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Old Jan 12, 2008, 9:49 PM   #1
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Strangely enough this CYO gym was lit better than the local high school
Lovely to be able to shoot with a 70-200 2.8 instead of the prime:
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 7:50 AM   #2
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Lovely sharp shots John, I would love to be able to comment on the positioning etc but i admit to knowing absalute jack about basket ball (not a game played here at all levels until recently), ie long after I left school:lol:. Which is why i rarely comment onothers shots of thesport.But i do know great focusing when I see it so well done.

ps are these with the sigma your selling or have you bought the canon version now?

Kind regards Graham
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 8:11 AM   #3
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Thanks Graham.

They're with the Canon which I received Friday.
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 9:01 AM   #4
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Really great shots, John. Looks like you have a winner with that new lens, congrats.

Did you have any problems with shots under the basket because the lens only zoomed out to 70mm? I have a friend who shoots with a Nikon 80-200 for the local paper, and she has to move out closer to the corner, giving up a lot of the tight angles underneath, her only complaint.

Don't get spoiled by that nice lighting. :-) I know I did when I shot a tournament, then one regular game, at a local civic arena with fantastic lights. Friday night, when I returned to the HS gym, I was knocking myself on the head because I couldn't get the same shots.

Great job!
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 9:36 AM   #5
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Trojansoc wrote:
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Did you have any problems with shots under the basket because the lens only zoomed out to 70mm? I have a friend who shoots with a Nikon 80-200 for the local paper, and she has to move out closer to the corner, giving up a lot of the tight angles underneath, her only complaint.
Well, normally I shoot with the 85mm 1.8 so I actually can get wider. Additionally the crop factor on my camera is 1.3 so it's even wider still. All that being said, even 70mm is too tight to shoot from right under the basket. But truth be told that's not a very interesting angle for HS and below. It's interesting for pro and some college becuase of the soaring dunks. For layups it's less interesting and imo the very wide angle just looks odd. Just my opinion though.

As for going back to HS gyms. Yeah I know. But these were ISO 2000 1/400. Next HS game I'll try ISO 3200 1/400 2.8 and see how it turns out.
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 10:30 AM   #6
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JohnG wrote:
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As for going back to HS gyms. Yeah I know. But these were ISO 2000 1/400. Next HS game I'll try ISO 3200 1/400 2.8 and see how it turns out.
I would suspect that would be sufficient. In the well-lit arena, I got away with 1/500 at ISO 1000. Friday night, I slightly underexposed at ISO 1600 and 1/200 & 1/250. (surprisingly, little motion blur) The shots of players out on the floor (free throw line or so) were decent, if nothing to write home about, but so dark under the basket that I picked up significant noise by raising levels to adequate light values. I've just about decided to go back to my 50mm f1.4 to get more light and return shutter speeds to a more acceptable level.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of option on placement. I would like to be a little out from under the basket, for the reasons you note, but the baseline is filled with cheerleaders, so I'm stuck right at the edge of the pad, or I have to go to the sideline and lose a lot of my facial shots. The other problem with the sideline is that the bleachers come nearly to the sideline, so there is constant traffic of people coming and going from the concession stand.
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 11:05 AM   #7
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Great shots! Are you telling me that you shot those at ISO-1600??? I don't see any evidence of noise in these photos - what gives? Are you shooting with a Canon 1D Mark II - you mentioned a 1.3x crop factor. I shoot a lot of hockey and sometimes have very questionable lighting depending on the facility but need faster shutter speeds because of the pace of the game. I've always shot at ISO-800-1200 to try to keep noise at a minimum but always seem to suffer at getting lower exposure than I really need and the boosting them after the fact in Photoshop. Would bumping up my ISO and getting the exposure that I really need result in better overall quality image right out of the camera with less apparent noise because the images are more accurately exposed?

I'm shooting with a Canon 40D and a Canon 5D with a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 lens (this lens is a lot of fun to shoot with, especially for hockey where the action is a little further away than basketball).

By the way, #12 looks like a "player"!

Doug - Kalamazoo
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 11:35 AM   #8
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dakzoo wrote:
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Great shots! Are you telling me that you shot those at ISO-1600??? I don't see any evidence of noise in these photos - what gives? Are you shooting with a Canon 1D Mark II - you mentioned a 1.3x crop factor.
Even impressive, dakzoo. He was shooting at ISO 2000. I was the one who shot at ISO 1600 in a HS basketball game Friday night. I didn't post any from that game because I had the very problems you mention.

John gets remarkable shots consistently.
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 1:21 PM   #9
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Doug, you're from Kzoo?

Been up there a few times although not in a while. The company I work for has a manufacturing plant / distribution center there. Nice town

I'm shooting with the mkIII - amazing machine. Noise performance is phenomenal. Of course I still used noise reduction on these. Until this year I shot with a 20d. ISO 1600 was very usable as long as exposure was correct. The biggest difference I've noticed is the color the mkIII has at high ISO. You should have no problem using ISO 1600 on the 40d as long as you're exposed properly. If you have to correct in PP you'll get noise issues.

So, here's the key next hockey game. Take some test shots during warm-ups then zoom in on the faces. They should look like it's daylight. If they don't then the exposure is too low. I don't shoot ice hockey (it hasn't caught on this far south of cleveland yet) but from what I understand that's about a full stop below what the camera wants to meter at. Want another key? Dark uniforms should still show detail. That's a real useful one. With helmets it's very difficult to overexpose the faces. So crank up the ISO. An ISO 1600 shot properly exposed will look better than an ISO 800 shot pushed because it was underexposed.


edit - I agree Doug. #12 was a strong player. lots of hustle and good technique. As opposed to a player on the opposing team. Easily a foot to foot and a half taller than everyone else. Got all kinds of rebounds but couldn't make a basket. I don't know if he scored a point. The more I see of youth sports the more I'm convinced the parents play a HUGE part. Having parents or brothers/sisters to teach you the game and practice at home provides an enormous advantage. Most youth coaches are volunteers. and despite best intentions can't teach every kid how to play. The kids that learn at home have an enormous advantage. But then, some kids are born with natural talent too.
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Old Jan 13, 2008, 5:29 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tips John. Here's a recent image I got of my son at a game with the ISO bumped up to 1000 on the 5D- 1/400 - f/3.2. I always shoot in manual mode for this stuff as I know the camera is fooled by the very bright ice background and underexposes the subject. Image 1 is the original, cropped, and image 2 is my corrected image.

I'll give the higher ISO settings a try next time and see what I come up with - I also had the same issue recently at a wrestling meet that a friend commissioned me to cover - see image 4 and 5.

I've lived in Kzoo for about 14 years - since graduating from college. Great town to raise a family as I grew up in the northern suburbs of Detroit (Rochester Hills) which is way overcrowded these days.

Thanks again for the info and I completely agree about the parent/sibling involvement in the development of youth athletes. As a coach myself, it amazes me how parents just expect to show up for one or two practices a week and drop their kids off and then expect the kid to turn into an All-Star. When the kid doesn't, they blame the coach for not knowing what he/she is doing. Most parents get it, but those that don't are the reason many coaches stop volunteering.

Doug
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