The Best Sports Lenses for the Nikon D5200


Make Sure your are well Equipped for the Arrival of the Nikon D5200

Whilst we are all waiting for the arrival of Nikon’s new baby, it’s worth considering how you are going to use it. Assuming that Nikon improve the D5100 in the same way they boosted the D3100, the Nikon D5200 will be pretty handy in any photographic discipline.

If, as we hope, Nikon push the shutter speed and burst speed, you could find yourself with a formidable sports body. In that case, there is no point having an outdated lens, is there? Here are some of the best Nikon sports lenses available at the moment, to lust over…..

Nikkor AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR Lens

This would be a great lens for your new D5200. Firstly, it is at the cheaper end of the market and, whilst it is a bit slow for sport, the crop factor ( remember the D5200 is likely to be a APS-C chip, so a FX lens can be magnified by 1.5 or so) which would take this lens up to 600mm.

Nikkor AF 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED VR lens nikonReleased back in 2000 it was the first in a new range of Nikon lenses featuring Vibration Reduction (VR). The VR has an efficiency equivalent to 3 f-stops, at cost of slower shutter speeds. The Nikon VR system allows panning, unlike some other manufacturers.

This is a gold ring lens – Professional grade -and so the build quality of the lens is good. it is a mix of metal and quality plastic parts. It has a detachable tripod/ monopod collar which will probably be needed with the relatively light D5200 body. It doesn’t have an internal AF motor, so is no use with the D5100.

Cost around $2,300 

Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 G ED VR II Lens

This is also an FX lens, which means that on an APS-C body, it will become a 120-350mm lens.

Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VRII lensThe Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 G ED VR II is regarded as the best 70-200mm lens Nikon have produced.

Every five years or so, they manage to improve on what seemed perfect already. the current model is the sharpest, fastest and most accurate tele-zoom around from Nikon. Again the VR function is robust and allows hand held pictures and ridiculously slow shutter speeds. Whilst hanging a new Nikon D5200 around your neck might give people the impression that you are a bling photographer, you will receive genuine respect if you then pull this lens out of your bag.

Cost around $2,400

Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens

Nikon 300mm AF-S lens

This 300mm lens is a cheaper alternative to the awesome 2.8 lens and is a good all-rounder that can produce clean sharp images right up to full extension ( It is an FX lens, so in this case 450mm ).

It is built like a tank – the all metal barrel will outlast you- and it has a detachable tripod collar. Unlike many zooms, this has internal focussing, so the actual length doesn’t change as you use it. with it Silent wave motor, the AF is almost silent and very fast.

Cost around $1,400

Nikon AF-S 200mm f/2 VR Lens

Nikon 200mm f2 vr lensNow we are getting to the higher price range Nikon lenses. You get what you pay for and what you pay for here is fantastic quality images, particularly in low light. This is a chunky boy – no longer than an ordinary 200mm, but as wide as a fisheye. Made almost entirely of glass and metal, it weighs around 3KG. It is a beast. The very necessary tripod collar is fixed. There are 11 buttons on this lens, so reading the manual is a must. Again, due to internal focus, it doesn’t visibly extend. As you might expect, the lens has silent wave technology, which makes AF very fast and quiet. Cost around $6000

Nikon 300mm f/2.8 G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Lens

Nikon 300mm f2.8 G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor LensThis is a big time professional lens for football, tennis and wildlife photographers. Again, because of the APS-C multiplier, this would go to a max length of about 450mm on a D5200 body. It’s second generation Vibration Reduction (VR) system produces astonishingly sharp images, especially under low light conditions. The glass has Nano Crystal coatings to provide excellent corner to corner sharpness with good contrast. The Silent Wave motor makes it very fast and quiet. Aimed at professionals, the Nikon 300mm f2.8 G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Lens has a weather sealed magnesium body. Cost around $6,500 Of course there are other lenses out there, not least the Nikon 400mm f/2.8 VR, but we are talking about lenses for the D5200 and if you are going to pay $10,000 for a lens, I guess you would be looking at the D800, D3S (or X) or D4.

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