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Old Feb 24, 2008, 11:33 PM   #1
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My ole standard zoom lense died. I only shoot auto and plan on staying in that mode for now. I have been watching ebay (i dont do ebay much) and have been amazed at all the lenses for sale there. I can see- if I dont know what Im doing- I could end up with a non DSLR lense- and since I dont shoot manual- I could waste my precious rebate money on something I wont use.

I do afew local weddings and alot of school pics with alot of "photoshop" afterward. I have probably spent more shoots on Friday Night Band & Football than anything else in my D50 DSLR's life. There is no one where I live-smallville, texas- that isvery fimilar with DSLR/ shooting manual and many folks around here think I shootgreat*gag* pics. I know thats not the case - which tells me -they dont get out much *grins*. Anyway - to get me on the right path to freedom from auto- I need a good lense that will shoot auto and gradually allow me to work up to that dreaded "M" mode. Help me by advisingwhich (one)lense I could buy - should it be new or could it be used for my "action, nightshooting"?

Details: Zoom shooting nightsports -action is important. Spending about 400 low end up to about 700 top end.

There is so many types for sale at ebay I fear I will bid on the wrong one. Is ebay a bad place to buy from? Anyone have a good site that has reasonable prices for used lenses other than ebay? Should I go new or buy used and get a better type lense?

All assistance is appreciated. I hate bothering others but Im totally burned out - I have 100 "watched" items in ebay at this time after spending all weekend checking out lenses and I have bounced back and forth on what to get. Some of the sales doesn't mention they are DSLR lenses- so I fear I will get the wrong type, like- VR wouldn't be good for action shots.. or like these titles... withAIS, AL, AF-S, ED, DX, G, AD-D, and AFS to mention a few..Good lord.... Calgon take me away...:?

Thanks for any help ya can give me. BTW Jim... yer my hero!
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 12:54 AM   #2
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ok all weekend I was at Ebay and just now found shopping.com under "camera lenses" its given me a wealth of information on types of lenses and which is DSLR and not.... wahoooo

I'mreplying to my own help post...for others who could be like me... novice type give me a few weeks and I"ll be able to answer allmy own questions *lol*One of my problems is... "Everyone has a photographic memory. Some (like me)don't havefilm."

Have a good week..ya'll :|
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 8:59 AM   #3
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It's hard to get a lens that does everything. The Nikon 18-200 VR looks a good bet but it's fairly slow at the 200mm end. Also with a lens that covers such a wide lens you can expect some distortion at both ends.

It does cover everything from a wide angle to medium telephoto but whether it's long enough for football depends on how close you can get to the action. The VR will help with camera shake at slower shutter speeds but won't help stop subject motion.

If you post details of lenses you are considering I'm sure you'll get comments.

I think P mode is a better option than auto. I'd expect P and auto to give the same settings for shutter speed and aperture but with P mode turning the control dial lets you change the combination while maintaing the same exposure. So P and auto might both give you 1/125 @ F8 but in P mode turning the dial lets you change this to 1/250 @ F5.6 to help freeze motion or 1/60 at F11 to give more depth of field.

Ken
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 9:35 AM   #4
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For your night games, you're going to need a zoom that can maintain f/2.8 throughout it's focal range if you want more photos without blur.

Up to $700, huh? Here's an option I'd consider. It doesn't have a focus motor built in like some of the the newer Nikkor models with AF-S (Silent Wave Focusing). But, by most accounts, it's a relatively fast focusing lens anyway, with very high optical quality. Note that keh.com has a short term warranty on used gear, too (and has very conservative ratings).

Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 D in Excellent Condition with hood and caps for $599

The non-D versions can be found for less (the D lenses send information on focus distance that the camera can use for better flash exposure).

Another option would be a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM. Like the Nikkor AF-S (Silent Wave Focusing) Lenses, this has a built in Hypersonic Focus Motor (Sigma's HSM feature). The best price I see on it right this second is $699 new from http://www.sigma4less.com

Note that most of the Sigma models from sigma4less carry a one year Sigma Warranty (versus the longer 4 year extended warranty you get with the non-gray market version). You'll pay a bit more from other dealers for the version intended for sale in the U.S. with the longer warranty.

Tamron also has a new 70-200mm f/2.8 AF lens that should be shipping very soon. I expect it to come in at around $700 (Adorama.com is taking pre-orders for it now at $699).

You may not have the range you want with a 200mm lens. But, if you go to a 300mm lens (either a zoom or a prime) with f/2.8 available, you're going to be *way* over budget.

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Old Feb 25, 2008, 10:44 AM   #5
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All great advices there especially from JimC; However I would lean more toward the Sigma here than the older Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 (or Tamron) as for action shots, you 'll find the extra fast AF from the HSM (ultrasonic drive) quite useful as opposed to the other two brands without...
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 12:00 PM   #6
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Just to add a biit to Jim and NHL's advice.

