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Old Dec 21, 2010, 9:40 AM   #1
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Default Indoor Track - Quality of Photos

I have a Nikon 5000 and use the AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm1.4-5.6G ED lens. These are pretty fast runners. My photos come out with blurred runners and white piercing eyes from the lights in the gym. I have tried the pre-set "Sports" mode and the manual M and A modes. Any suggestions that I could try at today's track meet?
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, you're in a bind. The lens you're using just isn't capable of letting enough light in for a proper exposure. And it's going to have some focus issues because of the low light. You really need to use an f2.8 lens. But, what you can do to maximize what you have is:

Set camera to manual exposure
Set iso to 6400
set aperture to f5.6
set shutter speed to 1/200
Take a test shot - adjust shutter speed until exposure looks good.
If exposure is < 1/320 then you'll want to shoot the runners from the side and use a panning technique where you follow the runner with the lens as you take the shot. When you get the technique down and match the runner exactly you'll usually end up with a sharp face/body and blurred hands/legs which is the best you can do.

You'll want to be sure you also enable the focus mode for focus tracking (I forget what Nikon calls it)
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 3:06 PM   #3
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Thank you so much John! Do you know what type of lens I should purchase so I am able to take good shots? I am going to a meet this evening at Drew University, so I will try your suggestion. I really appreciate it
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 5:11 PM   #4
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The right lens will depend on the distances involved. A 70-200 2.8 is a great option (sigma makes one for $800 or so). They make a 50-150mm 2.8 as well but I've heard some negative comments regarding focusing as compared to the 70-200 2.8. But if you're too close than 70mm might be on the tight side. And, with 200mm you probably need to be within 60-70 feet or so - so the lens isn't capable of covering a whole track.
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