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Old Sep 2, 2010, 6:50 AM   #1
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Default Lens Help Please

I have a Nikon D5000. I currently have a 55-200 f4-5.6 kit lens. I am looking to upgrade so I can get better pictures of my kids playing football, baseball and basketball.

I am thinking of the Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG IF HSM APO Fast Aperture Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Camera. http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-100-300m.../dp/B000A7B9T4

Or the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S NIKKOR Lens For Nikon Digital SLR Camera. http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-70-200mm...dp_ob_title_ce

Any suggestions about which of these lenses would be better or a different lens suggestion? The Nikon is a lot more money and shorter. However, I plan on shooting without a tripod. Would the sigma be blurry If I shoot by hand since it lacks the VR that the Nikon has? I would really appreciate some info since this is a big expense for me.

Thanks again,

Wolves
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 7:35 AM   #2
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If the basketball is indoors you must have 2.8 (at ISO 3200-6400) or faster. So, for that purpose the 70-200 2.8 is best bet given your camera.

Now, the problem with that lens comes outside. For football, as you know, you can use a 200mm lens but you must be very patient and must position yourself correctly.

The real problem will be baseball. If he's still playing on a smaller field you're OK until he moves up to a full size diamond. Then 200mm is just too short. You need 300mm and preferably 400mm to shoot baseball effectively on a full size diamond - IF you're shooting from on the field / dugout.

The sigma 100-300 is better for the outdoor stuff but not capable of shooting basketball well at all.

You could go for the sigma 70-200 2.8 (non OS version) - sells for $800 in Nikon mount. QC with sigma in the last couple years is a bit more iffy than it used to be it seems. But if you buy from a store with a good return policy (like B&H) you shouldn't be concerned. It's not as sharp as the VRII but it's less than half the price. For any of these lenses, IS/VR isn't much of an issue for the sports work. You're shooting at shutter speeds of 1/400 and higher - camera shake should not be a problem.

This is the sad fact about sports - there is no single lens that does everything.
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 7:39 AM   #3
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Go with what John said. The advantage of the Nikon lens over the sigma is how sharp it is at 200mm so you can add a 1.4x TC giving more reach when outdoors.
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 12:30 PM   #4
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Sorry for what might seem a silly question but what do you mean add 1.4x TC? Is there any disadvantages to adding this, loss of sharpness, etc. and what 1.4 TC do you suggest?

Thanks!!
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 12:39 PM   #5
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A TC adds more glass which degrades image quality - and loses you a stop of aperture (for 1.4, 2 stops for 2.0). You'll also see a degradation in AF performance in lower light (which, IMO, is tied to the loss of sharpness).
Sharp lenses can be used with a 1.4 without issue. I've also had some strange occurances I can't explain - my sigma 120-300 2.8 is a sharp lens. When I used a 20d body I used a 1.4x sigma TC and it worked well. On my 1dmkIII the photos I take with the 1.4 attached are noticably worse. I gave up using it.
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 1:26 PM   #6
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Do you think this lens might be able to get me closer to what I am wanting to do or will the 120 have me too close at basketball? Or is the Nikon still the sharper lens? I'd like to say money isn't an option. LOL! but it is. So, this lens is a little cheaper than buying 2 separate, but if the Nikon is the better lens, I would rather get it and save up for a better 100-300 or 200-400 lens to get what I need for football and baseball.

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG IF HSM APO Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras. http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/120-3...-apo-hsm-sigma

Thanks again for all of your help. I am so happy with all of the nice people on this site!!
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 2:03 PM   #7
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The 120-300 2.8 is a great lens - Mark and I both use it. It's monstrously pricey though (it was $1900 when I bought it about 5 years ago - it's gone up quite a bit).

120mm is way too long for basketball though. It's good if you were shooting from high up - something that's nice for volleyball. But no I wouldn't recommend it for basketball. For that I still use my 70-200 2.8. Of course you could buy the sigma 100-300 f4 AND 70-200 2.8 for $1800 and cover both pretty well.
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 2:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
For that I still use my 70-200 2.8. Of course you could buy the sigma 100-300 f4 AND 70-200 2.8 for $1800 and cover both pretty well.
One other good thing of the 100-300mm f4 is it is very sharp, better than the 120-300mm f2.8 that we use, however at the loss of one stop. The 100-300 takes a 1.4x TC very well so you can have a 140-420mm f5.6 which could be helpful too. I use my 120-300mm f2.8 with a 1.4x with no issues and for birds/RC aircraft a 2x works fine as well if I stop down to f7.1 or f8.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 2:29 PM   #9
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Ok. I am thinking of taking your advice and getting the 100-300f4 and the 70-200 f2.8 for around $1800. I would really like the Nikon 70-200 2.8 but its a little pricey for me.

Now hopefully just a couple more questions: Will these 2 lenses get me good printable photos with my D5000? (noticeably better than my kit lenses) or should I just save up for the higher dollar Nikon lenses? I just want to mabye be able to get some wall hangers of my kids. Will I be able to do that with this setup?

Also, will the 1.4 TC work well with the 100-300f4 lens for baseball?

And when you say the lens is (non- OS) what does that mean?

Thanks again!!
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 5:34 PM   #10
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The lenses will be MUCH better than what you currently have. Now, with regards to sports - you still have to work on technique. And, the focus system in your camera body isn't the greatest on the market - it's good but not great. So that will eventually be a limiting factor. Without doubt the sigma lenses will do their part.

Yes, a 1.4x TC will work on the 100-300 for baseball.

OS stands for Optical Stabilization - it is sigma's anti-shake technology. They have recently released a 70-200 2.8 OS which sells for a ludicrous $1700. For that kind of money the Nikon would be better. But I can say from experience the sigma 70-200 2.8 is more than capable of what you want to do. And, as Mark mentioned - the 100-300 is sharper than the 120-300 2.8 that he and I use.
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