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11-03-2014, 02:56 PM   #1
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shooting night time football

Hi,
Any advice on settings for shooting HS football under the lights with a K50 DA 18-135?
Thanks in advance

11-03-2014, 03:03 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikshyle Quote
Hi,
Any advice on settings for shooting HS football under the lights with a K50 DA 18-135?
Thanks in advance
That's not a very fast lens, nor a very long one...
You'll need to up your ISO a lot because "ideal" shutter speed should be around 1/500s in order to freeze action...
I don't know how strong is the lighting on the venue.
11-03-2014, 03:20 PM   #3
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I shoot daytime football with a 300mm lens. I'd like a 400mm! I think you'll miss out on a lot of the action with an 18-135 lens. I suppose too, an issue would be how much light. In many large stadiums (or is it 'stadia'?) the lighting can be very good, but you may need to play with your WB settings.
11-03-2014, 03:53 PM   #4
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I got good results with my K30 and DAL 55-300 at a high school game under the lights from the stands, I shot in aperture priority mode with the lens wide open with ISO set to 3200, I just kept my eye on shutter speeds to make sure they stayed around 250 to 500 and I paned with the action. The game started a dusk so I started with ISO 800 and moved to 3200 as it got darker keeping my shutter speeds at around 1/250. The 18-135 would work it has a faster focus but I wanted the reach of the 55-300. Looking back at my shots I found I was shooting between 190mm to 260mm for most shots and still did some cropping.

11-03-2014, 04:07 PM   #5
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thanks for the input. Just got the camera a week ago and went with the DA 18-135 vs DA L kit lenses Am going to save up for the DA 55-300, Next. Any advice on faster lenses that wont break the bank ???
11-03-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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Get as close to the action as you can is the first rule.

Plus don't forget to shoot RAW, because the white balance can be tricky under stadium lights, and you may need to do some adjustments in post processing. And use the fastest SD card you can afford...

In any brand, 'cheap' does not usually align with 'fast' when it comes to telephoto lenses, unfortunately. Options for affordable fast telephoto include older Pentax manual focus primes (like some of the Pentax M or A series), or used fast f2.8 zooms in the marketplace here from Sigma or Tamron, or keep an eye on KEH, on eBay etc.
11-03-2014, 04:25 PM   #7
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You have a tough assignment here to do it well.
I'd go to a practice (any sport really) under the lights in advance to test out different settings.
I assume you will be shooting from the sidelines. Otherwise, the content won't look very good regardless of what lens you are using.
I publish my football shots locally. The key is to capture the faces of the players. Showing backs of players and the rear ends of refs is boring. Also follow the action and anticipate it. Try to fill the frame so you won't have to crop much. Consider shooting in vertical orientation, especially if you are focusing on a single player, say a receiver catching the ball or running with it after the catch. Don't try to get everything happening in the game. It's too much.
Technically, you need to operate with a shutter at about 1/350-1/500 to freeze action. Unless your field's lights are really good (and if they are that's great), you'll probably have to shoot near wide open at a very high ISO. A 135mm focal length will work if you are selective about what you are capturing. This will most likely require good post processing as the white balance under most lights is horrible. I'd advise shooting in Manual or AV mode.

Also consider using a flash that provides HSS capability. I assume the Pentax system will allow you to then shoot at 1/350. While the flash fires at less than full power, there is enough fill light to capture faces rather nicely. Face masks tend to get in the way so you want some light through there.

For example, I am able to get decent shots with a Canon 5DMK3 at ISO 12,800 with a 135mm f2 lens shooting at f3.5. That's without a flash.

Hope this helps.
Good luck and consider posting how it goes.

M
11-03-2014, 04:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
You have a tough assignment here to do it well.
I'd go to a practice (any sport really) under the lights in advance to test out different settings.
I assume you will be shooting from the sidelines. Otherwise, the content won't look very good regardless of what lens you are using.
I publish my football shots locally. The key is to capture the faces of the players. Showing backs of players and the rear ends of refs is boring. Also follow the action and anticipate it. Try to fill the frame so you won't have to crop much. Consider shooting in vertical orientation, especially if you are focusing on a single player, say a receiver catching the ball or running with it after the catch. Don't try to get everything happening in the game. It's too much.
Technically, you need to operate with a shutter at about 1/350-1/500 to freeze action. Unless your field's lights are really good (and if they are that's great), you'll probably have to shoot near wide open at a very high ISO. A 135mm focal length will work if you are selective about what you are capturing. This will most likely require good post processing as the white balance under most lights is horrible. I'd advise shooting in Manual or AV mode.

Also consider using a flash that provides HSS capability. I assume the Pentax system will allow you to then shoot at 1/350. While the flash fires at less than full power, there is enough fill light to capture faces rather nicely. Face masks tend to get in the way so you want some light through there.

For example, I am able to get decent shots with a Canon 5DMK3 at ISO 12,800 with a 135mm f2 lens shooting at f3.5. That's without a flash.

Hope this helps.
Good luck and consider posting how it goes.

