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01-05-2008, 10:40 PM   #1
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Action shots are grainy :(

To start things off, Im using K100D with Pentax DA50-200mm.

Well....I really wanted to freeze everything pretty well in the frame and I did, but the grain in the shots was a little more than what I hoped for. The only way I could achieve this is by setting the shutter speed to 500 and the Aperture to 4.5 while the camera was set on ISO 3200! And even then it was a hair to dark.
I really wanted to set the camera to around ISO 800 but no matter what I did I couldn't juggle everything to get the results. It was a very well lit rink so I would have thought that achieving an ISO of 800 would have been doable while freezing the action. Any suggestions?!?!

P.S. - I tried the action setting also but they came out to dark.

BEFORE PP



AFTER PP






thank you, justin

01-05-2008, 11:21 PM   #2
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I use a faster lens for my indoor action shots, and it's the only way you can really get what you want.

My first choice lens for something like that would be the K-mount SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8.
I don't have one, but if you can find one they're fast, and still have some decent length to them.
01-06-2008, 02:13 AM   #3
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Our eyes tend to be very poor judges of just how much light there actually is in what appear to be well-lit indoor venues.
01-06-2008, 02:40 AM   #4
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Simply put, the 50-200 isn't particularly fast aperture wise, plus the illumination in the arena may be insufficient for you to achieve decent exposures at such a fast shutter speed. The only exposure variable would be to raise the ISO. At ISO 3200 is it any wonder you got grainy images. Either get a faster lens or reduce the shutter speed if you want to shoot at a lower ISO.

01-06-2008, 05:04 AM   #5
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Yes. This is where you will most definitely need faster optics.

There is another cheaper stop gap way. You could run your photos through a free downloadable program such as Noiseware Community Edition. Itís not an ideal solution, but it might do the trick for removing noise...although it looks like your PP is great (but the size is so small I can't really tell how grainy the image is to begin with lol)

Imagenomic Noiseware - Unmatched Noise Reduction for Digital Images
01-06-2008, 06:12 AM   #6
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Very nice shot, I have the same problem shooting hockey and agree with the above posts. Although it seems to be well lit it is not enough for taking good pictures due to the dark areas off the ice the reflection of the light on the ice, I talked to the photographer from action photo last week at my sons tournement and he is using a 300mm f2.8 lens and they also had no less than eight wireless triggered flashes around the rink. The photographer that sold me my K10D also told me hockey was one of the toughest sports to photograph due to the above reasons. I found that shooting at iso1600 was too noisey so I backed down to 800 @f4 with ev+2 and shutter speed no higher than about 250, yes the pictures are a little dark but after quick pp (auto correct) they look fine. My next lens will most likley be 50-135 f2.8 unless I can find something a little longer and the same or faster appature for around the same money. BTW I did a lot of practicing at his practices trying to find the right mix of settings.
01-06-2008, 09:18 AM   #7
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Thank you very much for your suggestions.
01-06-2008, 09:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by seymop Quote
To start things off, Im using K100D with Pentax DA50-200mm.

Well....I really wanted to freeze everything pretty well in the frame and I did, but the grain in the shots was a little more than what I hoped for. The only way I could achieve this is by setting the shutter speed to 500 and the Aperture to 4.5 while the camera was set on ISO 3200! And even then it was a hair to dark.
I really wanted to set the camera to around ISO 800 but no matter what I did I couldn't juggle everything to get the results. It was a very well lit rink so I would have thought that achieving an ISO of 800 would have been doable while freezing the action. Any suggestions?!?!

P.S. - I tried the action setting also but they came out to dark.

BEFORE PP



AFTER PP






thank you, justin
Justin, I will recommend the use of manual exposure. Hockey rinks are very badly lit - the lighting is uneven across the rink. With the limited range of tones that a digital sensor can captue, the problem is worse. I love slide film, but it does not really work in a rink.

When taking amateur sports, as I have done for local newspapers, I decide on a period by period basis what I will shoot. I might set up with a long telephoto on the goal, and set my exposure for that and sit there waiting for action. - For political reasons, I usually use the opposing goal unless the game is very lop sided, in which case I try for the "save" shots of the goalie on our side.

Then I might spend some time with on-the-boards shots, and set my exposure for that.

I am sure you get the idea. I suspect that your shots are severely underexposed. The ice will trick the exposure meter every time. Try a starting point of +1.5 EV on the ice. Go for a few blinkies on the overexposure side. Unless you are trying for fan shots, let the stands go black.

01-06-2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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Take a look here...This is some of the most amazing Hockey shots I have seen...
Pentax Forum: Is it hype? Or does the K10D do just fine at high ISO? - photo.net
01-06-2008, 02:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
Take a look here...This is some of the most amazing Hockey shots I have seen...
Pentax Forum: Is it hype? Or does the K10D do just fine at high ISO? - photo.net
Thanks for the link - they are superb. Just goes to show that the photographer is more important than the equipment. What's that word I keep forgetting to do ... oh, yeah, practice.
01-07-2008, 10:40 AM   #11
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The DA50-200 is like f4 at long zoom so a bigger bucks 2.8 lens is one stop faster. That would let you shoot the hockey game at f2.8, 1/500 and ISO 1600 instead of ISO 3200. Still not easy photography. The guys/gals that make money selling hockey pics probably use cameras that aren't even sweating at ISO 3200.

Shoot in raw and it will be easier to brighten up the shots in post-processing. Also, noise removal software is good to have in the PP bag of tricks.
01-07-2008, 10:41 AM   #12
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The DA50-200 is like f4 at long zoom so a bigger bucks 2.8 lens is one stop faster. That would let you shoot the hockey game at f2.8, 1/500 and ISO 1600 instead of ISO 3200. Still not easy photography. The guys/gals that make money selling hockey pics probably use cameras that aren't even sweating at ISO 3200.

Shoot in raw and it will be easier to brighten up the shots in post-processing. Also, noise removal software is good to have in the PP bag of tricks. And look for action shots where you can go as low as 1/125., if any exist in hockey.
01-07-2008, 12:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chedoy Quote
The DA50-200 is like f4 at long zoom so a bigger bucks 2.8 lens is one stop faster. That would let you shoot the hockey game at f2.8, 1/500 and ISO 1600 instead of ISO 3200. Still not easy photography. The guys/gals that make money selling hockey pics probably use cameras that aren't even sweating at ISO 3200.

Shoot in raw and it will be easier to brighten up the shots in post-processing. Also, noise removal software is good to have in the PP bag of tricks. And look for action shots where you can go as low as 1/125., if any exist in hockey.
A slight correction - the DA 50-200 is f/5.6 at 200mm, so you have two stops less light than my 50-135 DA* f/2.8.
01-07-2008, 12:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
A slight correction - the DA 50-200 is f/5.6 at 200mm, so you have two stops less light than my 50-135 DA* f/2.8.
Yep, I caught that this morning...If was F/4 at 200 it would not cost $220.00 bucks..
01-07-2008, 03:31 PM   #15
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Very helpful everybody!!!! Any suggestions on a good lens where i dont have sell a kidney? A reasonable price or just a lens you should really have for this kind of shooting???? thanks
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