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 Post subject: Need some tips
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:42 pm 
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Location: Indiana - USA
I am fairly new to photography, but have done tons of research regarding different shooting situations, but one particular situation has me baffled. I have been trying to get some good shots of my daughter during her basketball games, but the shots have all been less than desireable. When boosting the ISO high enough to allow enough light in to make the picture recognizable, the noise levels raise so high the picture is not worth saving. When adjusting the shutter speed fast enough to stop the action, it is too dark. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Do I need a different lens possibly? Here are a couple of shots from last night's game.

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Image

The second picture has been brightened quite a bit more than the first in photoshop, but both show increased noise. Is there a better way to shoot in this situation, or do I just need to learn to live with the results? Thanks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:51 pm 
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Which lens are you using for those pictures?
As I see, the problem is that you're shooting indoors, with limited light, a very difficult situation to shoot.
You could use a faster lens (like the 70-200 f/2.8 ). That would definitely help. Maybe you could use a long range external flash to help you freezing action.
I myself don't like bumping the ISO up. The noise is always terrible (but you can turn on Noise Reduction on Custom Functions).

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:56 pm 
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Location: Indiana - USA
I agree with you on the ISO, this is the only situation where I have found a need to bump it up, and don't like to either. I am using a kit lens 28-135 that came with my camera. I don't have an external flash yet, and thought that would possibly be a fix. Is there a specific long range flash that would give good coverage in this type of situation. Given that I am in the stands during the game, I have to rely on the lens to get me closer to the action, so a new lens may be in the future for me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:19 pm 
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Well, since you didn't post the EXIF data, I'm assuming you're shooting at 135mm f/5.6, right?
f/5.6 is pretty dark for indoors if not using a Flash or the illumination is not strong.
Let's say you get the 70-200 f/2.8. That would be 4 times more light gathering, so you could use 4 times less ISO to get the same result. The problem with those lens is that is pretty expensive (around 1500 US dollars on the IS version) and quite heavy. If you don't shoot in that condition often, maybe is way too much money to put on.
The 70-200 f/4 would cost around 1000 USD and still gather 2 times more light than your actual lens.

About flashes, today Canon is selling the 430EX II and the 580EX II, at around 260 and 400 dollars respectively. Depending on how far you are from the game, you can choose the one fits you best.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Location: Indiana - USA
Sorry, I should have posted that info with the photos.

EXIF data:
f/5.6
115mm focal lenght
1/85 sec shutter speed
no flash

I think the money is a little steep to improve such a small area of shooting, as basketball season is winding down. I do plan to get a different lens anyway, is there a good all around lens that I should consider? Thanks for the suggestions on a flash.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:04 pm 
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Location: Chesterfield,Michigan
I too have found it to be difficult to shoot sports indoors.My sons play soccer.You need to also consider most sports events look down on flash photography .It causes problems with the athletes playing game.I recommend renting a 70-200 2.8 lense you can find them on line $75 or so for a few days.Speed flashes are expensive .I would spend it on good glass and,you will get closer shots with a longer zoom. Try before you buy.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:21 pm 
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I totally agree with jaybasti. If you have the option to rent lenses for the times you need, it may be a good deal instead of spending all that money buying something you will use once in a while.
Down here in Brazil is kinda hard to rent lenses so I end up buying everything I need. Not good.
Depending on how far you are from the game, you could buy yourself a good 50mm f/1.8 II or f/1.4. Those are superb primes considerably cheap (80 and 300 dollars respectively) and great for low light. The problem, being a prime, is that you can't zoom in/out so you gotta very well positioned to the action. Now, believe it or not, I'm getting great results on low light with the 100mm f/2.8 Macro, but again, being a Prime, you gotta be at the right distance or you may lose a lot of good shots for being too close or too far.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:36 pm 
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for basketball indoor or volleyball,

50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8 and 135mm f/2 work very well.

I usually can get f/2.2 1/640 and iso 800

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