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Old Jan 4, 2007, 2:26 PM   #1
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I have a few lens in mind the nikon 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 af-s VR, the nikon 80-200mm f2.8 D ED AF or the sigma 50-500mm 4-6.3.

At the moment I have a sigma 28-300mm 3.5-6.3, it a good enough lens but need something better. I mainly take rally and autograss photos. The 80-200mm is the usual rally lens, but are the others good enough the other nikon has VR.

Any ideas on which to chose.
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 3:36 PM   #2
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I have no experience with any of the lens you mentioned, but in general VR won't help much with moving subjects. But if you're shooting far away and always use at the 300mm end, then VR may help.

I used to have the cheap 70-300G (with my D50) that I used for shooting drifting and my main problem with it was focusing speed since it didn't have focusing motor and the D50's motor is kinda slow. Also glass quality was a problem. As far as light, it was fast enough for sunny california weather.

If I was in your position, I'd probably pick between Nikon's 80-200 and the Sigma 50-500. Since you already have a lens that goes up to 300mm, you should be looking for a shorter lens but produces great quality (80-200), or a longer lens that produces decent quality (50-500).

Good Luck!

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Old Jan 10, 2007, 3:12 PM   #3
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I would say that the 70-300mm VR is a good choice.

If you're going to shoot at 300 most of the time, the VR is going to help you alot (if you plan on shooting handheld). Also, this lenshas a fast focus, with the silent wave motor included, so can set your camera at AF-C and won't miss a shot.
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Old Jan 13, 2007, 12:11 PM   #4
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As a professional motor racing photographer I get asked this question a number of times and really it depends on how far you are going to be from the action and what camera you are planning to use for the purpose. The latter I mention since with my D2X I can crop and enlarge with not much loss of definition which is important for magazine work. I use the 70/200 with optional TC17E and TC14E converters and the 200/400 all of which are out of your price bracket. Of the lenses mentioned there is no doubt that in my mind the 80/200 is the best purely since it focuses faster and you can add the teleconverters if you wish. I have tried the non professional lenses such as the 80/400 and quite frankly the focusing is so slow that I missed the action. I assume that it would be much the same with the 70/300 too since neither is aSilent Wave lens.

I do have an old 80/200 which was my mainstay for over 10 years in the old film days though and it produced nothing but great images, sharp and clear. Don't forget either that here you have a lens with F2.8 aperture and as such you can create great images with, for example, the car in front and the one behind blurred and the car in question in the middle in focus. The photo here gives an idea and was taken with the 70/200 and the TC14E but the same can apply using the 80/200 as well. Note how the foreground and background are blurred but the centre sharp, all done to create an effect.

I have met one person using a Sigma 50/500 but I tried it on her camera and wasn't impressed with the speed of focus, and speed of focus is everything in action sport. I'd go with the 80/200 without any question of doubt or else save and buy the 70/200 which is my mainstay lens. The 200/400 is great but h-e-a-v-y after a days shooting!
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Old Jan 13, 2007, 2:11 PM   #5
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Thanks the advice. I was looking at the sigma 70-200mm f2.8 aswell. Its has HSM so would seem better than the nikon 80-200 because of the focusing. The nikon 70-300 vr has swm. But i guess by put on the teleconverter you get an f4 lens 280mm. But how does this affect the quailty. I would need them for drifting as 300 isn't long enough sometimes.

I have attached 2 photos, the first is of autograss. Fast focusing would help unexpected things can happen. I took 6 photos of it in the air and 2 came out perfectly in focus. The other is of drifting, it is a 1/13 sec shutter. How much would VR help.




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Old Jan 13, 2007, 2:20 PM   #6
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Here is the drifting photo.
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Old Jan 13, 2007, 2:23 PM   #7
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VR helps minimize camera shake, specially when shooting at 300 and handheld. It's not going to freeze the action, for that you'll need to step up your shutter speed.
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Old Jan 13, 2007, 2:32 PM   #8
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I have used OIS on a canon 30d but, I thought it would make much difference when the camera is actually panning etc. Have you used it panning. The photo of the drifitng is at 1/13 at 150mm. Could 1/8 be taken or is it how much would it help it.
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Old Jan 13, 2007, 2:47 PM   #9
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Don't know about Canon gear, but with my Nikon, what Iuse is a fast focus lens, like the 105 VR (this one's good) or the 70-300 VR. I turn on the AF-C mode, which is Continuous AutoFocus, and use the KwikAim sightto follow a fast moving subject, like a bird in flight or a car passing by. The shutterspeed willdepend on the effect you want, fast shutter will freeze the action, slower will show movement.
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 6:29 PM   #10
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I would also consider the Sigma 100-300mm f4if you want a bit longer range, as it is incredibly sharp and will happily mate with a 1.4x telecon. If you want the best of both worlds then the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 but this is going to pump the price up quite a bit. I generally use the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 as for the events I have done I get in as press so have quite good access hence not needing the range but have a 1.4x telecon to hand if I do.
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