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01-24-2017, 01:44 PM   #1
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settings for indoor basketball

Shooting indoor basketball with aK50 and 50mm 1.8 any advice on settings would be greatly appreciated ! Thanks


Last edited by mikshyle; 01-24-2017 at 01:49 PM.
01-24-2017, 02:15 PM   #2
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Make sure you always use a fast enough shutter speed, even if it requires a higher ISO. And shoot in RAW to make sure the white balance ends up looking good, as indoor colors can be a challenge.

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01-24-2017, 02:21 PM   #3
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I'd probably start at 1/250sec and f5 to f8 just to get some depth. If ISO is way too high, drop to f4. If you're far enough away, keep dropping that fstop. Adam's right, though, keep that shutter speed up even if you're trading ISO or want some motion blur, though that can be tricky.

It's good practice, though.
01-24-2017, 04:03 PM   #4
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Thanks !

01-24-2017, 04:07 PM   #5
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I find the high school basketball courts to be pretty dark, i've been shooting at F/2.8 and ISO 2000 most of the time and 1/160 to 1/200 of a second shutter speed. I try not to get to close because it makes the auto focus work harder and slower because of the narrower depth of field, i can always crop the photos a little without bringing out the noise as long as it is just a little. Good advice shooting in raw because the lighting can be difficult to balance for.

Last edited by bschriver11; 07-17-2017 at 03:18 PM.
01-24-2017, 08:41 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I've done a lot of basketball from youth through high school, and just a bit of college. What level of basketball are you shooting?

The lighting in gyms varies a lot. For most basketball, a Shutter Speed of 1/250th is a MINIMUM. High school or above 1/350 is minimum, and 1/500 is better if you can get there. ISO needs to go as high as you can stand it. It's not just the grain that causes problems at high ISO, it's contrast and color vibrance as well. This leaves the aperture. At 50mm you don't have to worry about closing down your aperture to get more DOF to make up for AF misses like you would at 200mm. At 50mm, you also need to get close to the action, right under the basket.

Our high school is in the middle of the road as far as the amount of light goes, and I am usually at f 2.8, 1/500th, and ISO 6400.

There are a lot of variables in this. One is the lens you are using. When I use my Sigma 70-200 2.8, I usually try and stop down a little, because the lens is a little soft at 2.8. Whereas, when using a Tamron 28 - 75, 2.8 is sharper. One important issue that you will wind up noticing in good sports photos is subject isolation. The player really pops when they are sharp in focus, and the background is blurred. You won't really be able to do that with your 50mm, but don't worry about that for now. I don't know that lens well, but I'm guessing that you should be able to use it at f 2 effectively.

Another issue is the focus mode. I would stay away from the focus modes that have a ton of points to choose from. Use either center point or 5 point. I go back and forth with what I use, but with a 50mm, if you use center point, you may get too many misses with the focus on the backround since you can't fill the frame.

Shooting in Raw does help with the white balance, but shooting jpg allows faster bursts and the buffer clears faster. Try both, and see what works best. Good luck.
01-24-2017, 11:08 PM   #7
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I like to use TAv mode for situations like this. Might want to give it a try I think it comes in handy.
01-25-2017, 04:14 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone

01-25-2017, 12:25 PM   #9
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I shoot junior floor ball games every now and then. It's an indoor game, quite fast and the courts are often ill lit. My camera is usually in TAv mode, 1/250 s or 1/320 s, F3.5 - F5.6. ISO tends to settle somewhere between 2000 and 3200. With K5 there was too much noise to my liking but now with K1 the images are pretty decent.
01-25-2017, 12:43 PM   #10
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I have been shooting my girls for years now and have to agree with jake 14mw, the gyms lighting is all ways a big variable. For me an iso of 1600 has worked on two bodies ( K5iis & K1 ), shutter speed minimum of 320 or 400 and wide open f 2.8 . I shoot a sigma 70-200 and it works great for basketball and indoor soccer.
Most games I sit close to the sidelines at the end of the court for head on shots, with a 50mm your going to have to get real close to fill the frame. And as said earlier
shoot in spot or 5 point. Thats about all i have , it's lot tougher than it looks enjoy .
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01-25-2017, 07:22 PM   #11
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I try to keep the shutter speed up, usually 1/800s. I will go lower if the ISO climbs to 6400. Because many gym lights cause havoc with white balance, I shoot raw.

The attached is 1/800 f2.8 ISO 5000.
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01-25-2017, 07:35 PM   #12
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You just need to find the settings that give you the results you desire. I like a hint of motion blur in my photos since it gives the sense of motion while some prefer a shallow depth of field while others prefer to freeze the motion and preserve all the fine details. Experiment with different setting and find your style and good luck my friend.
01-26-2017, 07:24 AM   #13
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Do any of you try to set a custom white balance that can be reused each time you shoot in a particular gym?
01-26-2017, 06:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jake14mw Quote
Do any of you try to set a custom white balance that can be reused each time you shoot in a particular gym?
I don't because in the gyms I shoot, the lights don't have a constant output. The color balance changes with the phase of the AC so when I squeeze off a burst I often require a different white balance setting for each frame.
01-28-2017, 02:53 PM   #15
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I usually do a couple shots before the game and set a white balance. Some shots in a sequence may be a little off (took me a couple games to realize the phase thing but the time it takes to analyze before snapping the pic is longer than the phase change to me anyway and results were about the same) but my kids gym has very bad lighting and different color casts from the different lights but the pics usually represents what I see visually pretty accurately. I've found that my nifty fifty prime is not the best I and don't use it. The reason being it's right in the middle of a good focal range. You can't get the right distance from the court to get desireable results. I don't have a fast shorter focal zoom so sometimes I use the kit 18-55 and get courtside and have to jack up the ISO more than I want to, or I use my 70-200 2.8 further back in the stands at F3.2 or F4 which I found is best for my situation but then you always have the "spectator" view which doesn't make for the best shots. I was looking to get a shorter faster zoom, but my son didn't make the team this year and my daughter decided to only cheer for football and play soccer so I get to save some money. It's definitely easier for me to shoot football, baseball and soccer than basketball. I am by far from accomplished and still learning every time I shoot, good luck.
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