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08-24-2012, 06:39 PM   #1
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Help: Sport Photo

Hi! I've been on some sport combat event and was trying all kind of settings to take good pictures. I lose "stoping action" with 1/200 or so... Need about 1/800 and even more? Didn't even know hands are so fast Also there is a lot of light, at least i think so cause there is a lots of lights around ring and it's all shiny but when i put shutter speed on about 1/1000 it's soo dark and I didn't want to use ISO more then 6400. BTW why would i need so much ISO with so many light down there? Here is the album of some pictures that i took there, all with different kind of settings and can you plz check them and tell me what's the best expsoure to use there? what's the best shots in your opinion. BTW I even used flashlight on some and tried it like that. BTW i'm using KIT lenses here, 18-55.

Here is it: Combat event - a set on Flickr

Last edited by Zandroido; 08-24-2012 at 07:36 PM.
08-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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For action shots, you want to use a fast shutter speed. That is, 1/200s or faster. For ISO, it will depend upon your camera. With my K-7, I would not like to go above ISO 1600, but the K-5 and K-01 could use ISO up to 6400 IMO.

In addiiton, I would use Hi continuous shooting to get rapid sequence of shots during an action.

The light is going to be the key. Outdoor with bright conditions, any lens will do incl. the kit lens. Indoor with good lights, you may use a relatively fast lens like f2.8. With medium to poor lighthing, you need to use a faster light: f1.8 or f1.4. (Your kit lens will not work that fast, but you may consider other lens otpions).

Lastly, in poor lights, MF will be the better option, rather then AF.

Hope that the comment wil help.
08-24-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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Well Shutter speed of 1/200 simply isn't enough for combat sports imho. If you look at the pictures you'll notice that even 1/600 isn't enough. Did use hi continuous shooting ofc but not AFC, was using AFS because there was A LOT of light in ring so i didn't really had problems focusing anything in there.
I mean is it normal that in such conditions with so much light in ring i have to use soo much ISO and that some pics look so bad and i have no idea why. BTW Ring is full of light and i'm in full dark outside. Is that making any difference? Or making problems or something?
08-24-2012, 10:11 PM   #4
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Can you post a couple with the exif?

08-24-2012, 10:23 PM   #5
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What is your distance to subject?
08-24-2012, 11:19 PM   #6
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In addition to that I will make some observations that I have made before in another thread...

I went to a baseball game that was lit artificially. I was 17 rows up from the field...and with my K-5 I never was able to drop it below ISO 3200 using a 300mm Pentax DAL... most shots were less than 1/500 and under 1/200 or so gave the best results for the image but didn't get the speed I needed.

I ended up buying a Tamron 70-200mm F2.8....this helped a lot...but you have to shoot wide open and you can get better shutter speeds out of the deal but its not the main or only fix by any means.

The real trick though I have found is proximity to subject. The lighting might 'appear' to be good, but its really not.

Lumens of light for example from artificial lights pale in comparison to even a overcast day under the sun...there is simply not the same amount of light energy present in artificial lights...if you put in X amount of amps/watts etc etc into a light bulb of any kind...A) it doesn't transmit near the amount of energy the sun would B) the light bulbs (except special ones) do not give off all spectrums of light...

It may sound off topic but its not... but try growing a tomato plant under a light bulb vs out in the sun... I have done it and it doesn't work.This is directly transferrable over to photography. Those energy light waves matter. You can't see them, but they matter. Its like comparing a candle light to the headlight of your car when on high beam...

Generally indoor sports are lit so that the participants can see...hence the lighting on the floor near or on the arena is going to be totally different than that when you are up in the stands. In addition to being a weak light source the light you are seeing is reflected which makes it even weaker...

The main solution is to try and get closer to the action when shooting under artificial lights...of course this effects the vantage point you have and so on and so forth...but the truth is the light on the field/floor/ring is way better actually on the field/floor/ring than it is 20 rows up....

If you light one small lightbulb in a room you can see just fine with it... but take a picture and it will show that the lighting is weak even though you can 'see' just fine...

Long story short--- you need to be closer. A lot closer to get the speeds you want.

