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Old May 6, 2009, 9:35 AM   #1
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Hello everyone,

I recently purchased a Nikon D60 with a Nikkor AF-S 18 - 105 lens, and I am absolutly having a blast with the camera, I am getting shots I never would have gotten with my Point N Shoot. Now I am thinking of adding a second lens to complement the 18-105. My main subject would be my 2 kids. They don't play sports so a sports specific lense is not required. What I am looking for is a telephoto lense that I can shoot hand held in a dark gym of the kids performing plays ect.. up on stage. I believe that the avg high school gym is 84ft long and I generally sit at mid court. So the requirements are

a) being able to capture hand held and sharp images from 40 to 60 ft from subject without using a flash.

b) would like to take pictures of the whole stage andclose ups of thesubject from mid chest from 40 - 60 ft away

c) it must be able to auto focus, in case I can't attend school functions, becase my wife is only interested in using the camera as a point and shoot, were as I have no problem using manule focus, she apparently does and we share this camera.

I'm myself not brand specific so any and all recommendations are welcome.



Thanks



Steve
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Old May 6, 2009, 10:29 AM   #2
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Steve71 wrote:
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a) being able to capture hand held and sharp images from 40 to 60 ft from subject without using a flash.

b) would like to take pictures of the whole stage andclose ups of thesubject from mid chest from 40 - 60 ft away

c) it must be able to auto focus, in case I can't attend school functions, becase my wife is only interested in using the camera as a point and shoot, were as I have no problem using manule focus, she apparently does and we share this camera.
Steve - you've got a tall order here. Mid-chest from 60 feet away would require 300-400mm lens. Getting shutter speeds fast enough to minimize motion blur at ISO 1600 would require an f4 lens. And you want to hand-hold. Hand holding a 300-400mm f4 lens means you'll need anti-shake given the shutter speeds you'll likely have. The reality is - you're going to have to alter your expectations a bit.

A Sigma 100-300 f4 might give you the reach and shutter speeds you want - but shutter speeds will still be a bit slow and it doesn't have anti-shake. So you would need to use a monopod with the lens.

Now - a 70-200 lens will be lighter and will work at the 40-60 range but you're not going to get as tight a shot as you want at 60 feet away (at 60 feet you can expect your child to fill maybe 2/3 - 3/4 of the frame). But now you could look at the Tamron 70-200 2.8. A very sharp lens. Not fast enough focusing for sports work but this is a play so you're not tracking running kids here - focus should be fast enough. However, a 70-200 2.8 lens is not light. Your wife may have issues with such a heavy lens since she's not used to it's size / weight. Unfortunately there is no 70-200 f4 lens for Nikon mount that I am aware of.

I think the Tamron is the best for the job because with only ISO 1600, having 2.8 lens will get you shutter speeds you'll need. But you may have to plan on using a monopod. Which, isn't as problematic as you might think - even sitting down you can use a monopod - and the pod is not as intrusive as the lens itself. EVen if you stepped up to the Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR - the weight of the lens would still likely be an issue for your wife. The anti-shake would be great but weight is still an issue.

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Old May 6, 2009, 11:51 PM   #3
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Hi John
Thanks for the quick reply. I was thinking I was going to need a 2.8 lense or faster. Is this the Tamron your talking abaout http://www.vistek.ca/store/CameraLen...for-nikon.aspx if so. that is 1329.00 dollar lense before taxes or 1501.77 all in Canadian. I believe this is the same lense from B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_8_Di_LD.html for 679.00 USD. If you factor in $1.35 for every us dollor I would still come out way ahead if I bought the lense in the states. Wow Americans are lucky with regards to pricing on electonics.

Thanks again John I will check this lense out in greater detail.

Steve
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Old May 7, 2009, 3:00 PM   #4
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What about the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 (around $1000)? From my research (I'm considering the lens), I've found most people report it to AF slightly faster than the Tamron. Also, there's the Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 but since you want to also be able to do the wide angle shot of the whole stage, you may need the 70-80mm range depending on your distance.

If you don't need the 70-100mm focal lengths, another thought is that the Sigma 100-300mm F4 (around $2000) might be a reasonable alternative, though as was previously mentioned, without anti-shake of some kind, you'd probably need it on a tripod considering the low shutter rates you'd likely require.

Lastly, if money is no object, and you're ok on a tripod, Sigma makes a 120-300 f2.8 (around $4000 i believe), but the extra stop would allow you to either shoot at a lower ISO or higher shutter speed, both leaving you with a clearer picture.

... After typing this... I realized that I should point out that these lenses may not be compatible with the D60, I can't remember which Sigmas are and which are not.

