Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:33 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 7
I'm a reporter for a small community newspaper. That means I write and take pictures. I was hired for my writing. On my first day, two years ago, they handed me a camera and said "press this button to take the picture, make sure the lens cap is off."

My work is adequate, but I've been bitten by the photography bug and would like to start getting my own gear. Because I'm used to Nikon, I plan on getting Nikon in the future.

My current (company-owned) kit is a D50 with an AF 28-70mm 1:3.5-4D and an AF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6G
I sometimes (rarely) use an external flash: we have a couple of off-brands that I hate using because a) they are finicky about going off and b) I'm not skilled enough to make full use of them. I also generally hate using the built-in flash unless there's just no choice.

I take a variety of types of pictures. A typical week will include a couple of shots inside a dark restaurant at a Rotary meeting or something, a shot or two in bright sunlight, a shot of indoor sports such as volleyball or basketball, a shot at an outdoor game such as football or soccer (sometimes under lights), a portrait or two, shots at events both inside and out and courtroom photos.

None of them have to be perfect (newsprint is fairly forgiving and our production crew has photoshop to adjust color levels), but I'm finding my night shots are a bit too soft or noisy, as are just about all my indoor images regardless of type of event.

So, here's the catch... I don't think I can afford both a camera and a good lens at the moment, particularly since I'm lusting after a D7000. My cunning plan is to get a good lens right now that works with the D50 and will also work with the D7000 (reasoning that camera bodies go down in price regularly, while lenses retain most of their value). I will then start saving up for the camera body, possibly with a kit lens if needed.

What I'm hoping from all you experts is some advice.

First off, is my plan smart or ridiculous? Do you have a more reasonable suggestion?
Next, if I get a lens, what lens (or lenses) is good for the type of work I do?
- Is the 18-200mm VR going to focus fast enough to take sports photos?
- A co-worker has a 70-300mm VR that she loves. Should I get that for sports and plan on a two-lens solution?
- Any other suggestions?
Will these lenses work with a D50?

The more research I do, the more confused I get. Any help, suggestions, advice, or even assertations that I'm totally off-base may be useful to me.

-RT


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:41 pm
Posts: 367
Hello Realtegan.

I think your priorities are in the right place.

I have a D40 (same 6MP size sensor as the D50) and it takes good quality photos up to a full newspaper spread size.

And lenses do not go out of date quickly.

If you want versatility, then the 18-200 is the go, as the VR lets you shoot (static) subjects inj low light while giving you good quality and a good reach for sports (though not as much as the 70-300, but not bad at all).

I have a 70-300 VR and find it excellent in all respects.

From my rather casual tests, the 28-70 is equivalent in image quality to the range it covers in the 18-200, but what the 18-200 gives you is a good wide-angle perspective, which should be helpful in your interior shots too. I think that the 70-300 is a bit better for the range it covers. I do think that both lenses benefit strongly from the VR.

To further confuse you, a 35/1.8 would also do well in low light and would give you very sharp photos (I certainly like mine), though it may be overkill for the press, unless you wanted to submit photos for awards (etc). And it is yet another lens - you would need to at least keep the 70-300.

All lenses mentioned should work on a D50, but I don't own one so don't quote me! Nikon is good at compatibility, though.

_________________
HCC
Nikon DSLRs, film cameras from Leica to Linhof


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 7
Thanks HilaryC. I admit I'm kind of taken with the idea of getting the 18-200mm... I'm just frightened it won't do sports very well. Does it focus as fast as my current lens? I don't think the range will matter too much (famous last words) but I am concerned with the speed.

I like the idea of only having one lens to lug around and the ability to adjust from wide to telephoto quickly. I just don't want to do worse on sports and low-light images with a new lens than I currently do.

I think it may be down to between the 18-200mm and the 70-300mm, but I'm open to more advice. I need to hear from somebody with the 18-200mm about focus speed and performance in low light, I guess.

