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Need Camera & Lens advice
Hello Forum.....

I have been reading this site for a couple weeks now and have finally decided I need some opinions/advice on a camera and lens..

2 of my daughters are heavily involved in competitive dance. I have very few pictures of these competitions because it is usually held in school auditoriums with very low light and you are not allowed to use a flash. My Sony F828 is not getting me acceptable results. I also tend to find myself sitting about mid theater distance from the stage, so I need something with good zoom quality that can capture the movement in low light. I already realize that these conditions = $$ to overcome..

I decided I will have to step up to a DSLR to get the results I want. I went to 2 reputable camera stores near by and both stores suggested the same setup, D300 and the 70-200mm VR or the 18-200mm VR to reduce the cost some..

Under this type of condition, can I get acceptable results with a D80? Is there another lens besides the 70-200 VR that would work well?.

Hopefully someone out there is shooting in similiar situations and can offer an opinion or advice..

Love the forum and thanks in advance&..Ron..

Comments (10)

D80 will do just fine. The most important thing here is the lens and not the body so much. the 70-200VR is an excellent choice..

'I reject your reality and substitute my own' -Adam Savagehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mrnoronha/sets/..

Comment #1

I agree with that advice..

Since you seem to know how far away you will be from the performances, you may think about considering a faster prime lens. It would limit the "flexibility" but provide even better low light performance in terms of shutter speeds..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #2

The VR lenses will help in low light situations. The D80 should do fine. You might consider the Sigma 18-200mm DC OS lens. It's got image stabilzation like the Nikon VR lenses. Then there's the Olympus, Pentax, and Sony DLSRs that give you image stabilization in the camera so you won't have to buy image-stabilized lenses.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #3

Thanks everyone...I have been leaning towards the 70-200VR and the D80 and then see if I need/want more camera performance later..

Is that setup a little out of the ordinary? ie....the lens being a little more than twice the camera body? I think that lens is more of an investment than a consumable like the body tends to be...

Comment #4

Birdman2008 wrote:.

Is that setup a little out of the ordinary?.

No, not for indoor shooting sports...

Comment #5

Peter A. Stavrakoglou wrote:.

The VR lenses will help in low light situations..

VR stabilizes camera shake, not subject movement..

Picking a f/5.6 zoom (like the 18-200mm) vs a f/2.8 zoom (like the 70-200mm) means 1/4 the max shutter speed. So for instance if you can get 1/125 with f/2.8, you'll get 1/30 with f/5.6. 1/30 is nice if you want motion blur, but you can get that with the f/2.8 lens simply by stopping down. But if you want to reduce motion blur, f/5.6 won't give that to you..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #6

Let me make a suggestion. I agree with the camera stores that a D300 is the choice here for low light situations. I think you'd get much better images..

Now, for a lens, depending on the range, I'd look at a 135 f2 or a 180 f2.8. As others have mentioned, image stabalizaion won't help as much here as a fairly fast shutter and high ISO capability. The 70-200 vr is superb, but maybe more expensive than need be seeing I'm suggesting the D300..

I own the D40, D80, and the D300 and can attest that without a doubt, the D300 would be much better in unfavorable light. So much better as to be night and day (no play on words intended). My second choice would be the D40 in low light conditions. My D80 just doesn't do high ISO well...

Comment #7

Birdman2008 wrote:.

Thanks everyone...I have been leaning towards the 70-200VR and theD80 and then see if I need/want more camera performance later..

Is that setup a little out of the ordinary? ie....the lens being alittle more than twice the camera body? I think that lens is more ofan investment than a consumable like the body tends to be..

I think you havea very good understanding. Bodies come and go, good lenses last forever.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #8

Thank you all.....I will make my decision & purchase and then probably be back for more help.  ..

Comment #9

For a 'low cost' set up, a d80 with a prime lens will do the job..

I shot this with d80 + 85mm f1.8. But depending on the distance, you may need a longer focal length..

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Rafy Sugirihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rafysugiri/sets/..

Comment #10

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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