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12-12-2012, 06:10 AM   #1
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Sports Photos

I have the Pentax K - X with the bigger lense 55-300 and 1:4-5.8 can anyone help me with some good settings for indoor basketball games.. Seems like some that I am taking are blury when the kids are moving faster and some are a little gainy looking.. any advice???? thanks to all.

12-12-2012, 06:56 AM   #2
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Indoor courts--especially non-professional venues--often have lousy lighting. The goal is to have a shutter at 1/750 to freeze action. You need a much faster lens for effectively shooting indoor basketball. The standard suggestion is a prime between 50mm and 85mm with an aperture of f1.4, maybe f1.8. As-is you will need to pump up your ISO to 6400 or so.
What ISO are you using now?

12-12-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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I mostly have been using the sports setting that is on the dial button on top and tryin 3200 and 6400.. some are good and some arent.. Im just not getting that crisp picture.. which maybe I wont due to the lighting..
01-15-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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basketball settings

does anyone have any suggestions on settings for a pentax K X camera for doing indoor basketball pictures. I currently use the sports setting with iso of 3200-6400.. stil not getting a crisp picture.. how do I can a crispier picture of the subject that I am taking..

01-15-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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For gymnasiums the poor lighting and fast action requires that you leverage a fast shutter speed, a lens that let's in as much light as possible and a camera that allows for good image quality at high ISO values.
You are being hampered by the lens you are using unfortunately.
The 55-300 has best image quality at f8-f11 which will require you to shoot at very higher than optimal ISO or slower than optimal shutter speed.
You can try to make the best of it by setting your k-x in manual mode.
Start with a reasonable shutter speed of 1/500 second, aperture number as low as possible since it varies on the 55-300 depending on focal range, and ISO of 3200.
Since I have no idea how bad the lighting is I may be way off but it is a starting point.

Take some shots and based on what you get make changes to any of ISO or shutter speed.

Follow the action while taking the shot to minimize motion blur.

The results will be a compromise. For indoor sports you really need to invest in a faster lens such as a 70-200 2.8 sports zoom.
01-15-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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The 55-300 just isn't an indoor lens. It's excellent with good light, but isn't going to cut in a gym. You just need a faster lens, even if you go short and have to crop you'll see an improvement.
01-15-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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Yep, sadly you pretty much need a faster lens. I got my Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM Macro II for something like 450€ used, so it's not cheap but not that expensive either to get a capable sports lens. A zoom is handy but not crucial and position (down on the floor near the play) matter more.

You can also check for longer autofocus primes at atleast 70mm with at least F2.8 to get in enough light. You will not be able to zoom with that setup but if you manage to get to floor level you will be close enough to get some great shots! Primes also more often than not got superior image quality over zooms. There are professional shooters shooting sports mainly with prime lenses, although most use zooms most of the time I think.

Also really learn how to use the camera and when you are fully confident in how to use it in fully manual and know how ISO, shutter speed and aperture works you're ready to go. After that you don't have to shoot in manual but if you don't know how to control your camera the camera controls you, and that's not the way. Automation is great but you still need to know what the automation does. Buy a book, read articles and watch videos, maybe even join a photography class or club! Everyone started out like that and I promise that once you get the basics things will get even more fun!

I hope this helps!

Last edited by VisualDarkness; 01-15-2013 at 09:35 PM.
01-15-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
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I agree with what has been said, The 55-300 does not cut it for indoor basketball. Also lighting in gyms can vary greatly. Some like the one I have shot, have terrible lighting. You can (if given permission) place wireless bounce flash in the corners to help bump the ambient light, Direct flash can annoy players and refs.

I have attempted indoor basketball with the K-7 and Sigma 70-200 F2.8 /FA 77 1.8LTD and it was still very difficult. ISO 1600 was the highest I wanted to push the K-7 so technique and timing was of ut-most importance. Time the action where the movement is slower. Ie instead of shooting as they jump, shoot when they hit the top of their jump, or instead of shooting as they run up the court shoot when they player hesitates or makes a cross over move.
I have since bought a K-5 which has MUCH better high ISO performance so life will be a touch easier. Your K-x would fit somewhere in-between the K-7 and K-5 in terms of high ISO. But still, In my experience you need lenses with F2.8 or faster.

A couple of the shots from that game.


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