Zoom Versus Aperture for Action Shots

edited July 2013 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
I am new to the photography and I have been taking a lot of photos over the past month. I am learning and having a blast. I have the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm lenses. I love to take pictures of my son playing baseball and soon football. My question is simple, what is more important when taking pictures to stop the action. Should I purchase a larger zoom, say 300mm f/4.5-5.6, or would I be better off getting another 200mm lens with say f/2.8? I would love to be able to zoom in a little closer, but I realize I would be back to a f/5.6. Should I sacrifice the zoom for a larger aperture setting on another 200mm lens?

Any advice or input is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!!


  • edited July 2013
    You have raised various issues in this question. First, you asked about stopping the action; it is not the aperture or length of the zoom that is important here, but shutter speed. Second, you mention different zooms. If you are going to make sports your thing, then go for the 300mm. However, if it is going to be a "sometimes" shoot, then stick with your 55-200mm. It is not always possible, but try to get yourself physically closer to the action. Many people buy long zooms forgetting that they have feet.
    Third, you mention large apertures. An f/2.8 would only be an advantage in low light. Also at longer zoom lengths you have to give more regard to focusing because f/2.8 produces a very short depth of field. A friend had such a lens and always complained that his pictures were blurry at long zoom. When I showed him that his depth of field was only a few inches at that range, he began to see why his pictures were not very sharp.
    In conclusion, you say you are a beginner, so persevere with your 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses and see what you can achieve with them. It is a mistake to think that better kit makes for better pictures; it doesn't.
    Regards, PBked
Sign In or Register to comment.