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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:48 am 
I get free tickets to all the home games!
for those who don't know, villanova is a highly ranked college basketball team.
I believe ranked 12 in the country.

I have brought my camera to two games and always have some sort of problems.

here are some of my shots.
Comments and advice welcome.

ISO: 800
Exposure: 1/160 sec
Aperture: 5.6
Focal Length: 200mm
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1/200 sec
Aperture: 5.6
Focal Length: 120mm
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1/200 sec
Aperture: 5.6
Focal Length: 100mm

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:04 am 
hi, it is not bad considering your equipment is very basic.
to improve, better/suitable equipment are needed, also you can change position where you are shooting at, for example get closer to the field or sit under basket.

you get the timing right in pic 2, 3

You mention that you have some problems, what are the problems?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:44 pm 
thanks for the reply Enche Zein!

I know my equipment is quite basic, and its going to be that way until I feel I'm ready to step up my game and I have learned alot more as im still learning everyday.

out of curiosity though, what equipment would you recommend for upgrading to in say a half a year for me?

As for the problems I had, It always turns out to be quite difficult to get the correct exposure because of the lighting inside the gym. I am sure it would be much easier if I could change to a different better seat, but the truth is every game is sold out and we get lucky if we get to sneak down to as far as these were taken!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:06 am 
About the equipment, there is 2 kind.

first it is the camera body. The better camera body has faster frame per second ,more responsive, more auto focus points for precision composition.
In Nikon line, it will be D90 or D300, in Canon line, it will be 40D or 50D
for extreme best, Nikon D700, Nikon D3, Canon 1d mark iii

for the lens, it depends on where you usually sit and what style do you like, I usually sit on the floor under the basket. My style is tight shot.

So i use either 50mm f/1.4 or 70-200mm f/2.8

Notice the max aperture lens that I choose. It serve as 2 functions

1. It is for low light condition (so i can bump the shutter speed up to 1/640 without having to increase iso to the extreme).s

2. It is to isolate foreground (athletes) and background.

If you sit on the bench, then try to get closer to the field, and 70-200mm seems like the minimum length. 300mm f/2.8 is good but very expensive.

If you plan to sit on the floor then getting 50mm f/1.4D is a nice deal, unfortunately when mounted in D40, it can't auto focus. The new version, 50mm f/1.4 AF-S is more expensive ($400) but the problem with it is (based on test) the Auto focus is not fast either.

So if you stay with Nikon D40, I suggest Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM ($450) (only if you are sitting under the basket.

But if not then 70-200mm f/2.8 either Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR AF-S ($1600)
or Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II HSM macro f/2.8 ($750)

Other Nikon telephoto zoom lens Nikon has is 70-300mm AF-S 3.5-5.6 ($600) (Not recommended because it is optimized in the wider end. 200mm and above, the quality start deteriorate. Beside, you won't feel significant differences than what you use right now because the max aperture is the same f/5.6

So, yes, it is expensive to get quality basketball or indoor sports pics where the light usually is very limited.

Sample pics: ... 779501.jpg
this one is using canon 40D and sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM ... ure126.jpg
this one is using Nikon D700 and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:32 pm 
I bought a Nikon D90 with the basic 18 - 105 lens and I added on the 70 - 300 lens. I bought these with the idea of taking some good shots of my kids and one of them plays basketball. I was hoping this would work, but after reading your post I may not have the right equipment.

1) Did I buy the right equipment?

2) What would be the best settings to get the best shots I can with this equipment (considering I just blew my budget).

3) Any other lens I might want to try that would not be too expensive?


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:44 pm 
hands down you did almost anything you could with the gear you have, it's extremely obvious that these shots cry for F2.8, but that's not on you. otherwise you could try always getting either an upper torso portrait kinda shot of the players or the full body, don't cut off limbs, oh and make sure your pictures are well exposed, some were a bit underexposed, if you're afraid of high iso or just can't help it- shoot raw then bring the exposure up in post.

hope this helped.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831

To answer your questions on equipment:

D90 - easily good enough with autofocus OK for capturing indoor sports such as basketball. I'd recommend playing with your autofocus settings and trying out dynamic area focussing.

70-300VR - I have this lens too - it is great value for money and excellent outside in good light. However you might find it lacking indoors where it won't be fast enough. You will end up having to crank up your ISO really high.

F2.8 zooms are ideal but costly. If you can get close enough to the action, I would recommend a small investment with another lens. The 85mm f1.8 wold be a good focal length courtside, and the faster lens would help with your shutter speed. It will also double up as a great addition for portraits and shallow depth of field photography. Worth a look...

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:34 pm 
Teamireland -

I have exactly the same equipment as you have. The 18-105 works ok for basketball, but is certainly not ideal, as you have to go pretty high with your iso to get decent shots. And you won't get much in the way of 'bokeh' with that lens.

As suggested, the 85mm 1.8 is a very good lens for basketball....but if you want to go even cheaper, you might try a 50mm f1.8. I shoot from the floor and can get right under the basket, and the 50mm does a very nice job. It also takes good shots from courtside seats, if you're willing to crop your pictures some afterwards. It gets decent bokeh, and it takes very sharp and clean shots. I use it on aperture priority, f2.2, dynamic focusing, and the camera shoots around 800-2000 iso around 1/250 to 1/400, so the shots turn out quite nice with very little to no noticeable noise even when I have noise reduction set to low.

The nicest thing about the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 is that you can pick up a brand new one at bhphotovideo or adorama for around 125 bucks. slobbering at your 24-70mm 2.8....nice lens...wish I had that courtside... :)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:17 pm 
awesome that you get to shoot villanova! Do you get a press pass or something to the games?

Scottie Reynolds is looking good in the first picture =). To bad they had an early exit this year, i had them final 4 =/.

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