I definitely plan on getting a 35/1.8 down the road a bit, as it sounds like an amazing lens for indoor shots. But I'm not sure that's the investment I want to make at the moment.

-RT


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1467
Location: Gold Coast Australia
Hi Realtegan, welcome to the forum. As for the 18-200 VR and I can say I’m absolutely happy with it. I got tired of missing shots when I had the 18-55 & 70-200 mm kit lenses when shooting music festivals and other events, I always seemed to have the wrong lens on.

As for sports, the autofocus is spot on and fast. I use it for our local marathon and surf shooting. Although a bit short for surfing where I shoot, the IQ of the lens permits heavy cropping and I get pretty good results.

As for night/indoor low light shots, as HilaryC said a faster lens would be more suitable. I can’t advise on low light as I've no experience. No matter what lens you use indoors it’s the setting that count.

Have a look at some of my sports shots and search for indoor/concert shooting on the forum.


Cheers

_________________
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 7
"No matter what lens you use indoors it’s the setting that count."

I've been coming to this conclusion. I do worry about the sports in low-light, but having a single lens that can capture near and far without having to switch is very enticing. I'm certainly leaning toward the 18-200 VR.

Actually... I think what I really want to know is if the 18-200 VR is likely to be any worse than what I currently have (described in my first post). If it's the same or better for low light and/or sports, then I'll probably take the leap. If someone thinks it'll be worse, then I need to think about it even more.

-RT


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1467
Location: Gold Coast Australia
Quote:
"I think what I really want to know is if the 18-200 VR is likely to be any worse than what I currently have (described in my first post)."


The 18-200 mm is 1:3.5-5.6 at the log end, not much difference to what you have above. As far as I know, there no such single lens that is suitable for conditions of low light to bright sun at all focal lengths.

I can only suggest doing a test in all similar conditions, set the camera on program or auto and look at the results on a computer and see what settings the camera decided to shoot. This will give you a base line on setting to use in all conditions and you can modify it to your own tastes.

With no experience of no low light except for a few tests at home, there's a little more in getting good results with contrasting lighting indoors such as darker areas and bright points from the lighting. That is where a fast lens would be of benefit. There are many on the forum with heaps of experience in low lighting who could give you some good tips.

Cheers

_________________
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:45 am
Posts: 1
Hi reporter. I use a 18/200 lens on my D70.A fine performer for most things.However,when it comes to using the built in flash,the lens,if extended tends to cast it's own shadow into the picture area.this would not be a problem when using a shoe mounted flash which of course provides extra height.See if you can try one out first before purchase . It may or not be a problem for your kind of work.Otherwise, I find it an ideal lens. Good luck. Barryboynz.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 7
Well, after reading hundreds of reviews, discussing the issue with the production guy who actually knows about cameras and looking at my budget, I went for the 70-300 VR. I received it today and have played with it a little with the D50. I love it so far, and I will be able to test it at a football game Friday night. I found a few too many negative reviews of the 18-200... and I would have had to wait another few months if I'd gone for it, so I'll stick with the two-lens solution. Now to start saving for my other lens and the camera body.

Thanks for the advice and comments!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1467
Location: Gold Coast Australia
Sounds like you did a great deal of research for the lens, it will be interesting to see some shots posted from the game. Just repeating the original advice you got, “have fun and don't forget to take the lens cap off”. :wink:


Cheers

_________________
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:52 pm
Posts: 579
Location: Scotland
From my experience of shooting indoor sports a lens that does not open more than f3 will not let enough light onto the sensor. I recently shot an indoor football match with the 55-300mm f4.5-5.6 and the results were compromised as the D90 can only comfortably shoot up to 3200 ISO.

So unless you have a camera body capable of 6400 ISO or greater (without adding noise) you will need a wider aperture lens.

