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D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer
  
 
hijazist
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p.1 #1 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


I am in some dilemma at this moment. I'll be shooting college soccer & some women volleyball and I need to decide on my equipment. I am not a professional photographer but I pay much care about my output and much of my work is printed by those whom I shoot for. In other words, I am an amateur with the possibility of turning into a professional sometime in the near future so I care about my portfolio

Many games are at night and lighting is really bad so 2.8 glass is a must for me. I tried F/4 glass and the extra stop was really missed so I am sticking with 2.8 options for the time being.

I had a test session during practice with the 70-200 VRII & the D800 and although images were really great and AF was the best I am yet to experience, I still find that 200mm on FX is not enough for full field soccer. I am still not experienced in soccer photography but I learnt that the best location to be shooting from is between the goal and the corner. I can get the shots when the action is near the goal but midfield action is still far unless I heavily crop, which for now I am trying to avoid and only focusing on filling the frame.

My question is should I get a D7100 to benefit from the 1.5 extra reach and this way I'll have 105-300 2.8 with 24mp to crop if necessary? I also have the TC 1.4II which will give me 150-420 f/4 when light is good. This way I can use the 70-200 VRII on a D7100 for far action and the D800 with Sigma 35 1.4 for wider shots, or with Sigma 85 1.4 for really bad lighting like in volleyball. I'll also have a back up body in case one fails.

Or do you think there is no escape from buying a 300 2.8 or 400 2.8 which most professional soccer photographers use? Money is not the main issue but rather the idea of buying such expensive glass when the user is not a full time professional which is me in this case, especially when the above option is available.

Other considerations are of course high ISO performance of D7100, smaller body, different controls implementation, etc... I also know that most professionals use bodies like D3s/D4 and that's why they use longer glass but again this will get too expensive. So please don't interpret my inquiry as equating pro glass & bodies with a crop camera & shorter glass.

I appreciate any input from D7100 users who shoot sports/BIF or anyone who shoots fast action and had this dilemma before, which I am sure are plenty





Oct 11, 2013 at 11:39 PM
OccAeon
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p.1 #2 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


You lose about a stop going to the D7100, so it makes no sense to do it if low light is your priority. Also, if you are currently using a D800, you are really just jumping from a 15 MP DX mode to a 24 MP DX mode -- it may not be all that much closer (I don't feel like my 24mp D7100 is drastically more croppable than my 16mp D7000 was). It also puts more strain on your lenses and technique, although I'm sure that the 70-200 VRII is very sharp.

You might try bumping the ISO and using the teleconverter, or maybe try the 300/4 (which will be sharper and a tiny bit closer). If that doesn't work, then I guess a big lens is the only realistic solution.



Oct 12, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Mishu01
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p.1 #3 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Maybe a good idea is to go for Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS last version. This will offer you up to 300mm at f/2.8 and its cost is much affordable than Nikon 300 or 400 f/2.8.


Oct 12, 2013 at 01:01 AM
hijazist
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p.1 #4 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


I tried the 300 F/4 AF-S, it's an amazing lens even with the TC 1.4 but when it gets a little bit dark the f/4-f/5.6 takes me to ISO 12000+ which is more than I like for my D800. That's even after I lower the shutter speed to around 1/640 and risk blur in my images.

You're right regarding the ISO performance, there is no point to use a D7100 when ISO performance will be less than D800.



Oct 12, 2013 at 01:05 AM
hijazist
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p.1 #5 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Mishu01 wrote:
Maybe a good idea is to go for Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS last version. This will offer you up to 300mm at f/2.8 and its cost is much affordable than Nikon 300 or 400 f/2.8.


I am seriously thinking about the new Sigma 120-300 OS Sport, thanks for the suggestion Mihai That would a great option but I've gotten used to buying used gear and this one still hasn't hit the used market...



