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02-14-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
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Shooting a basketball game? Your tips appreciated!!

Pentax K100D camera with my old Soligor (believe I bought it in 1984!!) 75-250mm lens. Lens has no "A" setting on the aperature ring.

I set the lens to "wide open", my camera to ISO 1600, and I forget what shutter speed I was using. Just fast enough to get good shots if I was panning my little basketball player.

Pics turned out pretty decent (camera is new to me), but had a hard time getting a lot of my shots to be clear.

Tough place to shoot in (low light), especially with an old manual focus zoom lens, but pretty happy with my first time out in it in those conditions.

Anything I can try to improve my shots? Forgot, I was shooting on "M" with the left hand turn selector.

Thanks a lot. Great site!!!!

vmax84

02-14-2008, 12:01 PM   #2
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My only advise would be chose one spot with alot of action and work on the focusing there. Instead of trying to get action up and down the court. Hope that helps a little
02-14-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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this is one place where a good F2.8 autofocus zoom really shines. in a small gym, something like a tamron 28-75 for example.

But, having said that, I went to a Toronto Raptors game armed just with my K10 and my 135 f2.5.

even from one corner of the arena (center position would have been better) the shots were great, and focusing was not an issue. f2.5 lens makes for a bright finder.

What I like, especially if I am to use zooms is constant apature, therefore I can meter once, and set the shutter where I want it. Again, with a fast lens, I can stop down get good sharpness and depth of field, and still have some shutter speed.
02-14-2008, 02:28 PM   #4
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Lowell I agree with the fast lens. But, a fast lens with NBA lighting blows away a dungeon of a gym anywhere in the world buy far. Having said that I have had a little luck with my K10 and 77ltd and a Sigma flash with the little kids. I am still tinkering and will try and post some of it this week at some point. The flash of course is easier to use when they are still in the peewee division. It gets more complicated when they get in the rec leagues. I asked the coachs before just to be on the safe side. They laughed and said " I am pretty sure the flash is the last thing that will bother these 6 year olds"

02-14-2008, 02:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by vievetrick Quote
Lowell I agree with the fast lens. But, a fast lens with NBA lighting blows away a dungeon of a gym anywhere in the world buy far. Having said that I have had a little luck with my K10 and 77ltd and a Sigma flash with the little kids. I am still tinkering and will try and post some of it this week at some point. The flash of course is easier to use when they are still in the peewee division. It gets more complicated when they get in the rec leagues. I asked the coachs before just to be on the safe side. They laughed and said " I am pretty sure the flash is the last thing that will bother these 6 year olds"
I used my sigma 70-200 f2.8 in the past for tae-qwon do in a gym, and find that it's OK for speed, but a little long for a high school gym. next time I will use my 50mm F1.4. If I can't get a shot with that it is just too dark.
02-15-2008, 04:15 AM   #6
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I agree. I shoot often in our High Schools gym and the lighting is very deceiving. Veivetrick is right on the money though with the lighting. There just isn't much to be had in most gyms.

Get the fastest lens you can get, up your ISO to the highest you can use, and if they allow a flash, then your good to go. Otherwise, you may still find it hard to get a high enough shutter speed to prevent motion blur.

I used a Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens once for an event, and with ISO 800, my highest shutter speed was 1/180th of a second wide open. that was the highest I could get with the lighting.

Good luck.
02-15-2008, 06:39 AM   #7
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Lowell I love my Sigma as well. One of these days I want to make nice with a college or one of the gyms that has those big strobes in the cieling. That would be fun I am going to try shooting my nephews game this weekend. He is 14 so action should be fast. It is afternoon and I know the gym has some windows so that may help or hurt. I will let you know. VMAX have you shot any shots to try what you have learned here?
02-15-2008, 06:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vievetrick Quote
Lowell I love my Sigma as well. One of these days I want to make nice with a college or one of the gyms that has those big strobes in the cieling. That would be fun I am going to try shooting my nephews game this weekend. He is 14 so action should be fast. It is afternoon and I know the gym has some windows so that may help or hurt. I will let you know. VMAX have you shot any shots to try what you have learned here?

Depending on the size of the gym, you might find th e70-200 is too long. I did.

