Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Advice on New 2.8 Telephoto Lens


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Mike O'Connell

Mike O'Connell

    Second Unit



  • 490 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 14 1999
  • Real Name:Mike
  • LocationOverland Park KS

Posted November 29 2012 - 10:06 AM

In 2011 the active participants of this forum were helpful in helping me select a new camera and appropriate lenses for a gift for my wife (and I) based on the planned uses of the camera. This forum provided more help versus just being "fanboys" of various brands, etc. like the photography forum replies tended to do... I ended up purchasing a Nikon D5100 kit that included the Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens and the Nikon AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens. I have been very pleased with the camera/lenses, except that I find during certain events I have some issues with low lighting. (I have adjusted ISO settings and used different progrma and manual modes). I had issues particularly with early morning starts and evenings under the lights during action sporting events and during high school choir concerts and theatrical performances where the stage is well lit, but in a dark auditorium. I am interested in upgrading to a “faster” telephoto zoom lens and have had a chance to research four particular lenses: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens - $2,397 (fantastic lens, fast focus, weather sealed, best of the best, but you pay for it). Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM - $1,249 (fantastic lens, a little soft at 200mm, not as fast focus as Nikon but still fast, funky zoom ring location that can’t be used with hood reversed, much better price than Nikon). Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF Lens - $769 (great optics, slow compared to the other lenses and not that good for action sports, great bang for the buck). Nikon 70-200 2.8 Edif Afs-g Vr Lens – Used – Like New - $1699 Previous Version of above Nikon Lens from Adorama, which puts 30 day return policy on the used lenses. I realize that through my DX format camera my longest zoom will be 300mm effective on the above lenses versus 450mm effective on my current zoom lens, but the speed will definitely help. Thoughts? Thanks, Mike

#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer



  • 10,638 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted November 29 2012 - 01:32 PM

I've sworn off buying third party lenses, but then I've heard good things about the Tamron. The price is attractive, but if it only results in frustration, I'd rather pay the extra money for reliability.


If you don't need the latest and greatest, I'd probably go with the used, older version of the Nikon.


One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,045 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted November 30 2012 - 01:31 AM

My 70-300 is my workhorse. I have gotten around it's modest aperture by buying a D4. Understandably that's a much bigger jump than just getting an f2.8 lens, and hopefully the D400 is not too long away to give a high ISO crop camera the time to shine. I also have the 70-200 f2.8 VR and it simply doesn't get the nod for the stuff I do most (Eagle watching, Football and baseball) due to the reach. There are no easy answers here, if you want better high iso or fast aperture you are going to have to pay for it. I'm vapor locked for reach right now, if I want more reach I have to resort to crappy teleconverters, back off to my D300, or spend over $10k for an exotic. There absolutely is a market for a solid 400+mm f4 or higher aperture lens in the $2k-$10k range, nobody seems interested in filling that gap tho.

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

Scott Merryfield

    Executive Producer



  • 10,645 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 16 1998
  • LocationMichigan

Posted November 30 2012 - 02:19 AM

In the Canon world, the Tamron doesn't have a good reputation for auto focus speed. I am not sure if that is relevant with the Nikon version (never can keep track of which bodies have separate focus motors). The Sigma is supposed to be at least the equal of the Canon 7-200 f/2.8 L IS version I, but not as good as the new version II. Keep in mind the f/2.8 zooms are quite heavy. Have you considered a fast prime telephoto instead? I have a Canon 135mm f/2 L that I use for such situations. It's small and light, making it more discreet, and it's an incredible lens from an image quality and auto focus performance standpoint. I'm sure Nikon has something similar. I am shooting full frame, so a 85mm prime may even work for you (it did for me when I was shooting with a crop body). I have been using this strategy throughout my lens lineup, and it has worked out very well. I have slower zooms -- 24-105 f/4 IS, 70-200 f/4 IS and 100-400 f/4-5.6 IS -- supplemented with fast primes -- 28 f/1.8, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.8 and 135 f/2. With the high ISO performance of the newer bodies, I find f/4 is sufficient for most situations. If it is not, then I usually need more than the one additional stop that a f/2.8 lens provides, hence the faster primes. The smaller size and weight for both the zooms and primes is another benefit.

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

Ed Moxley

    Screenwriter



  • 2,701 posts
  • Join Date: May 25 2003
  • Real Name:Ed
  • LocationEastern NC

Posted December 01 2012 - 05:36 PM

Isn't the D5100 supposed to have the same processor as the D7000? Or is it the D5200? If it's the D5100, your 55-300mm should work well for you. I have the D7000, and a Tamron 70-300mm (f/4.5-5.6) that does very well in low light. I mainly use it for wildlife, but have used it indoors for Easter and Christmas plays and concerts, at ISO 3200, and happy with results, out of camera. What issues did you have? Noise in pics? Hard time focusing?
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

    Producer



  • 5,872 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 18 2001
  • Real Name:ManW

Posted December 05 2012 - 04:43 AM

I basically echo Ed's comment/question just above.


