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02-15-2008, 09:49 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Missouri, USA
Posts: 25
Well, I can't really argue with Poke.

A few things. I'm a almost a full-time strobist these days. I'm trying to develop that aspect of my photography. I fully understand others don't share that interest. That's cool.

Right now, I don't have a big selection of lenses. I do have a 50mm/M 1/1.7, which is plenty fast enough for most shots. But it is manual focus. For basketball, I wanted an auto focus lens. Right now, my only auto focus lens is the 16-45mm f/4.0.

Also, flash photography wasn't a problem here. Many parents had their p-n-s cameras going non-stop in the stands. And again, my flash was clamped halfway up the railing on the bleachers.

Poke's pix look good. And if flash photography isn't allowed, then you have no choice. Same thing with quick lens.

I guess the point is, there are many ways to go about this.

02-15-2008, 10:58 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,411
It is nice that a Pentax still makes such a great f/1.4 lens for such a reasonable price:

Amazon.com: Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens: Electronics

Less than $200.

I highly recommend it to anyone with kids...

BTW deaner, I like Coco Alert. I think I could reach out and pet him!

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 02-15-2008 at 11:13 PM.
02-18-2008, 10:17 PM   #18
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario
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Posts: 170
What I say vs What I do

Hi Vmax84 - What I say. Assuming you are fairly close to court side and shooting wide open and that your fastest aperture is at 75mm - and vmax has something to do with airspeed For your 75-250mm lens, assuming that you will be "light challenged" (did you say your lowest aperture?) suggest shooting at 75mm and setting the stabilization to "on" with 75 mm set (unless doing a panning shot). Suggest going with the internal flash (WB setting to flash), shutter at 180, and shoot in RAW. Pre-game - manually focus on two or three specific spots on the floor - test shots and make a mental note of the preferred ranges on your lens and light from your flash. Using ISO of 1600 will give your internal flash a little more reach but if too bright you can bring the ISO down to 800. If you shoot JPEG and no flash - then set the WB manually.

What I do - I found that I was taking most of my shots from the first row of the bleachers (high schools) about half way between half court and the baseline - good for half court traps and for getting action around the key - also the low elevation gives the perception that they are jumping even higher - found I was shooting both of my kit lenses around 50 mm - but I liked the light and shots I was getting with my old manual M 50 F2 lens so made the step to the FA 50 1.4 - About half the time I shoot in manual mode with the manual flash on with this lens at ISO 800, Shutter at 180 and vary the aperture around 3.2 (some may argue this is a great waste of a fast lens but I like the added DOF and autofocus performance). I still use the same technique but use the autofocus single to pick a spot on the floor - pre-focus and wait for players to come into the "sweet" spot. With the flash off, speeds around 160-200, and try to keep aperture at between 2.0 and 3.5 to help the autofocus and use ISO 800/1600. I will often use manual white balance and shoot JPEG when not using the flash. I sit across from my home team so that I take lots of face shots around my side of the key while the team is on defence (that way the flash is also to the back of the opponents players while they are on offence), also for shots around the key the flash is away from the opposing fans/bench so very little reason to complain (in fact doing this for years and never had a complaint - I'm sensitive to the "big games" / last few minutes and go without flash if there is any doubt. If I use my wide angle from directly behind the basket I do not use the flash for these either. Pre-game warmup is a good time to grab/practise a few low shutter speed/pans/blurs/no flash as they run the baseline.

I use the Pentax Photo Browser software to tweak the RAW images and save it as JPEG and use photo lab for my really good shots. The sharpen tool in some post processing(PP) programs can improve a little on soft shots. If you go the non-flash route - learn to set the manual white balance and shoot JPEG. I throw on my kit lens for the wide angle team shots with flash.

My other technique is shooting with the camera vertical - following the action with my right eye and through camera with left. Cropping image after in PP. My best shots come from anticipating the shot/rebound/layup/contact and panning and timing/taking a single shot. In most cases the best image of mulitiple shots is almost always my first one in the sequence....... A good habit I try to follow - always check the ISO/WB setting whenever switching from flash on and flash off. Okay, think I've used up enough bandwidth. For what it's worth. Ken.
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