Oct 12, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Cicopo
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p.1 #6 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


I haven't had much luck shooting fast paced action with my D7100 in bright light plus it has a very shallow buffer. That said I was using lesser zooms (relative to the primes you mention or that Sigma which I'm also thinking about) & comparing my keeper rate to much more expensive Canon gear. .


Oct 12, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Two23
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p.1 #7 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


I think the opitimum performance/value would be a pair of d7100 and the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 The AF on the D7100 is superb--it works well in dim light. I have shot a high school volleyball game using a Sigma 85mm f1.4, and that was a great combo. I have no trouble shooting ISO 2000 on the D7100, and will double that if needed.


Kent in SD



Oct 12, 2013 at 03:15 AM
hijazist
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p.1 #8 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Two23 wrote:
I think the opitimum performance/value would be a pair of d7100 and the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 The AF on the D7100 is superb--it works well in dim light. I have shot a high school volleyball game using a Sigma 85mm f1.4, and that was a great combo. I have no trouble shooting ISO 2000 on the D7100, and will double that if needed.

Kent in SD


That's an interesting idea Kent but I am afraid I can't give up the D800 or FX cause I do a lot of landscape on the side. How did the Sigma 85 1.4 track and perform? What apertures were you using? It's the sharpest and fastest 85mm I've used but I haven't tried it for sports yet...



Oct 12, 2013 at 05:02 AM
ibcj
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p.1 #9 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


There is no substitute for a long 2.8 lens when it comes to shooting field sports. Buy it used and you won't have much depreciation. I do understand about not being a professional and owning such an expensive piece of gear. I own a 400 2.8 VR and have rarely used it, but my wife won't let me sell it.


Oct 12, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Jim8EL
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p.1 #10 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


ibcj wrote:
... I own a 400 2.8 VR and have rarely used it, but my wife won't let me sell it.


Now you don't hear that everyday.



Oct 12, 2013 at 02:13 PM
 

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NathanHamler
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p.1 #11 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Honestly, I'd get a 300 2.8 AND a d7100 if i were serious about field sports....but, that's easy for me to say, since it's not my money!! With that 1.3x crop mode on an already 1.5x sensor, that'll give you a 600mm equiv, which is awesome for field sports...

If you wanted to test the waters, you could pick up a screw drive 300 2.8....af isnt as fast/silent as the af-s, but it has a handy limiter that you can limit the close focus to like 50 feet , so it shortens the focus throw....those lenses can be had for $1,500...half as much as an af-s version 1...



Oct 12, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Two23
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p.1 #12 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


hijazist wrote:
That's an interesting idea Kent but I am afraid I can't give up the D800 or FX cause I do a lot of landscape on the side. How did the Sigma 85 1.4 track and perform? What apertures were you using? It's the sharpest and fastest 85mm I've used but I haven't tried it for sports yet...



I shoot (and sell) landscapes all the time from the D7100. Really, no one can tell what camera you use for that sort of thing. Landscapes are the LEAST demanding kind of photography you can do (next to taking passport photos, !) As for the Sigma 85mm, it's very fast on the D7100. With volleyball, the players don't move around so much either (unlike basketball where they're all over the place.) My thinking that since the AF performance of the D7100 is so superb, especially in low light, it's a lot cheaper to use a solid 70-200mm f2.8 than a 300mm f2.8. The camera + lens is smaller & lighter too, making them easier to work with all night long. I'm agreeing that the ultimate for field sports under the lights would be a Sigma 120mm -300mm f2.8 attached to a D7100. My own experience is that f2.8 is the important number. Not only does it let the most light in for the camera's AF system to work with, not only does it give one stop faster shutter, but it also gives you more DoF separation of the players from the background. I think this is why a pro uses fast aperatures more than anything. I would MUCH rather have money tied up in lenses than cameras.



Kent in SD



Oct 12, 2013 at 03:41 PM
hijazist
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p.1 #13 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


NathanHamler wrote:
Honestly, I'd get a 300 2.8 AND a d7100 if i were serious about field sports....but, that's easy for me to say, since it's not my money!! With that 1.3x crop mode on an already 1.5x sensor, that'll give you a 600mm equiv, which is awesome for field sports...

