Lens recommendation -- high speed, low light, <$1000

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gstoa, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. gstoa

    gstoa Guest

    Looking for lens recommendations for my Nikon D40x which will enable
    me to shoot high speed in low light conditions (indoor sports under
    fluorescent lights). I have the standard Nikon 55-200 zoom which
    delivers slow and grainy pictures at f-4 even without Auto Focus. I
    am happy to give up the zoom and AF in return for quality pictures
    that I can crop.

    Suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
    gstoa, Aug 27, 2008
    #1
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  2. gstoa

    nospam Guest

    In article
    <>,
    gstoa <> wrote:

    > Looking for lens recommendations for my Nikon D40x which will enable
    > me to shoot high speed in low light conditions (indoor sports under
    > fluorescent lights). I have the standard Nikon 55-200 zoom which
    > delivers slow and grainy pictures at f-4 even without Auto Focus. I
    > am happy to give up the zoom and AF in return for quality pictures
    > that I can crop.


    you'll want an f/2.8 zoom, or if zoom is not required, an even faster
    fixed focal length lens. for zooms, the standard is the nikon 70-200
    f/2.8 vr, however, the 80-200 lacks stabilizations and costs about half
    as much. for fixed focal length, get a 50, 85 and 200, all of which
    are f/2 or faster.

    the 55-200 is f/5.6 at 200mm, so you'll have at least a two stop
    improvement, possibly four stops.
     
    nospam, Aug 27, 2008
    #2
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  3. I went through the same agonizing for bird photos under a rather dense
    canopy;
    tried the Nikon AF 300F4 ($350 on eBay)and that gave rather nice
    results, but that lens
    will NOT auto-focus on your D40x. The AF-s version of that lens will,
    but is often just
    beyond your budget.
    Then my wife bought me the Nikon VR 80-400 F4.5-5.6 and I was really
    amazed at
    how much easier it was with that lens! Unfortunately again, that lens
    will NOT autofocus
    with your camera. If that is not a problem, I have to say that this
    lens will allow you
    to make tack sharp shots at 1/125sec at 400mm (600mm effective on your
    camera)
    HANDHELD!!
    All in all, I would advise to wait a bit and buy (or rent first :) )
    the lens that really works
    for you, even if it costs a bit more than you had planned initially...!

    Henk



    gstoa wrote:

    > Looking for lens recommendations for my Nikon D40x which will enable
    > me to shoot high speed in low light conditions (indoor sports under
    > fluorescent lights). I have the standard Nikon 55-200 zoom which
    > delivers slow and grainy pictures at f-4 even without Auto Focus. I
    > am happy to give up the zoom and AF in return for quality pictures
    > that I can crop.
    >
    > Suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
    Henk & Marga Jamin, Aug 28, 2008
    #3
  4. gstoa

    Paul Furman Guest

    gstoa wrote:
    > Looking for lens recommendations for my Nikon D40x which will enable
    > me to shoot high speed in low light conditions (indoor sports under
    > fluorescent lights). I have the standard Nikon 55-200 zoom which
    > delivers slow and grainy pictures at f-4 even without Auto Focus. I
    > am happy to give up the zoom and AF in return for quality pictures
    > that I can crop.
    >
    > Suggestions are greatly appreciated.


    I got an old beater manual 300mm f/2.8 Tokina but it won't meter on your
    camera. For indoor sports the lighting should stay the same so just a
    little chimping to get it right at the beginning. Still inconvenient
    though. There is an $800 180mm f/2.8 Nikkor, again it won't AF for you
    but should meter. Not much to offer though compared to 80-200 f/2.8.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, Aug 28, 2008
    #4
  5. gstoa

    Steve Guest

    On Wed, 27 Aug 2008 15:17:32 -0700, nospam <>
    wrote:

    >In article
    ><>,
    >gstoa <> wrote:
    >
    >> Looking for lens recommendations for my Nikon D40x which will enable
    >> me to shoot high speed in low light conditions (indoor sports under
    >> fluorescent lights). I have the standard Nikon 55-200 zoom which
    >> delivers slow and grainy pictures at f-4 even without Auto Focus. I
    >> am happy to give up the zoom and AF in return for quality pictures
    >> that I can crop.

