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11-21-2008, 02:47 PM   #1
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Ok let's just say....

I'm 50 feet from my target (granddaughter) in a school gym probably in the rafters. School gym's rafters aren't that high, but when you're trying to take a once in a lifetime pic you might as well be a mile away if you don't have the right settings right? I have a K200 and a Tamron 70-200 2.8 purchased specifically for this event. It's not the time for me to experiment or learn so I'd like some sage advice from you experienced ones in the forum. What mode should I choose and what should the settings be? Thanks in advance!

Tara


Last edited by TYOsborn; 11-22-2008 at 04:41 AM.
11-21-2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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What is the event and what will the lighting be? Do you get a chance to preview the venue with that same lighting prior to the event?
11-21-2008, 03:01 PM   #3
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Get there early to get closer...

Take a bucketful of test shots before "the moment"... shoot raw to fix WB in PP...

And cross your fingers, hope for miracle, Oh.... get closer than the rafters...
11-21-2008, 03:12 PM   #4
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.

AV mode.

ISO 1600 & F/2.8 or f/3.5.

If lighting is better, try ISO 800 or even 400 for when they're not moving.

(that's as good as I can give without knowing the environmental lighting.)


.

11-21-2008, 03:20 PM   #5
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Flash not allowed?
11-21-2008, 03:22 PM   #6
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...and just keep taking pictures. A K100D, and they might throw you out because of the shutter noise, but k200D's pretty safe
If it's a competitive event, you can practice on other kids who are standing where you know your granddaughter's going to be, then tweak your settings.
11-21-2008, 04:00 PM   #7
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Shoot high iso and wide apertures to keep the shutter speed as fast as possible to freeze the action, enjoy and good luck.
11-21-2008, 09:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TYOsborn Quote
I'm 50 feet from my target (granddaughter) in a school gym probably in the rafters. School gym's rafters aren't that high, but when you're trying to take a once in a lifetime pic you might as well be a mile away if you don't have the right settings right? I have a K200 and a Tamron 70-200 2.8 purchased specifically for this event. It's not the time for me to experiment or learn so I'd like some sage advice from you experienced ones in the forum. What mode should I choose in what should the settings be? Thanks in advance!

Tara
* Select AV mode
* Shoot in RAW. If the exposure is off you'll have more flexibility to correct it.
* ISO should be no higher than 1600. 800 is ideal. I doubt 400 ISO will cut it unless there's lots of light.
* In AV mode you will select the aperture, and it is ideal to end up with a shutter speed of:
1/(200 * 1.5) = 1/300. 200 is the focal length since I assume the shot will be at 200mm. 1/5 is for aps-c - 1.5 crop factor.
Realistically, it is doubtful that 1/300th of a second will be an option, but with the shake reduction (SR) on and steady hands, you might squeak by with 1/100th of a second or slower.
* Enable SR unless using a tripod is used.
* You may want to consider using a monopod.

One more thing - take lots of photos and don't drink caffeinated beverage before the event

If you need help processing the RAW image, there are lots of folks that can help


Last edited by superfuzzy; 11-21-2008 at 10:04 PM.
11-21-2008, 09:52 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

AV mode.

ISO 1600 & F/2.8 or f/3.5.

If lighting is better, try ISO 800 or even 400 for when they're not moving.

(that's as good as I can give without knowing the environmental lighting.)

.
Good advice! Just pay close attention to the resulting shutter speed as you shoot.
11-21-2008, 10:02 PM   #10
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For the love of the gods, make sure you have faith in the AF. If you're not at all certain about its speed or accuracy, shoot MF.

You'll get less angry at yourself if you screw up than you would at AF. Pentax's AF is notoriously slow (if it's not HSM) and uncertain - it winds into focus, then past focus, then into focus, just to make sure.

