I am absolutely new to photography and have just started learning the basics. I have got a Nikon D-610 with a 18-140 lens for now. I just want to know if I can take this to a basketball game and get some good shots, or this lens is not able to do that. And if this is not a good starter lens for this purpose (it was $200.00 from BestBuy that I got it so I got this!), what should I look for instead?

  • are you asking if they'll allow the camera+lens into the stadium, or just if it will produce decent images?
    – MikeW
    Nov 24 '14 at 22:18
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    Call the stadium. Everyone's got different rules.
    – user4894
    Nov 25 '14 at 0:44
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about rules of a particular venue. It is very specific to your exact venue(and even event at the venue) and likely will not be of use to any other users.
    – dpollitt
    Nov 25 '14 at 1:56
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    @dpollitt I meant to ask if it is able to take good pictures in a basketball size of a stadium
    – Brandon
    Nov 25 '14 at 14:36
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    @user4894 no! I meant if it is able to produce decent pictures in such an environment! Well now you can debate it depends on where do I seat! LOL
    – Brandon
    Nov 25 '14 at 14:37

I'm going to disagree with Jasmine here: this is the wrong lens for your camera. The 18-140 is a perfectly good beginner lens - but you haven't bought a beginner's camera, you've bought something designed for more experienced users.

By using a lens designed for the lower end of Nikon's range (a "DX" lens like the 18-140), you are literally throwing away half your camera's sensor - the lens is designed for a smaller sensor (called either DX, crop or APS-C) than the sensor in your camera (which is called either FX or full-frame). You'd be much better off either using an FX lens on your camera, or getting a cheaper body which would be better matched to your lens. If it's at all possible, I'd recommend the latter - trade your body in for a cheaper body like the D5300 and keep the cash for now. As a general rule of thumb, you should be spending at least as much on your lenses as you do on the body - but you've spend $1600 on the body and $200 on the lens.

  • wow, interesting information. Ok can you please recommend a more general purpose and yet affordable lens for that my camera? (Not more than $500.00 please!) I can return the lens until two weeks I think to BestBuy...but I would like to keep the camera and use it for the years to come, before this I first bought a Pentax K50 and regretted getting a more entry level camera...returned that to Amazon and got this one.
    – Brandon
    Nov 25 '14 at 14:09
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    You keep lenses, not bodies. My advice remains to return the body.
    – Philip Kendall
    Nov 25 '14 at 14:11
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    I didn't say it was the best beginner lense. I meant, since you have it, use it, and that it wouldn't really hurt you. And yeah, in general I'm following your rule with my kit. I've got $2500 of lenses but they fit a lot of bodies, I'm using a $1000 body ATM.'
    – Jasmine
    Nov 25 '14 at 23:17

The sports teams and venues set the rules for photography. Some events don't allow any photography at all. Best to check before you go, otherwise you will have to leave your camera in the car in the parking lot, setting you up for theft.

Generally in the USA anyway, professional Baseball allows photography, Football and Basketball do not. As for how that lens would perform at a basketball game, it would be fine. It's not too big that it would be an inconvenience for other spectators, and it's not so short that your photos will be "too small" for basketball anyway. For other sports, you'll need a lot more zoom than that, and it depends entirely on where your seats are. In the front row, you won't need more than 50mm for basketball. Your aperture range will work fine.

This was taken from the nosebleed seats at Coors Field at 300mm. So, in a smaller arena at 140mm you would probably be ok in terms of image size anyway.

enter image description here

Yes, in general I think that is a fine lense for a beginner to start with. It's got some "wide angle" capability, and some zoom in case you get too far from the action. Switching lenses is a real pain when you're new, and you risk damaging them if you're in a hurry. So, I think a zoom lense is great for beginners, particularly when there's action happening. You can "compose with zoom" and that way you can learn about light and color without worrying about angle so much.

  • Great answer, thanks... just left this part: " then do you suggest a better general purpose lens to have?"
    – Brandon
    Nov 24 '14 at 19:54
  • I added an opinion on that, but I'm not an instructor or anything.
    – Jasmine
    Nov 24 '14 at 19:58

I'm just going to answer the 'is it allowed' question. Yes, and in certain circumstances, they have various restrictions. I know of a couple that restrict the physical length of a lens, regardless of focal length (no kidding). One baseball team that I visit periodically says I can't bring in a lens longer than 8". Check the team's / stadium's website or call the ticket office.

Also, on a separate note, I hope you are in the Southern Hemisphere because there isn't much baseball in the northern hemisphere during this time of the year - it's hard to see the ball when it's snowing.

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    Zikes! - I need to read the large, bold, title words more slowly ... I wonder why I misread this as baseball - probably the sample photo ...
    – B Shaw
    Nov 25 '14 at 21:55
  • Sorry about the baseball photo, I'm not a basketball fan :)
    – Jasmine
    Nov 25 '14 at 23:21
  • @Jasmine - no need to be sorry - I was the complete knucklehead on this.
    – B Shaw
    Nov 25 '14 at 23:27

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