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Old Sep 2, 2006, 10:24 PM   #1
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Just got back from the US Open in NYC and took my Fuji S2 Pro withTamron 70-300mm Telephoto. I saw professional photographers/"papparazzi" with Nikons and Canons with HUGE lenses. I plan on getting a D200 for Christmas and wonder what would be a nice improvement over the 70-300 for next year's US Open? I don't want something double the size of the Tamron in sheer size or they might not let me in. Any advice?



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Old Sep 3, 2006, 5:07 AM   #2
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some of those "huge" lenses carry HUGE pricetags.
Companies make fast lenses for Nikon up to 1000mm.
It's all about how much you want to spend.
For me the most my budget supported recently is a Sigma 70-200 F2.8 and the 1.4x TC.
Comined with the 1.5x multiplication of an APS-C sensor and the TC gets me an equivalent of 420mm lense at F3.8 which is fine for me.

First thing is to check your budget for a super-telephoto lens as they can range into prices higher than a nice used car.
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 12:42 PM   #3
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I think it basically depends on the objective you have in mind. Do you want to view the photos on screen or print A3 size prints, because there is a world of difference between the two. An 18/200 is a shortish lens (but concealable)but with a D200 you can crop and enlarge to view on screen but not enough to make huge prints. I use the 200/400 for sports photography but that won't get past security at the Open! The 70/300 will still do when cropped with the pixel density trhe D200 gives I reckon. I am not sure if that lens will take a teleconverter but that is, if possible, the cheapest way to go.
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 8:45 PM   #4
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Forgive my lack of insight but how does an f2.8 compare with the f4-5.6 in the real world. Is it all about keeping a large enough aperture to use fast shutter speeds and lower ISOs? Is there a drawback to using a teleconverter.



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Old Sep 6, 2006, 2:17 AM   #5
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Well to startr with in the real world the f2.8 lenses are the professional range and cost a fortune so I think they would be out of your budget and anyway they are as you so rightly say huge so getting them into any event would not work. At an event like the US Open the pro's are using 300mm f2.8 or even 400mm f4 lenses which run out at $4,500 to $7,000.

The beauty of the f2.8 lenses is that you have far more control of the type of photo you take. Do you want the object in focus and the background blurred like you see in the papers? No problem. Is the light level a little low? At f2.8 you can use a much faster speed than if you have a f5.6 lens without upping the ISO level to where the photo becomes all grainy, or noisy as is said today. There are comparatively inexpensive f2.8 zoom lenses from Sigma or tamron but the wider the aperture the bigger the lens and that woul defeat your primary objective here - to get the lens into the stadium in the first place.

You didn't answer my question about printing or viewing on screen, but if the latter you 70/300 will still fit the bill if you pay attention to the speed and ISO setting and then crop. Finally, the majority of consumer lenses don't take a teleconverter but even if you can use one don't make the mistake of going for a 2X one - you'll find the focus too slow and you'll have difficulty in getting an action shot. Use a 1.4X or even a 1.7X but I prefer the former for speed and action shots.
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Old Sep 10, 2006, 11:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the explanation! I primarily view on the computer on a 19" CRT Dell. I've been talking about printing out alot of my US Open shots for years (I have thousands) but haven't taken the time to get the choicest ones on CD and take them to the store to print. I don't really have a great print setup at home(Dell Deskjet 930C). I would definitely need to crop to get the composition wanted.



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Old Sep 10, 2006, 2:01 PM   #7
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Then there should be no problem cropping to 7x5 and setting the resolution at 300dpi. Just don't expect A4 or A3 size prints at good quality. Be careful to set the parameters of your screen and I use Paint Sopp Pr X as my programme with good effect. It takes some learning but is a fantastic tool. I use a Canon 19950 (9900 in the USA) printer which can cope with 19x13 prints but you don't need to go that far. I'd choose a letter size printer which will be more than sufficient for your needs. HP, Canon, and Epson are the best manufacturers and look at the Steves Digicams reviews to decide.
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