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Old Oct 8, 2009, 2:27 PM   #41
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This one is far from perfect, but if I could get shots this good (better than my distant shot!) from FAR AWAY, I'd be content (for now). This one was after the meet, so I was right next to her.
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 2:30 PM   #42
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BUT...preserves the future memory right? ...(maybe I am the only one here, but i have a hard time deleting photos...a bad photo is better then no photo.. )
I'm with you, brother!
But, as for taking lots of shots and getting a couple awesome ones--with my camera, there is no way ANY of them are going to be awesome. Just ain't enough light, KWIM?
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 2:36 PM   #43
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This one is far from perfect, but if I could get shots this good (better than my distant shot!) from FAR AWAY, I'd be content (for now). This one was after the meet, so I was right next to her.

That was nice! You have a right to be proud. I see what you are say'n and its a tough decision..but you knew that coming in. Its gonna go down to 'wants vs needs'..

You can ask the question...'what's the purpose of the picture? Memories, or poster stuff? That may help...

Can you make $$ selling pics of other kids??? that may help your decision too.
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 2:42 PM   #44
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That was nice! You have a right to be proud. I see what you are say'n and its a tough decision..but you knew that coming in. Its gonna go down to 'wants vs needs'..

You can ask the question...'what's the purpose of the picture? Memories, or poster stuff? That may help...

Can you make $$ selling pics of other kids??? that may help your decision too.

Good questions...more for memories, but being a "photographer" also, I am not happy with the photos I am getting with my L14.
I doubt I'll ever be good enough to make $$ selling pics LOL But it would be nice!

The closer photo isn't great for being so close, but it would be okay for far away. (one weird thing, why the beam is level but the background shelves aren't?? and, it's still fairly grainy and def not as sharp and crisp as I'd like...) sigh.
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 3:02 PM   #45
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That last photo was taken with flash (which can work if you're close enough to stay within the camera's flash range).

Most of the others were taken at the long end of your zoom range (your lens has a longest actual focal length of 18.9mm, which is the same angle of view you'd have using a 114mm lens on a 35mm camera), at f/5.9 (very dim, but it's the widest available aperture you have with your Nikon's lens).

The one you took from further away was using f/5.9 at ISO 1000, with a shutter speed of approximately 1/50 second. That's too slow to freeze much movement.

If you went to a camera with a maximum ISO speed of ISO 1600 using a lens with f/2.8 available, you'd probably get shutter speeds of around 1/250 second the same lighting, which is not great for stopping rapid action, but a *lot* faster (around 5 times as fast) than what you're getting now without a flash.

Ideally, you'd want a camera capable of better ISO 3200 or higher ISO speeds (Canon T1i, Nikon D90, Sony A700, etc.) in light that low if you want to use a zoom versus prime (fixed focal length) lens.

In a lower cost zoom with f/2.8 available, you may want to consider the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM. It's around $749 now (available in popular camera mounts like Nikon, Sony and Canon).

I've seen comments from more than one Sony A700 user say that they prefer the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 for indoor sports (and one of them also has both Sony and Sigma 70-200mm f2/.8 lenses).

On the downside, I've seen reports from users of this lens in some mounts reporting front focus (for example Canon users commenting on it in other forums and lens reviews). Trips back to Sigma solve the issue with them (it's not uncommon to see some QC/Compatibility quirks with new lenses). I'd just make sure the vendor you buy it from will swap it out if you have an issue (and you happen to get an earlier production run lens) and/or you don't mind sending it in to Sigma for rechipping.
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 3:50 PM   #46
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That last photo was taken with flash (which can work if you're close enough to stay within the camera's flash range).

Most of the others were taken at the long end of your zoom range (your lens has a longest actual focal length of 18.9mm, which is the same angle of view you'd have using a 114mm lens on a 35mm camera), at f/5.9 (very dim, but it's the widest available aperture you have with your Nikon's lens).

The one you took from further away was using f/5.9 at ISO 1000, with a shutter speed of approximately 1/50 second. That's too slow to freeze much movement.

If you went to a camera with a maximum ISO speed of ISO 1600 using a lens with f/2.8 available, you'd probably get shutter speeds of around 1/250 second or so in the same lighting, which is not great for stopping rapid action, but a *lot* faster (around 5 times as fast) than what you're getting now without a flash.

Ideally, you'd want a camera capable of better ISO 3200 or higher ISO speeds (Canon T1i, Nikon D90, Sony A700, etc.) in light that low if you want to use a zoom versus prime (fixed focal length) lens.

In a lower cost zoom with f/2.8 available, you may want to consider the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM. It's around $749 now (available in popular camera mounts like Nikon, Sony and Canon).