I've been using my daughter's D5100 a lot lately, and depending on your actual needs, ISO3200 is quite useable on it... whereas I rarely let my old D200 hit ISO1600 -- I tended to stop short, and that's w/ fewer MPs to boot.  So even though I miss using the much better body of the D200, the D5100 has become my primary go-to body since my daughter doesn't seem nearly interested enough to make much use of it.


For you, maybe the 70-300VR would be a good enough upgrade depending on your actual needs.  OR if you really want, I guess I can offer to sell you my old, unused Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 for slightly less than a new 70-300VR, but it doesn't have IS nor macro capability -- you could use a tripod/monopod instead, which I do use on occasion myself.  I usually just go w/ the 70-300VR myself and maybe swap to either 85 f/1.8 or 180 f/2.8 primes when needed, but the latter 2 don't have built-in motors, so it won't work for D5100.  I just don't shoot action in low light enough to warrant lugging/using an f/2.8 telezoom these days.


Are you looking to blow up these low light photos or something so that the noise at ISO3200 (and whatever "imperfections") becomes too much?  IF not, don't let a little grain/noise (and/or maybe a little motion blur) keep you from using ISO3200 when needed.  Also, learn to make the most of your gear's capabilities before actually making the big leap in $$$.  You might be surprised how much you can actually do for good, **practical**, realworld results.


For instance, have you tried using the camera's Auto-ISO function?  I use it regularly myself...


Cheers!


_Man_


Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#7 of 32 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

    Producer



  • 5,872 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 18 2001
  • Real Name:ManW

Posted December 05 2012 - 04:50 AM

BTW, I used to think my 70-300VR gets a bit too soft above 200mm (like many, other than Sam. seem to complain), but oddly, it seems to perform surprisingly well from 200-300mm on my daughter's D5100 -- its out-of-camera pixel level detail/sharpness actually seems better on her D5100 than on my old D200 (though that might be partially due to stronger in-camera sharpening and maybe weaker AA filter perhaps?) despite the smaller pixels of the D5100...


_Man_


Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

Scott Merryfield

    Executive Producer



  • 10,645 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 16 1998
  • LocationMichigan

Posted December 05 2012 - 05:01 AM

The trick to shooting at higher ISOs without getting too much noise is to make sure you are not underexposing the photo, as that's where you will get the most noise. You are much better off over exposing by 1/3rd stop and bringing it back in post processing -- a technique referred as expose to the right (ETTR). If you shoot in RAW, ETTR, and use a RAW converter with decent noise reduction (such as Lightroom), there is no reason to avoid the higher ISO settings of your camera body.

#9 of 32 OFFLINE   schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert



  • 14,448 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted December 05 2012 - 05:13 AM

The trick to shooting at higher ISOs without getting too much noise is to make sure you are not underexposing the photo, as that's where you will get the most noise. You are much better off over exposing by 1/3rd stop and bringing it back in post processing -- a technique referred as expose to the right (ETTR). If you shoot in RAW, ETTR, and use a RAW converter with decent noise reduction (such as Lightroom), there is no reason to avoid the higher ISO settings of your camera body.

That is, more or less, the same trick used in film. You are always better off over-cooking the negative(in digital's case...the RAW) and toning it down. I still haven't made the leap to digital* as I still use(and yes this camera gets drooled on) a Zeiss Contax, circa 1936. If I want "modern" convenience, I bring out a Canon TLb or FTb... *I do have a Sony CyberShot H55 though. But for "pictures I plan for" I still use film. Yeah, I know...the dark ages...

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,045 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted December 05 2012 - 05:21 AM

BTW, I used to think my 70-300VR gets a bit too soft above 200mm (like many, other than Sam. seem to complain), but oddly, it seems to perform surprisingly well from 200-300mm on my daughter's D5100 -- its out-of-camera pixel level detail/sharpness actually seems better on her D5100 than on my old D200 (though that might be partially due to stronger in-camera sharpening and maybe weaker AA filter perhaps?) despite the smaller pixels of the D5100... _Man_

I love love love my 70-300. If there are flaws in it please don't tell me about them =) Happy with it on both cropped D300 and FF D4. And I haaaaaated the 70-300IS on the canon side. Got an awesome deal on one, tried it for a weekend and sent it back. I hear they are better now tho!

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

Scott Merryfield

    Executive Producer



  • 10,645 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 16 1998
  • LocationMichigan

Posted December 05 2012 - 06:14 AM

I love love love my 70-300. If there are flaws in it please don't tell me about them =) Happy with it on both cropped D300 and FF D4. And I haaaaaated the 70-300IS on the canon side. Got an awesome deal on one, tried it for a weekend and sent it back. I hear they are better now tho!

I used to own a Canon 70-300 IS, too, and agree it's not a very good lens. The newer Canon 70-300L IS is supposed to be an excellent lens, but it also costs over $1,500, so it should be. I am very happy with my 100-400L instead -- an older design, but more reach for less money than the 70-300L.

