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01-22-2007, 06:08 AM   #31
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u have the best camera for the job.. but light or lack of it is the problem.. the 18 x 200 is not good in poor light at 200mm a tamron or sigma 70 x 300 is far better..

go beyond those and u are talking big money.. just an extra f-stop on a long zoom lense rockets the price up.. i would think the tamron or sigma 70 x 300 would do as good a job as u can get..

i cant see a 100mm or less f2.8 lens being much use u are only talking a half an f-stop better than the 70 x 300s at the shorter focal lengths..

a monopod should help even thow u say it dosnt.. it wont help the players motion blur but it should help your own..

the real asnwer is an expensive faster long zoom.. but if its worth the investment or not is up to u..

trog

01-22-2007, 08:53 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
u have the best camera for the job.. but light or lack of it is the problem.. the 18 x 200 is not good in poor light at 200mm a tamron or sigma 70 x 300 is far better..

go beyond those and u are talking big money.. just an extra f-stop on a long zoom lense rockets the price up.. i would think the tamron or sigma 70 x 300 would do as good a job as u can get..

i cant see a 100mm or less f2.8 lens being much use u are only talking a half an f-stop better than the 70 x 300s at the shorter focal lengths..
I am not sure who I should believe: you or my lying eyes. :-)

First, focal length. At least for the basketball and volleyball events I've been shooting this year, I don't need telephoto much beyond 70mm. I thought I did but I see now that I don't. I can practically stand on the court and many of the shots I took this weekend were taken at 28mm because the players were standing so close I had to back up to get them into the picture. The Sigma 28-70 is almost perfect. I don't take many pictures across the full length of the court - don't really care what's going on when my daughter's team is playing defense. :-)

Second, aperture. The Sigma 28-70 with f/2.8 throughout the range DOES seem to make a significant difference. The Tamron 18-200 is a nice lens in many ways and I'm happy to have it for shooting outdoors, but it offers f/3.5 only when the focal length is 18mm or close to. As soon as I zoom even a little - by the time I get to 40mm for sure - the aperture has narrowed some. And that 40-60mm range is where I'm doing most of this shooting. The Sigma 28-70's fixed f/2.8 (if I need it) is a big advantage.

And in any case, the proof seems to be in the pudding. These last shots, taken with the Sigma 28-70, are sharper and less noisy than any I've taken before. Now as I said earlier, the light in this weekend's gymnasium might have been a little better, too, than the light in last week's gym; but it was not so much better as to account in itself for the improvement in the photos. And I certainly have not gotten that much better as a photographer in seven days. :-)


QuoteQuote:
a monopod should help even thow u say it dosnt.. it wont help the players motion blur but it should help your own..
Well, I plan to keep trying to learn how to use it, but right now, I find the monopod a pain to deal with for this kind of shooting - and for shooting small birds who keep jumping around on me. If I know where the action is going to be, the monopod is okay. If I were up in the stands shooting a horse race, for example, a monopod might be perfect. But here, I stand at the edge of the court and try not to get hit by the ball. I really do not feel that I can focus on one spot on the court and wait for the players to go THERE. With these children's teams even more than with pro teams, interesting things can happen almost anywhere. I need to be able to move the camera very quickly. Can't do that with a six-foot pole hanging off the bottom of the camera.

With the Sigma 28-70 F2.8 + my camera's SR feature, I seem to be able to shoot at ISO 800 or ISO 1600 and get the shutter speeds consistently close to 1/400s. Actually, next week, in addition to trying the Pentax M F1.4 50mm prime for a while at the game, I'm also going to try lowering the ISO to 800 and slowing down the shutter a bit. With my old Canon S3 IS, I shot these games at speeds of 1/60s and the problem with the photos was noise more than blur. And I don't mind a bit of blur in a player's foot or hand - gives a sense of action to the shot. And if I get even sharper more vivid pictures in the trade, well, it will be worth it. Anyway, that's the experiment I'm planning.

