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Old Aug 7, 2007, 9:59 AM   #11
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philgib wrote:
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You asked about the zoom :I have acable smoothly attached to the zoom ring runnning to the ground.
Like the cord on window blinds? You pull one and it zooms in; you pull the other and it zooms out. Quite ingenius!
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Old Aug 7, 2007, 10:25 AM   #12
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Phil,

Everyone has their own style so I don't want to discourage your artistic expression. But, I think you're creating a complicated set of requirements for a very minor amount of shooting. There is a very good reason why photographers jostle to get close - FACES and proper perspective.

Let's take the zoom you showed of the man in the hat. The shot isn't as good as it could be not only because you crop too much but also the perspective. You can't see the eyes. If you're taking photos involving people - the face and the eyes are almost always important. This setup is nice for a different perspective, but doesn't work for bread-and-butter work. You're trying to design a solution around not doing your part of the work as the photographer - being in the right place to capture the shot you want. In addition to perspective issues there is also the issue of not being able to change the framing.

Let's take basketball for instance - let's assume you get your setup to actually shoot down OVER the backboard - that works great for those photos where players are coming up to the rim and you capture interesting expressions (usually more interesting in professional and upper level collegiate where dunks have become commonplace). But that's a small part of the action in the game. For the other 90% of the possible shots, the camera is in a poor position.

Looking at the basketball shot you have posted here - it's way too far away and again you don't see action. The interesting viewpoint is either going to be an upward angle (emphasizes the size and jump of the players) or possibly strait down (to see the faces as they look up at the ball). Down at an angle like this just isn't a very interesting angle.

IMO, you'll be more successful in your photography if you work more on your ability to position yourself in the correct spot and less time devising mechanical structures that skirt that problem but produce poorly framed/perspective shots.

Please don't be offended - just my opinion. But I'm not aware of a genre of photography where framing and perspective isn't a critical piece of what makes a good final product.Just something to think about before you spend large sums of cash.


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Old Aug 8, 2007, 10:40 PM   #13
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Hey John,

This is funny as exactly when I post that pic, I was thinking : John is right, I am not concentrating on the faces, and I am not even facing the target:-)

So as you can see, your guidances are more than appreciated.

That said, I personally think the potential of pics taken from a 5 meters pole is tremendous, because nobody does it- as far as I know. Journalism, riots, pics of churches, swimming clothe modeling, high boxing ring, fashion stages, concerts, police pics of car accidents, house roof insurances, etc... I personally think it is tremendous.

There is a festival of Indians from US and Mexico dancing in my town, my aim is to make pics of them from above, showing the circles of their dances, but also trying to capture their faces when they look at the sky. It will be 10 am so there should be some good light. It is always quite sunny out here. I will have my 2.8 lens focusing at about 12 meters, no flash, 400 iso, and 1/500th with speed priority.

Time will tell. I am maybe wrong but Ihave to try :idea:

My harware system is already designed and functional, I can now concentrate on making my pics hopefully much better.

I will keep posting progresses, and I hope that you will keep onbringing your advices along the way. This is very helpful.

Cheers

Phil


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Old Aug 9, 2007, 6:26 AM   #14
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Go for it!
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Old Aug 9, 2007, 7:11 AM   #15
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Phil:

Just be advsied that you're going to be "pushing the limits" of a DSLR shooting basketball in that lighting.

You were getting 1/125 second at f/2.8 and ISO 1000 in that last shot.

So, even at ISO 1600, that would only translate to around 1/200 second at f/2.8

That means that you'd still get some motion blur for moving subjects. With a fixed focal length lens at f/2, that would get you up to around 1/400 second.

That's about the mininum target for shutter speed for that type of shooting. It's one thing to take photos of players standing around. It's another if they're moving fast, especially if you're filling the frame more where blur is going to be more obvious. ;-)

Depth of Field will also be very shallow shooting at wider apertures (smaller f/stop numbers) with a DSLR. So, don't expect it to be easy. lol

philgib wrote:
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Thanks. I guess I will go for the fixed 50mm and for the 105 mm, that should be a good way to learn correctly basics first.
I'd be a bit concerned about the use of a Nikkor 105mm if you are looking at a Nikon versus Canon solution. The Nikkor 105mm f/2 DC lens is a Defocus Control lens. This is a special purpose lens designed specfically for portraits in order to vary the appearance of the out of focus areas in the image. So, I don't know how suitable it would be for sports, and it may be a good idea to research that part a bit to make sure it's focus speed is up to the task.

You may be better off with the 85mm f/1.8 or 85mm f/1.4 (which is a stop brighter), and you may want to ask around in the Nikon Lenses forums to see what users of these lenses think about their suitability for your intended purpose.

What kind of budget do you have and what are these images going to be used for?

If this is only a hobby, it's one thing. But, if you plan on doing something else with the images, you may want to take a bit longer figuring out the best kit.

For example, one of the higher end bodies (Nikon D200, Canon EOS-30D) would give you the ability to use ISO 3200 in a pinch, and an f/1.4 lens would give you another stop in a pinch (f/1.4 is twice as bright as f/2).

You really don't want to shoot at apertures that wide unless you have to because of limited Depth of Field. But, it would be there if you need it with an even brighter lens. The Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 is about the same price as the 100mm f/2 DC AF lens anyway and you could always use it a stop down at f/2 (and most lenses are not as sharp wide open either).