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert



  • 14,448 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted December 05 2012 - 06:17 AM

Brings me to my first film lesson as a 10 year old...being coached by my father...at the store, buying a brand new(at the time) Canon... "It's the optics, stupid..."

#13 of 32 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

andrew markworthy

    Producer



  • 4,766 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 1999

Posted December 09 2012 - 06:42 AM

Brings me to my first film lesson as a 10 year old...being coached by my father...at the store, buying a brand new(at the time) Canon...

The first advice on telephotos from my dad was still I think the best - buy a decent tripod. It's no use going on about how much better one lens is than another if you're then going to take shots without the camera and lens being firmly rooted to the spot. If you take a shot of a subject at any distance greater than a few feet, any advantage of one lens over another will be lost in blur from the inevitable camera shake. You might think you can hold a camera rock steady, but you can't - nobody can, it's as simple as that. Before anyone says it, yes, I know that sometimes you have to go hand-held for practical purposes and on a fast shutter speed you'd have to make a big print to notice the blur, but it doesn't negate the main point of the argument.

#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

Scott Merryfield

    Executive Producer



  • 10,645 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 16 1998
  • LocationMichigan

Posted December 10 2012 - 12:40 AM

That tripod advice can be applied to all kinds of shots, Andrew -- not just with a telephoto lens. But, yes, your father's advice is very sound. I will use a tripod when I can, and I also have a monopod for situations where a tripod cannot be used -- such as the zoo. With image stabilized lenses and improved high ISO camera performance, though, I am amazed at what I can get handheld when I do not have a tripod with me.

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

Patrick Sun

    Studio Mogul



  • 37,884 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1999

Posted December 10 2012 - 02:57 PM

Plus, a lot of times, a tripod is simply impractical, so nowadays it's nice to know we can rely on IS/VR on lenses and shoot a little slower (shutter-wise) and higher ISO capabilities on dSLR bodies to shoot a little faster (shutter-wise) to minimize blur and shakiness.
"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
Patcave | 2006 Films | 2007 Films | Flickr | Comic-Con 2012 | Dragon*Con 2012

#16 of 32 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

andrew markworthy

    Producer



  • 4,766 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 1999

Posted December 11 2012 - 06:36 AM

Patrick, Scott, yes, totally agree. But the fact remains that all things being ideal, a tripod based camera is better. I agree, Scott, that this applies to all lenses in an ideal world, but it's the telephotos that you really do see the effect. I don't know if you have the same depressing phenomenon in the USA, but here in the UK I love to see poseurs with eye-wateringly expensive telephoto lenses at wildlife parks, bird parks and similar taking shots of animals hundreds of yards away, holding the lens in their hands. You can practically see their hands trembling just trying to hold the lens!

#17 of 32 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer



  • 10,638 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted December 11 2012 - 06:55 AM

Don't forget the old rule of thumb: Inverse of the focal length should be your minimum shutter speed when handheld. E.g. 250mm lens, don't shoot below 1/250 second. Higher is of course better to prevent motion blur.


One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

Scott Merryfield

    Executive Producer



  • 10,645 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 16 1998
  • LocationMichigan

Posted December 11 2012 - 12:48 PM

Andrew, I do not see too many people with long telephoto lenses around here that do not seem to know how to shoot with them -- in fact, I do not see many quality telephoto lenses at all. We have a membership to the Detroit Zoo and visit quite often. I have only seen a handful of people in all our visits this year with a decent telephoto. I quite often can hear comments or get asked questions as I walk around with my 100-400L. Now, if you visit someplace like Yellowstone National Park, it's a different story. There I see an incredible number of 500mm and 600mm primes, but just about all those people also have serious support systems for them. I do see a lot of dSLR owners, though, with kit lenses that have no idea what they are doing. Cameron, do not forget to add the crop factor of your sensor to that inverse of focal length rule. Also, I throw that rule out the window for my 100-400L telephoto, as I try to keep my shutter speed at least at 1/800sec with a full frame body and 1/1000sec with a crop body -- even with image stabilization engaged. I can shoot slower if necessary, but find I get 100% guaranteed sharp shots handheld when maintaining these shutter speeds. Even when using a tripod, I try to maintain a fast shutter speed to prevent motion blur from the animal.

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer



  • 10,638 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted December 11 2012 - 01:24 PM

Yeah, I've been shooting on a crop body so long, I automatically factor in the multiplier. It will be interesting if I ever get a full frame body. :D Good tip for the more extreme telephoto range. My bigger point about the shutter speed rule is just because you see someone going handheld with a tele, doesn't mean they aren't practicing sound technique.
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator



  • 17,045 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted December 12 2012 - 01:14 AM

This is a SLOW day at Conowingo: Posted Image 10-ConowingoBaldEagles-8877 by Kadath, on Flickr Trust me, when I roll up on 40+ photographers each with $8k+ lenses my gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) goes into overdrive....

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users