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02-02-2011, 09:46 PM   #1
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Taking pictures of indoor basketball.

Hi!

I have a Pentax K-X and I wanted to take pictures of my sister's basketball team in action during a game in a gymnasium. However, my pictures are mostly blurry and the colors are a bit washed out.

I performed a manual white balance and my ISO is usually somewhere between 1600 and 3200.

Anyone can help me improving my pictures?

02-02-2011, 09:58 PM   #2
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You need to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action which would require a wide aperture. If you were using the kit lens it would be nowhere near fast enough to get the shutter speed you need. You might try a higher ISO which you could probably get away with on the Kx.

Basketball gyms while they look bright, they really are not an are terrible to shoot in.
02-02-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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It gets back to photography basics, and if you don't understand them then I'd encourage you to learn them. You have ISO, aperture and shutter speed; those 3 things control your exposure. Sounds like your shutter speed is too slow. Your ISO is already high but try 3200-6400. I'd guess you are using a kit lens at it's widest aperture already, if you aren't then ensure you are using the widest possble.

If that still doesn't give you the shutter speed you need (maybe 1/250?), then you need a faster lens to give an even wider aperture.
02-03-2011, 01:00 AM   #4
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I took some photos at a basketball game about a month ago.
I have a K-r and used a Tamron 70-300mm 4.5-5.6, which is not a fast lens.
ISO was set to 800 and I could get shutter speeds up to 1/250.

There are some photos from that shoot that can be seen at: Olimpija - Crvena Zvezda

What mode did you use for shooting? I suggest you try the Tv mode next time if M is too much and try setting the shutter speed to somewhere around 1/200 and see how much you need to up the ISO to get satisfiable shots.

02-03-2011, 05:11 AM   #5
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I am just a hobby photographer. The sports that I shoot is mostly my son playing basketball.

WB: depending on the gym, it is either tungsten or auto wb that I shoot with. Fairly ok. I suppose I could shoot RAW format but no time to fool with it.
Shutter speed: 1/500; sometimes 1/250
ISO: 6400
Aperture: f2.8
Lens: pentax da 50-135

Most of the pics I shoot are discarded; its not just getting the exposure right, hard to get good composition of fast moving players...

I will see if I can post some pics later. Off to work now...
02-03-2011, 06:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtroute Quote
Basketball gyms while they look bright, they really are not and are terrible to shoot in.

Amen to that! And they sometimes have mixed (tungsten/florescent/sodium and God only know what else) light which totally hoses WB.

The good news is that the K-x, K-r & K-5 are good tools for the job because of the high ISO performance.

I shoot my daughter's games in TAv (1/400s & f/3.5) and let the camera set the ISO.

Oh and keep in mind that technical flaws can be forgiven if you capture good action & intensity.



In badly lit venues, go...um...creative

02-03-2011, 09:46 AM   #7
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Here is a picture in action of a basketball I shot last week. Look at the washed out colors I was referring to...

ISO: 3200
F-stop: f/6.3
Exp: 1/80
02-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Well, that's way better than my early attempts, HaWaIi50! You did a pretty nice job of panning but you're still getting motion blur in the arms & legs and I think you'd be better off with a much faster shutter speed, wider aperture and higher ISO. The color & contrast in the main subject isn't too bad: so I suspect the panning washed out the background to some extent. In any case, a little pp tweaking would do wonders.

Oh, and were you using the lens hood? If not, you certainly should.


Last edited by dadipentak; 02-03-2011 at 10:20 AM.
02-03-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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Very quick PP here to increase exposure, alter the white balance a bit and add some contrast and sharpening.



But yeah, a bit more shutter speed would do wonders for sharpness and perhaps some exposure compensation or disable D-Range.
02-03-2011, 10:44 AM   #10
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I am a newbie with my camera, but what is D-range?
02-03-2011, 11:38 AM   #11
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Should be buried somewhere in the settings. It helps prevent over-exposure but might lead to darker pictures.
02-04-2011, 07:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by HaWaIi50 Quote

Here is a picture in action of a basketball I shot last week. Look at the washed out colors I was referring to...

ISO: 3200
F-stop: f/6.3
Exp: 1/80
Very nice if you ask me! Just a little PP boost (like from Picasa's "I'm feeling lucky") is all that's needed.

You've done a good job panning & the resultant horizontal motion smear in the background adds to the dynamic feeling of the shot. You'd likely benefit from a lens faster than f:6.3 but you've done well with what you have!

Dave
02-10-2011, 07:53 AM   #13
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If I want a good lens (not too expensive) to shoot during sports events, which one would you suggest me?
02-10-2011, 07:58 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Amen to that! And they sometimes have mixed (tungsten/florescent/sodium and God only know what else) light which totally hoses WB.

The good news is that the K-x, K-r & K-5 are good tools for the job because of the high ISO performance.

I shoot my daughter's games in TAv (1/400s & f/3.5) and let the camera set the ISO.

Oh and keep in mind that technical flaws can be forgiven if you capture good action & intensity.



In badly lit venues, go...um...creative
Really like that first shot, well seen and captured, I'd be well pleased if that were mine.
02-10-2011, 08:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HaWaIi50 Quote
If I want a good lens (not too expensive) to shoot during sports events, which one would you suggest me?
Something that's f:2.8 (or a little faster maybe) would be great; faster than 2.0 will be hard to focus. But your results at ISO 3200 look good. If you'd get an f:4 lens it'd be much easier to focus, and the shutter speed could be (6.3/4.0)^2 = 2.48 times faster.

The lens length depends on how close you can be and how tight a field of view you like.

The basic equation is:

Focal.Length.mm = Sensor.width.mm*(Scene.Distance/Scene.width)

The Pentax sensor width is about 24mm, so rounding up to 25mm for convenience,

Focal.length.mm ~ 25mm (distance/width) or height in portrait orientation.

Say you'll be 40' from the Basket (mid-court front seat). If you want a portrait mode shot from the floor to the basket (10' off the ground) the focal length needed would be something like:

Focal.length ~ 25 *(40'/10') = 100mm

One of the best lenses available is the DA(L ) 55-300 zoom. It is F:4.5 at 200mm so would work well in your gym. The L version would cost you about $250, the non-L about $350.


Dave
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