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Old Apr 6, 2006, 9:10 AM   #11
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"me2 - have you ever shot football before? Under lights? I'm guessing not - based on your suggestions of the 'ultimate solution'"

No, but I am capable of reading and interpretting and relaying what works for others. Last time I checked a soccer field and footfield were about the same size !

"A 105 or 135 prime is not long enough, by far for anything but the most basic shots at night under lights."

A football field is 160 feet wide by 360 feet long. A 135mm lens should have a field of view of about 14.5 feet at a distance of 80 feet. That is just enough width to capture a few players in action. You can crop down from there.

"Shooting under those conditions, at high ISO, you can't crop images heavily."

You can blow them up to 2x their size pretty easily.

"A 135mm lens won't even cover something on the other sideline if you're at the same yard marker."

I think I just proved you wrong.

"As someone who actually does shoot football under the lights I'm going to say this is bad advice. And, let's say you want to follow me2's train of thought and get a longer prime - say Nikon makes a 200mm 2.0 or 1.8 prime - what do you do when the action gets close? The pros have a second body with a shorter lens. So, as I indicated in another thread, be very wary of people offering 'ultimate solutions' to shooting conditions they have no experience in."

Well, lets just throw up our hands and say it is impossible. Except that another guy seems to take some pretty good pictures with a D50 and a 105 ! Does it bug you that such a simple, inexpensive little outfit does such a nice job ? Is it perfect ? No. But it is just as good as a lot of other more expensive setups.

"I'm sorry if that's harsh, me2. Suggesting an 85mm or a 135mm for football at night - that is just bad advice."

I don't think it is bad at all. It certainly gives D50 excellent images. Go read his posts and look at them again. The friggin images speak for themselves ! It is night. People are playing soccer. The images look pretty good under the circumstances.

"If lighting is too bad for a 2.8 lens then you need a camera capable of higher ISO performance. Again, the d50 is a very nice camera - but it is no where near the perfect solution for sports."

Wrong. Its noise characteristics are as good as anything. It shoots fine jpegs at over 2.5fps. The auto ISO is perfect for shooting dark action. Have YOU ever tried a D50 ?

If you go to a f/2.8 lens, you need ISO 3200 to compare to a D50 shooting at ISO1600 with an f/1.8. Please show me ONE camera that has similar noise at ISO 3200 to a D50 at ISO 1600. There are NONE.

"It is on par with the Canon 300d as a sports camera - not even equivelent to the 350d and not in the same league as the 20d. Now, I'm not a Canon snob - Nikon makes great cameras. It's just their consumer DSLRs are not the best sports cameras."

You are WRONG.

Here is a noise comparison. The 300 Rebel had considerably more noise than the 350 Rebel.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Niko...lumi_graph.gif

At ISO800 the D50 kicks butt. Remember the Auto ISO mode I was talking about ? Which of those cameras has that ? NONE.

As far as shooting speed, compare this:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Niko...e-d50-jpeg.gif

with
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Niko...-350d-jpeg.gif

58 frames for the Rebel versus 72 frames for the D50 !

"It's fine to offer opinions on experience - that's what this forum is for. But people that don't know any better would take your statement at face value and they would end up wasting a lot of money and getting less-than-expected results."

And how much experience do you have with the D50 ? dpreview member D50 has shown us a whole bunch of shots under exactly the conditions the op spoke of and it seems to work pretty well.


"WOW :? Now my head is really spinning. I can't afford to add an additional $2000. to the $1,000. I had planned to spend. I will be on the side lines for the footbaLL games, but even when I take inside still shot pictures at my childs elementary school my sony DSC-11 , set on auto, takes horrible pictures. I appreciate your help and would like you to suggest the best camera that I can get for under $1,000."

D50 body is $400-$500. A 105 lens is about $300. Longer lenses will cost more. Not perfect, but pretty workable.

"I understand that at that amount of money, I won't get anything that's perfect, but anything has to be better than what I have. I use software that came with my lap top to edit my pictures now and that seems to work pretty well. I am completly lost when someone talks about noise reduction. I need a camera that I can set to auto and that takes care of the ISO and anything else a "real photographer" would do. Again thanks for taking the time to help this sports mom in need. :-)"

Run the D50 in manual mode, set the shutter at 1/250 and the aperture at f/1.8 or f/2. Set ISO to Auto and focus to continuous, single area and select the center area. Or dynamic area would work as well.

"OK, given your desire to keep things as simple as possible and stay under $1000 - it's probably best to stick to a digicam rather than go DSLR. Something like the Fujsi S9000 or 5200 might be worth looking into. Both have ISO 1600 capability and decent zooms."

There isn't a chance in heck of getting a decent picture with those cams. The lenses are slow compared to f/1.8 and they have terrible noise at ISO 1600. A D50 will kick their butts !

"I still believe any solution under $1000 is going to yield poor night football results but a camera like this will give you much better low light performance than what you currently have and will cost alot less than investing in any DSLR (Nikon or Canon)."