M
Thanks all, I will let you know how I make out and post pics if they are worth viewing LOL !!!
KIm

11-03-2014, 06:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
You have a tough assignment here to do it well.
I'd go to a practice (any sport really) under the lights in advance to test out different settings.
I assume you will be shooting from the sidelines. Otherwise, the content won't look very good regardless of what lens you are using.
I publish my football shots locally. The key is to capture the faces of the players. Showing backs of players and the rear ends of refs is boring. Also follow the action and anticipate it. Try to fill the frame so you won't have to crop much. Consider shooting in vertical orientation, especially if you are focusing on a single player, say a receiver catching the ball or running with it after the catch. Don't try to get everything happening in the game. It's too much.
Technically, you need to operate with a shutter at about 1/350-1/500 to freeze action. Unless your field's lights are really good (and if they are that's great), you'll probably have to shoot near wide open at a very high ISO. A 135mm focal length will work if you are selective about what you are capturing. This will most likely require good post processing as the white balance under most lights is horrible. I'd advise shooting in Manual or AV mode.

Also consider using a flash that provides HSS capability. I assume the Pentax system will allow you to then shoot at 1/350. While the flash fires at less than full power, there is enough fill light to capture faces rather nicely. Face masks tend to get in the way so you want some light through there.

For example, I am able to get decent shots with a Canon 5DMK3 at ISO 12,800 with a 135mm f2 lens shooting at f3.5. That's without a flash.
Agree with much of this except I'd recommend using shutter priority and setting to 1/350 or 1/500 or even higher if the light will support that. I can't remember if the K-50 has TAv or Sv but if so, you might be even better off using that instead, setting the shutter to 1/350 or 1/500, the aperture to wide open and just let the ISO float. I set autofocus to AF-C (continuous) and shoot in highspeed burst mode. Use the biggest, fastest cards you have and bring spares.

None of the high schools I have shot at would allow flash during the action but you can ask.

If you can get down on the sidelines, that will make for the best shots. Pro shooters tend to camp at the 20 or 30 yard line or at the end zone and hope the action isn't all at the other end of the field. I do the same when allowed.

In addition to the glory shots of receivers, running backs and quarterbacks, don't neglect the lines just as the ball is snapped. Those guys work hard and never seem to get into the pictures. Also, try to get a few shots of the bench standing and cheering on the sidelines. Another good one that is often missed is the kicker, during the PATs. They are often easier to lock focus on as they tend to be very still just before the snap but can give you some very dynamic shots during the kick.

Good luck and have fun. It will seem very tough at first but with practice you will get better and be more comfortable.
11-03-2014, 09:30 PM   #10
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Thank you so much for such detailed advice. I have been shooting such great DAY shots with my canon sx-40 for so many years but finally gave up on trying to get those great night shots because I was so limited with said camera. Sadly now I have gotten my first dslr and my boys (triplets) have one of their last games coming up this Friday. But I work in the school..have been so involved with our FB program for so long and developed such a love for shooting the game that i will continue. The only down side to that is that I will get better pics of other kids as I learn my camera that i did of my own Oh but we still do have Lacrosse before they graduate!! Wish us luck for the weekend, my shooting and their playing
11-03-2014, 10:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikshyle Quote
Oh but we still do have Lacrosse before they graduate!!
Good thing you are starting off with football--lacrosse, especially boys lacrosse, is more difficult to shoot. The ball is much smaller and it travels too quickly, plus the face masks obscure facial expressions even more than football helmets.
Since you work at the school, try to attend a practice under the lights so you can do your own practicing.

M
11-08-2014, 07:34 AM   #12
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Some success and some disappointment shooting FB last night

Well I shoot my first football game under the lights with my new camera. Some mixed feelings on it, Excited about finally gets shots with no blur, but bummed about not getting those clean crisp images Im used to getting. And then Im so mad at myself because I took a bunch of real upclose and personal of cheer, boys on the side line and crowd right next to me, which should have been amazingly beautiful shoots. NOT!!! Because I took them with the same settings for the action shots I have triplets who are seniors and this was the last game for both my boys. Was hoping for better than I got
Posted some shots I got
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11-08-2014, 07:43 AM   #13
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It's always tough having your first shoot in an environment be an important shoot. You always find out what the one thing you didn't anticipate is. But just as a general comment.. ƒ5.6 is pretty slow for night work... so the odds were stacked against you.
11-08-2014, 07:49 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikshyle Quote
Well I shoot my first football game under the lights with my new camera. Some mixed feelings on it, Excited about finally gets shots with no blur, but bummed about not getting those clean crisp images Im used to getting. And then Im so mad at myself because I took a bunch of real upclose and personal of cheer, boys on the side line and crowd right next to me, which should have been amazingly beautiful shoots. NOT!!! Because I took them with the same settings for the action shots I have triplets who are seniors and this was the last game for both my boys. Was hoping for better than I got
Posted some shots I got
I checked the EXIF on the first... f/4.5 is wide open (for that focal) and ISO 6400... did you also crop?
I don't think you can complain much...
That's why fast lenses exist (I'm thinking about buying a cheap-ish 70-200 f/2.8 myself)...
However, given the limitations you had to contend with, I think you did a swell job.
11-08-2014, 07:56 AM   #15
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Thank you, I am pleased compared to what I used to get when trying to shoot night time with my sx-40 nothing but blur. Just want those clear faces.... And yes I will be looking for that faster lense ! But thanks for the critique
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