I've seen comments from more than one Sony A700 user say that they prefer the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 for indoor sports (and one of them also has both Sony and Sigma 70-200mm f2/.8 lenses).

On the downside, I've seen reports from users of this lens in some mounts reporting front focus (for example Canon users commenting on it in other forums and lens reviews). Trips back to Sigma solve the issue with them (it's not uncommon to see some QC/Compatibility quirks with new lenses). I'd just make sure the vendor you buy it from will swap it out if you have an issue (and you happen to get an earlier production run lens) and/or you don't mind sending it in to Sigma for rechipping.

OK, there's a lot of information here but let me see if I understand what you said...
First, I was just using the camera in auto in all situations, other than zooming it in. I can't use flash during meets, but it's allowed afterwards; hence the flash on the closer photo.
So, are you saying, that to get similar results of the closer photo WITHOUT flash and from FAR away, I'd need an f/2.8 with ain ISO of 1600? I am not necessarily set on a zoom lens, per se, since they do add bulk and suffer in quality and speed (in general). My one question would be, would the photos in such a scenario be noisy as a result (seems like it's hard to find good IQ at ISO 1600)?
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 3:51 PM   #47
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That last photo was taken with flash (which can work if you're close enough to stay within the camera's flash range).
And I would be AMAZED if any competition allowed you to take flash photos. It's always prohibited in any environment I've seen for gymnastics. Some ceiling mounted strobes at the collegiate level maybe but no camera mounted flash. So I wouldn't count on that avenue. It would be great if you could because it opens up a world of possibilities. But that's what makes gymnastics so difficult to shoot. So, getting shots like the one you posted at distance without flash is a TALL, TALL order.
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 3:56 PM   #48
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And I would be AMAZED if any competition allowed you to take flash photos. It's always prohibited in any environment I've seen for gymnastics. Some ceiling mounted strobes at the collegiate level maybe but no camera mounted flash. So I wouldn't count on that avenue. It would be great if you could because it opens up a world of possibilities. But that's what makes gymnastics so difficult to shoot. So, getting shots like the one you posted at distance without flash is a TALL, TALL order.

Ok, so even with the reduced standards of my photographic skill vs yours, it's still a tall order? waaah.
So, I'm back to possibility getting a faster telephoto lens for my N80, and finding another camera for everything else? As you can see, I use my camera for many other situations as well...travel--landscapes, people and buildings, parties, general activities, and a bit of macro (for the flowers) and zoom (I didn't post, but I like photos of animals)
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 4:13 PM   #49
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So, are you saying, that to get similar results of the closer photo WITHOUT flash and from FAR away, I'd need an f/2.8 with ain ISO of 1600?
What you need is ISO 3200 and (even better) higher ISO speeds in light that low for a higher percentage of keepers if you want to use a zoom with f/2.8 available.

You're going to have a lower percentage of keepers with slower shutter speeds (i.e., you're going to see more motion blur from subject movement for a given print/viewing size with slower shutter speeds). That's where a brighter lens and/or higher ISO speeds come in.

Your daughter is not moving very fast in those photos. But, in routines where she is moving faster, you'd appreciate faster shutter speeds to help freeze subject movement (i.e, ISO 1600 with an f/2.8 lens is probably not going to "cut it").

Quote:
I am not necessarily set on a zoom lens, per se, since they do add bulk and suffer in quality and speed (in general). My one question would be, would the photos in such a scenario be noisy as a result (seems like it's hard to find good IQ at ISO 1600)?
IQ for a given print/viewing size is very subjective. Personally, I'm fine with the IQ from most entry level dSLR models at ISO 1600.

When you move up to higher ISO speeds, I'd stick with the more advanced models for better results.
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Old Oct 8, 2009, 4:38 PM   #50
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What you need is ISO 3200 and (even better) higher ISO speeds in light that low for a higher percentage of keepers if you want to use a zoom with f/2.8 available.

You're going to have a lower percentage of keepers with slower shutter speeds (i.e., you're going to see more motion blur from subject movement for a given print/viewing size with slower shutter speeds). That's where a brighter lens and/or higher ISO speeds come in.

Your daughter is not moving very fast in those photos. But, in routines where she is moving faster, you'd appreciate faster shutter speeds to help freeze subject movement (i.e, ISO 1600 with an f/2.8 lens is probably not going to "cut it").

IQ for a given print/viewing size is very subjective. Personally, I'm fine with the IQ from most entry level dSLR models at ISO 1600.

When you move up to higher ISO speeds, I'd stick with the more advanced models for better results.

The sample photos I'm seeing look very digitized to me, with pixels that are funky colors. Perhaps they are just very magnified/cropped? Do you have some examples of pictures taken at ISO 1600?
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