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Old Jan 25, 2004, 8:30 PM   #1
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Default Available Light Shooting for Basketball help!!

Thanks to everyone who helped me with my flash situation. Now, I've decided to purchase the Canon 50 1.8 lens for natural light basketball shots with my D300 Rebel. I had a girls game last night and knew the sports mode was out because it automatically sets the ISO at 400. So I decided to go with the shutter mode and let the camera pick the f-stop. I juggled between shutter speeds of 360-500 at ISO 1600. Some of the pics turned out fine, but those were mostly when the girls were stationary waiting for rebounds or trapping. Most of the "action" shots weren't that good. Motion blur. what manual settings should I use or any other tips will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 25, 2004, 10:39 PM   #2
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Here are some posts me and others have with some of the same probs. you may find out something on these.




not really a flash posts but about lenses and rebel and sports action shots may help
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 8:50 PM   #3
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A big problem may be your AF performance. All my lenses are USM, and even those lenses don't focus fast enough all the time. Make sure you start focusing ahead of time to allow the AF to acquire and then start tracking. I realize this isn't always possible with basketball, but it's very important.
At the shutter speeds you indicated, you should have little to no motion blur. I shoot basketball at 1/250 all the time.
Another factor is shutter lag. I remember trying a 10D and having to press the shutter earlier than I was used to with my Elan 7E (no, I don't have a DSLR...yet).
As far as exposure goes, I recommend using manual exposure mode. Gym lighting is usually even - any variation your camera incicates is probably due to jersey brightness. Buy an ambient light meter (Sekonic L-358 for around $200 - best $200 I have ever spent) and use that to set your aperture and shutter speed. I almost never change those settings once the game starts. If you can't buy a handheld meter, meter a midtone with the camera (I like ref's jerseys).
Get a portrait grip if you can. Basketball pics are usually more impressive in vertical format, and the vertical shutter release helps out a lot.
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 10:43 PM   #4
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thanks for the advice. They gym I was in is probably the brightest around these parts. The state tournament will be in a modern, college facility (about 7 years old) and available light should be greater.
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 10:46 PM   #5
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I just purchased a 50mm f/1.8 lens for my Drebel and did a full test of it last night at a varsity high school game. I found that I was shooting at about 1/500th of a second at F/2.0 (ISO 1600) and getting some pretty good shots, yes some were blurry but that is expected with any SLR. I also shot some with the pop-up flash at 1/200 and an f of 13 (I think). The photos were pretty good and I did get the advantage of more depth of field. Finally I shot some at ISO 400, 1/200th and (again I think) F/2.0. I got just about the same results as shooting at ISO 1600 but less depth of field and a couple of shots were blurry but I focused late with both of them.

There is nothing wrong with the 50mm f/1.8 lens. I am glad I bought it but all of my shots are from the end lines and I find that using the 18-55mm zoom works better for me ( I supply both of my local weekly news papers with sports photos). The best advice I can give is to keep shooting, getting used to the Drebel is a must. The great thing about digital cameras is that I find myself taking a LOT more shots and not afraid to experiement.

I hope this helps. Best advice- HAVE FUN TAKING THE PICS :lol:
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Old Jan 31, 2004, 11:59 AM   #6
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420EX flash
50mm 1.8
75-300mm USM
800 ISO

riding the AF until something good breaks; monopod sometimes;

Some examples:

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