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D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer
  
 
jrash168
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p.2 #1 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


The 400 2.8 is amazing, but it is also big and bulky. I have both the 400 and a Sigma 120-300 and find that if I want to stay mobile, the Sig is what I use. It is heavy but I am still able to hand hold it. As far as getting a D7100 for more reach, I would just use the crop mode of your D800. If you have the battery grip and use AA batteries you get 6 fps. I found that I can easily shoot ISO 6400 on the D800 but would rarely go above 3200 on the 7100. From my personal experience of using all of the mentioned equipment for sports, I would get the Sigma 120-300 Sport. It is much faster and seems to be more reliable than past models. I use this lens a lot for all the sports that I shoot. Yes, the 400 2.8 is absolutely amazing, and if all you shoot are field sports, go for it. Otherwise, the 120-300 is way more versatile and is amazingly sharp.


Oct 13, 2013 at 02:02 PM
John Skinner
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p.2 #2 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


This thread kinda went from one thing... to another. Although the older 300 2.8 was getting to some of his issues, it just occurred to me he was in the wrong body. There was a comment listed and OP had said he shot landscapes on the side..

The only thing you'd be missing by dropping that 800 is the crop factor, and the ability to print uninhibited straight to really large with up-sizing through software. If the low light is hampering you, and you have usable glass, why not go into a D3s and solve the problems of low light, FSP, and usable images for landscape?

The older 300 2.8's are beasty.. they weigh a considerable amount more than the newer ones. So if that 300 screw drive is in you're future, brush up on those forearm curls and get ready for some blurry shots. The art of using a non-VR 300+ anything is one of trial and error.. and just shooting a ton of frames.




Oct 13, 2013 at 02:28 PM
PeteT
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p.2 #3 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


So I seriously doubt that most non-professional shooters can afford a 300/2.8 or even a 400/2.8. Heck same thing for pro shooters! I'd think the argument is especially valid when the alternative purchase is an $1100 d7100....

So my first recommendation would likely be a little different - Use the zoom you're born with, your FEET! Move with the action as much as you can to get your angles and not have to go much further than the 70-200 can handle. Plus with the massive number of pixels in the d800, you have lots of opportunity to crop!



Oct 13, 2013 at 03:07 PM
hijazist
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p.2 #4 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


John Skinner wrote:
This thread kinda went from one thing... to another. Although the older 300 2.8 was getting to some of his issues, it just occurred to me he was in the wrong body. There was a comment listed and OP had said he shot landscapes on the side..

The only thing you'd be missing by dropping that 800 is the crop factor, and the ability to print uninhibited straight to really large with up-sizing through software. If the low light is hampering you, and you have usable glass, why not go into a D3s and solve the problems of low light,
...Show more

Thanks for the suggestions John. I never thought I'd need the D800's megapixels until the other day when I was shooting a project for my graduate housing lobby. There's two huge empty walls in one of the hallways and the manager wanted one of my campus pictures blown out to 36x60, the other 24x48. The problem was that the images were taken with a 12mp camera and the viewing distance was almost two feet so the behemoth pixel beast was certainly missed to be able to print with the needed higher dpi (not sure yet if the D800 is even enough for that). I am going to reshoot and maybe convince the manager to downsize the print.

You're right though, nothing beats the D3s for ISO and action performance and that's why I am looking at some sort of a compromise. Maybe when I start getting paid I will seriously consider adding the D3s to the D800



Oct 13, 2013 at 07:35 PM
hijazist
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p.2 #5 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


PeteT wrote:
So I seriously doubt that most non-professional shooters can afford a 300/2.8 or even a 400/2.8. Heck same thing for pro shooters! I'd think the argument is especially valid when the alternative purchase is an $1100 d7100....

So my first recommendation would likely be a little different - Use the zoom you're born with, your FEET! Move with the action as much as you can to get your angles and not have to go much further than the 70-200 can handle. Plus with the massive number of pixels in the d800, you have lots of opportunity to crop!


Thanks for the recommendation Zooming with your feet works great, however, from my limited experience with sports shooting I get more keepers when I wait for the action to come to me. Following the action with your feet simply doesn't work and might get me kicked out of the field if I do something wrong especially that I am not experienced enough and still learning the etiquette of sports photography.



Oct 13, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.2 #6 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


My advice would be to rent a d7100 and then compare it to your experiences with the d800. It's not a high ISO beast like the d3s, but the 24mp ought to help downplay some of the noise issues. I have and like a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8, but I'd much rather use my 70-200vr, given a choice.

With respect to the huge prints for your graduate housing lobby, I'd suggest that you're possibly being a little too critical. People used to make billboards and full page magazine shots with the d2h. I would expect that a 12mp camera could be expected to produce a decent print at the sizes you mentioned, especially if the print is in a frame, matted, with glass in front of it.

