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Old Sep 1, 2010, 7:34 AM   #1
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Default Nikon D5000-Indoor Sports

Hello everyone I'm new to this so I have a few questions. I'm trying to shoot indoor intramural basketball games. I'm using the 18-55 lens. I had my settings set to Aperture mode, ISO-1600, minimum shutter speed 1/60. And my pictures look like a big blur with nothing focused at all. It was very frustrating because I went hoping I would get some decent shots.

What is the best camera settings that I need to shoot for indooor basketball? What are the best angles to take? I'm not that advanced but I would like to get better.

I have a 55-200 coming at the end of this week so I dont know if that would help.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 7:39 AM   #2
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Indoor sports are hard as most of the time there simply isn't the light.

Your limitation is going to be lenses, you really need lenses that are a minimum of f2.8 throughout the focal length and ISO 3200 or 6400 to be usable. Your new lens will give more reach but it still isn't going to be bright enough for your desired needs.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 8:23 AM   #3
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The 55-200mm is an f/4-5.6 lens. As Mark has already pointed out, that's really not bright enough for indoor sports.

You'll typically want a zoom with f/2.8 shooting at ISO 3200 or higher, or a an even brighter prime if you want to use ISO 1600. The smaller the available f/stop, the brighter the lens (it's a ratio between the focal length of the lens and the diameter of the aperture iris).

The 55-200mm has f/4 available on it's wider end. That's twice as bright at f/5.6 (what you'd have with your existing 18-55mm lens when you zoom in much). But, what you really want is f/2.8 (which is 4 times as bright as f/5.6, allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast for the same aperture and ISO speed for the same lighting.

With the 55-200mm, I'd try using manual exposure at around 1/250 second and f/4, setting your ISO speed to ISO 3200, keeping the 55-200mm set to it's widest zoom position (55mm). That should give you the same exposure that you were getting at ISO 1600 and 1/60 second if you were zooming in much with your 18-55mm (since it's brightest available aperture is f/5.6 on it's longer end).

You won't be able to zoom in any and maintain those settings (as f/4 is only available on the wide end of it's zoom range, and it will get dimmer as you zoom in more). If the images look underexposed (too dark), try 1/200 second instead (or just brighten the images in software, which will be like shooting at an even higher ISO speed from a noise perspective). If they're too bright, do the opposite (use a faster shutter speed for the same aperture and ISO speed).

Turn Active D-Lighting Off (it will increase noise levels and impact your camera's performance).

I'd use a custom white balance, letting the camera measure it with your target (photographic gray card, white card, etc.) on the floor in between some of the lights for a more balanced reading. See your manual for details on how to set a custom white balance. Almost anything white can work in a pinch. I'll sometimes use a sheet of premium matte photo paper to set it.

Get as close as you can (I'm assuming you can shoot from the floor), and you may get a few keepers that way if you're carefully panning with action and/or timing your shots for when you have the least amount of subject movement, even though you're still going to have some motion blur at 1/200 to 1/250 second.

If you want better quality, you're going to need a brighter lens. In a zoom, you'll probably want to look at a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM, or in a Nikkor, look at one of the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR AF-S lenses.

In a prime, you should see a new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM lens hitting store shelves soon (it's not shipping yet, but vendors already have listings for it now at around $899 online). Chances are, you could shoot at around f/2 and ISO 1600 with it in typical gym lighting (whereas you'd want to use ISO 3200 or higher with an f/2.8 zoom).
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 11:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response fellas. I will try to remember the pointers when my lens come in and post a few pics.
Right now I don't want to invest in a lens as expensive as the Sigma 85mm because I won't be shooting sports all the time. Could this lens be used for something else?
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 11:43 PM   #5
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really anything, its a good all around lens for the most part, it really shines in sports, and portraits, but that doesnt mean thats all it can do.

Jeff
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 2:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbjunkiee View Post
really anything, its a good all around lens for the most part, it really shines in sports, and portraits, but that doesnt mean thats all it can do.

Jeff
Jeff, he was talking about the new 85mm not the 70-200 which is a more diverse lens. The 85mm is pretty specialist and would probably get more use outside of sports on a body with a larger sensor as then it is great for portraits etc.

You would be better with the Sigma 70-200 in your situation.
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