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Old Nov 21, 2011, 1:06 PM   #11
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There are a number of things that have to be in place before a sanctioned sporting event can occur. One is that the court must be a certain size and shape. Another is that the venue must have appropriate facilities and equipment. Still another is that the court must have adequate lighting that is consistant over the entire court. (The venue's insurance carrier probably also has something to say about that last one.)

Since skylights don't and can't provide consistant lighting, the venue's lighting plan probably doesn't include them, and if they exist at all they probably aren't where their light is cast on the court to any appreciable degree. And if they do happen to be above the court, their light will probably be blocked, to a significant degree, by the lighting fixtures that must be there.

Therefore, skylights don't and can't make a significant contribution to the lighting of an indoor venue where sanctioned competitions take place, and will not make a whole lot of difference to a photographer, unless he or she is unlucky enough to point his or her camera directly at one, thereby throwing off the exposure of that particlar frame.
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 1:07 PM   #12
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And once again, he doesn't have a lot of them!
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 3:17 PM   #13
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There are a number of things that have to be in place before a sanctioned sporting event can occur.... Still another is that the court must have adequate lighting that is consistant over the entire court. (The venue's insurance carrier probably also has something to say about that last one.)
Really? If I had time I'd go back to several gyms I've actually shot sports in where there are windows or skylights that certainly don't provide "even light". Where did you come up with this requirement that lighting must be "even"? I can't speak to the OPs state - but I can say I've shot in gyms where the light was "NOT" even. I could imagine at NCAA or professional level that might be true. But I don't see amateur events having that criteria. So, just curious - where did you get your information that ALL sanctioning bodies require this?
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 1:22 AM   #14
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Here's one from the Community services District gym that I took earlier this year. It's the original photo except I had to crop it a lot to get the size down so the website would accept it. It's an indoor gym at night with metal halide lighting.

Just in case the photo EXIF data doesn't show, it's with a Canon T2i, 50mm lens, ISO 1600, 1/400th @ F2. I think the distance was something like 15 feet away (I was behind the net judge) and I think I had transitioned to back button focusing by then with the center sensor point. Also, I was shooting in manual mode.

Over the past 2 seasons, I've found that my 85mm F1.8 lens is sharpest but takes a lot of having your head in the game to compose shots that don't cut off body parts, the ball, etc. I've tried slower zooms (F3.5) and they are just too slow. I use this 50mm F1.8 because I can compose the shots a little easier. I've found that 800 ISO is just too slow and 3200 ISO is really reaching the camera's limit for adding extra noise.

I'm throwing out a of info so some of you guys can pick it apart and hopefully guide me to take much better shots. I know I have a huge learning curve ahead of me but that's kind of the fun part.

I've read almost every post many of you have made regarding this very challenging sport. And all of you guys were spot on in your comments. So I'm getting there very slowly but I am paying lots of attention and am now even posting so I can continue to learn. JohnG, I would love to take a picture like you posted. I know it's doable since you posted it--I just need to learn how to jump up several levels to that quality level.

I was originally thinking about purchasing a used 1D (maybe 2N or so) to see if I could bump up that far in IQ and lower noise at a higher ISO. I've been reading JohnG's posts and looking at the amazing photos he posted from a 1D3 and am thinking maybe a 1D3. I was looking up a the specs once again on a 1D4 and saw a short review on the 1DX and was just amazed at the specs. A used 1D2 or 1D3 is more in my budget (still have to save some) but I am wondering how much more ability a 1D4 or 1DX would bring.

I realize very much that the photographer is the critical link in the process and a camera does not make a photographer. But, it sure could help if you're learning from good people and applying the knowledge.

Thanks to everybody who has responded so far. I read all of your comments carefully and think even more about them. And for those of you who are gracious enough with your time to continue with additional constructive criticism, thank you for passing your knowledge and expertise along. It is very much appreciated.
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 8:09 AM   #15
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Greg - well, I can make things a bit easier for you - forget about a 1dIIn - you won't get an improvement in high ISO performance. And honestly any IIn cameras left on the market are very long in the tooth.

As for a 1dIII - that's probably the most cost effective route. Still, if the camera was used heavily (and if it's owned by a sports shooter it probably was) - you may be nearing a repair - you just never know. But that's still the best bang-for-the-buck option out there.

