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| p.1 #6 · Nikon 85mm f/1.8D or 85mm f/1.8G for College Basketball? |
In my experience with the 85/1.8D, the 85/1.8G, and the 70-200/2.8VR2, the zoom is the best all around lens for indoor sports, both in focusing and versatility. The other two do not compare when it comes to tracking a fast moving athlete coming towards you, especially at a college level men's basketball game. Of the two 85s, the D will focus faster when racking from near to far, but it is jerky when it comes to tracking a fast approaching basketball player. It's the nature of the mechanical linkage between the body AF motor and the mechanical gears in the lens. In comparison the G is slightly slower when racking the AF, but it is smoother at tracking the action. Neither would be my first choice covering indoor basketball if relaying on the AF. Nikon did not have the indoor sports shooters in mind with those primes.
Having said that the 85G will provide slightly better out of focus areas and image clarity when shooting it between /2.0 and f/2.8 vs the zoom. And if you are photographing in a really dark gym that extra stop could mean the difference between blurry action shots or adequately freezing the action.