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01-26-2007, 08:54 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
I recently read a suggestion on another site to set exposure to underexpose by 2 stops (-2) if shooting RAW and then increase the exposure in your processing on the computer. The photographer said this was a way to get 2 more stops; in your case this would allow you to increase your shutterspeed. I am eager to give it a try to see if it has a negative affect on image quality. I will try to let you know.
Best Wishes,
Erl
Finally got around to experimenting with underexposing. The first shot was taken in manual mode at f/2.8 with a shutter of 1/180. The camera meter indicated about 1.5 stops underexposed. The ISO was 800 on the K10d with the D FA 100 2.8 macro lens. Using ACR in Elements I increased the exposure. I was pleased with the result, though did notice more noise than with a normally exposed shot at ISO 800.
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This second shot was taken at ISO 800, same camera and lens but at f2.8 and 1/125 with no intentional underexposure in a different gym. To my eyes there is less noise.
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Overall I am pleased to know that in a bind, I can underexpose to get a stop or two and still get a decent photograph. The next step will be to compare the underexposed ISO 800 picture with one taken at 1600 and do a similar comparison of images at ISO 1600.

Thoughts or feedback welcome.
Regards,
Erl

01-26-2007, 10:36 AM   #47
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i might be mssing something here but surely the amount of noise is a secondary issue.. getting rid of picture spoiling motion blur is the main issue..

if for example u have already maxed out the iso as far as u wish to go from a noise point of view.. used the maximum size aperture u have at your disposal.. your shutter speed is still to low to guarantee motion blur free shots and u have to resort to the under exposure trick to boost your shutter speed by a factor of one or two.. the resultant noise generated by the post processing needed to boost the exposure back to normal is something u have to live with..

its not something u chooose to do.. more something u have to do.. my main point being there is no other alternative.. ??

its the odd or every picture spoilt by motion blur or how much noise u are prepared to tolerate before giving up..

or is the debate more about useing say iso 400 plus under exposing by too f-stops and putting the exposure right in post processing compared to useing iso 1600 and getting the exposure correct in the first place..

both will generate noise and the end results should be vaguely similar.. it perhaps depends on post processing skills as to which would turn out the best..

trog
01-26-2007, 01:10 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
Finally got around to experimenting with underexposing. The first shot was taken in manual mode at f/2.8 with a shutter of 1/180. The camera meter indicated about 1.5 stops underexposed. The ISO was 800 on the K10d with the D FA 100 2.8 macro lens. Using ACR in Elements I increased the exposure. I was pleased with the result, though did notice more noise than with a normally exposed shot at ISO 800.
Yes, one problem with underexposing is that, when you fix the exposure in post-processing, you introduce noise. If you overexpose - "shoot to the right" of the histogram - and then correct to the left, it does not introduce noise in the same way. The bottom line is that you underexpose only because you have no choice.

Will
01-26-2007, 07:41 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote

or is the debate more about useing say iso 400 plus under exposing by too f-stops and putting the exposure right in post processing compared to useing iso 1600 and getting the exposure correct in the first place..

both will generate noise and the end results should be vaguely similar.. it perhaps depends on post processing skills as to which would turn out the best..

trog
I appreciate your pointed questions. At this point, having experimented with underexposing, I want to test which method might produce the superior image with the least amount of post camera work. My guess is that you are correct that the results will be "vaguely similar." I am not pleased with the noise at ISO 1600 on K10d and hope 800ISO at -1 might be more acceptable. If I find a that underexposing is better, I will share my findings. If not, I will cease my efforts to prolong this thread.
Regards,
Erl

01-26-2007, 08:20 PM   #50
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"If I find a that underexposing is better, I will share my findings. If not, I will cease my efforts to prolong this thread"

let us know either way it all adds to the knowledge pool..

take two idental shots except for the exposure method.. post both.. i think folks would be interested to see the actual difference even if the results are as u expect..

trog
01-26-2007, 08:30 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
For a good bit of the game, I gave up altogether on AF and switched to MF. Unfortunately I can't really tell which shots were done with which focusing method. Next game I need to take notes.
Pentax Photo Browser shows what focusing mode you use (select "image data" in the view menu). I use PPB to save a CSV file of "image data" (tools menu, or button) after I weed out and rename the files to my file naming system. I then paste that list into my bigger master list, not suprisingly, called "photoexif.csv"

Good luck choosing a lens. Indoor sports is difficult -(
01-31-2007, 01:14 PM   #52
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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
Sorry to take so long to respond...

I agree about the speed of the 28-70's, but for the $$ I keep trying to convince myself that its just one stop!

The primes I have now are: Zenitar16/2.6, M28/3.5, M35/2.8, M50/1.7, FA50/1.4, M135/3.5, M200/4

I am about to buy the K100, but just cant decide on the kit or the FA35/2 or a faster short zoom... one of the fixed 2.8's probably the Sigma 28-70 or else the tokina? 28-75/2.8... strange before the K100, I was sure I wanted the DFA100/2.8 Macro next
01-31-2007, 02:39 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
I agree about the speed of the 28-70's, but for the $$ I keep trying to convince myself that its just one stop!
Having that constant f/2.8 has made a big difference to my basketball shots.


QuoteQuote:
I am about to buy the K100, but just cant decide on the kit or the FA35/2 or a faster short zoom... one of the fixed 2.8's probably the Sigma 28-70 or else the tokina?
I'm quite happy with my Sigma 28-70 f/2.8. I have the kit lens and never use it any more.

