How can I get good action photos indoors?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by osumisan, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. osumisan

    osumisan TPF Noob!

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    I am shooting indoor volleyball with my Nikon D40 with Tamarac 80-300mm telephoto lens. My problem is that even in daylight and the gym lights on, the lighting combined with the lens makes it very difficult to get clear action shots without blur. Are there better settings for my camera or shooting techniques that will give me more better quality photos? I have the camera set at Aperture priority mode, f-4.5, ISO 800, white balance set on incandecant lighting. Are there any ideas out there?
     
  2. Jef.Friday

    Jef.Friday TPF Noob!

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    Whats your shutter speed set at?
     
  3. orb9220

    orb9220 TPF Noob!

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    Yep one of the more difficult type shooting. You will have problems with a slower variable f-stop consumer lens like the Tamarac?. You mean Tamron SP 80-300 f3.8/5.4?

    That is why sports,wildlife and weddings require the more expensive f2.8 constant f-stop lens. Also a D40 in slower with only 3 AF points and smaller dimmer viewfinder. All together makes for almost impossible situation. You can bump it up to iso 800 to help. But I suspect that won't help a lot for that type of situation.

    Consumer grade cams & lenses are good starts. But I quickly learned for indoor,sports,wildlife that f2.8 zooms or primes is required.
    .
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Indoors, white balance can be a huge, huge issue, and a pre-set white balance can help a lot, most of the time, so read the manual and fuigure out how to set a white balance. Then, boost the ISO to 1600. Shoot in RAW mode, since the quality of the images will be higher. Try and pick what is called peak of action moments...like in basketball, when a player makes a jump shot, at the very top of the jump, he/she is not actually moving, and you take the shot then. When players bring the ball upcourt, dribbling, pan with them.

    A slowish lens that allows you only f/4.5 is a hindrance...if the lens can allow a lower f/number, like say f/3.5 instead of f/4.5, that one additional f/stop will allow you to get a higher shutter speed. Keep trying and practicing!
     
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  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There really aren't any better settings. As Orb mentioned, faster glass and bodies are about the only thing that will help.
     
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  6. Taylor510ce

    Taylor510ce TPF Noob!

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    I just shot some volleyball for the first time the other day and had to go to 1600 with an f/2.8 lens. Given the distance to the court, I had to be zoomed all the way out most of the time on my 70-200 lens which is all I brought. Next time I am not even bothering with the 70-200. I am going to bring my 50mm 1.4 and my 1.4xTC so that I can get a 70mm f/2 if needed. Even with the 7D though, it was hard to freeze the action without ramping the ISO. This was really my first foray into high ISO, I am not used to having so much noise in my shots. I think using the other lens combo ( while not as good of a lens as the 70-200 ) will allow me to dial back the ISO a little.
     
  7. macdonj1

    macdonj1 TPF Noob!

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    I also have a question on this same topic. I'm shooting indoor basketball a $DSC_0956_lr.jpg nd the tips above are good, thank you. I have a Nikon D90 with a 70-300 lens 4.5. I see to get a lot of drag especially on the hands. I bumped my ISO up to 3600. This one was shot a 1/100 at f4.5. Is this the best I will get?
     
  8. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Actually that was shot at ISO 3200, 1/100 second at f/4.5 using a D90 with a 55mm lens. It also had -1/3 stop exposure bias set. With a D90 at ISO 3200, yep that about the best you're going to get. My D90 has never been good even at ISO 800 and I try to never go above ISO 400 if I can help it. An f/2.8 lens would help but with a D90 probably not enough.
     
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  9. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    Keep an eye on your shutter speed - my guess is with the glass your using you will most likely have to increase your ISO in order to get shots without motion blur. You really want a shutter speed hopefully around 500 or possibly above. This can be difficult to achieve with the kind of apertures your lens is capable of, and most likely you'll need to increase your ISO to the point where you are going to start introducing some noise into the image, you'll have to experiment a bit to find a happy medium. You can do something about the noise in post processing - but motion blur really can't be fixed.
     
  10. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    With a shutter speed of 1/100 yes, that's about as good as it gets. One other thing you can do is try shooting in S mode rather than A mode, set the shutter speed higher and even though the images will come out darker as long as they aren't too dark you can usually fix a lot of the exposure in post. Unfortunately shooting action in low light is about as challenging as it gets, only so much you can do without fast glass and a better sensor with higher ISO capabilities.
     
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  11. macdonj1

    macdonj1 TPF Noob!

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    One more question. Would I be better off using my 2.8 / 85 wide angle lens and shooting RAW?
     
  12. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you shoot at f/2.8 then you will lose some depth of field and your focus must be more accurate, obviously, however it will allow you to reduce the ISO 1-1/3 stops to ISO 1250 to maintain the same exposure. On a D90 that's still pretty high but a whole lot better than ISO 3200.
     
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