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 Post subject: D40 at high ISO
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:02 pm
Posts: 839
Location: Lake Worth Fl.
I am going to be shooting indoor sports photography soon at my school (hopefully soon I will get paid to do so but for now it is just for my enjoyment). I went to a volleyball practice at my school for some practice a few days ago....

Here is my issue. At 1600 ISO, I still am not getting the great light indoors with my 50-200mm f/4.5-5.6. I switched to my 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 but was just not getting in close enough to the action.

My question is this... Should I potentially shoot at ISO HI-1 (3200 equivalent) to get my shutter up to speed and deal with the grain? Or shoot at ISO 1600 with a fast shutter speed and deal with not enough light.

My 50mm f/1.8 is a great lens but I lack the skills of shooting manually focusing.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Nikon D40
18-55mm kit lens
55-200mm VR
50mm f1.8
quatary mono/tripod


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:07 am 
Hi Mr. Brutus,

you face a tough challenge. Some years ago I was shooting a Baseketball game with exactly the same camera and

I think the D40 is a GREAT camera and I honestly believe it takes much better pictures than my D300 and is neck-to-neck with my Fuji X100 - that's how happy I've always been with the D40.

However, it's not a low-light camera by any means. ISO1600 is pretty darn grainy.

But I learned this: you can choose between grainy pictures or blurry pictures. I'll take grainy any day. Go Shutter-priority first and allow auto-iso to adjust up to ISO1600...zoom in and have look. If that's not enough, yeah then you gotta go ISO3200.

Good luck!

Cheers :-)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
Solution: Buy the D3s with a 200 f/2 :lol:

But seriously, I agree that it's better to get a grainy shot than a blurry, unusable shot. While a grainy shot may not look its best when you blow it up, it's still viewable and you can make out what the image is of, something that you may have trouble with if you shoot at a lower ISO. Also, remember that you can always use noise reduction software after the fact (I'd recommend using Noise Ninja, it works excellently and is available as a plugin for Photoshop or a standalone), while a blurred photo is generally unsalvageable.


Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:26 pm 
I agree with the advice already given, grainy is preferable to blurred beyond recognition. You really need a 2.8f lens though for indoor shooting at long focal lengths and fast shutter speeds. Try to borrow or rent a Sigma 70-200 2.8f and see how that improves your shots. You don't need the more expensive IS version at shutter speeds faster than 200/250th second.
If you have the cash and intend to shoot a lot of these type of images then the Nikon 70-200 2.8f is the bees knees as far as optical quality is concerned but will be very front heavy and unbalanced on a D40. Good luck.

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