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Old Jan 17, 2008, 7:33 PM   #1
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All with K100D and FA 50mm f/1.4
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Old Jan 17, 2008, 7:34 PM   #2
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Old Jan 17, 2008, 7:35 PM   #3
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 7:21 AM   #4
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Is there such a thing as a light gym:-) 800, 2.0 and 1/250 really is pretty standard lighting. Id go so far as to suggest bumping your iso up to 1600 which will help with motion blur.

I'll also suggest, if you dont mind, changing your position to get closer. From so far away it is almost impossible to get sharp results with a 50mm lens. They usually work best within 10-15 feet. Which will also make it very difficult to get your subject and the basket in the frame. To do that you need a wider prime. Also, watch what you're focusing on. Most often you want the face of the player you're shooting to be in focus. Shot 2, the defender is in better focus and shot 3 the rim is in focus but not the player or even the ball. Try getting a little closer (i.e. shoot from the baseline) and I think you'll see the sharpness improve dramatically.
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 8:38 AM   #5
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Thanx for the suggestions. And yes, I have shot in some very well lit gyms. Most college venues are quite "bright" and make for relatively easy shooting. Most of the gyms that my daughter's middle school team plays in are in 50 to 60 year old schools and the lighting is especially poor.

There isn't really any opportunity to "select" where you shoot from in this case. If you notice how close the wall of the gym is to the backboard, you'll see that there's only about a 1 foot space past the out of bounds line, and they don't allow sitting or standing there. So, I'm shooting from about 1/3 of the way up the court, right at the out of bounds line. Both sides of the gym are lined with 1 row of folding chairs--standing to shoot would block the view of other parents/spectators, so you shoot while sitting down or kneeling. If the ball has to be inbounded on the side of the court, you have to stand and fold your chair up so that the player can actually stand "out of bounds."

Focusing--we all know how sluggish the Pentax series is as far as auto focus--I feel lucky to get anything close to in-focus indoors for sports.

1600 ISO, I guess I'd rather miss some shots than have to mess with huge amounts of noise reduction.

I'll be glad when spring arrives and track season starts so I can shoot outdoors
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 8:47 AM   #6
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Rickst wrote:
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Focusing--we all know how sluggish the Pentax series is as far as auto focus--I feel lucky to get anything close to in-focus indoors for sports.
I think you'll find that no matter what system you tried, you'd have OOF shots if you shoot from so far away with 50mm. The OOF isn't because Pentax is slow per se - it's because you're shooting from too far away with a 50mm lens. You'd have the same problems trying to shoot action 50 yards away with a 200mm lens and a pro series camera from any manufacturer.

Don't want to take my word for it (since I dont shoot Pentax)? Talk to Trojansoc - ask him how much better his shots are when he stays within the distance limitations of the lens.

In the end, it's always your choice to shoot how you wish. I'm simply suggesting ways you can get better results with the exact same equipment you're already using.

Good luck and happy shooting :|
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 9:54 AM   #7
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Some nice action shots & well taken given the amount of available light.

I like to post process to emphasis where the action is - not to everybodies taste but this gives you an idea.

How was it done - I cloned the player with the ball into a new layer, then slightly blurred the background and darkened it down a tad.


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Old Jan 18, 2008, 10:15 AM   #8
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IntrepidWalker wrote:
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I like to post process to emphasis where the action is - not to everybodies taste but this gives you an idea.
Great point! That's a key aspect of morst good sports shots - subject isolation. The only challenge is - doing it successfully in post processing requiress a lot of extra time. Working with wide apertures like this - if you have the right distance / rightfocal lengthyou automatically get the subject isolation. You get both sharper images AND subject isolation and you don't have to post process to do it.

The one risk with PP approach whichis similar to using noise reduction - that is: you must be careful to not overdo it or it will look unnatural (i.e. she's somewhat in focus but other objects in the same focal plane are not or too rapid of a blurring effect in front or behind subject). Still it's a great approach if you have a single shot that you want to make better and can spend the time in PP necessary to make it look natural.
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 10:36 AM   #9
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Thanx! Boy, so much to learn...














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Old Jan 18, 2008, 11:16 PM   #10
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Rick - have you thought about getting the 77 Limited? That might be a good addition for you - longer reach and not much loss in speed. I've always liked your shots, but the extra reach of the 77 might help you out. Plus it would be a good lens for other things, too. Can't you tell I'd like one?
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