    >
    >you'll want an f/2.8 zoom, or if zoom is not required, an even faster
    >fixed focal length lens. for zooms, the standard is the nikon 70-200
    >f/2.8 vr, however, the 80-200 lacks stabilizations and costs about half
    >as much. for fixed focal length, get a 50, 85 and 200, all of which
    >are f/2 or faster.


    If you're going to be shooting moving action like sports, VR won't
    matter much. Sure, it adds versatility with the 70-200 f/2.8 in that
    you can also use it at slower shutter speeds in really low light, but
    that's for things that aren't moving. For shooting sports, you'll
    want to use a shutter speed fast enough to stop the people in motion,
    which is also fast enough that camera shake isn't much of an issue
    either. If you try and use it at shutter speeds where VR really
    helps, your subjects will be all blurred.

    The 80-200 f/2.8 is about the best you can do with a zoom for under
    $1000 for shooting indoor sports. You're going to end up shooting
    with it wide open and at high ISO, like 1600, if you want to get an
    indoor under flourescent lights shutter speed of like 1/300 or faster,
    which is what you'll need to stop the action.

    But here's the problem.. no autofocus on a D40. So if that's a
    concern for you (it would be for me, especially since you're shooting
    wide open aperture) then you'll have to go to the 70-200 VR for twice
    the price. It's a great lens, go for it. You won't be dissapointed.

    As the other poster said, if you're happy to give up the zoom you can
    get yourself a cheap 50mm f/1.8. But the same problem.. no autofocus
    on a D40. Same thing with a 50mm f/1.4 or an 85mm f/1.4. As far as
    I'm concernted, that counts them out as useful indoor sports lenses
    where you're wide open with no DOF.

    The 200mm f/2.0 would be great, and will autofocus and work perfectly
    on your D40. But have you checked out the price? It's 3-4 times what
    you want to pay.

    You want my opinion on what you *should* do? Get yourself a used D200
    AND an 80-200 f/2.8 AND a 50 f/1.8. You can get all of that for about
    the same price as a 70-200 f/2.8 that you need to work with your D40
    and you'll have a MUCH better system for shooting indoor sports. The
    D200 will blow away a D40x in every respect when it comes to fast
    action shooting. Hell, if you sell your D40x and the lens you have,
    the addional cost of all that will be less than your $1000 that you
    want to spend.

    Steve
     
    Steve, Aug 28, 2008
    #5
  6. gstoa

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Steve
    <> wrote:

    > >> Looking for lens recommendations for my Nikon D40x which will enable
    > >> me to shoot high speed in low light conditions (indoor sports under
    > >> fluorescent lights). I have the standard Nikon 55-200 zoom which
    > >> delivers slow and grainy pictures at f-4 even without Auto Focus. I
    > >> am happy to give up the zoom and AF in return for quality pictures
    > >> that I can crop.

    > >
    > >you'll want an f/2.8 zoom, or if zoom is not required, an even faster
    > >fixed focal length lens. for zooms, the standard is the nikon 70-200
    > >f/2.8 vr, however, the 80-200 lacks stabilizations and costs about half
    > >as much. for fixed focal length, get a 50, 85 and 200, all of which
    > >are f/2 or faster.

    >
    > If you're going to be shooting moving action like sports, VR won't
    > matter much. Sure, it adds versatility with the 70-200 f/2.8 in that
    > you can also use it at slower shutter speeds in really low light, but
    > that's for things that aren't moving. For shooting sports, you'll
    > want to use a shutter speed fast enough to stop the people in motion,
    > which is also fast enough that camera shake isn't much of an issue
    > either. If you try and use it at shutter speeds where VR really
    > helps, your subjects will be all blurred.


    that's true, but vr can help with panning, and that can help with some
    sports. it's also a decent lens, and the stabilization might be useful
    in other situations.

    > The 80-200 f/2.8 is about the best you can do with a zoom for under
    > $1000 for shooting indoor sports. You're going to end up shooting
    > with it wide open and at high ISO, like 1600, if you want to get an
    > indoor under flourescent lights shutter speed of like 1/300 or faster,
    > which is what you'll need to stop the action.
    >
    > But here's the problem.. no autofocus on a D40. So if that's a
    > concern for you (it would be for me, especially since you're shooting
    > wide open aperture) then you'll have to go to the 70-200 VR for twice
    > the price. It's a great lens, go for it. You won't be dissapointed.


    nikon made an 80-200 afs, which unfortunately has been discontinued and
    can only be bought used. however, if you can find one at a fair price,
    it's a very good lens. sigma makes a 70-200 hsm (afs equivalent) and
    the tamron 70-200 has a built-in motor but it's not ultrasonic and
    therefore slow.

