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Old Jun 22, 2009, 3:09 PM   #1
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Default bball pics, lens decision

Here are a few pics of my son's basketball tournament this past weekend. Not bad considering my lens (28-90, f3.5-5.6), K10D, 1600 ISO, Tv (shutter priority). It really helped to take these and I'm convinced that for the indoor bball games, my next lense will be the 77mm ltd. I'm going to a couple of camera shops this afternoon to see if I can find one. By the way, my son scored 18, 27 & 13 and averaged 12 rebounds a game, as a shooting guard. He's the redhead, can't really be seen in the first one except that he's crashing the boards behind two kids and back tapping to a teammate. The kid he beat for the rebound was 6' 1 & my son is a 5' 10 one/two guard (8th grade, 14/U bball). Of course, the last pic is him grabbing a player's arm as the player was driving. My son got away with that one. He got that from his mom. I only teach him clean basketball.

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Old Jun 22, 2009, 5:24 PM   #2
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In addition to the new lens, I would recommend several other changes:
1) Set a custom WB (your camera's manual will tell you how)
2) use manual exposure - not TV. The problem with non-manual exposure is the camera's metering gets fooled by white colored jerseys. The problem with TV in particular is you can run into underexposed images like these when the camera needs a wider aperture than what your lens can provide. How do you know what setting to use for manual? Start with ISO 1600, f2.0 and 1/400. Take a test shot during warmups. Look at the FACE of the player in the shot. If it's exposed properly don't worry about walls or uniforms. If it's underexposed, drop your aperture to f1.7 and repeat. If still underexposed drop your shutter speed. If your shot is overexposed raise shutter to 1/500 and repeat the test.

3. Ignore the action at the other end - the lens isn't long enough to get a good shot. The max range on that 77mm is going to be around 20 feet. You might be able to eke out play at 1/2 court but that's pushing it.
Combined with your new lens these two adjustments will result in a dramatic improvement to your shots.
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Old Jun 22, 2009, 5:35 PM   #3
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da!! john,
looks like i will not post on this.. you nailed it except
shoot in raw
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Last edited by robar; Jun 22, 2009 at 9:41 PM.
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Old Jun 22, 2009, 7:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robar View Post
da!! john,
looks like i will post on this.. you nailed it except
shoot in raw
Roy - just my opinion, but if you nail the exposure (shooting manual) and have the WB correct (Custom), raw provides no tangible benefit and it slows the buffer, takes up more space and adds time to post processing workflow. Like many other things, it's a preference each photographer should decide for themselves. But for a sport like bball, I've never seen any benefit to shooting raw. Unless there is something about this particular camera where the jpeg conversions aren't very good. I know various cameras in various systems have less-than-perfect jpeg conversions.

but jpegs have always worked for me in bball:




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Old Jun 24, 2009, 8:54 AM   #5
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John,

Thanks for the great tips. I'll be shooting at a tournament this weekend, but I won't have my lens yet. I'll make the changes and see how the pics turnout. I can definitely tell that the metering was not right, but wasn't sure how to correct for it. I'll let you know if I have any better results.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
In addition to the new lens, I would recommend several other changes:
1) Set a custom WB (your camera's manual will tell you how)
2) use manual exposure - not TV. The problem with non-manual exposure is the camera's metering gets fooled by white colored jerseys. The problem with TV in particular is you can run into underexposed images like these when the camera needs a wider aperture than what your lens can provide. How do you know what setting to use for manual? Start with ISO 1600, f2.0 and 1/400. Take a test shot during warmups. Look at the FACE of the player in the shot. If it's exposed properly don't worry about walls or uniforms. If it's underexposed, drop your aperture to f1.7 and repeat. If still underexposed drop your shutter speed. If your shot is overexposed raise shutter to 1/500 and repeat the test.

3. Ignore the action at the other end - the lens isn't long enough to get a good shot. The max range on that 77mm is going to be around 20 feet. You might be able to eke out play at 1/2 court but that's pushing it.
Combined with your new lens these two adjustments will result in a dramatic improvement to your shots.
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 5:04 PM   #6
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I don't shoot sports, but today I had the chance to shoot inside a basketball stadium for something completely unrelated to sports. I took along both the 77 Ltd and the DA*50-135, to see what types of shutter speeds I could get using f1.8, f2.0 and f2.8, and what type of view I would get. The arena I was shooting in was larger than a high school gym, and I was sitting in the middle of the stands, probably equivalent to the top of the stands in a regular gym. Under those conditions, 135mm was way too short - I would have needed 200mm + to get close enough to recognize faces, and longer than that to get something like what John posted. So you'll definitely need to get as close to the action as you can with the 77. On the other hand, I could manage 1/125 at either ISO 800 or 1600 fairly easily with f2.0 and f1.8. I don't think the lighting was hugely better than what your gym looks like from your pictures. The arena was quite a bit larger and it had more lights, but they were also further away from the playing surface. I think you will be all right with the 77 Ltd if you can get close to the court. In any case, lunch was a welcome, interesting exercise.

P.S. I looked at my pictures, and you'll still get a certain amount of motion blur at 1/125 - I was surprised at how much there was, even though the movement was people walking and gesturing. Shooting basketball is going to be tough.

Last edited by mtngal; Jun 24, 2009 at 10:49 PM.
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Old Jun 26, 2009, 11:47 PM   #7
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I would agree that I need to be courtside. John's shots are quite nice. John, what equipment did you use to get the shots that you posted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
I don't shoot sports, but today I had the chance to shoot inside a basketball stadium for something completely unrelated to sports. I took along both the 77 Ltd and the DA*50-135, to see what types of shutter speeds I could get using f1.8, f2.0 and f2.8, and what type of view I would get. The arena I was shooting in was larger than a high school gym, and I was sitting in the middle of the stands, probably equivalent to the top of the stands in a regular gym. Under those conditions, 135mm was way too short - I would have needed 200mm + to get close enough to recognize faces, and longer than that to get something like what John posted. So you'll definitely need to get as close to the action as you can with the 77. On the other hand, I could manage 1/125 at either ISO 800 or 1600 fairly easily with f2.0 and f1.8. I don't think the lighting was hugely better than what your gym looks like from your pictures. The arena was quite a bit larger and it had more lights, but they were also further away from the playing surface. I think you will be all right with the 77 Ltd if you can get close to the court. In any case, lunch was a welcome, interesting exercise.

P.S. I looked at my pictures, and you'll still get a certain amount of motion blur at 1/125 - I was surprised at how much there was, even though the movement was people walking and gesturing. Shooting basketball is going to be tough.
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Old Jun 27, 2009, 7:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnanpentaxfan View Post
I would agree that I need to be courtside. John's shots are quite nice. John, what equipment did you use to get the shots that you posted?
Different camera system. I was using a 2.8 lens at ISO 3200-6400. Clean ISO 3200 (and usable 6400) was a huge boon. It allowed me to switch from using a short prime (85mm 1.8 in my case) to using the zoom lens (70-200 2.8). Hopefully the upcoming K-7 will provide Pentax users this same boon. I'm guessing it should.

I posted them only to reinforce my stated opinion that I didn't find it necessary to shoot in RAW to get good results (as long as exposure and WB were set correctly in camera).

Good luck!
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