I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a lazy photographer. Sometimes I find it easiest to stick with one lens, get used to how it works, and forget about the other wonderful glass in my photographic repertoire.
That’s why I use my Nikon 105mm macro lens so much with my Nikon D300. But while the 105 has been a wonderful workhorse, handling my close-up needs along with portraits and action, I sensed something was missing when I used it to shoot action photos. Namely flexibility. Specifically the flexibility that Nikon’s amazing 70-200mm lens affords.
Sidebar: I’ve owned my 70-200 for five years; I bought it soon after I got my Nikon D70. It was the lens that put the “wow” in my sports shots. There’s just something about that f/2.8 wide-open aperture!
So Tuesday night I decided to get out of my 105 rut, shake off the dust from my 70-200, and shoot the weekly disc golf handicap mini (18 holes at our local disc golf course) with my old lens friend.
It was a wonderful visit! I had forgotten how handy it is to zoom in for a portrait-type shot and zoom out for action, all while standing in the same spot. Primes like the 105 are sharp, but you’re stuck with that one focal length. You have to zoom with your feet, and sometimes that’s not feasible.
The 200mm focal length was especially nice for shooting disc golf—it got me up close and personal with the players without actually being up close and personal.
Even though the 70-200 is pretty big, it’s still easy enough to handhold and keep steady. The mini lasted for about two hours, and my arms weren’t too tired from carrying the big equipment (the D300 is pretty heavy, too).
I especially noticed the 70-200’s versatility with my putting photos. It seemed to focus faster than the 105, which meant I had a lot more photos in focus.
Sidebar: Remember Eric from this blog post? He and Jessica (who wasn’t at the mini) recently got married! Congrats to one of our favorite couples! And not to put any pressure on them (ha ha!), but I hope they’ll have beautiful children some day who I can take photos of disc golfing!!
I must admit that I was amazed at my keeper rate with the 70-200 (“keeper rate” means how many good photos you have versus deletable ones)! There’s a reason why it’s considered to be the sports photo lens, both for Nikon and Canon. It is expensive, but its image quality is amazing.
Not only does the 70-200 have fast focus, but wide open at f/2.8, it produces that wonderful, creamy bokeh blur that I adore.
Sidebar: Last night the Mister admitted that his eyes glaze over every time I talk photography on the blog. Thinking back to our vows 19 years ago, I don’t remember him claiming he would “love, honor, and try to understand what aperture and bokeh meant.” Guess I’ll cut him some slack.
Of course, even though I loved shooting with the 70-200, I did feel a pang or two of remorse every time I saw a flower or critter that was tailormade for that 105 macro.
I’m glad the 70-200 had no trouble zooming in on this wascally wabbit!