Nikon d3000 help

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by shmcminn, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. shmcminn

    shmcminn TPF Noob!

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    Hey all, im the editor in chief at my high schools newspaper and we recently purchased a nikon d3000 along with the nikon dx swm vr af-s nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6g ed. Our main goal is to get shots of football games with the huge lights they use at stadiums. any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I thought they called if futbol in Cali, Colombia. Doesn't matter.

    Trade the D3000/AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6 in. That lens has a variable aperture when zoomed. In daylight it will work fine.

    At night, the D3000 body (not enough ISO performance) and lens aren't up to the task. 200mm is short on reach for football. double that is better.
    Equivelent Canon, Pentax, Sony, or Olympus gear can't do it either.

    You really need at least a D90 body (better ISO performance) with an AF 80-200 mm f/2.8D lens (constant aperture when zoomed and wider max aperture). But, it's a $2000 kit.

    About the only thing you can do is:
    • put the rig on a monopod to help minimize camera shake
    • put it in A (aperture priority) mode
    • pan with the action
    • leave the lens at 55mm all the time (to keep the aperture at f/4 so you have as much shutter speed as possible)
    • set the ISO to 1600.
    The camera will automatically select the shutter speed and many of the images will be blurry because the shutter speed will be to low to stop the players motion. Actually, I think most of the images will be blurry.

    Then deal with the radical cropping and the noise in post processing.

    Note: only AF-S lenses will auto focus on a D3000. AF lenses won't because they don't have a focus motor. so, if you keep the D3000 and get an AF 80-200 mm f/2.8D to put on it, you'll have to manually focus the lens.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Your equipment is not going to be all that helpful...that pokey 55-200mm lens will not be good for night football. You need lens aperture, often referred to as "lens speed", meaning a lens that lets in a lot of light, and f/4 at ISO 1600 will probably get you a shutter speed of probably 1/125 second if your school has good,modern lights.

    This is a tough situation. When your camera does not deliver good high-ISO performance, one of the more common ways to shoot is to use a shoe-mounted flash set to Minus 2.7 stops, so that the flash fills in the shadows under the helmets. The flash is *not* the main exposure, but is a shadow-filler and helps the images look less noisy at maximum ISO, and it also adds just a touch of sparkle and snap. Many professionals shot this way in the early 2000's,and many still do, using the 28-70 f/2.8 AF-S as their sideline camera.

    Don't be too discouraged about lens focal length--there are plenty of plays in high school football where the running backs come around the end and toward the sideline you are shooting from....a 28mm to 50mm lens is PLENTY long when the runner is 10 to 30 feet from you. Whatever you do, you'll need to assign your best photographer to football games, and don't share the assignments--for a newcomer, night high school football will require a learning curve of 3 or 4 games probably to get much that's decent.

    If your photog has to use the 55-200, keeping the lens at 55mm is a good idea, and I think dialing in fill-flash at Minus 1.7 to Minus 2.7 stops is the way to go. There might only be 10-15 opportunities for close-range, "good shots" per game.
     

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