What to buy for shooting action that doesn't cost as much as a D4?

Started Nov 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,730
Re: What to buy for shooting action that doesn't cost as much as a D4?

ZinMe wrote:

You can pick up a two stop ISO improvement, and get more focal length flexibility by getting the following:

D7100 (+1 stop better than D300)

Trade your 200-400 for a 300mm f2.8 VR (1 stop better than the 200-400- maybe more if you look at t-stops)

Use a 70-200mm for shorter ranges (again f2.8 is really helpful.)

Use an 85mm f1.8 (or 1.4) indoors (basketball / volleyball) which is great.

Use a 1.4 TC to get an effective 600mm+ focal length with the 300mm VR- usable in good light.

I currently shoot a D300 with the above lens combinations for sports, and every time I do the math on the "upgrade" to FX, I give up a stop on the lens choices because I'm not willing to buy (and lug around) a 400mm f2.8. I've been waiting for a D400, but it appears I will have to decide whether to accept one of Nikons artificially de-featured DSLRs (why can't they give us best AF, good buffer and a good sensor for $2,000 like they did with the D300?)

Don't get me wrong, a D3S + 200-400mm is going to be better in low light than what I suggest above, but the affordable and highly effective and portable lens combinations for sports in my opinion are worth considering in addition to the sensor advantage of FX for sports.

I know I'll get blistered on this forum, but there it is. Some samples mostly with the 300VR:

I hear you on the lack of a D400. I'm not sure why Nikon is avoiding that. They are also avoiding a D750 (FX speed camera).

I can't change lenses during the action so it sounds like you're suggesting I just shoot with D7100 and 300mm f/2.8. The issues with that are:

1) You're asking me to spend $5800 on the 300 f/2.8

2) The D7100 is only 6fps and has a pretty small buffer

3) Shooting with a prime instead of the zoom significantly compromises how much of the soccer field I can cover.

I think I'd rather spend less money on a used D3s with my 200-400 and not have any of these issues.

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