Hello eveeryone. Here is my dilema. I currently shoot with a D700. Football season is round the corner ( my first season shooting night football) and I would like to have a reach of aproximatley 300 mm. Here are my choices:
1- Shoot with my current D700 and my 70-200 2.8 VRII with a 1.4 teleconverter..yields 280mm, F4
2- Buy a D300 and use my 70-200..yields 350mm F2.8
I realize I would have to bump my ISO on option 1 to achieve option 2 settings. But If I do so will the D700 High ISO capabilities give me the same IQ as option 2 at the higher ISO? I obviously looked at buying a 300mm 2.8 but to get the correct version I would have to fork out 3000-3500 which is not feasable right now. I must admit option 2 looks good as it would be nice to have fast 350mm glass and a extra body would be nice in the future, but I REALLY love my D700 and its capabilities. Any and all replys would be greatly appreciated.
#1. "RE: New body dilema" In response to Reply # 0
I've shot HS football with both a D700 and some DX bodies. I haven't used a D300, but I have used a D200, D1x, and a D2Hs. (I tried a D100 years ago, but it's just too slow on AF.) The DX bodies' extra reach really is nice with the 70 (or 80)-200 zoom. If you're thinking of getting a D300 anyway, that would be great with it's extra stop or so of high ISO. Another thing to consider if you don't want to invest quite so much in a body is an older DX body. I LOVED the D2Hs body I had. (Sold it when I got my first D700.) They still go for probably more than they're really worth, but you might also look at a D2H. They can be found at bargain prices. The D200 will work, but with more limited high ISO. Remember that your flash can help freeze the action. I usually do OK on the D200 at ISO 800, 1/250, flash, and a monopod as long as I don't go past 300 mm. ISO 800 is as far as you want to go on a D200. ISO 640 is really better. The D2Hs was usually good to ISO 1600. Remember, they're NOT a D700! One other possiblility is to use your D700 and pick up a used 300/F4. Obviously, the newer version would be preferable, but the old AF version (slowest focusing AF Nikkor I own) will work. I use it with my D700 and it works fine for sports. The glass is sharp. The 1 stop slower (F4) saves you a ton of money and an aching back.
Someone else will need to address the teleconveter possibility. My combo there is an old 80-200 with a TC14b--not quite up to par with your great zoom.
#2. "RE: New body dilema" In response to Reply # 0
The 70-200mm on a D300 will provide the EFOV of a 105-300mm lens on an FX body not 350mm.
How good or bad is the lighting at the venues you will be shooting at? The ones I shoot at vary between ISO 800 and ISO 6400. If you have to shoot at ISO 3200 or below consider using the TC or getting the 300mm f/4. If you can shoot at or below ISO 2000 - 2500 max you could consider the D300.
The TC-14E II performs very well on the 70-200mm VR II.
ISO 2000 - 2500 is about the maximum I would push the D300. If you can keep the ISO at 1600 or below you should be very happy with the results. Shooting with two bodies does make life a lot easier. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#3. "RE: New body dilema" In response to Reply # 0
When I want extra reach while shooting my D700 with my 70-200mm, I simply shoot in DX mode. I find that 5.1 MP is more than enough resolution. I can get high quality prints at least up to 10 x 13 inches with 5.1 MP. Also, OnOne has a Photo Shop plug-in that allows for enlargement up to 400 percent (without losing any quality). So, 5.1 MP is plenty of resolution for most applications. I say, stick with the D700 and shoot in DX mode when you want more reach.
#4. "RE: New body dilema" In response to Reply # 3
Boone, NC, US
Instead of shooting in DX mode, shoot in FX mode and crop -- you get the same "reach" and have more flexibility. The only reason to shoot in DX mode with an FX lens is to get more images on your CF card.
John "One should photograph objects not only for what they are but for what else they are." -- Minor White
#5. "RE: New body dilema" In response to Reply # 0
I think D300 + 70-200 and D700 + 70-200 + TC is fairly close to a push.
I don't think a 300/4 is a good option. Although it is technically sharper at 300 than the 70-200 at 280, with both wide open, you are unlikely to get that level of sharpness while pushing the envelopes of your your shutter speeds, as you are certainly doing if you are asking this question . You lose the zoom, which for sports spanning 100 yards is very important. The VR feature is very arguable, I think, for sports and won't engage in that argument
I recently shot some soccer with my 300/4 and went nuts because of the lack of zoom. That's a better lens for birds where you can never get close enough, except for that sparrow I posted into the Wildlife last night .
As indirectly pointed out earlier, a D2H or D2Hs won't help (certainly not a D2H, I have one); you are better off shooting in DX mode or just cropping. You'll get 1 megapixel more and better quality pixels.
Having a D300 and D700, if I were you I would make sure I had a real problem I could solve with a D300 before buying one just for this reason. I think a D300 makes more sense in situations like wildlife where there are no boundaries on the playing field and most of us are already at the limits of possible focal lengths. I would shoot this season with the D700, saving half the cost of a 300/2.8, and then double down next year and solve it with better optics. You might also like the TC17E-II although wide open I would try to stick with the TC14E-II on the 70-200.
I also sense that, despite lab test results, I can often get almost 2 stops more ISO with the D700 with similarly acceptable results. I don't shoot a D300s so can't comment on that newer body.
_________________________________ Neil Nikonians Team My Gallery
#6. "RE: New body dilema" In response to Reply # 5
I'll tend to agree having done both a D700 + 1.4 + 70-200 versus a D300 + 70-200. Tends to be close to a wash as far as what you end up with. However the 70-200 version 1 on the D300 gives you better corners. That lens is a bit soft on the D700 on the edges.
I don't think anyone has commented on the weight difference yet between the two kits. D300 + 70-200 will save you almost a full pound over the D700 kit. That's certainly a plus when you are running around the sidelines jockying for shooting position.
However. if I didn't already have both bodies I don't know if I would run out and get a D300 if I already had the D700 + 1.4TC
#7. "RE: New body dilema" In response to Reply # 0
Update to this question... I came across a mint like new 300 2.8 VR, USA year old from B+H at a very attractive price and could not resist and pulled the trigger. The guy I'm buying it from is nice enough to give me 30 days to pay for it. I'll let ya all know how it performs...Flawlessly I'm sure!!!