    > As the other poster said, if you're happy to give up the zoom you can
    > get yourself a cheap 50mm f/1.8. But the same problem.. no autofocus
    > on a D40. Same thing with a 50mm f/1.4 or an 85mm f/1.4. As far as
    > I'm concernted, that counts them out as useful indoor sports lenses
    > where you're wide open with no DOF.


    yea, i forgot about the autofocus. it might be an opportunity to get a
    d90 :)

    > The 200mm f/2.0 would be great, and will autofocus and work perfectly
    > on your D40. But have you checked out the price? It's 3-4 times what
    > you want to pay.
    >
    > You want my opinion on what you *should* do? Get yourself a used D200
    > AND an 80-200 f/2.8 AND a 50 f/1.8. You can get all of that for about
    > the same price as a 70-200 f/2.8 that you need to work with your D40
    > and you'll have a MUCH better system for shooting indoor sports. The
    > D200 will blow away a D40x in every respect when it comes to fast
    > action shooting. Hell, if you sell your D40x and the lens you have,
    > the addional cost of all that will be less than your $1000 that you
    > want to spend.


    i'd suggest a d90 or d300 over a d200.
     
    nospam, Aug 28, 2008
    #6
  7. nospam wrote:

    > nikon made an 80-200 afs, which unfortunately has been discontinued and
    > can only be bought used. however, if you can find one at a fair price,
    > it's a very good lens. sigma makes a 70-200 hsm (afs equivalent) and
    > the tamron 70-200 has a built-in motor but it's not ultrasonic and
    > therefore slow.


    What is it, then?


    --
    Blinky
    Killing all posts from Google Groups
    The Usenet Improvement Project: http://improve-usenet.org
    Need a new news feed? http://blinkynet.net/comp/newfeed.html
     
    Blinky the Shark, Aug 28, 2008
    #7
  8. gstoa

    Dave Guest

    gstoa wrote:
    > Looking for lens recommendations for my Nikon D40x which will enable
    > me to shoot high speed in low light conditions (indoor sports under
    > fluorescent lights). I have the standard Nikon 55-200 zoom which
    > delivers slow and grainy pictures at f-4 even without Auto Focus. I
    > am happy to give up the zoom and AF in return for quality pictures
    > that I can crop.
    >
    > Suggestions are greatly appreciated.


    It might help if you say the sport. Is 200mm long enough, or is part of
    the problem that you are needing to crop a small piece of the image?

    The 70-200 f 2.8 IF-ED VR someone suggested does have a mode for
    panning, so if you pan horizontally, it will remove vertical shakes. I
    own one of them, and find it a good lens. But you will not get one for
    $1000 - even used. But VR is not going to help if people are rapidly
    moving, as legs will be going one way, arms another etc. For that you
    are going to need a high shutter speed.

    One thing I would say, is that if you buy a used Nikon (not 3rd party)
    lens, don't pay too much for it, you can probably sell it again for no
    significant loss - perhaps even make a profit. Used Nikon lenses tend to
    hold their value well. Assuming you have the money up front you can rent
    them for free!!! I bought a used 20 mm f 2.8 lens off of eBay a few
    years ago, and looking at prices now, I could easily sell it for
    significantly more than what I paid for it.
    I don't think there is a lot of point in buying a used VR 70-200 though,
    as used prices of current lenses seem to be very little below the new
    price. In fact, I've seen used Nikon lenees on eBay sell for more than
    it is possible to buy one new!

    I don't know much about the D40, but others are saying it will not work
    fully with some lenses. But the 70-200 f 2.8 IF-ED VR works well on my
    F6 and D3.

    Sorry, there are no real suggestions, but perhaps some things to bear in
    mind. If you can possibly go to the 70-200 f 2.8 IF-ED VR you will not
    be dissapointed.
     
    Dave, Aug 28, 2008
    #8
  9. gstoa

    Dave Guest

    Dave wrote:

    > One thing I would say, is that if you buy a used Nikon (not 3rd party)
    > lens, don't pay too much for it, you can probably sell it again for no
    > significant loss - perhaps even make a profit. Used Nikon lenses tend to
    > hold their value well. Assuming you have the money up front you can rent
    > them for free!!! I bought a used 20 mm f 2.8 lens off of eBay a few
    > years ago, and looking at prices now, I could easily sell it for
    > significantly more than what I paid for it.
    > I don't think there is a lot of point in buying a used VR 70-200 though,
    > as used prices of current lenses seem to be very little below the new
    > price. In fact, I've seen used Nikon lenees on eBay sell for more than
    > it is possible to buy one new!


