D800 as a pro sports camera - a lens maintenance question

Started Jan 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
Paul StL Forum Member • Posts: 62
Re: D800 as a pro sports camera - a lens maintenance question

Peter, in most cases, I've thought the D800 could perform admirably in many sports situations and your images confirm that.  They are excellent.  I am curious, however, why you feel the need for such high shutter speeds and to shoot at f4 v f2.8 or even f3.5?  There's a reason those Canon shooters are at 1/800 of a second and that's because it's enough to stop the action and it allows them to lower their ISOs.  Don't get me wrong, the D800 is a magnificent performer at ISO 6400 but it's not as good as ISO 1600 or ISO 3200.

In regards to your f-stop, the 70/80-200 series (for that matter most professional, fast lenses) are usually optimized for wide open shooting and there may not be much to gain by stopping down (depth of field shouldn't be a problem even shooting from the floor because of the distance to focal length ratio).  You'd gain a half or full stop on the ISO side by closing down the lens (which is why the Canon guys are doing it).

By my thoughts, lowering your shutter speeds and/or f-stop would allow lower ISOs which would provide additional gains in sharpness, color and contrast.  Keep in mind, I'm not questioning your abilities or the quality of your work, but I would like to know why you're doing what you're doing.

Regarding the lens, Steve is right, a newer version would provide faster focusing speeds but the VR is not going to help with what/how you're shooting and may, in fact, hinder what you're doing because the camera has to wait for VR to stabilize before allowing the shutter to trigger.  I rarely shoot sports with the VR on.

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