What I have been doing since is using my newly aquired 28-75 f2.8 tamron. note this is for a gym that is about 50 feet by 80 feet.

if you look at a regulation court that is 94 feet long 50 feet wide (i think) plus set back oc 50 feet all around (i.e. serious college size) then you might be OK.

Note for TKD is use my *istD and ISO 3200. a little grainy but shots are good.

02-15-2008, 08:29 AM   #9
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Shoot raw and set ISO to 3200 if needed. 3200 Not great quality but better than blurs. Buy a used 50mm f2 or faster. Great for indoor sports. Lets in lots of light in those dark gymns. Raw will slow the camera fps down, but some good pics are better than lots of bad ones. If using a zoom try to zoom less. Most zooms lose light when at max tele and all zooms require a higher shutter speed to stop action at max zoom. Setting manual exposure is good (if you don't have variable aperture zoom).
loaned friend a Pentax 75-300 zoom for Memphis NBA game. Stadium had a rule against any lens longer than 3". Each stadium has their own rules. Bummer.
thanks
barondla
02-15-2008, 08:38 AM   #10
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Glad I saw this thread! I was just informed that I have to shoot our college intramural games today. I will use the tips here and see how it comes out.

Thanks guys!
02-15-2008, 09:05 AM   #11
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Here are some actual shots I took of basketball games in a typically-lit gym (ie. poor light). Here are my recommendations:

1) You need a fast lens. I bought my 50 1.4 just for this purpose.

2) Set shutter speed to 1/250. That seems to be the "sweet spot" for stopping basketball action. Any faster and you need even more light, any slower, and extremities will blur.

3) You need a fast lens

4) Get there a bit early so you have time to choose your position, set your shutter speed to 1/250, and then set your ISO, aperture, and white balance. Gym lighting is constant so you don't need to worry about shooting in any auto mode such as Av, Tv, etc. Shoot in Manual and your exposure will be consistent.

Did I mention you NEED a fast lens?

Take a look at the pictures full size to see how well the 1/250 shutter worked:

Pioneers vs PC - a photoset on Flickr

PioneersJV vs PC - a photoset on Flickr
02-15-2008, 09:24 AM   #12
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Another tip I have heard and can sume what agree with. Usually center court lighting is better then under the rims. Meaning more lights or brighter. I can say it is true everywhere but can say I have notice here locally that it is true in at least the middle school. Notsure why considering the same about of lights are throughout but just seem brighter in that are between half court and the top of the three point position

Pentax Poke - you got some nice shots there. Your gym is way better then our local gym
02-15-2008, 08:02 PM   #13
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I don't know your flash set-up, so maybe I'm coming from another direction here, but look here:

Strobist: On Assignment: Speedlighting a College Gym

Strobist: Q&A, Speedlighting a Gym

This might sound complicated, but really, it isn't, provided your equipment is up to par.

Here are a few pictures I took of my sons B-Ball game with one flash attached to one of the bleachers:

12 Year Old B-Ball on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

My Boy, Getting Ready To Score on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Good luck!
02-15-2008, 08:33 PM   #14
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I think it is best to try and avoid flash at all costs for sporting events for a variety of reasons (other parents and refs get cranky about it, opposing coaches complain especially when losing, lighting looks unnatural, etc., etc.)

deaners exposures make for a good example. In his case the shots are good, and maybe he didn't get too much grief about using flash. Look at the EXIF: the f number is 6.3. A fast lens like the Pentax 50/1.4 can collect over 20 times more light than that. On top of it, if you bump ISO to 800 (which is very useable on the k10d) you have the equivalent of approximately 40 times more light. Even consider going to 1600 iso for a factor of 80! Take a look at this picture. No one can tell me that it is too noisy:
Flickr Photo Download: IMGP0089

That was iso 1600.

Unless your gym is a dungeon, you can make it work without flash!

You need a fast lens...

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 02-15-2008 at 09:12 PM.
02-15-2008, 09:49 PM   #15
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Haven't been back to the gym to try out the suggestions learned here, but here's a pic (if it comes out) using the K100D and my old "standard" 50mm lens off from my Pentax MG camera, vintage 1984!!!!




I've been flying this little plane for a few years now. Fun job.

vmax84

I'll keep you posted on how things are coming with my old manual lens. I should be getting one of those "magic lantern" manuals in a week or so. (purchased off from ebay).
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