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Old Dec 6, 2004, 2:16 PM   #11
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Three days, three sporting events I shot with my D1H. Downside was the paper I freelance with didn't send a photog to any of the events so I was all alone. As such, I couldn't really experiment with settings too much due to limited time. I pretty much had to make some educated guesses and go from there.
I did basketball Friday evening and Sunday afternoon with the 50/1.8 lens. Still not a really fast focuser, though faster than the lens was on my D70. It's worth noting, however, Friday was the first time I've shot basketball so that almost certainly had some bearing on the results. Gym I shot in Sunday was a HS auxillary gym with so-so lighting; the lighting in the shots was all over the place. I alternated between auto, flourescent and incandescent, still all over the place. Even while doing bursts and holding down the shutter lighting could jump from way too light to way too dark from shot to shot. For both games, I stood right behind the basket and pretty much just shot action coming at me--I didn't even bother doing anything else because I didn't have the reach (plus I couldn't crop too much with the D1H's limited MP).
Covered wrestling Saturday evening, also the first time doing that sport. Another guy was shooting for himself and used a flash with his Canon and a zoom, so I did the same with my D1H and Sigma APO 70-300. This lens is a hunter, and was so again with the D1H though not nearly to the extent it was with the D70. In Aug. 2003 I got an SB-28 flash; now I'm really kicking myself for not waiting to pluck a SB-28DX at the time since TTL on the D1H works with the DX model only. Oh well, after some experimenting I got good results and no one was yelling at me.
I have another bball game today (once again I'll be all alone to cover it) and hopefully the gym will be better than yesterday but this is a MS gym today so I'm not terribly optimistic. Games are so short they don't really leave much time for experimenting with settings, especially when the lighting is so inconsistent. Overall I really like the D1H, just have to get to it more and get more acquainted to both the camera and the sports I'm shooting.

EDIT: There were certainly times I was wishing for an 85, but on the other hand there might have been times when the 85 would be too tight. As I understand it, the 85 focuses faster and if shooting a layup or focusing on one player, the extra tightness would be good.
Also, I might just get the Nikon 80-200. That current rebate makes it less than the Sigma at most reputable places, plus if it turns out to be too slow I could probably sell it for more than I bought it for (wait until the current rebate is over) and get the Sigma.
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 9:13 PM   #12
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For basketball, the 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 is the way to go, assuming you can shoot from the baseline. Actually, for high school, you will be shooting vertical nearly all the time, even if you stay in the corner. If you go to an f/2.8 lens, you'll need to go to 1600 ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed, and I find the noise to be a problem at that ISO. The 85mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 is good if you are in the stands, but I think its way to long for shooting from the baseline. I use the 85mm to try and shoot defense shots on the other end. Keep in mind I don't like partial body shots... I like to get the whole player, so that is the basis of my recommendations.

I do not believe the focus speed of the 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 is an issue. The bigger issue is trying to follow a fast moving subject, with a razor thin depth of field, with a continous center point focus, and avoiding camera shake when you do fire... meaning that if you are off a fraction, you have a wonderfully focussed wall and blurry player.The fact that I've gotten nicely focussed shots to me means the lens is fine, and my technique is the real issue.

I have used the 17-55mm f/2.8 from the baseline when I can get all the way under the basket, but I almost prefer to do the50mm from the corner since it allow a lower ISO.
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