First, for all modern Nikon mount lenses, there are no longer any manual aperture rings or anything like that. So it really comes down to whether the lens autofocuses or is manual focus. Again, for all the modern lenses still for sale new, they are all auto-focus. My point being - they will work the same regardless of what exposure mode (auto, P, M, etc) you set the camera to.

So no worries on that front.

I also agree the Sigma 70-200 2.8 is a great choice. HSM makes a difference in focus performance in Nikon and Canon cameras. The tamron offering is an unknown and Tamron to date has no history of producing professional quality sports lenses (and the Sigma is a pro quality lens).

But, I want to point out a few things:

1. The lens is quite possibly significantly heavier than what you are used to. That can be a bit of a surprise if you're not expecting it. Depending on your ability to hand-hold a heavier lens you may need to consider using a monopod with the setup.

2. I'm not sure how the Nikon D50 adjusts ISO whenin auto mode. But, typical exposure for HS football around me is ISO 3200 f2.8 and 1/400. The D50 has ISO 1600, that means f2.8 and 1/200. 1/200 will still leave a lot of motion blur. And, with the weight of the lens you'll likely get camera shake on top of it unless you have ver stable shooting technique or you're using a monopod. But, if the D50 doesn't allow you to use ISO 1600 in auto mode you'll have even slower shutter speeds. The alternative approach to mitigate these factors is to use an external speedlight

3. You should also be aware that 200mm is actually very short in terms of shooting sports. If you want decent quality results, you're really limited to about 25 yards of coverage from your shooting position. Even if you're on the sidelines, 25 yards is not a lot of range.

I point these things out because you're now talking about spending a good amount of money. And you have indicated you want to learn and get better. So I think it's important you understand some of the risks and challenges ahead of you BEFORE you spend your money.

The good news is there are a number of regulars in the sports forum that shoot football, soccer and rugby (all similar sports from a sports shooting standpoint) and it's a pretty helpful bunch. So, we can help you learn. But you'll need at least the Sigma 70-200 2.8 and/or external speedlight if you want any chance of success shooting the night football. The band shots are a little simpler because you can use slower shutter speeds.
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 12:59 PM   #7
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JohnG wrote:
Quote:
First, for all modern Nikon mount lenses, there are no longer any manual aperture rings or anything like that.
Actually, you'll find aperture rings on a number of current Nikkor Autofocus Lenses. Only the Nikkor lens models with a G designation do not have an Aperture Ring.

Current Nikon Lenses

But, the Aperture Ring is not needed with a newer Nikon body. It's there for backwards compatibility with older Nikon bodies.

With a Nikon DSLR, you leave it set to the highest f/stop number on the ring, and let the camera body control the aperture.

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Old Feb 25, 2008, 6:23 PM   #8
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Hi Ya'll,

Thanks for writing me you guys. I'm getting excited. Sigma sounds good f2.8 is too.

I do have a speed light. Its a SB600)

Jim -I went to your sigma4less site and its good. Has anyone bought from them? There is also a 699. price at a 47th Street Photo also. Sigma would add shipping and 47th doesn't. But Im not going to worry about that either way. The price is great for what I want.

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro APO HSM Autofocus Lens for Nikon AF-D for 699.

or

Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO HSM Autofocus Lens for Nikon Digital SLR for 769.

Is the II worth the itty bitty difference? Would taking a warranty out be worth getting?

ooohh boy .. ooohh boy... which from these two?

Yer all invited to my house for dinner... bring yer cameras too ) :|
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Old Feb 26, 2008, 1:56 PM   #9
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sigma4less.com has a much better reputation compared to 47th Street photo if you look at the store ratings at http://resellerratings.com

Neither have a spotless rating, and as I've already mentioned, that $699 price is for a gray market version of the 70-200mm f/2.8, and comes with a 1 year warranty versus the 4 year warranty you can get with this lens from authorized Sigma dealers in the U.S. But, overall, the posts from members here that have purchased lenses from sigma4less.com is positive.

If you can stretch your budget, I'd probably go with the newest II version, buying the version intended for sale in the U.S. from an Authorized Sigma dealer in the U.S., so that you get the longer warranty period.

Here's an example:

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II APO EX DG Macro Autofocus Lens for $799 at B&H

But, I doubt you'd see a big difference in quality between most of the newer versions of this lens (Sigma has released multiple versions of their 70-200mm f/2.8 with HSM, with and without the DG and Macro designations). They've also released versions of 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses without HSM in the past. But, some of the older lenses could have some compatiblity quirks. I'd stick to one of the newer versions with HSM in a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8

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Old Feb 26, 2008, 4:47 PM   #10
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The new tamron 70-200 2.8 has in internal focus motor as well, they're all really excited about it but there's no real example of how fast it is yet.

just thought i'd let you guys know
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