A tip from the US Army Field Manual 23-10: for long lenses, try to shoot in that space after you exhale, but before you inhale again. It works, trust me.
11-22-2008, 04:39 AM   #11
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Thanks so much for everyone's replies! It will be a cheer competition this time... Christmas show the next. Both will be in a normal lit school gym. I'll of course be trying to catch some action shots at the cheer one, but the Christmas one will just be the kids singing some Christmas carols so not much moving around. I'm going to try like the dickens to avoid the rafters for both events, but it always seems like no matter what time we get there we end up there. (Lots of parents and grandparents in a small gym). I might be able to get into the gym beforehand, but I doubt they will have the rafter seats pulled out. Sounds like AV mode is the way to go huh? Lots of great suggestions. I'll try them all.
11-22-2008, 05:13 AM   #12
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If you need ISO 3200 to get the picture, go for it. You're better off with a noisy picture than no picture at all. If you shoot at high ISO, just make sure you don't underexpose, since underexposure brings the noise up.
11-22-2008, 05:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
A tip from the US Army Field Manual 23-10: for long lenses, try to shoot in that space after you exhale, but before you inhale again. It works, trust me.
Yes, this is good advice, and more besides in other replies.With my K100DS I go to 800 ISO immediately but cannot stomach 1600 for colour. I have shot with 105mm at f/2.5 in such circumstances with decent results.

Never use flash even if not explicitly banned. It's so impolite to the poor performers.
11-22-2008, 05:40 AM   #14
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you sould start with a little math.

Image size = object size x focal length / distance


work out first of all whether your lens is the right length, with a 70-200 you can sometimes get too close also.

aside from that you are probably looking at ISO 1600, and shooting wide open. as others have mentioned.
it is not that shake reduction does not work, but that shake reduction can't freeze the subject
11-22-2008, 12:46 PM   #15
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I'll buck the trend and suggest "M" mode. Rationale: the light is not gong to change, the scene is going to change, why not just set an exposure that seems to let it work then let it ride for the whole event? Figure out before the action starts what ISO, aperture, and shutter speed you'll need, then don't change any of those. As a general rule of thumb, you'll want a shutter speed of 1/60 or so to freeze subjects who aren't going out of their way to move a lot, faster for subject that *are* active. Chances are good you'll go to ISO 1600 and f/2.8 and find your shots a little underexposed at anything faster than 1/60. So why give Av mode the chance to pick a slower shutter speed just to get more exposure, when you can fix underexpose in PP but you can't fix motion blur?

The other problem with Av mode is that even if you leave the aperture alone, the shutter speed may still vary from shot to shot depending on, for instance, whether there are more people with white jerseys or black jerseys in the shot, or depending on whether the background happens to be a dark wall or a light wall. "M" mode - where you set the aperture and shutter speed once then don't mess with them - often yields more consistent results. Shoot RAW so you can adjust the exposure a little as necessary if one prt of the gym is getting a little more light than another, and you should be good to go.

But of course, it's not Av is a recipe for failure either - obviously, many use it. But be aware of the shutter speeds actually being chosen. If they start getting below 1/60, you'll need to increase aperture or ISO, or dial in negative exposure compensation, to get the shutter speeds back up.

Also, if you find youself shooting at the 200mm end of your zoom a lot, 1/60 probably isn't faster enough to reliably stop camera shake, so even with releatively static subjects you'll probably want to go with faster shutter - again, even if this requires you to underexpose and fix it in PP.

For the cheerleading, you're going to have a hard time freezing the action - that would require shutters speeds of well under 1/100 a second, perhaps closer to 1/1000 second to capture some moments, and you probably just won't be able to get there even at maximum ISO and aperture without underexposing your shots so much that no amount of PP could save them. So instead, find the fastest shutter speed you think will give you a shot not so underexposed that you can't fix it in PP, and stick with that (again, "M" mode is great for holding all these settings constant). Then learn to time your shots to be, for instance, at the height of a jump when the person is technically not actually moving but "hanging" in midair, and so forth.
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