IME, the average person really doesn't care about what we photographers can see and dislike. I've printed a lot of sports posters from a 6mp camera, where the clients were just ecstatic with the results. IOW, they care much more about the content, than they do anything else. They usually don't see or care about the high ISO noise, jaggies or anything else.

Of course, these are your shots and you have to be happy. I'm just suggesting that most folks aren't likely to be as critical as you are.

good luck
Kerry



Oct 13, 2013 at 10:38 PM
hijazist
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p.2 #7 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Kerry Pierce wrote:
My advice would be to rent a d7100 and then compare it to your experiences with the d800. It's not a high ISO beast like the d3s, but the 24mp ought to help downplay some of the noise issues. I have and like a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8, but I'd much rather use my 70-200vr, given a choice.

With respect to the huge prints for your graduate housing lobby, I'd suggest that you're possibly being a little too critical. People used to make billboards and full page magazine shots with the d2h. I would expect that a 12mp camera could
...Show more

Kerry, thank you for the advice you're absolutely right regarding sufficient megapixels. I am not an expert on big prints at all so I don't to be viewed as a pixel snob, but I like the idea of being able to print bigger with better output in addition to the ability to crop more. The biggest I can print the image I have is 20x35 and that's at 150dpi which is really fine for me, but I am not sure about 36x60 especially it's not a billboard that will be viewed from yards away but will be viewed up close and will be printed on non-framed acrylic and hung via bolts.

I honestly don't want this to divert into 'megapixels vs. need' discussion because of me so apologize if I caused that in my comment



Oct 13, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #8 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Go the D7100 + 300 f/2.8 route. If you have two bodies, you can shoot the 70-200 on one and the 300 f/2.8 on the other ... or get the Sigma 120-300.

I shoot soccer with a 300 f/2.8 on a DX body (D300) so if you stick with FX, expect to get a 400mm lens.

For vollyball, you can use a faster lens, like an 85 f/1.8 to make up for the stop you loose shooting DX.



Oct 14, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Crossczechfoto
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p.2 #9 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


OK so here's my little take on the matter.

How often are you shooting your sports that you make money from?

Because honestly if you are considering that factor you can have your cake and eat it also with what I might suggest.

Buy the D7100 here on the used forums as it's going to cost you around $900-1000 and get a grip with it also.

I also thought that when you put the D7100 into DX mode it drops you down to 16MP in essence making it a "mini" D4? I may be wrong as I am writing this on my lunch.

I can say for sure that the focusing on it is very good as I used it for the whole summer before upgrading to the D4.

Then "RENT" the long glass for whatever you are shooting. That will at least allow you to "own" something and then work and make money towards the other piece of equipment that is going to help you out.

Hand's down in my opinion the most versatile lens that Nikon makes for both indoor and outdoor sports is the 200mm f/2 VR (Either I or II).

Throw a 1.4 extender on it and it essentially becomes a 280mm f/2.8 which is going to be nice for when you need the reach. Then when you pull the extender off it becomes one of the best long reach most creamy OOF Bokeh behind the subject lens, sharp as a razor...(ok I need to stop drooling) lens I own.

I actually used the non IS version 1.8 on the canon side for 2 years shooting Lacrosse and Football and it never, ever let me down.

I have rented the new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS and it worked very well for me even when I didn't have it dialed in with the USB hub.

That's just from my side of the fence opinion if you have the money to invest in something.



Ross



Oct 14, 2013 at 11:42 PM
hijazist
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p.2 #10 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Andre, I think I've made up my mind on the 300 2.8. Still undecided whether to get D7100 or not.

Ross, thanks for the suggestion. While there's no question the 200/2 VR is a lens I dream of owning one day, it's hard to justify buying especially that I have a 70-200 VRII that Im planning to keep or portraits, landscape, etc... Renting is definitely an option as well



Oct 15, 2013 at 12:14 AM
 

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Andre Labonte
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p.2 #11 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


hijazist wrote:
Andre, I think I've made up my mind on the 300 2.8. Still undecided whether to get D7100 or not.

Ross, thanks for the suggestion. While there's no question the 200/2 VR is a lens I dream of owning one day, it's hard to justify buying especially that I have a 70-200 VRII that Im planning to keep or portraits, landscape, etc... Renting is definitely an option as well


*******************************
Good plan and a great lens on your D800. Test it out in DX crop mode with your D800 and see how that works for you. If you like it, problem solved ... if not, then consider the D7100. OR consider a 1.4 TC ==> 420 f/4 which would work well on a D800.



Oct 15, 2013 at 02:56 AM
OccAeon
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p.2 #12 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


I still don't understand why a D7100 would be better than just using a 1.4x TC.


Oct 15, 2013 at 02:59 AM
nikon65
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p.2 #13 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Buy a 200-400 F4, and be done. This is an amazing focal range. If you are using a 1.4 on a 2.8 lens, you're kind of defeating your own purpose of buying a 2.8 in the first place. If you don't use a converter, the 400 2.8 is tough to beat.


