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Old Dec 5, 2007, 2:25 PM   #1
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Hi, I am new to this forum and have just been looking thru some of the other basketball shots on here, nice.

I used a Canon 400D and a 50mm f1.8 from courtside to capture these two shots.

The main problem I have at my home venue is the poor lighting, I usually use ISO800 and 1/200th second and 2 stops over.

I have just bought a 28-135 f3.5-5.6 IS to use and would like your views on this lens, I would have liked a 70-200 f2.8IS but at over £1000 its a bit steep !

Any tips /advice for shooting in low light would be great.

First shot is away at a different venue and I could use ISO200, much happier with the results

Second one is at home and had to use ISO800 and CS2 (curves) to improve the shot a wee bit.

Help please.

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Old Dec 5, 2007, 3:15 PM   #2
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a couple pieces of advice for basketball:

1. 1/200 is too slow. Shot 1 shows a lot of motion blur. Now the exif shows f1.8, 1/200 at ISO 200. I would suggest bumping the ISO to 800 - two stops. That would allow you to use 1/400 shutter speeds and drop the aperture to 2.5 or so (stretch to 2.8). 1/400 is about the minimum shutter speed I would ever expect to use.

2. In shot 2, exif shows f1.8, 1/200 at ISO 800. You said you used curves to adjust - don't know if you were correcting exposure or white balance. Let's assume exposure - the solution is shoot at ISO 1600.

But let's skip that for a second and talk about settings for basketball.

1. Set camera to AI-Servo and burst mode.

2. Select center focus point only

3. Set custom White Balance (manual will tell you how)

4. You'll want to use manual exposure - not TV and not AV because the camera will get fooled by jersey colors (most noticably white jerseys which cause underexposure). But the key is to find the CORRECT exposure to set. Once you know it for a given gym it's just a matter of remembering the settings and dialing in the same ISO, aperture and shutter speed every time. But for the first time, here is my suggestion. Set all the above and then get on the baseline during warmups. Set ISO to 1600 to start and put camera inManual mode. Dial in f2.0 for the aperture value and 1/400 for shutter speed. Now, take a test shot of a player with the predominant skin tone - black skin generally requires more exposure than light skin for example).Adjust shutter speeduntil FACES look right. DOn't worry about the uniforms - it's all about exposing faces properly around the hoop.

5. When you're getting faces consistently exposed then re-evaluate your settings. If your shutter speed is over 1/800 then decrease ISO to 800 (and decrease shutter speed to compensate). If your shutter speed is still over 1/500 then you can start decreasing aperture (and again decreasing shutter speed to compensate). You now have your settings for that end of the court for the predominant skin tone. The other end of the court may be 1/3 brighter or darker. Mid court may be a full stop brighter or darker (or not at all) - but re-evaluate your exposure at all 3 points. That way when you're shooting you can adjust your exposure as you switch locations.

6. 95% of your shots are best taken in portrait orientation - so if you don't already have a battery grip it's a good bye so it's more natural for shooting.

Now, on to lenses:

I had the 28-135 and it was a very nice lens - but not for sports shooting. Certainly not low light sports shooting. It's focus performance in low light is not great. If shot 2 is your home court and you used curves because at f1.8 ISO 800 and 1/200 the shot was underexposed then even an f2.8 lens is going to be tough to use in that venue. The 28-135 will be useless. You're in a very tough spot in that venue. Typically for HS, I recommend the 85mm 1.8. The problem is that lens is only good to about 20 feet. The challenge here is it looks like grown men - 6'4" type men. That means the 85mm is going to be a bit too tight. At the college and pro level most pros are using 1d (with 1.3 crop factor) and 70-200 so there is more room in the frame for the larger bodies. Given $1000 is too much to spend I'm not sure of a viable lens solution for you.

There are some third party 28-75 or 24-70 2.8 lenses but they don't have focus motors so their performance in low light sports isn't that great. But they'd still be better than the 28-135.

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Old Dec 6, 2007, 11:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply John g.

I will try what you said and see how we get on. i was hoping the new 28-135 would do the job, I will see, I can allways fall back on the 50 mm if I need to.

The 70-200 is over 1000 pounds not $, bloody expensive in England!

Thanks again.

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