    I just see this on Amazon about the 70-200 VR.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikon-Af-S-70-200-Ifed-Nikkor/dp/B00009MDBQ


    "Something to consider about the price (believe me you DO (as commented
    on by another reviewer) forget what you've paid immediately you start
    using this beauty) is that it still costs the same as I paid 3 years
    ago. Depreciation? What's that then! Check out the second hand values. I
    think that speaks volumes!"

    Personally I would not buy a 70-200 VR used, simply because the savings
    are far too small and you have the assurance of a guarantee. But on for
    example a 600 mm f4, the savings of used compared to new are quite
    significant, since the new ones have VR and most of the older ones do not.
     
    Dave, Aug 28, 2008
    #9
  10. gstoa

    Me Guest

    Blinky the Shark wrote:
    > nospam wrote:
    >
    >> nikon made an 80-200 afs, which unfortunately has been discontinued and
    >> can only be bought used. however, if you can find one at a fair price,
    >> it's a very good lens. sigma makes a 70-200 hsm (afs equivalent) and
    >> the tamron 70-200 has a built-in motor but it's not ultrasonic and
    >> therefore slow.

    >
    > What is it, then?
    >
    >

    Probably a small DC motor, not an ultrasonic motor.
    Nikon make some AF-s lenses with "micro-motors" which behave much like
    USM equipped lenses (have instant manual override of AF and are
    relatively quiet - but are generally slower focusing than ultrasonic
    motor types), but the Tamron motor-in-lens designs that I've seen are
    slower still, noisier, and don't have the instant AF override by turning
    focus ring. Optically, some are very good - if they had ultrasonic
    motor AF, they would be excellent overall.
     
    Me, Aug 28, 2008
    #10
  11. gstoa

    Steve Guest

    On Wed, 27 Aug 2008 21:48:28 -0700, nospam <>
    wrote:

    >In article <>, Steve
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >> >> Looking for lens recommendations for my Nikon D40x which will enable
    >> >> me to shoot high speed in low light conditions (indoor sports under
    >> >> fluorescent lights). I have the standard Nikon 55-200 zoom which
    >> >> delivers slow and grainy pictures at f-4 even without Auto Focus. I
    >> >> am happy to give up the zoom and AF in return for quality pictures
    >> >> that I can crop.
    >> >
    >> >you'll want an f/2.8 zoom, or if zoom is not required, an even faster
    >> >fixed focal length lens. for zooms, the standard is the nikon 70-200
    >> >f/2.8 vr, however, the 80-200 lacks stabilizations and costs about half
    >> >as much. for fixed focal length, get a 50, 85 and 200, all of which
    >> >are f/2 or faster.

    >>
    >> If you're going to be shooting moving action like sports, VR won't
    >> matter much. Sure, it adds versatility with the 70-200 f/2.8 in that
    >> you can also use it at slower shutter speeds in really low light, but
    >> that's for things that aren't moving. For shooting sports, you'll
    >> want to use a shutter speed fast enough to stop the people in motion,
    >> which is also fast enough that camera shake isn't much of an issue
    >> either. If you try and use it at shutter speeds where VR really
    >> helps, your subjects will be all blurred.

    >
    >that's true, but vr can help with panning, and that can help with some
    >sports. it's also a decent lens, and the stabilization might be useful
    >in other situations.


    Yes, as I also said just below, if you're going to get a lens for
    indoor sports for a D40x, the best choice IMHO is the 70-200 VR. And
    one reason to get it is because it's also great at things other than
    indoor sports where the VR can really help.

    >
    >> The 80-200 f/2.8 is about the best you can do with a zoom for under
    >> $1000 for shooting indoor sports. You're going to end up shooting
    >> with it wide open and at high ISO, like 1600, if you want to get an
    >> indoor under flourescent lights shutter speed of like 1/300 or faster,
    >> which is what you'll need to stop the action.
    >>
    >> But here's the problem.. no autofocus on a D40. So if that's a
    >> concern for you (it would be for me, especially since you're shooting
    >> wide open aperture) then you'll have to go to the 70-200 VR for twice
    >> the price. It's a great lens, go for it. You won't be dissapointed.

