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05-06-2014, 07:38 PM   #1
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Shooting a baseball game under the lights

I have an opportunity to shoot a minor league baseball game under the lights. There will be pretty close access by the dugout so we shouldn't be too far away from the action. Since it's a minor league park the guess is the lighting will be pretty good--not like the majors but better than Little League. What settings should be used--I'll probably use the DA 55-300 and the DA 50-135 for shots from the dugout out to the field

05-06-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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Just watch your shutter speed and ISO as usual.

Beware that the DA*50-135 - while having nicer IQ than the DA55-300 - is slower to focus. It should focus fine for some shots, but could potentially a be problem for others - especially if a baserunner is coming right at you.

I'm fond of shooting my DA*50-135 between f/3.2 and f/4. The DA55-300 seems to do well stopped down just a little as well, around 2/3 of a stop IIRC.


Keep the shutter speed at 1/640s or faster in most cases, if you want to freeze the action. You'll have to experiment a little. I think I've gotten away with 1/400s at times, but I generally like to have between 1/800 and 1/1600s. IMO it's usually better to get a little more noise (due to a high ISO) than to go much slower than 1/640s. It's about 95-100% impossible to get rid of motion blur later. Noise can be dealt with, and what you can't get rid of in PP can usually be tolerated, especially if you're viewing the images at less than 100% size. Plus the built-in JPEG engine does a reasonable job of NR anyway (I usually shoot JPEG for events and action).


TAV is the mode I use most for sports (if your camera model has it). For example, you can set the camera to f/3.5 and 1/640s, and let the ISO be adjusted automatically to get the right exposure. Just be careful that you're not hitting the limits of the ISO (you can adjust the min and max ISO for TAV on the camera). If, for example, your max ISO is 5000 and you keep hitting it, you're probably getting many underexposed photos. I often use ISO 10000 as the max, so I have a little more leeway.

Last edited by DSims; 05-06-2014 at 08:19 PM.
05-06-2014, 09:04 PM   #3
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Thanks DSims!
05-07-2014, 03:42 AM   #4
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I would suggest getting as close as you can and using the 50-135 if possible. You want to freeze the action and need fast shutter speeds and the faster lens will do a much better job. The TAV setting works well. My last night baseball game was shot in Fenway Park a few years ago. Our seats were in the right field lower bleachers and I was using a K10D and a Sigma 70-300. The max ISO on the K10D is 1600 and the IQ isn't all that great so I shot at 800. The Sigma sucks wide open so I shot at shutter speeds around 1/125 and 1/250 and still got a lot of good shots. Baseball is a little more forgiving of slower shutters but try to get at least 1/500 and 1/1000 if you are shooting at 300mm. I got lots of good pictures of batters at the plate and pitchers but the action had some blur.

05-07-2014, 01:13 PM   #5
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Oh, yes - and make sure you turn SR off (unless you're taking a non-action shot, like of someone sitting in the dugout). The SR will inadvertently take away some of the sharpness when shooting action. The higher shutter speeds are already fast enough to counteract camera shake, and leaving SR on will cause the camera to still move the sensor as it tries to "compensate" for your camera movement or panning - thus blurring the picture a little.
05-08-2014, 04:53 AM   #6
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S

Thanks again dsims!

---------- Post added 05-08-14 at 04:55 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I would suggest getting as close as you can and using the 50-135 if possible. You want to freeze the action and need fast shutter speeds and the faster lens will do a much better job. The TAV setting works well. My last night baseball game was shot in Fenway Park a few years ago. Our seats were in the right field lower bleachers and I was using a K10D and a Sigma 70-300. The max ISO on the K10D is 1600 and the IQ isn't all that great so I shot at 800. The Sigma sucks wide open so I shot at shutter speeds around 1/125 and 1/250 and still got a lot of good shots. Baseball is a little more forgiving of slower shutters but try to get at least 1/500 and 1/1000 if you are shooting at 300mm. I got lots of good pictures of batters at the plate and pitchers but the action had some blur.
Thanks reef-we're supposed to have press passes and on field access so we s/b pretty close to the action!
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