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| Re: Advice on investing my next $1000 |
I would second the pick of the nikon 70-200vr1 or nikon 80-200AFS if you can get it at your budget, your pick of the sigma 50-150 seems reasonable as well. If you are happy with the reach of your 18-105, then the 85 f1.4 or 1.8's would give your more light, but at even shallower DOF (OK if action is parallel to sensor plan, tricky if it's not parallel). If f2.8 is adequate, the best reach for the buck is the nikon 180AF, though I suspect it may be too tight in some instances. I've seen them go for around $300-$400 here on the B&S board.
With respect to using flash, it has merits, but I would imagine it could make for a lot of very dark backgrounds, which would be a matter of preference. If you boost ISO high enough for the background to retain some (OOF) details, you may get ambient light blurring on the main subject.