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kimbo12371 May 5, 2005 2:28 PM

I'm fixing to order one but I need to know which one to get.. I will be taking shots of low light dance recital and low light baseball games... need a fast focus lens that will get me some good shots.. I figure I will have to do some cropping since I cant zoom with this lens..

I just cant deside if the 1.8 is worth and extra 200 dollars..


cameranserai May 5, 2005 5:00 PM

Baseball? With a 50mm? You really MUST be joking! What you need is a 300mm F4 at least, and as regards the cropping with a 50mm - forget it. You will be so far from the action that cropping will still leave you with a mush of pixels, no more. I grew up with Nikon lenses, and for me the F1.4 is the lens for indoor candlelit photos, not for sports. The 1.8 also is a useful lens, but neither is for the purposes you mention. Get real and get the 70/200 VRIFED F2.8 and perhaps a TC14 E and spend some money properly, or else you will be wasting your time and money together. You can go for the Sigma equivalents if you choose, but - start thinking photography!

kimbo12371 May 5, 2005 7:33 PM

yeah ok whatever.. If I wanted to or could spend 5000 on a lens then I probobly would not be on here asking for help.. I have read over and over again that both the 1.4 and the 1.8 are good lenses for the money in low light situations.. Maybe you didnt mean to sound mean and rude but you did..

cameranserai May 6, 2005 2:02 AM

My point wasn't rude, it was common sense. There is no point buying a lens if it patently isn't up to the job. That way it is money wasted, serving no purpose whatsoever. A 50mm lens is roughly the equivalent of what the naked eye sees, so translate all that to a small screen and anything will be a speck in the distance, so no matter what cropping you do you won't get a photo. Rather you think me impolite than that you end up spending money with no end result though. Anyway, if you push to ISO 1600 and use a cheaper zoom like the 75/300 which s on sale for about $130 you might get some results. Whatever, that would be a better option than the 50mm.

kimbo12371 May 6, 2005 1:35 PM

ok Cameranserai Let me ask you this.. I have two lenses now I have the Nikon AF-S 18-70 mm 3.5-4.5 G And I have A Nikon AF 70-300 4-5.6G...Should I try the 300 zoom lens and take my shots in Apeture mode and set it at a f stop of 4? I'm just afraid that the shutter speed would then be to long and I would get blurry pictures..

I am going to sit as close to the stage as I can get and I have 4 differant shows to try to get the right pictures.

As for baseball the only way I can even get a picture instead of a black shoot is to raise my ISO to at least 1250.. But then I get a blurry picture because of the action. The games are at night under the lights.. I have used both lenses at the games and my shorter lens seems to take better shots not so blurry.. I'm sure some of the blurr is Camera shake when I'm zoomed in to 300 MM .. I'm going to take my tri-pod with me to the next game and see if that helps...

thanks Kim

cameranserai May 6, 2005 4:32 PM

We find ourselves confronted with the age old problem of not enough glass and how to make the best of a bad job. Using the zoom lens, which at the price is the one I would have recommended anyway, try taking some shots at ISO1600 and 1250, but using aperture mode to keep the lens as wide open as possible. See what shutter speed it is giving you. If it is less than 1/60th then any action shot will be naturally blurred, but baseball is a sport with it's quiet moments where you can still take good shots especially in well lit areas. Incidentally at 300mm you'll be restricted to F5.6 anyway. The danse recital is another thing entirely, and because it is normally not that well lit unless you can use flash and have at least the SB600 then I am afraid you are not going to be in a very good position here.

All I can suggest is that you do some trial and error indoors with the family for the dance recitial and approximate the light for a trial and error session for the baseball. At the end of it all I am afraid that this subject has been oft discussed here, and there is no substitute for big glass. I have recently bought the 200/400 F4 Nikkor for just this reason, although it nearly bankrupted me. But for professional motor racing photography, and golf too, good glass is all important to get the car/player in full focus with the background blurred. Getting a quart out of a pint pot has always been difficult! best of luck.

marokero May 8, 2005 7:28 PM

The 70-300 won't work in 300mm at f/4, only f/5.6. What you could do is try to find the max shutter speed that would yield a decent steady shot, given the maximum aperture you can use and the max ISO you think is necessary. Then use the camera in those settings, bracing your camera either with a tripod, monopod, or a bean bag. That way you eliminate the issue of blurriness due to camera shake, and you have consistency from shot to shot. Then if you move to a different location, with perhaps different lighting, adjust your camera settings accordingly. If you just can't get the shots any brighter with the available mix of aperture, shutter speed and ISO, keep those shots and later when you get home do some darkroom adjustments. Like pushing film a stop (deliberately shoot at ISO 400, for example, getting an under exposed shot, then bring that shot into Photoshop or any imaging program that has similar capabilities, and either combine a duplicate layer using a "screen" setting, or adjust levels by moving the highlight slider to the the right tip of the histogram (which in an under exposed shot is always mid way or mushed to the left side). You have just pushed the image a certain ammount of stops and have a brighter image, albeit with more noise than before. Usually doing it this way can yield less noise than pushing the ISO in-camera, but your results may vary according to the degree of under exposure.

marokero May 8, 2005 7:32 PM

Another option would be a used 85 f/1.8 lens. A new one goes for around $300-350, so a used one can be had for less than that - has it for $245, about what you'd pay for the 50 f/1.4.

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