On a side note I am not a professional by any means, but I have been doing a fair amount of trial and error as part of my learning process.

The major factors of light: 1. Quantity of light (artificial lights cannot give off more light energy than is put into them--its physics) 2. Quality of light 3. Distance from source to subject then to camera lens 4. Direction of light...

All factors must be accounted for... but you don't have control over 1. 2. and pnly a little over #4. #3 is the biggest factor....
QuoteOriginally posted by Zandroido Quote
BTW Ring is full of light and i'm in full dark outside. Is that making any difference? Or making problems or something?
Yes, this is precisely one of the points I was trying to make above.

Last edited by alamo5000; 08-24-2012 at 11:57 PM.
08-25-2012, 04:22 AM   #7
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If those shots were with a kit lens, some of them are pretty good.

I can see where you have motion blur, which is not always bad in action scenes

Getting in closer will not always help because the movement of the subject will be harder to freeze. I think the easiest thing is to get an f2.8 zoom lens. The pentax 50-135 is relatively small in size, the tamron 70-200 gives more reach but is also larger.

If you have one of those lenses, you could shoot in shutter priority at your desired speed, auto iso and let the camera choose the aperture also. You will have to see by trial and error what the fastest shutter speed you could use in that situation.

Also if the contestants are much more brightly lit than the rest of the area, sometimes using spot metering on the contestants will give you a pleasing result-the contestants will be bright but everything else will be dark. When there is that kind of contrast the picture will look sharper to the eye. Of course spot metering can sometimes overexpose the picture in situation like that.
08-25-2012, 05:46 AM   #8
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@ Boker

Don't get it, they are all with Exif??

Most of the pictures are Cropped, some aren't. I'm about 7-8 meters from ring, from "start of the ring"

And yeah, no matter how much light I see there it's simply not enough and it's not as good as sunlight eventhough it looks so good and shiny.

There is a lot of motion blur even with high shutter speed numbers like 1/600+ I don't know is that because of lens or 600 is not enogh?

So can anyone tell me according to pictures and their exif and those that look good (if look) what are the best settings in that situation?

Last edited by Zandroido; 08-25-2012 at 06:46 AM.
08-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #9
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I had a look at your photos and exif, it is hard to determine exactly what all the in camera settings were ( jpeg level,hi/lo correction etc) and how much they have been altered after.
It looks like you have just enough light to work with, importantly it will be consistent on the subject. Therefore I would use M mode and with spot metering and take some test shots to correctly expose the face. Once you have your settings, you know the camera metering cant be fooled to readjust by dark surrounds or any bright light sources in frame. You only have one variable (iso) available to you as shutter will need to be at 1/400 and aperture f5.6 (your fastest). Obviously a faster lens will give the opportunity to vary your aperture in trade for lower iso but more importantly give you much better IQ. From what I saw 1/400 was mostly fast enough and a good starting point, given your lighting. Some movement- hands/feet can add to the drama.
When shooting at higher iso, cropping becomes limited so having the right focal length will also be important to you. You said you were mostly cropping the 55mm so your choices could be Tamron 28-75 2.8, DA*50-135 2.8 or DFA 100 2.8 etc. Another thing to consider with focal length will be that the longer it is the shallower the DOF which will be further reduced by the faster aperture. Currently @ 55 f5.6 you will be getting 5m dof, part in front and part behind. A 135@2.8 will give you about 30cm. So you wont be worrying about movement of hands or feet as they will be oof anyway. Personally I would recommend 80-100mm @ f4.0, (dof between 1-2m) being an ideal balance.
As you can see the (2 stop) faster lens may only give you 1 stop in this instance = to 1 stop less noise but more equal to 3 stops IQ/resolution improvement of the final image, over the kit lens wide open.
I would also shoot RAW to maximise IQ through PP.
I hope that gives you some sort of idea of where you need to be. You have done well so far with what you have.
08-30-2012, 06:13 AM   #10
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I recommend reading a discussion about minimum shutter speed for moving objects In that discussion there were formulated how to calculate minimum shutter speed for moving objects.
I do not know how fast parts of body move in combat sport. I found in one internet source that the velocity of kick in taekwondo is about 14 m/s. If you are taking pictures from 25 m distance and the focal length is 55 mm (as in the EXIF of your photographs), the minimum shutter speed is about 1/2310. If the velocity of 10 m/s is assumed, the minimum shatter speed is about 1/1650. Of course, these assumed velocities are quite fast. I presume that athletes do not move so fast in many episodes.
I think that shutter speed 1/2000 is achievable by Pentax K-5. So the shutter speed is not a problem. However, it might be a problem to achieve a proper exposure at such a shutter speed. I noticed that lighting corresponds to 8-8.33 EV in your photographs. In order to achieve exposure 8.33 EV at shutter speed 1/2000, you should use either ISO 19200 (at aperture F5.6) or aperture F1.6 (at ISO 1600). I think that ISO 19200 is practically impossible (although ISO 51200 is theoretically achievable). The aperture F1.6 requires very fast (bright) lenses. It is not completely impossible but such lenses are very expensive. If you choose ISO 6400 (it might be practical maximum for Pentax K-5), aperture F3.1 can provide exposure 8.33 EV at shutter speed 1/2000. There are expensive lenses with fastest aperture F2.8. So such a variant seems to be the most practical. If you focus to distance 25 m, the DOP should quite good event at such wide aperture as F3.1. So you can get more or less sharp pictures.
These fast shutter speeds and exposure parameters derived from them refers only to situation when you want completely freeze the motion. If you are ready to allow some blur for very fast movements, slower shutter speeds can be used. In turn, the faster aperture or/and lower ISO can be used.
If the widest aperture for your lens is F5.6 and, you can achieve 8.33 EV by shutter speed 1/640 (at ISO 6400). Shutter speed 1/640 allows freezing movement with velocity 3.9 m/s (14 km per hour).

