I am just a Mom, trying to get shots of my kid. I'd say I'm slightly above average in my amateur shooting skills. I rented the Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G AF-S IF-ED VR lens to try to capture my kid (Million Dollar Band - Roll Tide!) at the GA Dome. I shoot a Nikon D-200. In no particular order, here are my observations: 1) I carried this lens on my neck for about 6 hours (standing and sitting) and it wasn't too bad; I was mildly sore in my neck by end of day. 2) Focus is moderately fast, not as fast as my 50mm f/1.8, not as slow as my 55-200 f/4-5.6 kit lens. 3) Shooting in the stands, the light was poor, and I have few usable shots - most are blurry due to camera shake because the lens was just too slow for the low light. I had one beautiful shot taken from the side with all the horns in a row - if the lens had been able to stop the motion of all the trombones, it would be a really excellent shot. Alas, a few of the horns are blurry. 4) Shooting from the back of lower level (appx 60 rows back, 30yd line) at GA Dome onto center of field, I took +/- 600 shots at 5fps bursts at 280mm, hand held. I tried as hard as possible to minimize camera shake and I got some shots that I cropped in to see my baby's face. None were perfect but a handful are usable. The lens was not fast enough to stop motion of the cymbals, but did stop motion of slow walking and head turning. 5) I thought the 300mm would be more important than speed to reach out and touch my baby in that sea of kids on the field, but I was wrong. I needed speed. 6) I've read countless times that the lens to have is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 ED VR (I or II) for sports shooting. My next rental will be that lens and I'll report back on it.
Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S IF-ED VR
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Lens rental package includes: Front cap, rear cap, hood and UV filter.