Will
01-22-2007, 10:10 AM   #33
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u are a strange one WMBP.. u are a clever guy with good line in argument and a way with words.. that asks seemingly overly simple questions..

i get the distinct impression u only ask the question so as u can go to great length to refute the answers.. he he he

still thats perhaps what forums are all about..

the 70 x 300 lens at 70mm F3.5 is only half an F-stop slower than the sigma 28 x 70.. but if u dont need a range beyond 70mm there is no point in useing the longer lens at all.. also no point in useing the 18 x 200 walk around which has its good points but being a fast action sports lens isnt one of them..

at such short range have u not thought of useing a decent flash or is that not permitted in the gym..

forgive me for assuming a longer lens was needed it quite clearly isnt..

trog
01-22-2007, 12:31 PM   #34
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Thanks for posting links to the galleries!! I am about to order the K100 and grade school basketball is one of the things I want to shoot!

Wow! big improvement going to the 28-70 f/2.8 constant aperature...

One thing I notced is that you seem to still be shooting in an auto mode, even thought the light is not changing in the gym. for a couple of shots, the camera decided to use f/2.8 which is noticeable softer than even 3.5.

I would try to take some sample shots before the game starts and use manual mode after that. it looks like this gyms lighting is fine at 1/500, f/3.5 or f/4

Dont give the camera a chance to blow it by changing the exposure if perhaps one of those dark unis fill your frame etc...

01-22-2007, 12:43 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
Thanks for posting links to the galleries!! I am about to order the K100 and grade school basketball is one of the things I want to shoot!
Yeah, it was one of the excuses, er, reasons I gave myself for needing to trade up to a digital SLR. :-)


QuoteQuote:
One thing I notced is that you seem to still be shooting in an auto mode, even thought the light is not changing in the gym. for a couple of shots, the camera decided to use f/2.8 which is noticeable softer than even 3.5.
Nope, none of the shots were taken in Auto mode. I never use it. I think they were all taken in shutter priority mode. I fiddled with the settings as I was shooting - switching occasionally to a faster or slower shutter.



QuoteQuote:
I would try to take some sample shots before the game starts and use manual mode after that. it looks like this gyms lighting is fine at 1/500, f/3.5 or f/4

Dont give the camera a chance to blow it by changing the exposure if perhaps one of those dark unis fill your frame etc.
Well, I wasn't using spot metering, and I never go SO close to a player that her uniform filled the frame - so I would not expect the exposure to change THAT much. But it's a thought I'll keep in mind next week. I think your guess is about right - 1/500s, f/3.5 with ISO 800.

Will
01-22-2007, 12:59 PM   #36
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Pretty good shot Will, especially considering the conditions! Ball and players are pretty sharp (at least on my crummy work monitor) and their expressions are clear. Since you aren't shooting for SI, I'm sure these shots will go over well with your daughter and her friends, and their parents. That's your "target audience" anyway is it not? Looks like the 28-70 is a winner.

NaCl(if the kids and the 'rents' like it, and you're satisified...success!)H2O
01-22-2007, 01:50 PM   #37
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Well, shutter priority is an auto mode .... that would be useful if there is a dark corner and a light corner... or maybe outdoors, sun/shade shooting into the light/away from the light...

but indoors in a gym. Go all the way to full manual. A couple of test shots, and your brain is a much better tool set than the camera body...

Interesting that you chose the 28-70 ... do you find that it is enough reach? last year I gave up on the far end of the court, and used my 50mm f/1.4 at the near end. I had some trouble getting the rim in the shots with the shooter. but yesterday with the point and shoot digital, I had a horrible time with the 35-105 equivalent zoom range... it all seemed way too short...

I am having a tough time trying to decide on the K100 body alone or get the kit + 50-200.

I have a bunch of primes and an old FA28-70 F/4 constant aperature that I could get repaired for ~$100. But I am not sure the reach or the aperature will warrant spending the money...

What do you think?
01-22-2007, 02:37 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
Well, shutter priority is an auto mode .... that would be useful if there is a dark corner and a light corner... or maybe outdoors, sun/shade shooting into the light/away from the light...
I use the word "Auto" the way Pentax does. Auto means full auto - let the camera decide both aperture and shutter. Aperture priority is called "aperture priority". At best it's half auto - the camera only figures out the shutter.


