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Old Jan 30, 2007, 8:36 AM   #1
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Would anybody like to advise me as to what Nikon DSLR to buy if I am looking mainly to use it to take photos of my daughter playing indoor volleyball? Of course I would also need advise on what lens would be best for that type of shot. thanks!
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 9:42 AM   #2
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Amy-

Can you give us an idea of how much you have budgeted for your Nikon DSLR camera? It could be done with the D-50 or D-80 body, but due to the low light level in the playing area, you will most probably need a rather fast lens like the Nikkor 85mm F 1.8 lens.

Tell us a bit more about the playing area and how much light is available? Thanks for your help.

MT/Sarah
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 9:47 AM   #3
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Hi Amy,

The Nikon D80 seems like a very nice camera. For your daughter's indoor volleyball, you'll need a "fast" lens (meaning a maximum aperture of F2.8 or lower...lower is better but more expensive). If you can stand by the court, you can get a 50mm f/1.7 or similar (don't know Nikon lenses exactly, but everybody sells a nice 50mm f1.x lens these days). If you have to take picture from a longer distance, then you're looking at spending a good chunk of money on a faster zoom lens.

This topic has been covered extensively here. I'd suggest searching the forum for "indoor spoorts" and also search for posts by "JohnG". He gives excellent advice for shooting indoor sports. My only caveat about John's advice is that he has high standards (see any of his pictures) so he'll tell you how to do it right. That means, more often than not, expensive. If you don't want magazine-quality shots, you may be able to get by with a little shorter lens, or an older manual focus lens, or a little slower lens. These lensesmay make your shots a little less sharp, or have a little motion blur, or a little camera noise (due to trying to shoot at very high ISO levels).

(JohnG - please don't take offense. Your advice is dead-on accurate. I just wanted to offer an alternate - though possibly lower quality - suggestion.)

If you want to save a little on the camera body, I'd suggest the D50. It takes great low light shots, and you should be able to get a good deal on one. I would not recommend the D40 since Nikon "crippled" it to only use digital lenses. That limits your lens choices greatly.

I use a Pentax K100D and it can use any Pentax ever lens made. I took this shot the other night using an older manual focus 135mm f/2.8lens (worth about $50 on ebay). I was about 50 feet away from the stage. Obviously George Benson and his band members weren't moving as fast as volleyball players, but the light was MUCH lower. I post this only to show that it CAN be done with inexpensive equipment. The Pentax K100D sells for about the same price as the D50, much less than the D80.



Good luck in your search!

Russ

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Old Jan 30, 2007, 9:57 AM   #4
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Well, that is always a very good question...I am not very good at setting a budget, however I think I would have to stay under 1000.00 for both camera and lens.

It is indoors, but the lighting has not been real bad. I am sorry, I am not a good judge of these things as I am really very inexperienced at photography.

I have heard a lot of people say that the 85mm 1.8 lens would be the best choice for indoor volleyball action photos....about how much will that cost me?

As far as the camera goes, I really don't have to buy a Nikon, I would go with a Canon....jsut don't really know which would be better for my situation.

Other than indoor VB, I take portrait type shots of my kids and on occasion take outdoor photos of them in the pool or playing.

I think ifeither aCanon or Nikon DSLR would work for my needs, i would like to go with whichever would be the easiest to use for a very ameteur photographer....just a proud mom, really.



Thanks for your help!

Amy


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Old Jan 30, 2007, 10:07 AM   #5
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Thanks Russ. I appreciate your trying to save me a little cash!! Actually, I don't need magazine quality photos...jsut don't want any more of the blurry ones I have been getting using just my digital point and shoot.

I can ususally get right down on the floor very near the court. So, then would I actually need the 85mm 1.8 lens?

I guess it would depend on how much it would cost me... IF I were to have to be farther off the court and I boughtthe 85mmlens, would I still get decent pictures?

I know there are many factors that have to be considered, but all in all, I am in a gym, usuallyfairly decent lighting, albeitunnatural. I can get down on the floor in almost all cases.

Thanks!

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Old Jan 30, 2007, 10:23 AM   #6
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amy blaze wrote:
Quote:
Thanks Russ. I appreciate your trying to save me a little cash!! Actually, I don't need magazine quality photos...jsut don't want any more of the blurry ones I have been getting using just my digital point and shoot.

I can ususally get right down on the floor very near the court. So, then would I actually need the 85mm 1.8 lens?

I guess it would depend on how much it would cost me... IF I were to have to be farther off the court and I boughtthe 85mmlens, would I still get decent pictures?

I know there are many factors that have to be considered, but all in all, I am in a gym, usuallyfairly decent lighting, albeitunnatural. I can get down on the floor in almost all cases.

Thanks!

The 85 f/1.8 lens should work very well for you. I don't have that focal length (I have a 50 and the 135 that I used above), but that should give you good "reach" if you're near the floor. A fast aperture is always better (and nearly always more expensive) since you don't have to use it, but if you need it, it's great to have! If you can use the 50mm lens, you'll save money. Looks like the Nikon 50mm f1.8 is just over $100, while the Nikon 85mm f1.8 is over $350. I'd suggest going to the store and actually looking through both lenses to see if you need the extra reach of the 85mm. I have the Pentax 50mm f/1.4 and it's a great lens. In fact, all the current 50mm lenses are very nice, and not that expensive.

If you're not dead set on Nikon, I'd also consider Pentax. I've been very happy with mine and they are a great value. Then, you could use that $50 135mm lens I used above. Of course, you'd have to manually focus it, so you may not want that hassle.

Hard to go wrong with any of the dSLRs in my opinion.

Russ
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Old Jan 30, 2007, 10:29 AM   #7
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Russ - no offense taken :G

the benefit to this situation is that for Amy's purpose the 85mm happens to be the right choice - also less expensive than insufficient 2.8 zoom lenses.

Amy, I replied to your message, but for others that may be interested:

I think the Canon 400d or Nikon D80 should be the top cameras to look at. If you need to save a little money, the D50 is probably the 3rd choice. Why not the 350d? Because, one of the huge improvements in the 400d was it inheriting the 9-point autofocus system of the 30d. A significant advantage for a sports shooter and worth the extra money IMO.

The reason I recommend sticking with canon or nikon is they control about 99% of the pro sports shooting market. the R&D money they spend on those pros trickles down to their other cameras as well. So, on future bodies and lenses, these 2 companies have a higher probability of continuing to spend R&D dollars on camera features and lenses important to the sports shooter (and they have an army of pro sports shooters using their prodcuts to get quality feedback from). The pentax cameras are great but pentax isn't a real player in the sports shooter market at the moment. So while great cameras for just about every other purchase, probably not as good of a system to buy into as the canon or nikon systems.

I took a look at B&H website (highly recommend purchasing camera gear there). The Canon 400D with 17-55 kit lens is $775. The Canon 85mm 1.8 is $340. So about $1150 with shipping.

Nikon D80 with kit lens is $1100 so that blows your budget right there without the 85mm lens.

Nikon D50 with 28-80 kit lens is $500. The Nikon 85mm 1.8d is $400. So $900 total.

As far as comparing the cameras go, the cameras fall right in line with the price points - the Nikon D80 is the best, followed by the Canon 400d followed by the Nikon D50.

I would suggest going to your local store and handling the cameras then make your decision.
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