Personally, if on a tighter budget and considering a Nikon solution, I'd go with the 85mm f/1.8, or if I had more liberal budget, I'd got with the 85mm f/1.4 for use in that lighting. But, for basketball, I'd probably be looking at a solution that allowed ISO 3200 in a pinch, too (probably leaning towards a Canon versus Nikon kit if looking at new bodies, also taking into consideration that Canon has USM in their 85mm lens offering).

No matter what solution you go with, you may also want to consider going with just a 50mm to start with, too. Then, use it for a few games. That way, you're not spending a lot of money on lenses until you have a feel for what might work better for you.


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Old Aug 9, 2007, 8:59 AM   #16
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Thanks !

Is 3200 iso "boost" a marketing idea or is it really superior to the 1600 ? I fail to understand the technique behind it.
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Old Aug 9, 2007, 9:38 AM   #17
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My bad. Not enough coffee yet this morning. The D80 does have an available ISO 3200 setting (and it is a boost). But, it's not alone with the way it handles that.

Most models with ISO 3200 are probably just multiplying the values already in the raw file from the sensor to get the extra stop (hence the use of the term boost), versus amplying the signal from the sensor prior to the Analog to Digital conversion.

Only the manufacturers know for sure. So, you could try to underexpose and simulate a higher ISO speed by brightening the images later with software for models without that feature. Again, my bad, the D80 does have ISO 3200. I was thinking of the D40x specs for some reason.

But, noise is already going to be fairly high at ISO 1600 with most camera models, even with a properly exposed image. So, you don't want to use anything higher than absolutely necessary. Just because it's a DSLR doesn't mean that it's noise free. ;-)

Keep in mind that you've got 10 Million photosites being stuffed into an APS-C size sensor with these models, too. The more pixels you have, the smaller they need to be (so that they can fit that many in). As a result, they have a smaller surface area that requires more amplification for equivalent sensitivity to light, all things being equal.

With the weaker signal being generated by the smaller photosites, it's more difficult to keep the signal level from it above the noise floor, and when you amplify the signal to increase sensivity, you also amplify the noise (like turning up the volume on a radio with a weak station). You also turn up the volume on the static and hiss. But, with a digital camera, it's image noise versus sound noise.

Of course, all things are never equal. lol As new Sensors are designed, improvements are often made (microlens design, other associated electronics, improved image processing algorithms to reduce the appearance of noise, and more).

So, you have to take each one on a case by case basis.

Chances are, the lower resolution models would serve you a bit better in that type of lighting (i.e., Canon 8MP models like the EOS-30D, or a Nikon model using a 6MP CCD).

But, it's all subjective, and it depends on the use of the images (and you may appreciate the higher resolution if you are making larger prints of other types of subjects).

Again, in that type of lighting, you're really pushing the limits of most cameras if you want to get your shutter speeds up fast enough to eliminate most blur from fast movement, DSLR or not. But, having ISO 3200 available (boost or not), would be something on my desired features list (and it does look like the D80 has that feature). Nikon is also doing a pretty good job with suppressing noise from that Sony 10MP CCD (compared to other models using a Sony 10MP CCD).

In a pinch, it can sometimes be better to have a bit more noise (or loss of detail from noise reduction) versus blur from subject movement.

It boils down to a balancing act between Depth of Field (which will be very shallow if you try to shoot at wider apertures in order to let in more light, making it difficult to keep your subject in focus) and your ISO speed settings (higher meaning more noise).



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Old Aug 9, 2007, 11:16 PM   #18
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I went to the festival today. My chance was that the tribune was about 3 meters above the ground, and that 99 pct of the photographers and videographers were on the ground. My 5 meters pole allowed me to face or to be above the subject while everyone else were on their tiptoes but still below the subject.

And this time, I tried to show facial expressions. I am still 1 meter too high, I could have captured better expressions.



I still have a focus problem. If Isetthe speed priority mode, I cannot fix theaperture to the minimum.But fîxing the aperture priority mode makes to slow a speed. There is no M mode on my P&S. So I have to make the defocus on Photoshop, but this speed blur is just too obvious. I really have to go on a DSLR. Hoping for some discounts on september to buy one.


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Old Aug 10, 2007, 3:50 AM   #19
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philgib wrote:
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If Isetthe speed priority mode, I cannot fix theaperture to the minimum.But fîxing the aperture priority mode makes to slow a speed.
That does not see correct to me. To get the fastest shutter speeds the camera will be using the widest aperture possible so by using aperture priority and setting the widest aperture for your camera model you will then guarantee the fastest shutter speed. Also set the ISO to the highest clean setting you have if you are concerned that it is not fast enough.

There is a possibleexplanation why you get a higher shutter speed than with the aperture priority and that is you are under exposing with the setting you choose (always a downside of shutter priority and one of the reasons I only use if for very specific subjects).
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Old Aug 10, 2007, 7:24 AM   #20
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To get the fastest shutter speeds the camera will be using the widest aperture possible so by using aperture priority and setting the widest aperture for your camera model you will then guarantee the fastest shutter speed
The thing is I wanted to freeze the motion, so I thought that for the same light, and a forced higher ISO, speed would be slower than what I would need.

That's good, I am going to try it ! Thanks !
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