QuoteQuote:
but indoors in a gym. Go all the way to full manual. A couple of test shots, and your brain is a much better tool set than the camera body...
Well, my SENSE was that the lighting in the gym was varied enough that the metering was changing when I pointed the lens in a different direction. That's why I left it on Tv rather than going to full Manual. Not sure if that was right or not. The K100D's LCD is much sharper than the LCD on my old Canon S3 IS, but still not sharp enough for me always to tell whether a picture is decent or not. I try to use the histogram, but sometimes I have the problem that the picture looks okay but the histogram is all wrong or vice versa, and then I'm not sure what to do. Still trying to sort that out.


QuoteQuote:
Interesting that you chose the 28-70 ... do you find that it is enough reach? last year I gave up on the far end of the court, and used my 50mm f/1.4 at the near end. I had some trouble getting the rim in the shots with the shooter. but yesterday with the point and shoot digital, I had a horrible time with the 35-105 equivalent zoom range... it all seemed way too short...
Well, you can see the whole gallery that I shot on Saturday here. I fiddled with the lighting in post-processing but I did not do a lot of cropping. Most of the shots were taken fairly close to the subject. A few were taken at a distance like this one, which was taken across the court sideways (I was on one sideline, the team was on the other). That's at 70mm. It would be nice to have, say, an 18-200 lens that had a max of f/2.8 throughout the range, but if such a lens exists I can't afford it. So I either have to shoot at higher ISO and live with the noise or use the Sigma 28-70 and give up those long shots. The bigger aperture is more important to me than the longer reach; actually, the shorter focal lengths are also more important to me than the longer focal lengths.

I might add that the Catholic elementary school gyms where I am shooting these games tend to be pretty cramped. I said earlier that I get pretty close to the court. What I didn't say is that I don't actually have much choice about that - there's no place else for me to go. If I am down on the court, the obvious place to stand is near my team's offensive basket. And when I do that and try to shoot with a lens with a bigger zoom - say, the 18-200 that I used a week ago - I either ended up NOT shooting the action at the other end OR I found myself spending a lot of time trying to zoom in or out as the action moved. Too much effort - and it caused a number of lost shots. I always reserve the right to change my mind, but at the moment, for THIS kind of shooting, the 28-70 F2.8 is looking like the best all around compromise.

Will

01-22-2007, 03:40 PM   #39
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Oh, I didnt mean to suggest my way was right and yours was wrong... not at all. I was merely trying to clarify a suggestion that I am sure I am passing along from somewhere else.

I also dont have the digital SLR yet.. so my experience has been trying to capture on film, where I could only tolerate the grain up to ISO400, and the fields of view are a bit different. I am trying to figure out what to buy to attach to a K100 and this is one of the toughest assignments I have.

I was really glad that to see your thread today, and your samples have helped immensely!! thank you! I am hoping my shot can first improve to your original unaccetable ones, and then if I can get similar to your second series, I will be thrilled!
01-22-2007, 05:24 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote

Interesting that you chose the 28-70 ... do you find that it is enough reach? last year I gave up on the far end of the court, and used my 50mm f/1.4 at the near end. I had some trouble getting the rim in the shots with the shooter. but yesterday with the point and shoot digital, I had a horrible time with the 35-105 equivalent zoom range... it all seemed way too short...

I am having a tough time trying to decide on the K100 body alone or get the kit + 50-200.

I have a bunch of primes and an old FA28-70 F/4 constant aperature that I could get repaired for ~$100. But I am not sure the reach or the aperature will warrant spending the money...

What do you think?
Pardon the intrusion into this exchange. When I photography Middle School Baskeball games I use the 28-75 f2.8 range, though at times I will use the D FA 100 f2.8. I am usually standing several feet from the edge of the court and find these lens provide enough reach and speed with an ISO of 800. I do not think you will find the 50-200 kit lens suitable, IMHO and experience. I also think the 28-70 f/4 is too slow and you can buy a new 28-70ish f2.8 from sigma or tamron for under 300$US. What primes do you own?

