shutter speed on long lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by volball, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. volball

    volball TPF Noob!

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    i am using a nikkor 70-300 f/4.0-5.6 to try and capture action shots of my sons basketball games and when i set the camera on sports setting i get a much longer than expected exposure and blurry images. i am not yet adept at setting shutter speed and aperture myself and realize my need to get there. any suggestions on why on the sports setting the shutter speed is so slow or suggestions on a proper shutter speed/aperture combo or at least a good place to start. thank you.
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The camera will tell you what shutter speed and aperture it will use, through the viewfinder.

    If you are zoomed in ... the maximum aperture will be f/5.6.

    If your camera is showing that aperture ... then it has already maxed it out (which should be the case if you are using the Sports mode).

    The corresponding shutterspeed is the fastest it will use to properly expose the shot.

    If that is slow ... then you may need to manually crank up the ISO.
    If that still is slow ... then you need more light.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Rule of thumb is that shutter speed is the same as the focal length i.e. at 300mm focal length, your slowest shutter speed should be 1/320 if hand held. You'll probably need to adjust aperture and/or ISO to attain it unless you're in bright sunshine.
     
  4. Ptyler22

    Ptyler22 TPF Noob!

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    For basketball and F5.6 you will need a flash, unless the gym is really, really bright.
     
  5. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    The shutter speed is slow because quite simply not enough light is getting through the lens. That lens isn't suited for indoor sports because it's slow (f/4-5.6).

    For your son's basketball games I would get as close to the action as possible and use your Sigma 50mm f/1.4. You're going to have to up your ISO also, 400 at least. I have the same problem with my son's basketball games. Even with my Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 I had to push my ISO up to 800 to get acceptable shutter speeds for sports. I was getting shutter speeds anywhere from 1/200 to 1/320 on my D80 @ f/2.

    Make sure you nail your exposure or you're going to end up with a lot of noise in the darker areas at that ISO. Adjusting the exposure in PP will bring out the noise even more.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.
    This is the key point here.
    The sports mode on your camera does favor a higher shutter speed...but to get proper exposure, you need to consider three things; shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Once you reach the maximum aperture of the lens (F4 to 5.6) then you need to slow down the shutter or raise the ISO...just to get enough light. So you can't just set a faster shutter speed, because that would not give you enough light for the exposure.

    Your problem is that gyms are actually quite dim. Our eyes adjust well but the camera does not lie. In low light like that, there simply is not enough light to get a faster shutter speed unless you go to extremes. In your case, you are limited by the aperutre of your lens....so the other option is to use extremely high ISO; 800, 1600 or higher. That will mean increased digital noise but that's the trade off. It might not even be enough to freeze fast action.

    Pro sports shooters use lenses with larger max apertures. F2.8 or larger (smaller F number is a bigger aperture). Of course, these lenses are not cheap. They also use cameras that perform well at higher ISO settings. In a pro arena, there maybe even be remote flashes set up in the rafters of the building to help them get enough light to freeze the action.

    So you are really fighting an uphill battle with your 70-300mm lens.
     
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Basically because sports mode is crap, if you don't know how to shoot manual use shutter or aperture proirity, another thing that lens is not good for basket ball, for basket ball use aperture priority open your lens to biggest aperture (smallest Number) and the camera will shooting at the fastest speed it can with your 70-300 you will have to shoot at ISO3200 to get a fast enough speed but as soon as you zoom to 300 you will loose the speed so a constant aperture F2.8 lens is best or a 85mmF1.8 or better
     

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