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Old Jan 20, 2009, 7:22 AM   #11
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We have another volleyball tournament this weekend. I ordered a Nikon 85mm 1.8D from B&H, it was supposeed to arrived last night but due to snow it did not get here,it might come today.I hope this helps me frame in better than the 50mm.

If any more input can be given please let me know. I have been practicing with the 50mm with the advise from JohnG and my pictures turned out better at the last basketball game.


"Thanks to everyone who post at this forum, and list all the settings you use. It is very helpful to us "Newbie's". I never knew getting great pictures would be so hard. I give every photographer major Props for their skill with a camera and an eye for art. You guys are great!!

Thanks

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Old Jan 22, 2009, 8:44 AM   #12
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JohnG wrote:
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First, welcome to Steve's. I think we can definitely help you out here.

First - thanks for posting a photo it definitely helps to identify what issues you're having. Here are some tips to get better shots:
  • First, shoot portrait orientation. You want action filling the frame and MOST shots the action is more vertical than horizontal - especially shooting with such short lenses. [/*]
  • The posted shot the girl is too far away. A 50mm lens is good for about 15 feet max. You want the action filling at least 3/4 of the vertical frame in PORTRAIT orientation. If this were portrait orientation she wouldn't be filling even 1/2 the frame. This makes using a 50mm lens very limiting since 15 feet doesn't cover a whole lot of territory. [/*]
  • Set a custom WB. You'll need a white object. I recommend a whitecard - B&H sells one for $8. Great investment. Your camera's manual will tell you how to set the custom WB. [/*]
  • Use manual exposure. You don't want to leave auto ISO on either. The reason being you don't want the camera's metering to be fooled by uniform colors - which will dominate the frame when you're framing tightly as you should. Make sure you expose for faces and not uniforms. So take some test shots during warmups and look at the photos in the LCD. Do the faces look good or underexposed? Don't worry about uniforms or the ball - the highlights in white uniforms or the ball may be blown if you're exposing properly for faces. [/*]
  • Use a single focus point. If the D90 has assist points you can use them too but don't use all points. Focus on the face or chest of the player. [/*]
  • Make sure continuous focus is turned on - I forget what Nikon calls it. [/*]
  • Since you'll be framing much tighter than you did here you'll find it very difficult to follow the ball and still be able to frame your shot. With volleyabll and especially a prime lens you really need to track the player not the ball. which means you have to "guess" where the ball is going to go a lot of times. After the bump it's not so much of a guess but it often is when a kill is attempted. [/*]
  • Also, it looks like you've got a really dark gym. 1/320 is too slow. You'll want at least 1/400 which means you need to raise your ISO up another 1/3 stop (i'd recommend that over going to 1.8 aperture). [/*]
  • You should strongly consider the 85mm 1.8. It will give you a bit more reach - out to about 25 feet.[/*]
In the end, given your camera has a 1.5x crop here is how you tightly you'll end up needing to frame your shots with the 85mm:







Note I said FRAMING, not cropping. You'll need to be framing very tightly to get well focused shots with either the 50 or 85mm lens.
This pretty much spells out everything you need to know to get a good startting point. id also add that you need to shoot in RAW and you need to learn how to read the histogram on your camera. It has all the info you need to determine proper exposure. Your goal is to get your settings such that the histogram is slightly to the right of middle. Which software are you using?
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Old Jan 22, 2009, 9:09 AM   #13
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DRGSin wrote:
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id also add that you need to shoot in RAW
I'd like to respectfully disagree with this statement. If your exposure and white balance are correct, what benefit does RAW provide?

I very rarely shoot sports in RAW. The only time I do is in the very infrequent gyms where a custom WB is not possible. In 95% of the gyms I shoot, a custom WB is possible. Sure there are minor color cast changes in some shots but it's minor. In my opinion it's livable compared to selecting an individual white balance for every singe shot in post processing.

Now, there's that 5% of gyms where a custom WB is not possible. Then RAW is the only choice.

The potential downside to RAW are:

1. Increases number of steps in PP workflow

2. Decreases amount of space on storage media

3. Depending on the camera in question it could negatively impact buffer handling.

I'm not saying the OP shouldn't use RAW, just disagreeing that RAW is required. In my experience it isn't usually required if you can get exposure and WB correct in camera. But it IS a nice safety net if you're OK with the drawbacks. So I would classify RAW vs. JPEG as a choice rather than a requirement either way. I rarely, if ever, use RAW for sports but other photographers (and it sounds like DRGSin is in this camp) always do. There are benefits to each approach.
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Old Jan 22, 2009, 9:49 AM   #14
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JohnG wrote:
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DRGSin wrote:
Quote:
id also add that you need to shoot in RAW
I'd like to respectfully disagree with this statement. If your exposure and white balance are correct, what benefit does RAW provide?

I very rarely shoot sports in RAW. The only time I do is in the very infrequent gyms where a custom WB is not possible. In 95% of the gyms I shoot, a custom WB is possible. Sure there are minor color cast changes in some shots but it's minor. In my opinion it's livable compared to selecting an individual white balance for every singe shot in post processing.

Now, there's that 5% of gyms where a custom WB is not possible. Then RAW is the only choice.

The potential downside to RAW are:

1. Increases number of steps in PP workflow

2. Decreases amount of space on storage media

3. Depending on the camera in question it could negatively impact buffer handling.

I'm not saying the OP shouldn't use RAW, just disagreeing that RAW is required. In my experience it isn't usually required if you can get exposure and WB correct in camera. But it IS a nice safety net if you're OK with the drawbacks. So I would classify RAW vs. JPEG as a choice rather than a requirement either way. I rarely, if ever, use RAW for sports but other photographers (and it sounds like DRGSin is in this camp) always do. There are benefits to each approach.
i respect your disagreement. and youre right, it IS a choice rather than a requirement...although if you ask many of the landscape guys, to them its not an option.
I consider it as a backup parachute, LOL. Itry to set a custom WB on all of my indoor shoots. On more than one occasion, ive shot a burst of 4-6 shots and Ill have one that is out of color because of the lights recycling. Shooting in raw, with the Nikon prgram i use, i can easily change the WB and all in-camera settings for that photo. As far as the storage space...my belief is that was a valid excuse with computers and storage devices of yesteryear. Not so much today.4 gig cards are relatively inexpensive to buy. i can easily shoot a basketball game with my 8 gig card and a 4 gig card and have a ton of space left over. also, i priced an externalterrabyte HD for 150.00 at sam's club the other day. Blu Ray disc writerswill be coming out and theyll hold 50 gigs worth of photos on each disc.as far as converting from raw to jpeg being time consuming, i dont understand this. My workflo is as follows:

-I upload all the shots(Raw) from card to computer using a lightning fast 800 firewire reader.

-I view andrate them and delete the non keepers

-I process the ones I choose and save as jpegs-thats the simple conversion, instead of saving as raw, i save as jpeg. i dont think thats too difficult or time consuming.

-I copy the Raw and jpeg vesrions on a dvd. jpegs dont add that much additional time or space.


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