Will

01-31-2007, 03:52 PM   #54
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Will,
Have you tried to post process your photos with Photoshop or a program like that? Photofiltre is a freeware program that will do a really nice job of processing photos like your.

I would also suggest that you try to locate 135mm f2.8 telephoto lens. They are usually not very expensive, $100.00 or less on eBay.

Bill
01-31-2007, 05:05 PM   #55
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Not that cheap

QuoteOriginally posted by wipearl Quote
Will,
Have you tried to post process your photos with Photoshop or a program like that? Photofiltre is a freeware program that will do a really nice job of processing photos like your.

I would also suggest that you try to locate 135mm f2.8 telephoto lens. They are usually not very expensive, $100.00 or less on eBay.

Bill
Pentax fa 135mm f2.8 on the ebay is going to be at least 500 US dollars nowadays

It really gives off purple fringeing easily but it is fast in AF and light to carry and relatively bright...

I posted a thread regarding this lens in the lens section before
01-31-2007, 09:10 PM   #56
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I feel your pain

Will,

I can feel your pain as I have a 15 year old playing the same game. I started out by trying to use an 80-200 Tokina, constant 2.8 but the pics were not sharp enough no matter at the 80 or 200mm length. As long as the kids are moving, you're going to have issues with sharpness inside gyms, imo. I then went to the wider end, another Tokina 28-80; same wide open f2.8 and still the same issues. Each time I would be trying for decent shots, iso 1600 always gave me more noise than I wished. Recently, I've been using a newly purchased 77 ltd and GENERALLY, I get ok shots re sharpness if my son is on my side of the court and he's setting up for either a shot or playing a zone. I have had to do most of this on shutter priority, keeping the speed at 100 most of the time. Doing this, I get to use f2.2 often and have limited the iso to 800 (I have it set to auto iso). The problem is always going to be the lighting, period. I even tried the 50 1.4 wide open and they were ok but of course, a lot more cropping. I think the best bet is to do what I saw a professional doing; he had a gun that flashed by remote as he moved around the court, taking various kids. I didn't see the results but as I said, the light or lack of it, is the reason you and I are not going to get that 'great' shot that comes without noise and is as sharp as you want. Doesn't mean you can't get close and as others have noted, prefocussing at a predetermined spot will increase your odds. That's been my amateur experience.

I'll try and link to a few that came out fairly decent and you can see how it worked for me.






Michael

Last edited by MichaelRD; 01-31-2007 at 09:41 PM. Reason: adding pics
01-31-2007, 09:24 PM   #57
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followup

I thought I'd post a follow-up here and let y'all know how I'm doing.

To recap: I'm photographing my fifth-grade (eleven-year old) daughter playing volleyball and basketball. One of the reasons (well, rationalizations would be a better term) I used to justify the purchase of a digital SLR was the availability of higher ISO and the prospect of doing a better job at these sports photos. I'm pleased to say that the Pentax K100D is indeed taking better photos at basketball games than my otherwise wonderful old Canon Powershot S3 IS was taking. Here's a link to an example of where I started - lots of noise and even then I was unable to freeze the action. The absence of shutter lag is a big help. And the K100D's camera's higher ISO capability is a help, too.

But now I have what I think is a good lens for the job: the Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 DG EX. Well, two lenses, really. I also recently acquired a Pentax M 50mm f/1.4. This is a nice little lens. I'm enclosing one shot taken with each lens. The more dramatic shot with the clear V arrangement and the girls running right towards me was taken with the Pentax M 50mm. The other shot, with the girls running from left to right, was taken with the Sigma. Although I did get lucky a couple times with the Pentax manual-focus lens, I have decided that it does not really take significantly better pictures than the Sigma and is not going to work for me in the gymnasium as well. I find the 28-70 zoom range to be useful. And I just can't seem to do as well manually focusing any lens as I can with auto-focus, unless I have lots of time. Anyway, I'm happy enough with my gear right now and I'm grateful to those of you who offered your suggestions weeks ago when I started this thread.

Now I'm trying to learn to USE this equipment to take better, more interesting photos. I've discovered that most of the photos I take at these games look like most of the others - cliche and boring. I've attached a third shot, of some girls down on the court struggling for the ball. It was taken with the Sigma: 28mm, f/2.8 @ 1/200s, ISO 1600. It's not a gem but it has a bit of drama to it and it's a break from the routine. I may yet crop it a little tighter. This sports photography stuff is a challenge!

By the way, a number of you suggested lenses with longer focal lengths. I think I'm doing okay with the 28-70. I tend to park myself right on the sideline at the corner of the court near the basket our team is trying to score in. I miss a few shots at the far end of the court when we're playing defense. Maybe a 28-110 would be better, if it still had f/2.8 throughout the range. But it's nice to be able to go wide when the players come back down where I'm waiting. More than once I've had to think quick to avoid getting hit by a ball or a player (or a referee who's backing up). But it seems to be good to be close to the action.

Will
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02-01-2007, 07:58 AM   #58
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i like that last one.. he he.. perhaps not as things should be but a rare capture nevertheless..

the expressions on the kids faces are priceless.. that wmbp is a "good" photograph..

trog
02-01-2007, 08:39 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
i like that last one.. he he.. perhaps not as things should be but a rare capture nevertheless..

the expressions on the kids faces are priceless.. that wmbp is a "good" photograph.
Thanks, trog. I am happy with it, too. It's interesting to see Marla (the girl who seems to have the ball) struggling so mightily, while the teammates stand around waiting to see what happens.

Will
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