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11-11-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
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Shooting Basketball indoors

I tried to shoot a basketball game with a K10D and a Sigman 17-70 F2.8 lens. What I think would work, is a 30mm to 35mm F1.4, or something similar on one body, and a 300mm 2.8 on another body for close up shots. The lighting is poor for cameras in all the gyms. I would hate to switch to Nikon, and don't want to if I can help it. I am allowed to use a flash but have not done so yet. Iam allowed to walk around the court while the game is in progress and take shots. Does anyone have any experience shooting basketball and can recommend any type of set up? I am trying to eliminate blur.
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11-11-2011, 08:59 PM   #2
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By the looks of it, you used f4.5, if you up that to the 2.8 you can use, your going to have a lot quicker shutter speed meaning less blur. I personally don't shoot sports, but the majority of people are probably going to suggest various 70-200 f2.8 lenses.
11-11-2011, 10:49 PM   #3
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Just for fun, I've shot a handful of Division 1 NCAA basketball games. I've found that I'm generally happiest with the shots taken at 1/250th. I've taken a lot at 1/180th, and they tend to look just fine on the camera's LCD, but when I look at them on the computer monitor I wish I had taken them at 1/250th. I'm guessing that the guys you are shooting won't be running around the court as fast as the guys I'm shooting, so 1/180th might be just fine for you. That's 2 full stops faster than the sample picture you provided.

Gyms tend to be somewhat dark, so you will likely need some F2.8 or faster lenses. I was never happy with the ISO 1600 shots I took with my K10D. The K20D, which I have now, is more capable in that department and it appears (though I've never used one) that the K-5 is even more capable still.

My 2 cents is that you will likely need an upgrade in both the camera body and lens department, and that I would start with the camera.
11-12-2011, 05:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I was thinking of up-grading everythin.I was shooting with the Sigma 17-70 F 2.8-4.5. I do not like zoom lenses which have a diferent F stop when you zoom in. I expect to have 2.8 at any focal length. I think I will sell my 17-70.

11-12-2011, 05:39 AM   #5
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The K10D is not the best camera to shoot indoor sports, but the K5 is quite another beast and well suited to that task.
I did make this one with the K5 + DA* 50-135 (1/640, F2.8 and ISO 6400). I used Neatimage to reduce noise.

You can find a lot of (indoor) sports pictures in this topic
A 300mm F2.8 sounds tempting, but might be an overkill. Look at weight and prices of these monsters. For indoor sports a 70-200 F2.8 is one of the best solutions if you're not a pro sports photographer.
11-12-2011, 05:42 AM   #6
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The K10 is a great camera, but unfortunately it does not excel at high iso photography. Looking at a kr or a K5 (if it is in the budget) would give you a couple of stops improvement on the K10 in the iso department. Secondly, looking at a faster lens. The DA *50-135 or Tamron 70-200 f2.8 both would be good options to give you more length and shoot at f2.8 all the way.
11-12-2011, 07:23 AM   #7
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Looks like you are shooting in a fairly small arena and can get fairly close to the court. A 2.8/300 would be a complete overkill and even a 2.8/70-200 may be a little bit "long". As others have said the Pentax 2.8/50-135 or the Sigma 2.8/50-150 (if you can get one go for it!!) combined with a body with better high ISO capabilities should be a good choice. These lenses are still fairly light and this can really make a difference on a long shooting day (I am shooting a lot with a heavy 2.8/70-200 - I love it, but it is heavy!).
But don't focus too much on the gear. A lot of pratice, composition skills and a good understanding of the game and the action to come is at least as important. Good gear alone will never lead to remarkable shots.
11-12-2011, 08:13 AM   #8
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Best advice I could give you would be to get a K-5. If you are considering switching to Nikon, then why not just upgrade your body and keep your lenses.

The longest lens I use is a 50mm, but I have arranged to have court-side access. When I have been forced to shoot from the stands, I will generally use my 55-300mm. I like the 50 because I can worry less about framing, taking in a wider angle, and then again, because of the K-5 sensor I can crop pretty severely.

The K-5 allows you to really crank up the ISO. I use 6400 a lot, which is 4 stops more than I could get from my K-20 with acceptable results. Being able to crank up the ISO allows me to use an aperture that gives you a reasonable amount of depth of field. With a lot of movement, the focus point shifts so quickly that even if the AF is spot on, you can miss. An aperture of 5.6 gives much higher margin for error and increases the keeper rate.

The shutter speed I like is 250, because it will freeze most motion of the subject, but can also give just a tiny bit of motion blur in spots which I think makes the shot a little more real.

IMHO, this is a perfect environment for the Pentax TAv mode, so I can dial in the shutter speed and aperture that I want, and let the camera deal with modifying the sensitivity as needed. I have zero concern about going as high as 12,800 on the ISO because the noise levels are reasonable and Lightroom 3 is so good at noise removal.

Anyway, I'm sure there is much here that is not technically accurate, but I have found these things work for me to get more shots worth keeping.

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11-12-2011, 09:12 PM   #9
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As I own the K10, K20, and K5, I can confirm that the K10 is definitely not the best at low-light photography, particularly if you're trying to stay away from using flash. The K20 is not bad, but the k5 is joy to say the least. For this to work you need the high ISO and wide aperture which will allow you to increase the shutter speed to stop motion.

As to the 70-200, I have the Sigma 70-200 APO DG EX HSM "macro" and unless you're shooting from the opposite end of the court or from the upper bleachers, this isn't the lens you want to use to photograph from the sidelines.
11-13-2011, 08:11 AM   #10
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Iam allowed to walk around the court while the game is in progress and take shots.
If you're allowed to walk around the court a fast 50mm, eg FA 50 F1.4 can do the trick as well.
11-13-2011, 04:30 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advice. I as leaning towards the 50MM 1.4 as I am allowed to walk around the court. I will buy 2 K-5 bodies. One for near court and one for far coyrt shots. The 50mm on one camera and a 20mm 2.8 on another

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