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v12 May 11, 2007 6:57 PM


I am in position to take the plunge and get a good lens for shooting sports,action etc. The airshow season has started and I want a lens that wil not let me down. I have my wide angle, my general purpose and now its time for a sports lens!

I am open to suggestions for shooting fast action sports and my budget is fexible ;)

Any lenses I should look out for? I own the 70-300 tamron kit lens my d50 came with but its nothing short of junk in my opinion. :shock:

thanks in advance for your thoughts

matt :|

Mark1616 May 11, 2007 7:11 PM

Matt you don't give us your budget so it is very hard but basically a few to look at that cover a range of prices are:

Tamron 200-500 f5-6.3

Sigma 300-800 f5.6

Nikon 80-400 f4.5-5.6

Nikon 200-400 f4

Nikon 500mm f4

v12 May 12, 2007 1:41 AM

ah Mark, apologies for that! Price is anywhere from $1-$1700ish. Something in between would be preferred.


Mark1616 May 12, 2007 9:12 AM

The Tamron will do a pretty good job at approx $900 and as a compromise of length, quality and price it does very well. The other one within price is the Nikon 80-400 but you might find it a little short.

hauer54 May 12, 2007 3:14 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Matt - you may want to consider the Sigma 50-500DG HSM as well. It's a great lens and I use it often in combination with my Nikon D50.

Good luck!

Cheers - Herman

Mark1616 May 13, 2007 11:55 AM

The only reason I didn't suggest the 50-500 is that the Tamron seems to win in all the reviews I've seen. I'm not adverse to Sigma glass as I have the 120-300mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, 17-70mm f2.8-4.5, 10-20mm and 1.4 and 2x telecons.

Iwould go for the 50-500 over the 200-500 only if you think you are going to want the wider option without changing lens but for most people this is not a concern.

v12 May 13, 2007 2:26 PM

changing lenses is not a concern since I will shoot static displayes with my 12/24 and then for flybys etc I want to use the zooms

thanks for the suggestions, I will review both lenses soon.

Any other thoughts on not having VR on any of these lenses?

Mark1616 May 13, 2007 6:04 PM

Generally I'm not an advocate of VR/IS/AS however there can be times where you will be using 500mm wanting to shoot a helicopter or propeller powered aircraft which wouldneed 1/160thto 1/250th so you can get the blur of the blades rather than freezing them. It can still be done without VR however if you have it then it will be ahelp.

I personally use a monopod and if the subject it too high will just lift the monopod off of theground and it is amazing how the extra weight acting as a counter balance will help reduce camera shake.

v12 May 14, 2007 6:22 PM

ah, I understand now.

Would it be possible to either post or link me to pics taken with the Tamron 200-500 or any other super zoom lens? I have done some reasearch and there isnt much info or reviews out there much less a test shot I can see. I liked the F16 pic and Id like to see more and at what settings and sistance you were from the plane etc

regards gents


cameranserai May 15, 2007 3:20 AM

I must say I find Mark's list of suggested lenses a trifle bizarre, ranging from a Tamron through to a Nikon 500mm; bizarre because there is no real thought as to the price range nor the quality. I have the 200/400 F4 Nikkor and the 300mm F2.8and both are great lenses, but for what usage? I use a monopod and take motor racing shots. At Goodwood we have flypasts with Spitfires and other aircraft, but there is no way I want to hand hold these lenses for any length of time and traverse with them - they are just too heavy. Try using a 500mm plus a D2X and you'll be hefting nearly 11lbs around with you and that will pull your arms off after a while. It just isn't feasable for the purpose, Yet there is one lens he has left out that surprises me - the 70/200 f2.8. I use this a lot for all kinds of photography coupled with the TC14E or TC17E converters since it is so versatile. OK, I lose one stop with the 14 and 1.5 with the 17 converter but assuming good light I am rarely trying to shoot at F2.8 since the depth of field is too shallow. Morot racing in the main, especially if several cars are involved, needs depth of field.

I've tried the 80/400 and for sports it is worse than useless since as a consumer lens it is too slow to focus. By the time the lens has focused thecar/plane has long gone. The same problem can be found with many of the "consumer" range lenses and you are best advised to go for the professional series lenses with motors built in to the lens so it isn't just the camera trying to focus the lens. To assist you can also use the lens range limiter switch. Here is a photo I took using the 70/200 with the TC14E attached:-

There is also the Sigma version of this lens if the price is a little steep, but given your budget I'd go for the Nikkor - I swear by it

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