    >
    >nikon made an 80-200 afs, which unfortunately has been discontinued and
    >can only be bought used. however, if you can find one at a fair price,
    >it's a very good lens. sigma makes a 70-200 hsm (afs equivalent) and
    >the tamron 70-200 has a built-in motor but it's not ultrasonic and
    >therefore slow.


    I forgot about the 80-200 afs. Get one used for less than 1/2 the
    price of the 70-200VR and you have a great indoor sports lens but just
    not as versatile as the 70-200VR for everything else.

    >> As the other poster said, if you're happy to give up the zoom you can
    >> get yourself a cheap 50mm f/1.8. But the same problem.. no autofocus
    >> on a D40. Same thing with a 50mm f/1.4 or an 85mm f/1.4. As far as
    >> I'm concernted, that counts them out as useful indoor sports lenses
    >> where you're wide open with no DOF.

    >
    >yea, i forgot about the autofocus. it might be an opportunity to get a
    >d90 :)
    >
    >> The 200mm f/2.0 would be great, and will autofocus and work perfectly
    >> on your D40. But have you checked out the price? It's 3-4 times what
    >> you want to pay.
    >>
    >> You want my opinion on what you *should* do? Get yourself a used D200
    >> AND an 80-200 f/2.8 AND a 50 f/1.8. You can get all of that for about
    >> the same price as a 70-200 f/2.8 that you need to work with your D40
    >> and you'll have a MUCH better system for shooting indoor sports. The
    >> D200 will blow away a D40x in every respect when it comes to fast
    >> action shooting. Hell, if you sell your D40x and the lens you have,
    >> the addional cost of all that will be less than your $1000 that you
    >> want to spend.

    >
    >i'd suggest a d90 or d300 over a d200.


    I thought the point was to keep it under $1000. For no budget, sure
    get a D300. Hell, go for a D3. But for an under $1000 budget, your
    best option is a used D200. It's still a very useful, great camera
    and I'm not convinced that a new D300 gives you enough "stuff" over a
    used D200 to be worth twice the price. When the D300 prices start
    coming down a year from now, that's when to get one.

    Steve
     
    Steve, Aug 29, 2008
    #11
  12. gstoa

    Steve Guest

    On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 09:50:10 +0100, Dave <> wrote:

    >The 70-200 f 2.8 IF-ED VR someone suggested does have a mode for
    >panning, so if you pan horizontally, it will remove vertical shakes. I
    >own one of them, and find it a good lens. But you will not get one for
    >$1000 - even used. But VR is not going to help if people are rapidly
    >moving, as legs will be going one way, arms another etc. For that you
    >are going to need a high shutter speed.
    >
    >One thing I would say, is that if you buy a used Nikon (not 3rd party)
    >lens, don't pay too much for it, you can probably sell it again for no
    >significant loss - perhaps even make a profit. Used Nikon lenses tend to


    Here's the problem with buying a used lens like the 70-200 f/2.8.. No
    warranty. I would have to find one significantly under the price of a
    new one in order for me to buy it used. And in general, they're not.
    I see used ones going for the same as what I can get one for new. Are
    people really that nuts?

    I wouldn't care as much about an older, non-VR, non-AF-S lens because
    they are low-tech. No lens micro motors, no USM focusing motors. A
    screw drive and barrel tracks are much less likely to need repair
    IMHO. I've bought several of them on ebay and they're working great.

    But I've already had to send in my 18-200 VR for service because the
    "high tech" USM motor broke. It made high pitched whining sounds and
    wouldn't focus right. I bought it new almost a year ago for the same
    price I see ones even now going for used. Again, are people nuts? If
    I didn't have the 5-year warranty I would be out another $200 to get
    it fixed. And when you buy it used on ebay, you don't get a Nikon
    warranty despite what sellers might say in the ad. You'll have to
    hope that the original owner you bought it from will be kind enough to
    send it in for you if you need warranty service.

    If you can't find a used "high tech" lens for significantly less than
    new, like 60% or lower than the best deal you can find for a new one,
    it pays to get it new. And your consolation is that nutty people are
    willing to pay almost what you bought it for (or even more) if you
    decide to sell it.

    Steve
     
    Steve, Aug 29, 2008
    #12
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