If you wanted to test the waters, you could pick up a screw drive 300 2.8....af isnt as fast/silent as the af-s, but it has a handy limiter that you can limit the close focus to like 50 feet , so it shortens the focus throw....those lenses can be had for $1,500...half
...Show more

I know Nathan the 2.8 long glass is really tempting and I am seriously thinking now of getting the 300 2.8 VR, maybe some less-used glass needs to go.



Oct 12, 2013 at 10:12 PM
ScottSchupbach
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p.1 #14 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Bite the bullet and get a 300/2.8, you won't regret it. You can add the 1.4x in good light and have 420/4, and remove it for low light stuff.
You will seperate yourself from all the other 70-200 shooters that crowd the sidelines these days.



Oct 12, 2013 at 11:33 PM
hijazist
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p.1 #15 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


ScottSchupbach wrote:
Bite the bullet and get a 300/2.8, you won't regret it. You can add the 1.4x in good light and have 420/4, and remove it for low light stuff.
You will seperate yourself from all the other 70-200 shooters that crowd the sidelines these days.


It's a hard bullet to bite but I am very close now

Thanks Scott!



Oct 13, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #16 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Two23 wrote:
My own experience is that f2.8 is the important number. Not only does it let the most light in for the camera's AF system to work with, not only does it give one stop faster shutter, but it also gives you more DoF separation of the players from the background. I think this is why a pro uses fast aperatures more than anything. I would MUCH rather have money tied up in lenses than cameras.


Absolutely +1

For all the reasons Kent mentioned. Plus of course saving a stop on the lens means a lower ISO which means a wider DR and less noise.

I've shot rugby on full size pitches with two kits a) 2 x K5 with Pentax 300/4 & x1.7 plus a Sigma 50-150/2.8 and also with a mixed bag D800 & Sigma 500/4.5 and K5 with 50-150/2.8. Truthfully both have their pros and cons but I'd much rather shoot with my current 300/2.8 VRII and TCs and a 70-200 (on FX) for when they get close. I find two cameras imperative.

I have the previous version Sigma 120-300/2.8 (version 2) and optically it's identical (and much cheaper) to the current Sport version which works with the USB Dock - but there are sometimes focus issues with these big Sigmas (back focusing on mine at certain distances) so the dock would be great for solving those. Very very sharp they certainly are.



Oct 13, 2013 at 02:32 AM
JTMeuret
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p.1 #17 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Jim8EL wrote:
Now you don't hear that everyday.


+1. Yeah, I had to read that twice. Couldn't believe it either.



Oct 13, 2013 at 02:44 AM
MazeRunner
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p.1 #18 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


ibcj wrote:
There is no substitute for a long 2.8 lens when it comes to shooting field sports. Buy it used and you won't have much depreciation. I do understand about not being a professional and owning such an expensive piece of gear. I own a 400 2.8 VR and have rarely used it, but my wife won't let me sell it.


I'm guessing your wife's the professional? Or does she think its' value will go up or something?



Oct 13, 2013 at 03:32 AM
ibcj
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p.1 #19 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


MazeRunner wrote:
I'm guessing your wife's the professional? Or does she think its' value will go up or something?


A bought it a few years ago to shoot my son's field sports. Of course, right after I bought it, I became more active in coaching, so I've only used it once or twice each season. My wife doesn't go beyond her iPhone for photography. Her position is that we don't need the money and I may use it more in the future. She does value the photographs of our children enough that she let me buy it.



Oct 13, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Grantland
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p.1 #20 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


ibcj wrote:
There is no substitute for a long 2.8 lens when it comes to shooting field sports.


I bet most people who own/use a 400 f/2.8 will agree with this statement. I know I do.

If you can afford a 400 f/2.8 get one. It is an amazing lens.

Grant



Oct 13, 2013 at 01:20 PM
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