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Recommended sports lens

edited May 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
Hi there everyone, I need some advice on my D3100 please. I've been using my D3100 for about a year now with the 18-55mm vr lens. I apologize in advance if I ramble on a bit but maybe someone could point me in the right direction if that's possible. I use my D310O mostly for sports. My one son plays rugby and my other son plays football. Though I have captured many amazing shots with the lens I currently have, I feel something is missing. I'm wondering if there is a perfect lens out there for getting close up shots with the ability to keep up the fast moving pace of the game without compromising the quality of the shots. I am still very much a beginner and I have nowhere near reached the full capabilities of this camera and the lens I have. I'd love to get to the nitty gritty bits, but I'm just unsure where to start so any advice on this as well would be very much appreciated. Thank you.


  • edited May 2015
    Unfortunately, the best answer to your question is a fast telephoto or zoom telephoto lens, which translates to lots of money.

    For well lit outdoor sports you can get away with a slower consumer zoom such as the 55-300mm or the 55-200mm and with practice can do quite well. Those lenses are good and sharp, but the relatively small apertures make autofocus a bit slow, and when light gets poor, shutter speeds will also be a little slow unless you crank up the ISO.

    The consumer zooms such as the DX 55-300mm can capture action pretty well with practice, but it does take some practice. The 55-300mm can get a lot done, especially if you are able to pre-focus fairly near the vicinity of expected action. AF performance can be a little slow for fast acting sports shots if you are changing distance a lot, but is decently quick if the change is minor.

    When shopping around for lens bargains, including used, remember that the D3xxx family has no in-camera focus motor. Older AF lenses, some of which are grand optically, will not auto focus unless they are AFS (with their own motor).
  • edited June 2015
    Not sure how far away you are from your sons on the field, and how closeup of a shot you want to take, but as stated before you could get by with a 55-200mm or even a 55-300mm (for longer range). I shoot a lot of my kids also playing sports (baseball/softball), but most of the time I'm shooting from the fence with a 55-200mm with VR.
    As stated above, if you can get fairly close to where a determined shot is going to be, you can catch the shot. You can also use back button focusing with your D3100. That is the AE-L/AF-L button on the back of your camera. It's a bit faster focusing (for me anyway) for shooting sports. YouTube has video tutorials for back button focusing with a D3100.
    Happy Shooting!
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