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02-08-2011, 02:24 PM   #1
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How to take photos in a gym

I need to know what the best lens is to take action photos onside a poorly lit gym.

Raymond

02-08-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramonsito Quote
I need to know what the best lens is to take action photos onside a poorly lit gym.

Raymond
Depends on where you will be viewing the action from. How close can you get? Do you need it to be a zoom lens?
02-08-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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I can be right on the side line. I have a Sigma 70/300 F4 lens and a K20D Camera. Any suggestions? Thanks for the reply!
Raymond
02-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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Been there, done that & came up with crap for the most part.

My advice: shoot TAv: 1/320s (+/-) f/4 or f/4.5, auto ISO and hope for the best. You'll get a lot of noise and when you apply strong NR the players start to look like plastic. Get good action & intensity to distract attention from that. Don't expect to print larger than 5X7".

02-08-2011, 08:35 PM   #5
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You know when they do night construction on the highway, and they have this little trailer with a diesel generator and four carbon-arc spotlights shining on the road? See if you can borrow one of those.

Otherwise, this is a difficult problem. You should have been lobbying the school for better lights last year. If 50mm works on the sidelines, you can use the FA 50mm f1.4 and gain three stops of light over your Sigma. The FA 77mm f1.8 might work, not quite as fast but more reach. The DA 70mm f2.4 might focus faster but not let as much light in. The only other Pentax AF lenses better than f2.8 are the DA 55mm f1.4 and FA 85mm f1.4. Not many inexpensive solutions here.
02-09-2011, 04:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote

Otherwise, this is a difficult problem. You should have been lobbying the school for better lights last year. If 50mm works on the sidelines, you can use the FA 50mm f1.4 and gain three stops of light over your Sigma. The FA 77mm f1.8 might work, not quite as fast but more reach. The DA 70mm f2.4 might focus faster but not let as much light in. The only other Pentax AF lenses better than f2.8 are the DA 55mm f1.4 and FA 85mm f1.4. Not many inexpensive solutions here.
I love the lens but I tried the the FA 77mm and it's not a good choice for this situation. For the past couple of years, I had my best success with a F 50mm f1.7. This season, I'm using a Tamron 28-75mm and it's done quite well (but the big difference is that we've moved to the Upper School athletic facility where the lighting is terrific.)
02-11-2011, 08:31 AM   #7
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AF is problematic in dim light -- I find that even my cheap F35-70/3.5-4.5 AF's better than my FA50/1.4 in some dimness, and none of my few AF lenses are really great in low light. So, think about a cheap fast manual prime, like a 50-55mm f/1.4-1.7. One way to handle focus problems is to use CIF (Catch-In-Focus) with a manual prime. Just prefocus on some point where you know action will occur, especially if there's better light there, and catch whatever happens at that point.

I love my K20D but it's not great at high ISO's in dimness. ISO Noise is less objectionable IMHO with B&W images. So shoot RAW and either set CUSTOM IMAGE to B&W with Red or Green filtration, or convert to filtered B&W during RAW development. Note: Your CUSTOM IMAGE settings are easy to override in PP, so don't worry about being stuck with B&W-only images. And remember, any shot you get is better than any shot you DON'T get.
02-11-2011, 08:38 AM   #8
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Thanks for the great ideas! I have the DA 16-50 f/2.8 so I will try your ideas!
Raymond

02-16-2011, 11:58 AM   #9
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I fiddled around for a while trying to shoot my kids playing in lousy school gym lighting. The only thing that worked for me was iso 6400, f2.8, 1/250 or 1/500 with the pentax da 50-135. Yes. The lighting was that bad..

The K2000 that I have did not work so well with noise and it could only shoot upto iso 3200. But the K5 filled this niche. Probably the Kx or Kr would work as well.

Sorry. No cheap solutions that I know of...

The most recent review in pentax forums talks about fast 70-200 f2.8 zooms but these were too big for me. Might work for you. I only tried the tamron version. Big, plasticky ugly looking thing too. [Just like the 28-75 that I just received; this one is not big but definitely ugly and turning the zoom ring is like turning something stuck in sand...I am returning this one I think.]
02-16-2011, 04:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
The most recent review in pentax forums talks about fast 70-200 f2.8 zooms but these were too big for me. Might work for you. I only tried the tamron version. Big, plasticky ugly looking thing too. [Just like the 28-75 that I just received; this one is not big but definitely ugly and turning the zoom ring is like turning something stuck in sand...I am returning this one I think.]
I agree that a 70-200mm is too much for Bball (I use mine for field sports, though.) I'm using my Tamron 28-75mm (no complaints from me--maybe you got a bad copy?) and/or a Sigma 50-150mm.

+1 to what you said about inexpensive solutions.
02-16-2011, 05:53 PM   #11
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I am just a hobbyist photographer but here are some basketball pics in a school gym with the 50-135 lens

1/500 can freeze everything in midair. Shooting at f2.8 means not everything in the pic will be sharp though. With my skill level its decent enough for me...

Also hard to keep an eye on aligning the camera straight while you are at it as in Picture 1. Going up and shooting down can get you interesting perspective as in Pic 2. If you are patient enough you can zoom in and freeze the person and the ball handling motion as in Pic 3.

Last edited by psychdoc; 04-09-2013 at 11:04 AM.
02-16-2011, 06:17 PM   #12
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This is exactly the stuff I do... I personally use the Sigma 50-150mm which works well for me. It's wide enough to be usable pretty close, yet plenty tele for bball.
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