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 Post subject: Equipment advice
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:21 am 
Hi everyone,

I'm a keen motorsport photographer, albeit a newish one. Having to buy the camera meant that at the time I didn't have much cash left over for lenses, although I've got a bit more cash available now and was considering improving on my "budget" gear. However, I don't know what would make the most difference.

Here is my current gear.
    Nikon D40
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX
    55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR
    70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF (manual focus only with D40)

I can't make my mind up what I should be going for. Should I go for a prime fixed focal length or a decent zoom, or a zoom with a teleconverter, etc. etc.

I hear the ED glass is very nice. In some ways I wish there were fewer choices so that it would make the decision easier. So really, I'm looking for any suggestions that anyone might have. I've got a monopod so stabilising isn't essential but would be nice. Also would like the lens to have a SWM motor so that I can use the autofocus.

Would appreciate any advice or words of wisdom.

Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:00 am 
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You could sell the 55-200 and the 70-300 and buy a 70-200 f/2.8 VR.

70-200 is a good lens for anything.

After buying the 70-200, maybe something like a 300 f/2.8 or a 400mm f/4 or f/5.6 fixed would be good.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:33 pm 
DD_nVidia wrote:
You could sell the 55-200 and the 70-300 and buy a 70-200 f/2.8 VR.


that would be a TOTAL waste of money if he already has the 55-200 VR
dont you think so?
dont think the few f stops are important... but that's just me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:20 pm 
the F stops are very important in automotive sports.

the longer you zoom the more light your camera requires.

the higher the fstop the more vivid a photog can produce especially in a lower light.

if you've got the means then go for it, because it's only bright for about 12 hours a day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:41 am 
well even if his lenses still have the same focal length that doesnt mean that there great.. the 55-200 and the 70-300 cant even compete with the build quality, speed, and quick AF of the 70-200 2.8.. you cant always just think of the length of the lens.. especially for sports where you need VERY quick AF the 70-200 2.8 will be PERFECT for that.. good suggestion daniel. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:20 am 
First of all, thanks very much for all the replies. I really appreciate it.

Secondly, the 70-200 f/2.8 looks like a lovely lens. The only problem I have is that it is very pricey - I've looked around and it seems to be going for £1200! I would have considered the old 80-200 f/2.8 had it not been for it being an AF-D lens, which means the AF is incompatible with the D40.

I was thinking, another option might be the Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. It would be an upgrade to my current 70-300 which was in all honesty, a cheap way to get the extra length. The autofocus and ED glass would be nice - need to find out about the AF though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:45 am 
From my limited experience you can get away with the 70-300mm VR on a D40 with motorsport if it is a nice sunny day. It might not be ideal but you can do it no worries.

When my experience and budget allows my ultimate motorsport combo is going to be the D300 with a 70-200 VR and if needed a 1.4x TC II. Just have to get my wife to approve of the idea. :lol:

Also with this heavy and quality pro lense 70-200mm VR I would definately think about a monopod as essential otherwise your day at the races might feel like a day at the gym pumping weights. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:26 am 
Konovalov wrote:
From my limited experience you can get away with the 70-300mm VR on a D40 with motorsport if it is a nice sunny day. It might not be ideal but you can do it no worries.


Yup, found that those f stops are good for sunny days, but when it's dark and cloudy I find myself struggling.

Konovalov wrote:
When my experience and budget allows my ultimate motorsport combo is going to be the D300 with a 70-200 VR and if needed a 1.4x TC II. Just have to get my wife to approve of the idea. :lol:


Well the lack of a wife is certainly an advantage here. But my being a cheapskate is equally problematic! I think that would be my ideal gear as well.

Konovalov wrote:
Also with this heavy and quality pro lense 70-200mm VR I would definately think about a monopod as essential otherwise your day at the races might feel like a day at the gym pumping weights. :wink:


I've already got a Manfrotto monopod, so that problem at least is covered.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:04 am 
I've just been checking out Sigma's offerings to see if they made an equivalent lens. I think the 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG MACRO HSM II is a real option.

It looks good and is half the price of the Nikkor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:47 am 
Konovalov wrote:
From my limited experience you can get away with the 70-300mm VR on a D40 with motorsport if it is a nice sunny day. It might not be ideal but you can do it no worries.


I think I've pretty much decided that I'm going to get the 70-300 VR and flog my old 70-300 on ebay or similar. I'm not a pro and not receiving any money for prints, so I'm finding it difficult to justify to myself buying an expensive prime lens. I can always get a more expensive lens later on.

My current 70-300 was a cheap way to get the extra length and while I've got some good pictures with it, not having the autofocus is quite frustrating at times. Getting the VR version will give me the nice vibration reduction, the internal SWM so that I can autofocus and the nice ED glass. For most of what I do, the f/4-5.6 range is more than adequate. Also, I think that maybe working on my techniques will give more gains than any big expensive lens would.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:55 pm 
You'll be pleased to know that I've made up my mind and ordered...

  • 70-200mm AF-S f/2.8 ED VR lens
  • Teleconverter
  • Hoya UV and CP filters
  • Step up ring (so I can use the filters on my other lenses)


My wallet is a lot lighter but I think I'm going to have fun with this lot!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:07 pm 
Your D40 just got itself an erection (with the 70-200mm mounted) :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:08 pm 
2610ksj wrote:
Your D40 just got itself an erection (with the 70-200mm mounted) :P


Yup, it might well look a bit top heavy! Without my monopod I'd be in trouble :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:06 pm 
OK, the lens arrived today - it's huge! Gonna have some fun tonight playing with it :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:12 pm 
Congrats man! I'm looking forward to see some results from the combo!


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