Advice on Lens for Dog Sports with Z6 Body

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
Boudewijn van der Drift
Boudewijn van der Drift Regular Member • Posts: 312
Re: Advice on Lens for Dog Sports with Z6 Body

Tom SilverSpring wrote:

I am a novice photographer with a Z6 body. I am interested in getting a lens that would allow me to get crisp, close-in shots of dogs in motion. One specific scenario taking outdoor photos of my dogs catching frisbees. This generally means the dogs are about 50-75 feet away from my vantage point. Bear in mind that dogs routinely hit 30 - 60 mph (a few Border Collies hit this speed), but 30 would be a maximum typical speed for my applications. In addition to frisbees, I want to photograph dogs at indoor obedience competitions. There the max distance would be about 60 feet and speeds would be slower.

I would be satisfied with a lens that did a good job in those two scenarios, but a bonus would be one that could also cover indoor agility competitions. There the distances can be substantially greater (the standard venue is 100x100 ft and I would be maybe 20 feet back from the field). However, most shots would be taken with a predetermined focus point and I could always focus on a relatively nearby obstacle.

I would prefer to not spend $2800 on the Z 70-200 and am hoping that I can get something suitable that will do a good job for under $1000. It is also not clear whether 200 mm is sufficient for my needs (advice welcomed on this point). Lenses that look like they might be suitable are the Sigma 100-400 F mount (using the FTZ adapter I already have) and the Nikon AF-P 70-300. Are these good options? Are there others I should consider?

Please give me whatever advice you might have -- including the possibility that results with these relatively slow lenses will likely be unsatisfactory (I would rather get nothing than spend money on lenses that yield poor results),

Thank you!

You can do simple geometry on the focal length part of your question:

FF = 24*36 mm, let's say the real world frame around the dog is 480*720 mm.

Reproduction ratio = 1/20.

60 ft away = 20000 mm --> focal length required = 20000 mm/20=1000 mm,

Use your own numbers and a bit more accurate than me, but you might need to do some water in the wine, maybe smaller reproduction ratio, closer by, generous cropping or shooting in DX. Or a combination of these. Maybe not a zoom.

Looking at the great shot by CuriousMike in this thread, he must have been much closer than 60 ft for FF. And I am not sure, but is the D7100 DX? That already helps by a factor of 1.5. Maybe download it for the EXIF and the actual number of pixels.

Maybe borrow/hire a lens before you buy.

 Boudewijn van der Drift's gear list:Boudewijn van der Drift's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 Nikon Z 70-200 F2.8 VR +2 more
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