D700, no decent glass for indoor sports ??!?!

Started May 2, 2009 | Discussions thread
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cincin
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D700, no decent glass for indoor sports ??!?!
May 2, 2009

Hello,

This is a reporst of a question I originally posted in the Nikon Talk forum.

I just recently made the switch from Canon to Nikon and bought a D700. I now need to find fast and sharp glass to put in front of it and I'm having a hard time finding something appropriate. So I need your help.

I shoot indoor sports, fast action in terrible light, read f2.8 all the time, and the main reason I switched to the d700 is for the much better autofocus (when compared to the 5DII) so autofocus is of prime importance.

I need a f2.8 zoom lens in the 70-200 (or a little longer) range. Here are the options I have considered so far:
Nikon 70-200vr
PROS:

  • Sharp

  • Fast AF

CONS:

  • Extreme vignetting (falloff) all the way to F8 (!!!)

  • Very soft corners

  • Expensive given the flaws

Nikon 80-200 AF-S
PROS:

  • Sharp

  • Fast AF

CONS:

  • Bad vignetting (falloff)

  • Discontinued

  • Iffy manufacturing, hard to find a good one

  • Bad ghosting

Nikon 80-200 AF-D
PROS:

  • Sharp

CONS:

  • Slower AF

  • Non-circular aperture

  • Jumpy AF

Sigma 70-200
PROS:

  • Fast AF

CONS:

  • Not super sharp

  • Funky field curvature

Tamron 70-200
PROS:

  • Possibly ok sharp

CONS:

  • Snail driven AF

My two main requirements are fast AF in bad light and sharp results so I can scratch off the Tamron and the Nikon 80-200 AF-D, probably the Sigma too... which leaves the Nikon 70-200vr and 80-200 AF-S.

I'm not sure I can get myself to give Nikon $2K (CAD) for the 70-200vr given the ridiculously soft and dark corners and I don't really have the time to hunt down a good sample of the 80-200 AF-S on the used market.

On the Canon side I already own the 70-200 and am very pleased with the results on a 40D but my 40D just died after just 1.6 years of use so I'm not buying that again... The 5D (and 5DII) have slower AF than the 40D and the focus points are all stuck in the middle of the large frame and that's just not practical for the kind of sport I shoot. So short of buying a 1DIII which I cannot afford what options do I have ????

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