_________________
Nikon D90
Nikkor AF-S DX; 18-105 f/3.5-5.6G VR, 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G VR, 35mm f/1.8G
Speedlight SB-700

http://keystrokesukimages.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 7
Sadly, any image I take on the job with the company camera does not belong to me, so I can only post a link to what we published: http://www.dailysunnews.com/news/2013/n ... er-cadets/

I'll note that I took a dark shot and production had to lighten it up. It's still way too grainy for my tastes, but it's impossible to get better with a D50 under those lights. Believe me, I tried. I can't afford a camera or lens that would do a really good job with it. I took a couple of huddle shots that turned out fantastic, but we will always pick the action shot over the huddle.

My next few events will all be indoors, which means slightly better lighting but other challenges. I may end up at volleyball playoffs again... if I do, the new lens will be really useful because reporters aren't allowed to get very close to the action without jumping through a dozen hurdles I hate. I would love to be able to shoot from the stands and get lovely shots.

In any case, at the moment I'm going to have fun with the new lens and save up for a D7000, which has a much better ISO than the D50 and apparently can handle dim light a bit better. It's going to take awhile... my salary is tiny. But I think I will have fun.

RT


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 733
Realtegan wrote:
I may end up at volleyball playoffs again... if I do, the new lens will be really useful because reporters aren't allowed to get very close to the action without jumping through a dozen hurdles I hate. I would love to be able to shoot from the stands and get lovely shots.

Not to rain on your parade, but I think the lens may still be a stop or two too slow. e.g. the following was shot at 1/640, ISO1600, f2.0 (with a 135mm lens on a crop sensor from the 10th row):

Image
VolleyballExposureSample640ISO1600f2 by Mark@Nite, on Flickr

While you could certainly drop the shutter speed down a stop, trying to go down two (or more) stops (to compensate for your lens' f4+ aperture) would probably result in excessive motion blur.

Sorry - Mark


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 7
Yes, sadly. I can't afford the equipment that would make my pictures shine, but I'm still going to do my best with what I have. The 70-300mm VR is an improvement, but it certainly isn't ideal. If I stick with it for another ten years, maybe I'll be able to get all the gear I need to really capture action nicely. As it is, I just hope to get something nice enough to print for now.

Volleyball can be tough to get decent shots. Every game I get at least one serving shot and one shot of the coach talking with the players in the huddle. Those are the fall backs. Then I try to get a picture of the action without too much blur. We have one gym in the area that's just awful for lighting, and I've yet to get a good picture there. Most of the other gyms are well lit enough to get slightly better shots. Nothing quite as good as yours, but good enough for a tiny daily paper.

-RT


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 733
Realtegan wrote:
...I'm still going to do my best with what I have...

Certainly. And it sounds to me like you have a solid plan for doing so...

Quote:
Every game I get at least one serving shot and one shot of the coach talking with the players in the huddle. Those are the fall backs. Then I try to get a picture of the action without too much blur.

Cheers - Mark


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1467
Location: Gold Coast Australia
I see what you mean with noise on that one Laura, obviously the light was not enough for the lens. That lens should be great for outdoors.

I’m not sure what camera/lenses your colleges are using at the paper but to me they all seem a bit flat with some level of noise, even when there appears to be good light.

As for indoor low light as your shot of the volunteer police officer?, it looked pretty flat whilst the light looked reasonable. Perhaps a Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens would be suitable for that kind of work and if slightly to far away, with a crop you should still get a decent finish. I know you do not want to buy lenses, maybe a used one, here I can get this new in Oz for $160 who charge around 40% more than the US.

Other than that I suggest shooting at the best quality available on the D50 which will help with cropping. Not sure if you have an editing program but there are many free ones on the web.

This link shows shots of the D50, you can even view the pics at 100%. A useful bit of info they also show the EXIF data, they may be useful as base setting for you as you just got the camera dumped in your hand. Just set the lens to what you want and then the camera model.

http://www.pixel-peeper.com/adv/?lens=4 ... &res=3&p=1

This one looks low light.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/34304304@N00/306736393

Don't forget, have fun with it.


Cheers

_________________
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group