No it doesn't. D50s can be bought for $400 to $500 body only. A 105 f/1.8 lens can be bought for $300. If you are advocating the need for a zoom and you can live with f/2.8 (which is still much faster than those digicams mentioned !) then you can probably pick up a used Nikon 80-200 f/1.8 for $5-600 if you shop around. That would keep you in the ball park price wise.

"As for software. Noise reduction software is very easy to use and a very worthwhile investment. Noiseware, Neatimage and Noise Ninja are the top 3 products and I believe they all have a free trial version you can download. I would also suggest looking into Photoshop Elements for editing your pictures. You'd be amazed how much you can improve your photos with those two pieces of software."

There are a number of noise reduction plugins for Gimp. They work really well. The best is to buy a camera that is clean at higher ISOs in the first place.

D50s images are straight from the camera. No sharpening, no noise reduction. His keeper ratio is 80%. Show me ANY setup that can do the same for $800 and I'll sell my D50.

JOhnG: Where are your football under the lights images ? And what equipment are you shooting with ? I want to compare your images with D50s' images.



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Old Apr 6, 2006, 9:33 AM   #12
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me2 wrote:
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JOhnG: Where are your football under the lights images ? And what equipment are you shooting with ? I want to compare your images with D50s' images.




I'll be glad to offer up my photos - here is a whole set of galleries for the same purpose as photomom wants to use them. I am not cherry picking 3 of my best images as I would if I were posting. As for 'proving me wrong' about a lens being capable - I say again, theory is great in a classroom. Find a single example of a person who shoots football across the field with a 135mm lens. Of course, standing by the corner on a soccer field you will get some action near enough to take decent pics. But this is football not soccer and if you stand at the end zone you will miss 90% of the game. Now, let's say you're following along the line of scrimage and the play goes down on the opposite side of the field so next play is on the far hash mark and they run to the narrow side of the field - 135mm isn't long enough - sorry. Again, since you don't have the experience yourself and are interpolating from others at least find an apples to apples example.

I don't claim to be the best sports shooter but at least I'm offering an opinion based on experience. I'm not stating here's "the best solution" based on one other shooter's similar but different shooting conditions. Here are some samples with the setup I recommend. If you can't provide your own work to back up your opinion at least find another d50 USING THE LENS YOU SUGGEST for the same sport. A 135 is simply the wrong tool. If your bias won't let you accept my opinion - check with other sports shooters who shoot football and see what they use.

http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/Football/173313


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Old Apr 6, 2006, 9:35 AM   #13
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The Fuji S5200 especially, and the S-9000 a bit less, have lots of noise at ISO 1600. Those photos will definitely have to go through noise supression software and still not give you what you want.

I happen to agree with me2. No, it is not a perfect solution, but it will be as close as you can come on the budget available. You will also be able to shoot great photos in your child's classroom as well.

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Old Apr 6, 2006, 9:48 AM   #14
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OK... lets consider this image:
http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/galle...234/1/37679058

According to the EXIF, it was shot at a 35mm equivalent of 212 mm. 135mm x 1.5 = 202mm. So the 135 would have worked OK for that shot.

Now... it was shot at ISO3200, Aperture priority of f/2.8 and 1/500. On a D50, this shot would have been taken at f/2, 1/250 and ISO 800. It would have been a much sharper picture.

This image: http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/galle...234/1/37679645 was taken at a 35mm equivalent of 172. Again, well within the 135's range.

This one http://www.jagsportsphotos.com/galle...234/1/37680895 at 243. A little beyond the 135s range, but still croppable. A D50 image at ISO 800 blown up 2x will look at least as good as an image taken at ISO3200 at 1x.

BTW: When in Auto ISO mode on the D50, it sets ISO in 1/3 steps. So there is a good chance that if ISO800 is too dark that it might use ISO 1000 or 1200 before stepping to ISO1600.

There is more than one way to skin the cat. I think the low noise of the D50, Auto ISO mode , a fast prime and some cropping would get you very good images on a budget. As far as I am concerned, having to pre set the ISO on the 20D and then run in Aperture mode is not the best solution.


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Old Apr 6, 2006, 9:59 AM   #15
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me2 wrote:
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There is more than one way to skin the cat. I think the low noise of the D50, Auto ISO mode , a fast prime and some cropping would get you very good images on a budget. As far as I am concerned, having to pre set the ISO on the 20D and then run in Aperture mode is not the best solution.


me2 - I'm afraid we're going to just have to disagree - you select several images to support your argument and ignore the rest. You also ASSUME (without practical experience to back it up) that you will be able to capture sharper images with a 1.8 lens. You've obviously never done this before. Talk to people who actually DO THIS type of work not just hypothesize about it. Shooting 1.8 is very difficult - many OOF shots unless you're very good. Much less keepers. You assume you can blow up images taken of action shots in low light football but you've never tried to do it.Hmm, what's another difference between your theory and reality? Football players have helmets on - soccer players don't. Which means the face is in even more shadow. When you crop those images heavily the faces are ruined. It's not a matter of using a 20d or d50 it's a fact that experienced sports shooters are aware of. You're offering up a $900 solution based on guesswork. This is not a Nikon vs. Canon thing - if you were suggesting a Canon solution I would still tell you you're wrong. And I am basing my arguments on personal experience. I've offered up my advice - take it or leave it. But, I still say me2's theories won't hold water in the real world for the OP's experience level and desired sport. Want to prove me wrong? Find someone who has on topic experience not just theory. There are plenty of better football shooters out there than me - find one of them that uses or would recommend your solution given the contraints of the OP.
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 10:08 AM   #16
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I specifically chose photos that I thought were close ups. I don't have a lot of time to spend on this. I am just trying to help the poster.