The 1dIV by all accounts is an improvement over the 1dIII. Focus system more reliable and a bit better high ISO performance. But you're going to pay a premium for it. Remember, you still need to buy a 70-200 2.8. Personally, I'd go with the 1dIII and spend the money saved on the new 70-200 2.8 IS II (the IS isn't that important for sports but the lens is sharper than the older models).
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 8:58 AM   #16
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by the way - if you do still want to use the 85mm on a 1dIII - you'll find framing is much easier due to the 1.3 crop factor vs. 1.6. The 1.6 crop sensor does not allow you to accurately focus on objects further away with the 85mm lens so it really provides very little benefit for sports shooters.
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 9:01 AM   #17
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...Just in case the photo EXIF data doesn't show...
Greg:

When you use the Manage Attachments feature (paperclip icon) to insert images, you'll see the maximum allowed sizes on the page you use to browse and upload images.

The longest side should be no longer than 1024 pixels, and the file size should be no larger than 253KB.

Most of the time, if you downsize images so that they're within the allowed dimensions (longest side of 1024 pixels or shorter), and use a JPEG compression (Quality) setting of around 80 to 85 percent (or around 8 on a 1 to 10 scale), you'll be within the allowed file size, too.

If you exceed the maximum allowed sizes, the forums software will still try to let you attach them. But, it will resize and recompress the images (and the algorithms leave something to be desired, so that can result in softer images). The EXIF will also be stripped out at the same time.

I can tell that the forums software did resize and recompress that one, so it must have exceeded the allowed limits for dimensions or file size.

So, it's a good idea to make sure images are no larger than 1024 pixels on their longest side, with a file size no larger than 253KB to prevent them from being resized and recompressed with the EXIF stripped out.

As long as they're within the allowed limits for dimensions and file size, the forums software will not attempt to modify them.

Note the Max sizes listed on the Manage Attachments screens you'll see when uploading images to a post here:
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 2:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
There are a number of things that have to be in place before a sanctioned sporting event can occur. One is that the court must be a certain size and shape. Another is that the venue must have appropriate facilities and equipment. Still another is that the court must have adequate lighting that is consistant over the entire court. (The venue's insurance carrier probably also has something to say about that last one.)

Since skylights don't and can't provide consistant lighting, the venue's lighting plan probably doesn't include them, and if they exist at all they probably aren't where their light is cast on the court to any appreciable degree. And if they do happen to be above the court, their light will probably be blocked, to a significant degree, by the lighting fixtures that must be there.

Therefore, skylights don't and can't make a significant contribution to the lighting of an indoor venue where sanctioned competitions take place, and will not make a whole lot of difference to a photographer, unless he or she is unlucky enough to point his or her camera directly at one, thereby throwing off the exposure of that particlar frame.
Maybe TCav's assertions above are true in the DC area, where government regulation is at it's extreme, but here in Texas, none of the above information is accurate. I just shot two basketball games on Saturday in a gym with a few, very small skylights & exposure & white balance was extremely inconsistent. I've posted a picture below where you can clearly see the lighting affect on the wall in the same picture. You can't help but notice the extreme difference. The hot spots in the gym were a full stop brighter than the average across the rest of the court.
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 2:40 PM   #19
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Greg - JohnG's advice, as usual, is extremely sound and practical. An excellent place to start is the MIII with the new 70-200mm 2.8 MII. I drool over that lens, and it will probably be my next upgrade from MI. John gave me similar advice about 2 years ago when the MIV first came out and I've never regretted buying the MIII. It was & is an excellent sports body. I will add that I have both the MIII and MIV and the ISO performance is significantly better on the IV, but, in my opinion, the real difference in the camera is that the AF IQ is even better still. I don't have ANYWHERE near the skill or knowledge of John, so I need all the help from my equipment that I can get. I'm not just complimenting John here, I'm stating fact. If you have plenty of budget, then go the MIV and the new 70-200. If not, go with the MIII, but the 70-200mm II is the right lens either way.
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Old Nov 23, 2011, 8:05 PM   #20
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Based on what I've been able to find out, many if not all states require that educational facilities comply with the Recommended Practice on Lighting for Educational Facilities, ANSI/IESNA RP-3-00 published by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. The publication is not available online, but excerpts from it are wildely available on various websites, including those that concern lighting in gymnasiums, one of which is here. It specifies the minimum lighting for particular activities as well as the uniformity of that lighting.

It's important to understand that these specifications are for the level of light on the floor. If you're going to point your camera up, and include a significant source of light in the frame, you will get variations in exposure when shooting indoor sports, just like when photographing anything else.
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