I am looking for advice on what type of lens to get for actions sports to be used on a Nikon D100. I have heard some pretty good reviews on the Sigma 50-500mm lens, but could not find any info on how it does with action sports. I would really appreciate any advice on the Sigma 50-500 or other lens for the Nikon D100.
I am not a professional, just enjoy taking photos of sports; mainly ice hockey, football, and surfing. Since I have a limited budget, I pretty much have to go with a wide focal range rather than the faster lens with a set focal length.
Hope you don't mind my piggy-backing on your initial thread. I also had looked at the Sigma 50-500 in the past, and read some fairly good reviews on that model (not necessarily used with the D100 of course). I am also curious if there is anyone out there who has experience with this lens being teamed up with the D100 - specifically, sharpness of the optics, definition, flare, etc. I am leery about even considering this lens due to all of the glass involved, surmising that there must be negative tradeoffs to a lens of this massive design and price point.
Any info out there...? Please base it on actual personal usage - not, "well, I heard from Bubba that...," or "I didn't like the way it looked, etc."
Without knowing the details about this lens, I am guessing that it has a rather slow aperture and focusing mechanism (I've yet to see a zoom with such a wide range that isn't slow). As such, you will likely find it unsatisfactory for most sports shooting, except perhaps outdoor events in the brightest light, and where you can "camp your focus" on a particular spot. For a comparison, I have shot skating and soccer with the 80-400VR with mixed results. While I have ended up with usable photos, my frustrations with the slow focusing meant that for each shot I got, I lost three others.
I did take a look at some reviews from the 80-200/f2.8 lens. I currently have a 28-200 mm lens, and would like to be able to reach out a little further. Although, I would love to have the speed that the 28-200 would provide, not sure if the high cost is enough to provide the necessary focal lengths.
The Sigma 50-500 is f4.0-5.6. Not sure how well that would do, but if it is equivalent to speed of the Nikon 70-300; the extra reach of the 500mm would be great for surfing, airshows, or sports that require a little more power.
I have not made a decision yet; not enough data on the Sigma lens. Has anybody done any sports or action shots with the Sigma 50-500? How is the focusing, speed, clearity, sharpness etc...
I have used the AF Nikkor 70-300 f/4.0-5.6D ED lens with great success in sports situations, as well as bird photography. It focuses fast enough, has really sharp elements (ED), and only costs about $350.00.
I did check out the Sigma 50-500, Sigma 70-200 EX HMS and the Nikon 80-200 AF-S (Did not mean to say Canon in last post, brain freeze).
I was able to try out all the lens with the D100 in a large store in Sapporo Japan. Again, I am no professional, but here are a couple of quick notes. BTW I bought the Sigma 70-200 EX HMS with 2.0 teleconverter.
The Sigma 50-500 seemed to be a fast lens, but yes, it was very large. A little bigger than I had originally thought, so just the size was almost enough not to buy it. I need to be a little more mobile and not always rely on a tripod. Very clear, crisp photos though, definatly a great lens, and if I had already owned a Sigma 70-200 or Nikon 80-200, I would have bought it.
As far as the Nikon 80-200 AF S, that was also a great lens. I honestly could not see any difference between the the Sigma and Nikon. Not to say there was not, but in my opinion, it was so small that it was not noticeable to me. I took almost 100 photos in the store between the lenses.
Again, I'm sure the Nikon is a better lens, and if the price was comparable, I would have gone with the Nikon.
I went with the 2.0 teleconverter and the package deal was right around US$800.
Thanks for the input. I read quite a few great things about that Sigma lens, and over on the DP Review.com Nikon SLR forum, there are several threads showing images taken - all superb. I may just wind up getting the Sigma eventually. Of course, I would not hand hold it at all, and would only use it with a tripod or the Bushhawk shoulder device which I bought a year ago (great piece of gear).
For those of you who do not know what the Bushhawk is, here's the link below. Check it out - I fell it love with it for big lenses.
I really did like the 50-500, I just wish I already had the Sigma 70-200 or the Nikon 80-200. I need a smaller/lighter lens to do other photos (mainly more mobile for everyday type of shots), but would love the 50-500 for only sports. I almost bought both of them, but decided my credit card could not handle it
Good luck if you purchase the Sigma 50-500, I'm sure it is only a matter of time before I do the same.
Nice photo. It looks like you have quite the setup. Do you sell your photos? If not, you might want to look into it and help pay for your hobby. Not every camera is capable of taking photos of surfers, so I'm sure there would be a market for it.
There is a local tournament over here in Okinawa in a couple of months, I might just do that and see how it turns out. I'll have plenty of time to play around and learn before then. I tried with a Tamaron 28-200 f3.8-5.6 but wasn't able to get in close enough. I think the setup now with the Sigma 70-200 and 2x will work for me.
I'll have to try your settings that you mentioned in your thread. Thanks for sharing.
Aloha! I have been visiting this board regularly for the last 6 months and have enjoyed it very much. I have a Nikon d1x and consider myself to be an intermediate photographer. I live on Kauai and there is so much beauty to shoot with my d1x. I have had a Sigma 50-500mm lens for almost a year and am very delighted with it. I use it a lot, being that it does cover such a wide range. I am a surfer, so I like taking surf pics of my friends and the whoever else I can catch on a wave. I have left a shot of someone on a pretty big surf day as you can see. It was taken about 400 to 500 yards out using my sigma 50-500mm at 500mm. PS, I am not a silver donor yet so as soon as I am I will post the above pic.