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Best Telephoto for D80?

Spencer Steel , Jul 06, 2007; 04:00 p.m.

Just got a D80 and took the advice posted here - got an 18-70, 18-200, and 50mm lens. I'd like to have an extreme zoom AF lens for sporting events, etc. and am wondering what the best way to go is. I'm an absolute novice, but seem to have picked up that teleconverters are not a great choice, but I don't see much in Nikon's line past 300mm. All advice is welcome, and price is not a big consideration, although I don't want to be dragging a ten foot lens around.

Thanks in advance.


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Ellis Vener , Jul 06, 2007; 04:04 p.m.

600mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor.

Brian Duffy , Jul 06, 2007; 05:21 p.m.

80-400 or the 300mm f4. For sports I would probably go with the 70-200 although it covers a range you have it is considerably faster and sharper.

Anthony Beach , Jul 06, 2007; 07:53 p.m.


Shun Cheung , Jul 06, 2007; 08:09 p.m.

Exactly what type of price range are we talking about here, as I see some $5000 to $8000 lenses being recommended here. It is also important to identify exactly what type of photography we are talking about. Even within sports photography, the requirements for shooting soccer are very different from those for basketball.

For a beginner who already has 3 pretty decent lenses, I would suggest getting familiar with what you already have before adding even more lenses.

Spencer Steel , Jul 06, 2007; 09:38 p.m.

Amended Question

Thanks for all of the replies; I shouldn't say that price is NO consideration - I've got a high-end prosumer camera, so I'd like to invest less than a grand in the lens if possible. What's best for sports generally with an emphasis on baseball and golf? Autofocus required, of course, and I'd prefer a zoom to a telephoto.

Anthony Beach , Jul 06, 2007; 11:31 p.m.


Spencer Steel , Jul 07, 2007; 12:57 a.m.

If I get the 80-200 2.8, will it work well if I but the TC-20EII 2x teleconverter or am I better off just buying the 80-400 lens? I don't know enough to know what I can't get with the 18-200 that I already have that the 80-200 will provide. Thanks.

Anthony Beach , Jul 07, 2007; 01:34 a.m.

The Nikkor 80-200/2.8 has better IQ and is faster than the 80-400/4.5-5.6 or the 18-200 up to 200mm, but if your intention is to shoot beyond 280mm (attainable with 200mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter), then the longer zoom would probably be better. Adding a 2x teleconverter wrecks IQ and loses two stops, which would make the already compromised 18-200 unusable.

Peter Hamm , Jul 07, 2007; 08:23 a.m.

You wouldn't want a teleconverter on the 18-200 anyway. Besides the fact that it won't focus at the long end, It might damage it!

For REAL sports, you need expensive lenses. No way around it. 80-400 is a cool lens but focuses very slowly, so you will have to really concentrate on your technique. 80-200 f2.8 is an UNBELIEVABLE lens (especially compared with what you have). How big will you use the images (web? Printing? whatever?)? Perhaps you can get an 80-200 f2.8 and crop the images.

Also, the new 70-300 VR is supposed to be pretty fast-focusing in really good light. Check it out, too.


Any way you can get to a camera store and check these out? Or any way you can rent them to try them?

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