Nikon 70 - 200 f4 for Sports Photography possible ?


blueblood

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Oct 21, 2012
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#1
Looking to get the Nikon 70 - 200mm for sports photography. Is 70 - 200 f4 fast (and sharp) enough for sports photography? Under stadium lighting, it may be a challenge for the f4, what about in daylight on a field? I would like to take base ball game, where the speed of the ball is so fast after the hit, compare with soccer. Reach is not an issue as I can crop it.
 

daredevil123

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Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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#2
If it is a very sunny day, it should be no problem. But can you guarantee that the weather will be sunny all the time?

Plus, with F2.8, it gives you more options with teleconverters. Not so with F4.
 

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sin77

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Nov 28, 2004
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#3
If budget is not a problem, then go for f2.8. It can do more things like shooting lowlight indoor as well as bokeh for closeup. Even sports need high speed.
 

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dracoid4

Senior Member
Feb 6, 2011
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#4
Just my 2 cents worth, it voices down to your style of shooting and camera you uses. F2.8 and F4 is only 1 stop difference which can compensated by either ISO or shutter speed or even both. For ISO,how comfortable are you with your camera's high ISO performance. I know of pple won't go above 800 even though the camera perform
very well even at 3200. High ISO helps in shooting sports to increase shutter speed with a limited aperture. As for shutter speed, how fast do you need to freeze or create motion. Learn to anticipate on your moving subject especially sports, learn about the game play or observe the game.

If you talking about narrow depth of field to achieve bokeh, beside the aperture there are factors
a) size of sensor. Ff or apsc.
b) zoom length. Zooming at 200mm the depth of field become narrow as it bring subject closer to you than background.
c) distance between you and subject should be much smaller than subject and background.

If you can only afford 70-200 f4, get it and shoot more, work around the limitations to enhance your skills.
 

richiemccaw1

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2013
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#5
I have used the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 for soccer, rugby and softball. It was a bit challenging for softball during a rainy day. But under decent sunlight, f4 is no problem. For my non-pro purposes, the background separation is good enough.

Hope this helps put things in some perspective.
 

blueblood

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Oct 21, 2012
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#6
Thanks for all the advices.

I have used the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 for soccer, rugby and softball. It was a bit challenging for softball during a rainy day. But under decent sunlight, f4 is no problem. For my non-pro purposes, the background separation is good enough.

Hope this helps put things in some perspective.
Was using the Nikon 70-300 f4.5-5.6 for a softball match on Sat. It was a bright day, though not sunny. I set the speed at 1/1000 or 1/1250, auto ISO. When I pixel peep the pictures, some were blurred. What could I have done to get better pictures? The tripod doesn't help, due to the high speed, isn't it?

If I get the constant f4, I may regret of not having the f2.8 instead. Beside, i will also try out indoor dance performance and stage shows, and bro DD123 said it gives option of teleconverter.

Budget is sure of an issue, but I can save up for a couple months to get the f2.8. Yes, I will try it out at NSC to see how I handle the weight. It shouldn't be an issue as I handle the 24-70 on the handstrap.
 

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Jun 2, 2012
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#7
I have a better suggestion. Why not rent both and see what works for you.

I have used both. The f/4 is definitely fast enough in focus with single digit body even in low light.

The f/2.8, no need to mention about its pros here, the cons is that it is quite heavy (1.5kg). Plus a 1kg body & flash it is quite a hefty weight to support by hand.

The f/2.8 usually leaves me with a very tired left hand & elbow cramps after shooting with it for 1-2 hours constantly. The max I can go with it is 3~4 hours before I call it quits when the left shoulder gives up.
 

blueblood

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Oct 21, 2012
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#8
I have a better suggestion. Why not rent both and see what works for you.

I have used both. The f/4 is definitely fast enough in focus with single digit body even in low light.

The f/2.8, no need to mention about its pros here, the cons is that it is quite heavy (1.5kg). Plus a 1kg body & flash it is quite a hefty weight to support by hand.

The f/2.8 usually leaves me with a very tired left hand & elbow cramps after shooting with it for 1-2 hours constantly. The max I can go with it is 3~4 hours before I call it quits when the left shoulder gives up.
Thanks for your suggestion to rent both.

You mean single digit body like D3 or D4? No, I'm not using it, but the D600. Like most photographers said, invest in good glasses, not camera. Lenses depreciate not as much as bodies. Besides, I'm not sure if the f4 is capable of shooting table tennis game, which is almost indoor.

For the weight of f2.8, I would need to get a good sling strap definitely. That should help me for taking the weight.
 

Jun 2, 2012
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#9
Hmm, you definitely have a good point about the digital camera bodies ;), unlike film bodies the advancement on technology with digital bodies is relentless.

I rent when I need a single digit body for a job.
 

sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
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#10
Thanks for your suggestion to rent both.

You mean single digit body like D3 or D4? No, I'm not using it, but the D600. Like most photographers said, invest in good glasses, not camera. Lenses depreciate not as much as bodies. Besides, I'm not sure if the f4 is capable of shooting table tennis game, which is almost indoor.

For the weight of f2.8, I would need to get a good sling strap definitely. That should help me for taking the weight.
Table tennis game is quite well lit under lights.

Btw my own plan is to buy 35-100 f2.8 to use with my micro4/3 camera. This way I can achieve high-speed yet light weight combo. 35-100mm is equivalent to 70-200 for full frame. F2.8 bokeh is f5.6 for full frame but is f4 for APS-C.
 

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Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
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#11
Outdoor sports events are really bright enough for f/4 telephoto lenses. Of course, if the game stretches to dusk, you may run into some issues there. f/2.8 is really just an additional stop; certainly useful, but I wouldn't expect wonders here.
 

blueblood

New Member
Oct 21, 2012
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#12
Outdoor sports events are really bright enough for f/4 telephoto lenses. Of course, if the game stretches to dusk, you may run into some issues there. f/2.8 is really just an additional stop; certainly useful, but I wouldn't expect wonders here.
I would also think that the lighting under bright daylight would be sufficient for f4, but what about the sharpness and accuracy for the high speed ball? My 70-300VR doesn't help too much.
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
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#13
I would also think that the lighting under bright daylight would be sufficient for f4, but what about the sharpness and accuracy for the high speed ball? My 70-300VR doesn't help too much.
Up your shutter speed and your corresponding ISO?
 

NikF601

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2010
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#16
I suggest save more and buy 2.8. Maybe you can use it at F1 race coming to Singapore too. More light coming in at 2.8
 

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