Oct 15, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Chestnut
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p.2 #14 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


The Sigma 120-300 OS "S" is really a phenomenal lens for the price. I couldn't be happier. I shoot it on a D800, and it's a great combo. If I were you, I'd save up and get the Sigma 120-300 OS "S", rather than the D7100 (if it's one or the other). If you have more expendable income, I'd get the lens first, then a second body for variety - one long, one shorter.

Also, think about it, add the sigma 1.4 teleconverter, and you have a 170-420/4 OS, and comes a lot cheaper than a Nikon 200-400/4, and still gives very good image quality. Definitely worth a thought.



Oct 15, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.2 #15 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


OccAeon wrote:
I still don't understand why a D7100 would be better than just using a 1.4x TC.


I use a TC with the d3s at times. IME, a TC can cause focus issues in low light and/or low contrast scenes that you don't get without the TC.

Given a viable choice, I'd use a DX camera rather than FX with TC. In decent lighting and contrast, the TC option isn't too bad, but I still have the impression that AF is more reliable and faster without.

Kerry



Oct 15, 2013 at 11:43 PM
low325
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p.2 #16 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


i vote big glass


Oct 15, 2013 at 11:45 PM
tach18k
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p.2 #17 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


I used a D300s and a 80-200 afs, a great combo for soccer, You dont want to try to shoot a keeper from behind the othe rkeeper, so move with the game and keep the sun behind you.


Oct 16, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Two23
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p.2 #18 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Kerry Pierce wrote:
IME, the average person really doesn't care about what we photographers can see and dislike. I've printed a lot of sports posters from a 6mp camera, where the clients were just ecstatic with the results. IOW, they care much more about the content, than they do anything else. They usually don't see or care about the high ISO noise, jaggies or anything else.




I think you're exactly right. I've borrowed a D800 a few times for weddings and shot it alongside a D300! Not one of my customers could see any difference at all in the shots, and I specialize in doing weddings for highly educated medical professionals. Content is at least 90% of it. Heck, now that we're discussing it, I charge more money when I shoot portraits with a vintage camera from the 1930s than what I could get shooting a D3s or D800.


Kent in SD



Oct 16, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #19 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


Two23 wrote:
I think you're exactly right. I've borrowed a D800 a few times for weddings and shot it alongside a D300! Not one of my customers could see any difference at all in the shots, and I specialize in doing weddings for highly educated medical professionals. Content is at least 90% of it. Heck, now that we're discussing it, I charge more money when I shoot portraits with a vintage camera from the 1930s than what I could get shooting a D3s or D800.

Kent in SD



+10 to both of you ... even on this forum, I suspect few people could honest tell the difference in a double blind test.



Oct 17, 2013 at 01:27 AM
MichGoBlue
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p.2 #20 · D7100 or Big Glass for Soccer


I shoot a lot of soccer - high school and club. I used a D7000 and then moved to a D7100 as soon as it came out (for the better AF mostly) and was very happy. I initially started with a 70-200 but quickly learned that was too short even with a TC so picked up an old non-DG Sigma 120-300. Worked okay, but AF was slower and IQ not as sharp as I liked so I sold that and purchased a used Nikon 300 2.8 AF-S II. This is the lens right before the VR ones came out and it is awesome - super fast AF and super sharp. When I look back at my older pics I cannot believe how bad they look by comparison. It took some getting used to not having a zoom, but I think my photography has gotten better as a result.

This summer I started shooting for MaxPreps and my daughter was getting ready for high school under the lights so I bit the bullet and bought a refurbished D4 for $4800 at Adorama. The D4 and the 300 2.8 AF-S II is such a killer combo. I use my D7100 as a 2nd body with a 70-200 VR II and I can hardly stand switching to it - its slower AF and burst rate makes me feel like something is wrong when I am shooting now. I still get decent pics with it, but for the poor HS field lights and gyms, the D4 is just killer.

Anyway having gone through the field sports lens gear configurations for the past couple of years this is what I recommend:

For doing it on the cheap and mostly good light: D7000/D7100 and 70-300. Great combo with great reach.

For your specific question, I would say use the D800 and get the best 300 2.8 you can afford. The older Sigma 120-300 OS can be had for around $2100 used and has decent AF and IQ. It will give you good flexibility overall. A Nikon AF-S I or II will be $2500-$3000 and given you better AF and IQ, but you lose some by not having the zoom. If you are like me you will probably end up with the Nikon 300 because you constantly question the quality of the Sigma 120-300. I think the Sigma would be fine though to be honest.

I am currently on the fence for getting a 400 2.8. I rent one locally for some shoots and love it for soccer and football. The 300 is so versatile though, especially if you have enough light to use a TC.



Oct 17, 2013 at 02:52 PM
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