Now... how much football shooting have you done with the D50 ? Have you ever shot with a camera with Auto ISO ? As far as I am concerned, for dark light shooting, it is an absolute must. I use it for non flash indoor portraits.

If you don't believe me about the keeper rate, check D50s posts on dpreview.

You can bash my experience all you want, but you can't dispute that D50s images on dpreview are pretty darn impressive, especially for a setup under $1000. And I strongly suspect that the fields you are shooting on have much better lighting than the fields he is shooting on. I see stands and fans in your pictures. I think the field D50 is shooting on is pretty amateur. I suspect poorer lighting.

It appears you are shooting with an f/2.8 lens on your 20D. How much is that lens ?

We can argue until the sun goes down about things, but the bottom line is that this person has $1000 to spend and the D50 will get her closer to a perfect nightime football setup than anything else. Your 20D body alone costs more than $1000. Her images may not be perfect, but they will be pretty good.

And I will argue that the D50 with an 80-200f/s.8 lens will do as good as your 20D because one can run at a constant f/2.8 and 1/250 and let the auto ISO take care of the rest. You shot at f/2.8, ISO3200, 1/500. The D50 could shoot that same picture at f/2.8, 1/250th and Auto ISO would select ISO1600. Nothing wrong with that. I will take an ISO1600 image over an ISO3200 image any day.

If this buyer really shops around, the D50 and 80-200f/1.8 will cost about $1200.
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 10:20 AM   #17
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ME2,

Please, you're missing my point. A 135mm prime lens is the wrong lens - period, end of story. It is not the right lens for football regardless of the body. It's too long for close work and too short for far work. Shooting at 2.0 will yield too few keepers for any but the most experienced sports shooters. Again, both these things hold true regardless of Nikon or Canon.

Also, your theory that sports shooting done at 1/250 is comparable to 1/500 is also flawed. 1/250 will work on some shots but will show too much motion blur on others. Experience has shown that 1/250 is too slow for good reliable action stop. Again, not a Nikon or Canon thing - just a sports shooter thing.

Nothing in either of my above arguments states that the D50 is a bad camera. Just that your suggested solution is flawed. Again, let me state - using any camera at ISO 1600 with a 135mm 2.0 lens is a bad solution for football. Using another posters limited selection of soccer posts does nothing to disprove this.

Please stop tryint to turn this into a Nikon vs. Canon debate - it's not. It's a discussion of what tools are the best. And I believe your solution is overpriced for the results it will yield to the OP. I have nothing against Nikon or the D50. I think it's a great camera but any ISO 1600 SLR and 135mm 2.0 lens is a bad football shooting combination.
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 10:26 AM   #18
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And I shake my head at the recommendation of the S9000.

First of all, the lens on that thing is f4.9 at the long end ! Totally unusable in low light conditions !

Then there is the noise.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Fuji...roma-graph.gif

It has more noise at ISO1600 than a Rebel 300, which is more than the Rebel 350, which is more than the D50 !

Read this page: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilms9000/page7.asp and compare the crops.

And then there are the other factors. As Phil says in his conclusion:

"Occasional focus errors at long end of zoom (!)
Some purple fringing and corner softness
Unimpressive burst modes
Slow write speed with CompactFlash
...
ISO 1600 very noisy (with very strong noise reduction)"

The S9000 shoots at 1.7fps for 4 images. Wow. 4 whole images. And then you have to wait 15(!) seconds for the buffer to clear. If you are lucky it will shoot 8 images in 30 seconds. The D50 shoots 72 !

And we haven't even mentioned that it has an electronic viewfinder yet.


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Old Apr 6, 2006, 10:26 AM   #19
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To the original poster - I apologize. This has gone way too far - and it won't help you make a decision.

Me2 - if you want to continue the discussion please pm me. I'm all for spirited debate but this is turning into a pi$$ing contest and is of no benefit.

Again, op - best of luck to you in your decision process. We've all given you some things to think about before you make your decision.
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 10:32 AM   #20
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Well, 1/250th seem to stop the action of the soccer plays dead, even their hair. And he is shooting in darker conditions than you are. f/2 seems to work fine in his pictures as well. Very sharp, well focussed. DOF is generally OK because the subject is a long ways from the lens.

And you are right that a 135 prime isn't perfect. However, given that the op has a budget of $1000, what can YOU offer that is any better ? And I stated that she can move up to an 80-200f/2.8 for a setup cost of about $1200. What have YOU offered that will compete with this ? An S9000 that shoots a dozen frames in 30 seconds, poor ISO1600 performance and an f/4.9 lens ?


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