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Old 03-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lens Suggestions

So I am posting this question to all the camera gurus of MCB.

I'm looking to expand my selection of lenses. Specifically I am looking for a macro lens and another fast lens that I can use for sports.

I have a D3100, and I currently have a Nikkor 18-55mm, a Nikkor 55-200mm, and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

In terms of money I'm a student so Im not going to be dropping any ridiculous amount cash on some new lenses, but other than paintball this is where all of my spending money goes.

Any help would be greatlyted
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What type of sports? I would say for a good all around sports lens a 70-200 f2.8. However those are on the pricey side. And I would say get the older 80-200 f2.8 but it wont autofocus on the d3100.

For macro work, the Tokina 100 f2.8 is a great lens. They run about $400. Another option is the older Nikon 105 f2.8 af-d which runs about the same price. Neither of these with autofocus on your body but any serious macro work is done manual focus anyway.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My brother is a competitive gymnast (national youth - men's artistic), and I have been asked to be the photographer for his club's next competition/ event. So when I say sports I mean mainly higher level gymnastics.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah I would say you want something with a fast aperture since most of your events you shoot will be indoors? You will want that fast aperture.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A D3100 doesn't have a build in focus motor, so none of the AF-D lenses will AF for you unforunately (such as the 85mm 1.8).

The new 85mm 1.8 AF-S is probably your better bet. Anything longer gets pretty expensive on the AF-S side.

For indoor gymnastics, you're going to need as fast a lens as possible because the lighting will be poor and you need to capture action. when I've shot hockey (similar lighting), it's been at 1/1250, f2, ISO 3200.

At the same light levels, a 2.8 zoom @ ISO 1600 will put you at 1/320 which will be a little slow for fast moving action. Your camera's going to start showing a lot of noise above that ISO.

The 85mm 1.8 @ ISO1600 will put you at 1/800, if you drop the ISO to 1000 you'll be at 1/500. I think you'll see better results shooting with a 85mm and cropping when needed.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Consider renting a lens like a 70-200mm f/2.8. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II

It's a $2,000+ lens so I'm guessing buying it isn't in the cards.


From my understanding, (and lenses that i want/need) that would be THE glass to get.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ya, like JLuke said, that one would be THE lens to get, but ya...2000 is a little bit much for me right now.

Where could I go about renting a lens?
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Photography suggestion sticky thread idea....

Theres a feew lists on the stickies here on this side.

Though keep an eye out, ive seen some of the older, some non VR go for sub 1000 used. That's still too rich for my blood, i can justify paying that much yet, for something that i'd only use for paintball most likely.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would seriously suggest that--for the camera you've got--you just go with the macro capability of the 18-55mm. It does an amazing job on macro shots. Only when you're 100% sure you're exhausting the capability of the lens would I consider a dedicated macro...and the 55mm 3.5 is indeed a stellar value. I used the 55mm AF 2.8 and liked it a lot for an under $200 solution--it looks odd but is cut-yourself sharp...

For your fast tele work...if this is really why you take pictures...you might find it's cost effective to upgrade the camera body to one that focuses with AF lenses (e.g. D90 or D7000). The're are several options (70-210mm AF-D zoom for about $150 is a little slow, but focuses instantly)...or 180mm f2.8...

Good luck...
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