Regards,
Erl
01-22-2007, 06:48 PM   #41
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A point for everyone to remember:
For all the magic of modern technology, a photographic lightmeter, however sophisticated, essentially reduces everything to an 18% neutral density.
That is; whatever hue, shade or darkness/lightness the subject might be, the meter will always indicate camera settings which will result in a middle density image.
If you meter off a white subject you will get a reading which will result in a mid tone; if off a dark tone, an entirely different reading which will result in the same mid tone. All under the same lighting condition.
A little time spent learning the colors/shades that equate to 'neutral grey' on your particular camera will save a lot of frustration and wasted effort.
Old hands who grew up with 'old fashioned' manual cameras, or those who have gone back to the basic principles of photography, know well that the computer in your head, when properly programmed, can produce results consistently superior to those of fully automated devices.
A book worth reading is the Kodak "The new Joy of Photography" which is quite possibly out of print now or in revised form under a different title. And anything by Michael Langford or John Hedgecoe.
A visit to the shelves of your local lending library might prove equally profitable.
And don't be tempted to ignore the older writings; modern photography is firmly based on all this 'old stuff'.
Back to basics, guys. That's what it's all about.
01-22-2007, 07:13 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
... and you can buy a new 28-70ish f2.8 from sigma or tamron for under 300$US.
My Sigma 28-70 F2.8 EX DG cost $390 from Sigma4less.com. There is a cheaper version whose specs seem pretty similar, but apparently it's out of stock. I'm not sure I understand the differences but it doesn't matter.

Will
01-22-2007, 07:19 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
My Sigma 28-70 F2.8 EX DG cost $390 from Sigma4less.com. There is a cheaper version whose specs seem pretty similar, but apparently it's out of stock. I'm not sure I understand the differences but it doesn't matter.

Will
Tamron 28-75 at BH is $375. I guess I tend to underestimate the cost of equipment. Maybe that's why my wife views my LBA differently than I do. Apologies if I misled anyone!
Regards,
Erl
01-24-2007, 08:30 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
Pardon the intrusion into this exchange. When I photography Middle School Baskeball games I use the 28-75 f2.8 range, though at times I will use the D FA 100 f2.8. I am usually standing several feet from the edge of the court and find these lens provide enough reach and speed with an ISO of 800. I do not think you will find the 50-200 kit lens suitable, IMHO and experience. I also think the 28-70 f/4 is too slow and you can buy a new 28-70ish f2.8 from sigma or tamron for under 300$US. What primes do you own?

Regards,
Erl
M28/3.5, M35/2.8, M50/1.7, FA50/1.4, M135/3.5, M200/4

I stopped using the FA28-70/4 when I got the FA50/1.4 and most of my good shots were taken when I was thinking about what I was doing, which almost always meant I had time to get the right lens on the camera.

But with my film bodies I always had ISO400 film loaded, so even though the FA50/1.4 is three stops faster than the f/4 wide open, compared to ISO1600 I am only one stop faster with the shutter speeds. Now I find that its hard to focus the FA50/1.4 wide open.

So I am left wondering... i sthe main aesthetic fault in these pictures typically blurriness from too long shutter speeds? is the jump from f/4 to f/2.8 really worth several hundred dollars?
01-24-2007, 09:18 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
So I am left wondering... i sthe main aesthetic fault in these pictures typically blurriness from too long shutter speeds? is the jump from f/4 to f/2.8 really worth several hundred dollars?

Can't answer the second question for anybody else, but for me, the answer is yes. Even back in the fall before I got my K100D and was shooting volleyball and then basketball with a Canon S3 IS, the problem was not so much general blurriness or lack of focus - at the compact camera's max ISO (800, if I recall correctly) and at a shutter speed of about 1/60, I could get reasonably well focused photos. It wasn't even that parts of the players' bodies (typically hands or feet) were blurry, although I didn't always like that effect. It was mainly that the pictures were all underexposed and noisy - and the noise got worse when I correct the exposure in post-processing.

Now, with the Sigma 28-70 F2.8, I can get shots that are reasonably well exposed AND sharper. To get both good exposure and a fast shutter speed (over 1/300s, say) I seem to have to push the ISO up to 1600, although perhaps not - I'll experiment more with that this weekend. But even so, last weekend's pictures were in most cases not in-your-face noisy like my old shots were. Since previously with the Tamron 18-200 F3.5-63 I did basically the same things I'm doing now with the Sigma 28-70 F2.8, I have to conclude that the difference lies in the additional couple of stops I'm getting in that 50-70mm range. And because I'll continue to use this Sigma lens for other purposes as well - I'll do most of my indoor shooting with it - I consider it a good purchase.

Will
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