... And as an aside, what about getting a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 prime, putting the camera on a tripod in the aisle, focusing once on the entire stage, and firing the camera with a wired remote? (Does the D60 have a port for a cable remote?). If you get a good shot of your child, crop them out of the high resolution image later.
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Old May 7, 2009, 3:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
Hi John
that is 1329.00 dollar lense before taxes or 1501.77 all in Canadian.
Steve, here it is listed at Henry's for $1260:
http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/sto...&itemID=241101

And, like any major retailer, they do have the flexibility to move on the price. I would expect that they'd part with it for about 1100 CAD + Taxes. (They dropped the price by about 10% on my last lens purchase)


Edit: I'll point out that you'll be hit for 5% GST, you'll likely be hit for a duty charge (about 10% i think), and you may also be hit for brokerage charges while clearing customs (this number can be upwards of 100 dollars).
680 + exchange + the banks conversion cost = ~850 CAD + ~45 (5% GST) = ~900 (best case scenario)
900 + 100 (worst case brokerage fees) + 80 (worst case duty charges) = 1080 (worst case scenario)

Also consider the fact that you don't have a local person to talk to should you have problems with the lens (and you won't be able to try it out first - I like testing the actual lens I'm buying before I pay for it, just in case)

Last edited by conor; May 7, 2009 at 3:11 PM.
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Old May 7, 2009, 3:11 PM   #6
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What about the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 (around $1000)? From my research (I'm considering the lens), I've found most people report it to AF slightly faster than the Tamron.
Yes, the sigma has better focus (not just a little faster, a lot) - but the OP has a fairly simple focus situation - they're not doing sports or wildlife here just plays. The Tamron is less expensive and has better IQ than the Sigma so I think it makes slightly more sense. However, I forgot about the motor thing - I don't know if the Tamron has a focus motor or not so that may be the killer right there. That would have to be part of the research. If it doesn't have a focus motor than it's out of contention and the Sigma is the best third party candidate.

The 120-300 2.8 is a great lens - I use one on my Canon. But I think the price and size is a bit overkill.

Quote:
... And as an aside, what about getting a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 prime, putting the camera on a tripod in the aisle, focusing once on the entire stage, and firing the camera with a wired remote? (Does the D60 have a port for a cable remote?). If you get a good shot of your child, crop them out of the high resolution image later.
In practice this doesn't work well at all. At the distances involved there won't be enough detail to crop down. You need to be within 15 feet if you want to use a 50mm and get sharp results of a single individual.
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Old May 7, 2009, 3:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
In practice this doesn't work well at all. At the distances involved there won't be enough detail to crop down. You need to be within 15 feet if you want to use a 50mm and get sharp results of a single individual.
My thought was to place the tripod close to the stage and run the trigger wire back to where OP was seated.

Edit:
But I see your point, at f1.8 if you're just generally focusing on the stage, almost everything would always be out of focus - OP would have to be sitting with the camera to point it at the intended target.

Last edited by conor; May 7, 2009 at 3:25 PM.
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Old May 7, 2009, 3:19 PM   #8
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Another brainstorm:

Sigma 150mm f2.8 EX DG HSM is worth around $750.
He may have to plan his seating position a bit as it's a prime, but its fast, fairly long focal length and much less expensive than the other lenses we're suggesting.

Edit:
According to my math, a 150mm prime on a D60 at 50 feet will yield a frame that is 3' by 4'4", and at f2.8, a depth of field of 3'9"
Compare against Sigma's 105mm f2.8 prime which would yield a frame that is 6'1" by 4'4", and at f2.8, a depth of field of 7'9"

Edit:
Henry's lists this lens for $990 CAD, once again, I'd expect to get it for $1000 taxes in.
http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/sto...&itemID=141151

Edit:
Sorry about the mad-Sigma-pushing, it just so happens that I have the lens catalog sitting on my desk

Last edited by conor; May 7, 2009 at 3:38 PM.
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Old May 8, 2009, 12:57 AM   #9
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Thanks Conor for the reccomendations. I will check them all out. I have boughten all my gear at Henery's but I don't buy enough that they would recognize me or no my name. But it doesn't hurt to haggle.I am in no rush to buy the lense as I like to do alot of reasearch before I buy. That being said I am fortunate enough to have parents who are snowbirds, they own a condo in Pompano Beach Florida, so I am thinking I could always have the lense shipped to my parents and either have them bring it back or wait until I go down for a visit or have them mail it as a gift from there place.

Thanks

Steve
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Old May 8, 2009, 1:07 AM   #10
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I know i ordered the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 today. Henry's lists at 1199.99, without knowing who i was, i placed the order over the phone and asked if they could do any better. They knocked 70 bucks off the price based on that question alone. I image that if I had gone there in person, I could have done slightly better.
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