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09-19-2010, 01:51 PM   #1
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Hockey Shots...

I recently bought a new K-X with the 300mm lens to take pictures of our boys playing sports. The football pictures I've taken are outstanding (outside with a ton of light). The Hockey shots are real grainy. Any idea for where the best settings would be - other than buying a telephoto super lens?

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09-19-2010, 02:07 PM   #2
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you need a faster lens, DA* 50-135/2.8; Sigma 50-150mm/2.8; Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8 or maybe you can find a better copy of the Tokina 80-200mm/2.8
09-19-2010, 02:13 PM   #3
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Exif could help determine what could be done better, but nevertheless shooting sports in a closed arena is really tough
09-19-2010, 02:45 PM   #4
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I would try downloading GIMP (it's free) and experimenting with some of the noise reduction plugins available for it.

Fast glass at that focal length doesn't come cheap, and it's probably overkill for taking some shots of your kids.

09-19-2010, 03:36 PM   #5
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How about camera settings? High ISO? 6400? etc...

I'm a total novice at this and am trying to figure it out enough to be dangerous!!!
09-19-2010, 03:49 PM   #6
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It looks like you already are in the high iso's. Higher ISO will introduce more grain and noise although the KX does it very well. Experiment which ISO renders in acceptable result for you and if that isn't enough you do need a faster lens or a better noise reduction program.
09-20-2010, 06:04 AM   #7
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Couple tips (take um as you see um):
-Move closer if you can, assuming that 300mm is variable aperture, so the lens can get more light.
-Make sure shake reduction is on.
-Play with shutter speed, get it as slow as you can stand
-Turn up your in-camera noise reduction
-Roll your finger over the shutter button instead of jabbing it

You should be able to reduce your ISO a little bit to get rid of that grain.

As mentioned above, use an exif analyzer like the photoME program to analyze your photo's metadata for additional settings you may be able to change.

09-20-2010, 08:44 AM   #8
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Grainy shots is from high ISO. High ISO is unavoidable if you are want to get a fast shutter speed in low light. To some extent, getting a lens with a larger maximum aperture helps, but still, high ISO is going to be a fact of life when shooting action in low light (and anything indoors is practically by definition low light, even though your eyes adjust and don't perceive it as such).
09-20-2010, 09:37 AM   #9
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You already received some good advice. The grainy effect is the result of High ISO to compensate for the limited light and need for high shutter speed.

A couple of suggestions come to mind:

- Have you tried some simple PP? I could recommend Noiseware. You can download it for free and it does a good job. (The freeware version cannot do batch processing and a few things, but it is as good as the paid version.) I use Noiseware and I can recommend it

- Have you set High-ISO correction in your camera? Adam showed a nice trick with the K-7 by forcing the Max ISO to a lower value (ISO 800?) and forcing the High ISO correction. The results with a K-7 were excellent even in deem light. I would suggest to play with the High-ISO correction similarly with your K-x to compensate for your low aperture lens.

Hope that the comment will help.
09-20-2010, 10:14 AM   #10
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That 300mm lens stays at f/4 until about 99mm and f/4.5 until 200mm, those are pretty impressive numbers and will help reduce the grain a tiny little bit so try not to shoot fully zoomed in and fill the frame by moving closer to your boys if possible. That's one of the ways you can reduce the grain with your current equipment
09-20-2010, 02:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mhokie Quote
I hope he is screening the opposing goaltender's vision from his teammate's incoming shot by jumping up at the last moment.
09-20-2010, 04:33 PM   #12
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The picture is from a practice - all edges and balance. He plays D so not to much screening, but he likes to introduce centers and wingers to the boards in the corners...

I'll try reducing the ISO to 800. I don't understand the shutter speed. Why would I want it slower? If it's quicker, doesn't it capture the shot without blur? Again I'm a novice and learning as I go. I love this camera - it beats the old fuji we had.

What does taking the pictures in RAW mode do? I picked up Photoshop Elements 8 and it said to take the pics in RAW mode and to convert to JPEG...

Is RAW better to manipulate?

Thanks for your help!!!
09-20-2010, 04:52 PM   #13
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Someone with alot more experience than me will give you all the facts, but in short, RAW is much better to use for post processing. More information in raw than jpeg. Of course, since you're taking pictures of fast action, jpeg may be best for you to use. The jpeg takes less space per picture, meaning it transfers faster to the card, hence, more pictures faster.
09-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #14
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A faster shutter speed will freeze motion better, but it also lets less light hit the camera sensor. Experiment with shutter speeds, find the slowest possible speed to shoot at and still get a sharp picture.

This will allow more light to hit the sensor and therefore reduce the need to shoot at such a high ISO.
09-20-2010, 08:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Adam showed a nice trick with the K-7 by forcing the Max ISO to a lower value (ISO 800?) and forcing the High ISO correction. The results with a K-7 were excellent even in deem light.
Hi hcc, do you have a link to this? Sounds very interesting and I can't find it!

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