Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-22-2012, 02:06 AM   #16
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Washington State
Posts: 37
I did the same thing, wanting to take photos of my daughter's basketball and volleyball games. I am able to make most of her games, and gym lighting varies greatly. Some buildings have better light than others. Adjusting the white balance is important. Different gyms...different lighting. I don't have an FA 50 1.4, but have an old M 50 2.0, and I noticed improvement in overall quality of exposure, but with manual focus at wide open, sharpness is a challenge, plus the need to be closer to the action is a consideration. But after much practice, I am able to take what I would call decent pictures, usually between 250 and 400 shutter at the higher ISO. I use a K-r, and usually use the kit 55-300 lense, but as you know, at 300 the lense is not fast. I read somewhere, it might have been Peterson's book, and learned to deliberately underexpose to a certain degree, then adjust in pp, which I have used as well. You can use a lower ISO and adjust. Now I tend to avoid the dark gyms, after having taken tons of shots while learning the limits of my equipment. I've compared my shots to some shots taken by the local newsphotographer, and mine aren't nearly as consistently good, but some of my shots turned out to be pretty darn good, which I think is pretty good for a rank amateur. The biggest difference is getting the close up shots of players facial expressions. I can't keep up with the local pro, consistently taking good shots, but then, all I have is the kit lense...for now. And I'm sure the local pro takes tons of shots to get a few that appear in the paper or on their web gallary.

01-22-2012, 02:42 AM   #17
Veteran Member
revdocjim's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mt. Akagi, Gunma Prefecture
Posts: 374
Indoor sports are extremely challenging and demanding. I've been shooting upwards of 30 or 40 basketball games every winter for the past several years since all three of my kids play. Just to avoid confusion I must state that I'm a member here because of several Pentax film cameras that I own and love very much but for digital I'm using Sony gear. So I can't really comment on specific matters relating to specific Pentax models etc. But in most high school gyms I have found that even f/2.8 lenses are not fast enough so I use an 85/1.4 and typically stop it down to f/2.2. I set my ISO at 2500 and get shutter speeds between 1/400s and 1/800s. If the gym is really dark I go to f/2. If it is a daytime game with some ambient light I drop the ISO to 1600 and maybe stop down a bit more.

For positioning I stand along the baseline, right about where the 3-point line intersects it. (offensive end of the court)

As mentioned earlier, WB is a tough one. Most gymnasium lighting actually is flashing about 60 times a second and will give you completely different colors at certain points in that cycle. So most commonly some frames will be dark or have a reddish/yellowish tint. You can work on these in PP but it isn't easy. Sometimes I set my WB manually but still get weird results. Some gyms are extremely yellow and absolutely require manual WB settings.

I shoot in RAW and process in LR3 and find that it is just as fast or faster than working with jpegs, and there is a lot more latitude and flexibility.

If you have any interest you can check out a sample of my stuff here: ASIJ Photo Gallery by revdocjim at pbase.com It was my son's most recent game, and unfortunately they lost badly!
01-22-2012, 03:23 AM   #18
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
One can spend a pile of cash for a fast long zoom. Or one can buy an extra high-ISO body like a Kx or Kr, and fast MF primes. I use my 85/2 or 135/2.5 in such situations.
01-22-2012, 07:34 AM   #19
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,073
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
One can spend a pile of cash for a fast long zoom. Or one can buy an extra high-ISO body
Or both: I use a Sigma 50-150/2.8 on a K-5 but I'm still losing detail to NR (& primitive PP skills) I think revdocjim is right that 2.8 is too slow & I may try some faster primes. In fact I agree with him on just about everything-- especially that god-awful lighting.

01-22-2012, 07:00 PM   #20
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 124
QuoteOriginally posted by Tonyr99 Quote
I read somewhere, it might have been Peterson's book, and learned to deliberately underexpose to a certain degree, then adjust in pp, which I have used as well. You can use a lower ISO and adjust.
That can be used effectively on film, as you expose for the shadows, but less desirable on digital. As soon as the ISO exceeds 400 I steer clear or trying to up the exposure in post as it can send noise through the roof.

What is important when shooting with higher ISOs is to make sure you have a correctly exposed photo, this will give you the cleanest images. If that means bumping from 3200 to 6400 then do it. You will be better off with a correctly exposed photo at 6400 that one slightly under at 3200, and much better than well under at 1600.

If you don't want to shoot manual, not having TAv mode I'd usually set Tv to 1/500 and auto ISO which keeps me shooting wide open at 2.8 (mostly 800-5000ISO). I'd say a lens at least 2.8 or greater is required, I know there are times the 70-200/2.8 is stretched for BBall, I will probably go to a K-5 for this and a couple of other reasons.

Last edited by crf529; 01-22-2012 at 07:06 PM.
01-22-2012, 11:19 PM   #21
Veteran Member
revdocjim's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mt. Akagi, Gunma Prefecture
Posts: 374
Completely agree about trying to boost exposure in PP and the effect it has on noise. That's a big part of why I noted that trying to fix the shots that come out dark because of the flickering lights is a lot of work. They always turn out really noisy when I try to fix them.
01-23-2012, 12:30 AM   #22
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 124
If you don't have the cash for a fast lens or two (I like a 30/1.4 and 70-200/2.8 combo, I find a 50mm too short in the stands and too long on the floor), or a K-5 as well, then don't rule out some cheap manual flashes and wireless triggers. Definitely a good budget way to add more light and make slower glass perform well in that situation.
01-23-2012, 12:51 AM   #23
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 720
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by crf529 Quote
If you don't have the cash for a fast lens or two (I like a 30/1.4 and 70-200/2.8 combo, I find a 50mm too short in the stands and too long on the floor), or a K-5 as well, then don't rule out some cheap manual flashes and wireless triggers. Definitely a good budget way to add more light and make slower glass perform well in that situation.
Wouldn't flash be distracting for the players? I'd hate to be a high school player about to try to make the three point shot to win the game, only to be blinded by a photographer on the sidelines.

