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Old Jan 24, 2010, 8:30 PM   #1
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Default Good lens for shooting softball

Hello all! I have been reading more than posting. I have learned a lot since I have lurking. I want to thank all you guy's for running a top notch forum. I like that there isn't ANY bashing of people equipment and examples. There is no lack of encouragement or inspiration here. Every time I visit, I want to go shoot something.

So, a little background of my equipment. I have a Nikon D3000 with (2) AF-S VR lens kit. First one is a 18mm-55mm VR, and the other is a 55mm-200mm VR. I have a monopod and tripod. It's not the best equipment in the world, however I didn't want to get tied up with a lot of expensive equipment and me just not like photography. So far I am loving it and learning a lot.

So, back to what the title indicates. I have a Niece that play's travel softball and I would like to know the lenses I currently have will be sufficient to shoot these games? I am open to suggestions if there is a better lens and a little budget friendly to, I might add. I will shoot mostly from 1st and 3rd base line. I have a step stool / ladder that I will carry to put me up over the fence.

Sorry for being long winded, I tend to get excited. Lol. Thank you for your help in advance.
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 8:40 AM   #2
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The problem you're likely to run into is field restrictions. I.E. it's a travel team so you likely won't be able to shoot from on the field or in the dugout. If you will be, please correct me as that changes things.

If you're forced to shoot from off the field you're going to find 200mm a bit short. You'd be able to get some shots but shots across the infield would be a definite challenge. If you were going to buy a new lens what is your budget?

Also - don't worry about the tripod or monopod - you won't want to use them for shooting softball with the lens you have. You would never use a tripod and monopod is only necessary for heavier lenses.
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 9:05 AM   #3
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Hello John, thanks for the reply.

I may could get some dugout shots for some of the games. I do help the team out in most cases, however I am not an assistant or Coach. These shots will not be regular, so let's not even consider that option.

I would like to stay under $500 for a new lens. Of course, cheaper the better, however, I do know you pay for quality.

I seen in another post about a Sigma 100-300 F/4, however I did see that had nice price tag as well.

I do find in everyday that the 55mm-200mm is rather short. I may try to sell that lens to fund my softball lens.

Again, thanks for your help.

Thanks,

Matt
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 7:11 AM   #4
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I have been doing some research on some budget lenses. Does anyone have any experience with the 70mm-300mm f/4-5.6 Tamron or Sigma?

Seems the perfect lens for my needs would be the Sigma 100mm-300mm f/4, however that comes with a hefty price.
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 7:49 AM   #5
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The Tamron is the sharper of the two. But neither lens is particularly fast to focus. None of the Tamron lenses are fast to focus when compared to lenses with fast focusing motors (like sigma's HSM). That's the trade-off.

Nikon has a newer 70-300 AF-S VR lens you might want to look into. The older 70-300 wasn't very good. The newer version should be faster to focus. The question is whether they improved the optics or not (the optics on the old version weren't that great).
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 9:30 AM   #6
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John,

Thanks for the quick reply.

I will do some research on the Nikon as well. The season starts to ramp up in March. So I have a little time to save and do some research.

Maybe if the Uncle Sam is good to me I may have enough coin to get the Sigma 100mm-300mm f/4 HSM. I would hate to go though 2 or 3 budget lenses and still have to purchace something like the Sigma f/4. I have found with a lot of things to get the right tool for the job the first time around.

Thanks,

Matt
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 10:34 AM   #7
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Matt,

If you can when researching, try to find some actual sports photos from the lenses. Sports shooting is tough on gear. A lens that does well for general use doesn't always perform well in the sports shooting world. There are a LOT of Nikon sports photographers out there. So hopefully you can find some images - maybe not of softball but any outdoor sport should give you an idea.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 6:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhussey View Post
Maybe if the Uncle Sam is good to me I may have enough coin to get the Sigma 100mm-300mm f/4 HSM. I would hate to go though 2 or 3 budget lenses and still have to purchace something like the Sigma f/4. I have found with a lot of things to get the right tool for the job the first time around.
IMO the right thinking (you get what you pay for):
According to theses test reports the 70-300 AF-S VR trails the Sigma:
http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikko...report?start=1
http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikko...-nikon?start=1

Plus the Nikkor is f/5.6 vs f/4, a stop slower if you run into low-light which btw VR won't help!
You're really getting two lenses in the Sigma 100-300 f/4 as with a 1.4xTC it still outperforms the 70-300 AF-S VR in shapness without a TC according to the above charts... and at 420mm you also getting a longer lens which even beats the 80-400 VR in resolution @ 400mm:
http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikko...report?start=1

Last edited by NHL; Jan 27, 2010 at 6:39 PM.
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