AF area modes/patterns, plus several AF functions. The D2x is actually better at action focusing than the D3x with its 51-point system. The D2x in group area dynamic with closest-subject priority is am AMAZING focuser with all the AF-S Nikkors, including the 300 f/4 AF-S, and the older 70-200 VR, which is a very,very fast-focusing lens for sports. The old 80-400VR has a number of AF issues...it's accurate, yes, but it is not all that fast, and when it tends to hunt it hunts BADLY, and it has a mechanical M/A ring that needs to be turned to reverse out of focus hunts. It is basically, a horrible lens for soccer...I tried to make it work a couple times, but it is easily the WORST AF lens Nikon has made for soccer/field sports.

    Thom Hogan's review and use in the Galapagos seems to indicate the new 80-400 AF-S is actually a VERY good lens, and that it has excellent focusing. BTW, the 1.4x converter will cost you only one f/stop. The 300/4 AF-S is excellent optically; the new miniaturized model sounds very interesting. I still think cropping of the 24MP FX frames is a viable option.
     
  12. Microbois

    Microbois No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Greenfield Park, Qc
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    Thanks for sharing those links. I've looked at both lens, and it's hard to judge for the Tamron, as many shots are soft or out of focus. You need to shoot at a higher speed, and nail the focus right if you want to freeze the action into a crisp image. The Sigma lens seems to make better pictures, but still, many are not sharp so it's very hard to judge. Sorry, but this is not convincing.

    Derrel, you are right about cropping my 24 mpx pictures. This is how I will start this season, and see how I can manage it. The big difference this year though is that I've setup a website to sell my pictures. My son plays elite soccer, and some parents can be crazy and spend a lot of money on their kids thinking they are the next big soccer star the planet has been waiting for... Capitalizing on that, I decided to try to sell my pictures to the parents of the other team (I shared them last year with the parents of my son's team). I don't know if it will work, or if I'll make some good money, but if I don't try it, I'll never know.

    This is why I was looking for a solution to avoid cropping too much, so if the parents want a large print, they have more than enough pixels to push it over the typical 8 x 10 format. If the response is good, I may consider offering to print large posters with the team's colors, player's number, etc. If I end up doing this, and there are buyers, I'll need a different setup for sure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

what lense do i use for a soccer game on my 2200 nikon camera