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Old Feb 25, 2007, 7:25 AM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

Try it a few different ways.

The problem with apertures wider than f/2.8, is that you really need to target a face versus body if you're filling the frame much, because DOF is pretty darn shallow, which is hard to do with rapidly moving subjects.

But, if you don't get your shutter speeds up to around 1/400 to 1/500 second, you're going to get too much motion blur when the players are moving quickly.

So, it's Catch 22 (you may need the wider aperture settings to get your shutter speeds fast enough, but your focus has to be dead on because of the shallow DOF). lol Nobody said it would be easy. With a wider lens, you'd have a bit more leeway since you wouldn't be framing as tight.

I took over 600 snapshots yesterday morning at a kid's basketball game. I don't normally shoot sports (and this is the first basketball game I've been to in over 30 years, kids or otherwise). lol I used a 100mm f/2 and 135mm f/2.8 at the game shooting with a KM Maxxum 5D.

It was tough getting many keepers. :-)

With the 135mm, I needed to shoot at ISO 3200 to get my shutter speeds up to where they needed to be since I only had f/2.8 available. Shooting at ISO 1600 and 1/200 - 1/250 second at f/2.8 just didn't cut it (too much motion blur, even when I nailed the focus). Shutter speeds were not fast enough for this game trying to shoot at ISO 1600 and f/2.8 in the lighting I was shooting in. Those kids were moving fast. I can imagine that adults would be much tougher in that lighting. lol

So, I went ISO 3200 with that lens (although I did try some pushing ISO 1600 a tad and took some at 1/320 second and f/2.8, too). 1/320 didn't quite cut it for some of the more rapidly moving action either. 1/400 to 1/500 was about right (which I was able to achieve by shooting with the 100mm f/2 at around f/2.2 and ISO 1600, but not with the 135mm f/2.8 unless I went ISO 3200).

Judging by what you said you were getting (1/30 to 1/60 second at ISO 200 and f/2.8 , the lighting you were shooting in would be about the same. You're going to need higher ISO speeds with wider apertures. ;-) I doubt you'll be able to use anything other than f/2.8 or wider, even at ISO 1600 to 3200, unless you can catch the players relatively still. But, feel free to try.

You may want to spend some time reading through the threads in our Sports and Action Photos Forum, where you'll find lots of tips from more experienced sports shooters that shoot basketball often. This thread by JohnG titled Basketball Shooting Tips is a good place to start.;forum_id=82

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote