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Old Feb 9, 2004, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default Help me again!!!

OK, guys. Remember me... the camera illiterate. I'm trying to get good basketball pic's, daughter is a senior - we have two more district games, then playoffs. Anyway....i did it...whipped out the credit card and got the flash for my minolta z1. Please give me some good quick advice for using it to get the best shots. what are some good numbers to use for the action shots? i know it depends but just give me something to work with please! the lighting in the gym is not good. i can probably get around 20 ft away. Oh, the flash is the maxxum 3600 if that matters.
thanks!!
ps. i am going to take a short photography class. :lol: yaaaay!!
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Old Feb 10, 2004, 6:59 PM   #2
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Which flash did you get? Take lots of batterys. Can you use the flash on a Manual setting? Give Your ISO Range. Will your Camera's apature go to f2.8? Also Is the Flash talking to the camera (DTTL) Digital Threw The Lens. Do you have a Monopod!!!
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Old Feb 10, 2004, 7:01 PM   #3
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OOPS!! I didn't See 3600 will do some checking...
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Old Feb 10, 2004, 10:17 PM   #4
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Darlene, I'm not sure what camera you are working with so I don't think I'll be able to offer you much at this moment, but I'd love you to contribute to my string on sports when you finish:

http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ic.php?t=21065
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 5:49 PM   #5
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Darlene, after checking some thing out I believe your flash will only do automatic, If it had the manual flash ability you could crank it up and get more power(flash) but for that you will eat up batterys, and may get over exposed shots, So lets work with what you have got. Set camera to appature priority @f2.8. Depending on your camera try not to zoom in to much because your appature when zooming in on some Cameras, lenses, will change the appature automaticly, so check your exif file to see if it changes. Besides if you zoom in to much your flash will not reach anyway. Now test the flash, with freah batterys and see what your Flash Refresh time is this is how long it will take for the Flash to be ready for the next FULL power shot. Your Flash is not going to shoot BURST!!! you may get 2-3 and that will be it ,and maybe only 1 I am not sure, you will have to test. As you shoot your Re-fresh time is going to slow down Way Down!! as you Batterys get weak So change often when you start missing shots (Flash not ready) Lets not worry about the shutter speed because your Camera is not High speed sync. and will only go so high so let the camera take care of that. ISO shoot as low as you can to avoid noise. Play with this and make your own conclusion. Some will say you have to shoot at very high ISO's to capture, With a good Flash and shooting at f2.8 you can post process and fix the photos, Test this also. I can not stress this enough Monopod, Monopod, Monopod, That is all I am going to say abou't that . If I have left something out I will post again .Good Luck
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 6:15 PM   #6
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Default Dale

Thanks! I went to a game last night, hadn't heard from yall yet so I just set the camera on "P". As far as clarity - not great, although better. I got one good picture and a couple of decent ones. On the good one the camera set the shutter at 1/250 and the apperture at f3.5. I used ISO 200 on that one. I tried some at 200 and some at 400. It didn't seem to make a difference. Maybe the 200's were a little better. The biggest improvement with the external flash was the color of the pictures. They didn't have that orange "gym" color to them. The main thing is still just a look of not being focused. I did try a monopad a couple of games and it didn't seem to make a difference. Friday I will try setting the app at 2.8 but you are right about zooming. If I do, the minimum app goes to 3.5 or something like that. I wish I could manually focus but the time I tried that it was terrible!!!
I will try the app setting and try to get closer. The closer ones seem to be better!
Thanks!
Darlene
If you think of anything else....keep it coming!
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 6:32 PM   #7
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That orange-gym glow you refer to is a result of an improper white balance setting. In the days prior to digital, filters or specific film corrected the color balance. With digital, you set the white balance to correct color shifts due to light quality. Auto works most of the time, but it's not fool-proof. Experiment with the WB setting and see what works best for your situation.

Regarding out of focus issues, without seeing pictures it would be hard to tell if it were a DOF issue, a subject movement issue, a camera movement issue, or just an out of focus issue. As you work with your camera, you will get better with focusing. I'm not familiar with your camera, but reread your manual and be diligent about focusing. Sharp pictures don't just happen on their own. They're the result of lens quality, focusing accuracy, shutter speed, aperture setting, subject movement, and camera shake. Getting all these factors working together is your goal is sometimes a daunting task on its own. Practice with your camera and be critical of the results. It's often easy to blame the equipment, but hard to admit that maybe something we did was the cause of the problem.

Have fun
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 6:44 PM   #8
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Darlene the focus problem is probobly the inability of the camera to focus in low light situations, I am sure the camera focuses fine in outside sunshine right, But even with the flash the camera is still focusing first with out good light because the Flash is not firing. hope I explained that right so you can understand. Anyway f2.8 will help alot allowing more light to get to the sensor. don't give up and keep playing with it and learning. good Luck
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 9:44 PM   #9
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Default Thanks, guys!

I had read about the white balance and at one time tried the custom setting with the white paper and it came out worse! The new flash seemed to correct the orange problem so far, don't know why... maybe you do
i think the lowlight situation and trying to shoot moving girls has a lot to do with my focus problem. the few pictures i have taken outdoors (yes, i need to get out of the gym and go outside!) looked nice. i believe DOF could play a part. i read about that but still get confused. i think i have to have a fast shutter speed for the action shots but bad lighting needs (wait i'm confused again ops: ) the lower app number?...which all leads to a teeney DOF? right? Well I will keep trying. i get so frustrated sometimes! I use the EVF instead of the LCD screen (hope I'm using the correct terms) to keep camera shake to a minimum and i will definitely use the monopod as well.
If I knew how to post pics that would prob help you guys to help me figure out what i'm doing wrong. that is another thing to learn. :shock:
Dale, if I set the app at the lowest setting will it give me a shutter speed fast enough for my action shots?
Oh, i do have another question...i turned the "continuous" auto-focus off because the flash manual said something about the AF illuminator not working with continuous auto focus. Which is more important? Having the "continuous" auto focus for my moving subjects or the AF illuminator?
Thanks again!
Darlene
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 10:18 PM   #10
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DOF F2.8 will give you subjet clear background blurry, and as the app. # gets bigger say f5.6 the DOF background more clear subject still clear. Play with your app. in good light and watch your setting (f#) and see how your picture changes as background is concerned Think of appature as your eye ball in a dark room your eye dialates (opens) to let more light in this is f2.8 and when the room gets bright your eye constricts( closes) this is a higher # say f8.0. Shutter speeds, If you us fast shutter speeds the less light comes in. longer shutter speeds the more light comes in but you have more chance of camera shake and blurred subject, hence monopod,and flash help these problems.I shoot alot on apature priority My nikons do a good job of setting the right shutter speed . Af illuminator is doing you no good for what you are doing. That is for close subjects (Red Eye help) and it only shoots a few feet ,so your auto focus has something to focus on. I would say use your continuous.
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