Two biggest recommendations seem to be "faster glass" or a "K5".

What would give better results?
1) Kr with faster glass?
2) K5 with slower glass?

K5 with faster glass would obviously be ideal, but that's not going to be a possibility in the near future. I'd like to know what I should be budgeting for (maybe next Christmas?) in the future: K5 (or its replacement) or faster glass.

01-23-2012, 01:03 AM   #24
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 124
QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Wouldn't flash be distracting for the players? I'd hate to be a high school player about to try to make the three point shot to win the game, only to be blinded by a photographer on the sidelines.
I've found as both a photographer and a player:

1. You won't notice a flash going off while playing sports.
2. I've shot myself in the face with a YN560 at 1/2 power from 1', I was stunned, but not affected in any way if I wasn't staring at it.
3. You won't notice a flash going off while playing sports.

In regards to your options, I'd say #1 is the go. The K-5 is better, but not THAT much better to accompany a kit lens, fast glass will provide higher image quality than the kit lens. Then when you upgrade later you have nice glass for a nice new body .

Last edited by crf529; 01-23-2012 at 01:10 AM.
01-23-2012, 05:30 AM   #25
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 550
As for faster glass or better body.

My personal opinion is go with faster glass in most cases. Here is my reasoning.

a) Lenses do not drop in value as much as a body does
b) Better optics usually

However, there are some cases in which I'd get a new body.

a) a body that can shoot at higher iso and not require an aperture of <2.8 gives you more depth
b) usually faster continuous shooting
c) less noise

But between the options of Kr with fast lens or K5 with slower lens. I'd go with Kr. The Kr is plenty reasonable for high iso shooting like the Kx. The K5 would only give you slightly better results at higher ISO.
01-23-2012, 06:51 AM   #26
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,073
QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Wouldn't flash be distracting for the players?
I gotta think so--especially if you're shooting from the baseline.
01-23-2012, 06:59 AM   #27
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
Better glass would be my first recommendation. As for flash - how helpful is it from further than the baseline, really? Add to that the issue of distracting CHILDREN playing a sport - it's different for adults and even older teens - and I avoid flash use during school sports.
01-23-2012, 08:08 AM   #28
Veteran Member
revdocjim's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mt. Akagi, Gunma Prefecture
Posts: 374
In most situations using a flash from the baseline is simply not allowed. Even if it is not expressly forbidden anywhere, you will likely find yourself being asked to leave rather quickly if it is competitive ball, such as high school.

But there are flash options although they probably won't save you much money. If you are well connected with a particular school or gymnasium you may be able to get permission to set up some lights in the rafters or very high on the walls. I know one guy who makes due with simply mounting two guns on either side of the court (in the corners) on 8 or 9 foot stands. He gets by with standard external flash units where as if you are going to set them up in the rafters you need something more substantial like a serious studio light. Then you need a wireless trigger system. If the lights are mounted high enough they won't bother the players at all.

But even so I'm not that crazy about the look of flash photos for sports such as basketball.

As for the best kind of camera, I find that fast and accurate AF, clean high ISO, and fast fps are the most important factors; probably in that order. I don't know which Pentax DSLR is the best for that application but I use Sony and recently went from the A700 to the A77. There was a clear improvement in FPS (from 5 to 8) and AF performance, but little if any improvement in high ISO performance... Unfortunately this is as good as it get with Sony right now.
01-23-2012, 08:49 AM   #29
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,073
QuoteOriginally posted by revdocjim Quote
But even so I'm not that crazy about the look of flash photos for sports such as basketball.
Agree.
01-23-2012, 05:04 PM   #30
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 720
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by crf529 Quote
I've found as both a photographer and a player:

1. You won't notice a flash going off while playing sports.
2. I've shot myself in the face with a YN560 at 1/2 power from 1', I was stunned, but not affected in any way if I wasn't staring at it.
3. You won't notice a flash going off while playing sports.

In regards to your options, I'd say #1 is the go. The K-5 is better, but not THAT much better to accompany a kit lens, fast glass will provide higher image quality than the kit lens. Then when you upgrade later you have nice glass for a nice new body .
Faster glass does seem better.

I still don't think I'd be comfortable using flash. It seems like there's too much of a risk of someone being distracted by the flash. I played plenty of competitive basketball growing up and I don't remember flash ever being a distraction, but it's probably because most people were shooting from the stands. It really seems like there's a much higher chance from the baseline.

How nearby would the players need to be in order to get decent results from flash? Wouldn't using a flash when players are too far away actually be a bad thing for the image quality?
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, exposure, gym, iso, k-r, kr, length, lens, pentax k-r, people, pictures, shots, shutter
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Photos: K-5 at ISO 6400 AND ISO 12,800 PeterKBurian Pentax K-5 2 01-07-2011 07:01 AM
People ISO 6400 Portrait kevinschoenmakers Post Your Photos! 7 11-10-2010 02:11 AM
K-5 vs K-7 First ISO performance testing (ISO-6400) starscream Pentax News and Rumors 95 09-25-2010 07:02 PM
K-5 ISO 6400 developed sirluke Pentax DSLR Discussion 24 09-23-2010 10:57 AM
Pentax k-x picture taken at ISO 6400 guillermovilas Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 07-17-2010 09:28 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:01 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top