Try a calculator for minimum shutter speed and exposure calculator! Experiment with parameters in these calculations! And you will learn some rough guidelines for your camera.

Best regards,
09-11-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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Yeah for the last days i was all in that but is it true what i noticed that if there's no "enogh" light that i must have shutter speed over normal for shutter speed that i calculated is needed? Sometimes it is true, sometimes it's not and i'm all lost in there but somehow i manage to make it work in most cases except i have no idea if this idea i said before is true or false and is there any connection with light and shutter speed

Now i just bought new lenses also, bad one just to test it but now i have other problem like image stabilization and i hate it.
09-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #12
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Yeah, I figured it out. AS MAX as i can is the best. I was Taking shots of seagulls today and it looks like this. Shutter speed of 4k or 3200, not less then that on very sunny day Too bad i do't have more expensive lens, maybe it would look better but i'm ok with this for now.

Last edited by Zandroido; 09-17-2012 at 08:19 PM.
09-16-2012, 11:18 PM   #13
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I recently shot a professional golf event with my K5, full sun, distance usually about 20-50 feet, f4, ISO400, hi-cont, AF.C - set and locked before start of swing motion. To stop the action, I was shooting at 1/3000 and up. When clouds moved in front of the sun, I bumped ISO up to 800 or even 1600 to maintain acceptable shutter/aperture ratio for DOF and stopped action.

Inside, even in a well-lit arena, when it LOOKS like there is "a lot of light," it really isn't. Your eyes have just adjusted to it. In that situation, I wouldn't accept less than 1/1000+ at f4 and would probably be at ISO 3200+. The K5 can produce acceptable noise levels at that ISO range assuming the shot is properly exposed to start with. A little clean-up with a decent noise reduction plug-in and you should have perfectly acceptable shots. I have produced publishable images at ISO8000, although that does require a little more effort in post.
09-18-2012, 09:39 AM   #14
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yrah.. I was trying some 5k-8k shots today but somehow i miss light. Pics can get good but ISO is jumping on Tav mode to 800+
09-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #15
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Considering you were using the 18-55 kit lens I think you've done remarkably well... I assume the majority of the shots have been cropped somewhat and if shooting this kind of event is going to be a regular thing your best bet for improved image quality is a longer-sharper lens.

Get thee to the lens reviews section! :-)

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