Tips for Sports Photography...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Wandering_Pugilist, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Wandering_Pugilist

    Wandering_Pugilist TPF Noob!

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    ...particularly boxing. Im currently purusing a photography project with boxing gyms and as most of you know, boxing gyms/fights are poorly lit with fairly rapid action, probably a photographer's nightmare.

    I was shooting with a Nikon D40 but am looking to upgrade to a D50. The one problem I had was the lighting. I mean besides upping the ISO, slowing the shutter speed or using a larger aperature, what other techniques can you use to let in more light?

    I'm not a big fan of flash photography (mostly because I have no clue how to do it correctly), so I'd prefer to go without it. I've read on the forum that people suggest changing lenses but I have really no idea where to start. Could photographers that have more experience in this field recommend me some lenses for a D50 (keeping in mind that I am traveling so I need to keep my luggage relatively light) or general tips?

    Thanks!
     
  2. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd say don't waste your money on a D50.

    Also, don't bash flash photography :) it can be your best bet in boxing fights. I've done several MMA cage fights, and have always used a flash. Often, the lighting in those places is all coming from the top... a real bright light, causing awful shadows eliminating details in the shadows. So, the flash will greatly help fill in those shadows.

    I'd suggest getting a SB600 (not too familiar with Nikon... Nikon users please help!)
    and also get a 50mm f/1.8. You'll have to manual focus it on your D40, but in a boxing ring, you're not going to have to adjust it as much as you think.

    In the below picture, you can see the light coming from above. Without a flash, you could see absolutely no details where that light wasn't shining. So, a strobe helped unbelievably here.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Wandering_Pugilist

    Wandering_Pugilist TPF Noob!

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    Well I suppose I should elaborate. More like I lost my D40 and have to get a new one. A used D50 is actually cheaper than a new D40 and after reading so many debates, it seems like the general consensus is that the D40 is limiting in the long run.

    Oh and I wasn't bashing flash photography, I just have no idea how to really do it, plus I probably won't have enough room in my bag to carry an external flash. Although that is a great picture. What are the settings on that? Can you help with some tips on how to capture the action in combat sports with flash?
     
  4. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Some great info here

    The sb-600 is nice, but not completly neccessary. If your on a very tight budget i recomend the sb-400. The sb-600 is bigger, more powerful and has more settings. But they should still give the same results in this situation aslong as you are close the the ring
     
  5. Wandering_Pugilist

    Wandering_Pugilist TPF Noob!

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    The size of the sb400 looks to fit better with my needs. Would the sb400 work with a D50? I really have no clue on flash photography but I guess I'm posting in the right forum then.
     
  6. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Yes it would. And for the record the d50 is below the d40.

    All the new nikon flashes (400,600,800) will work on your camera with out requiring any input from you at all, its really nice. Its just like poping up the built in flash, except its more powerful, adjustable, and can fire faster.
     
  7. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    An ext flash isn't that big...it shouldn't be a concern when you count the benefits. Get cargo pants so you have pockets. That's where my gear ends up anyway for quick access.

    All I did for most of my cage fight shots, was set the dial to Manual, set the aperture to max the lens could take, and then the shutter speed to something like 1/125. The flash mounted on top was set on auto so it would use just the right power to make the images come out like I wanted.

    It's simpler than you think...

    *Put on flash, and turn it on. It's easier than opening a can of soda.
    *Set your dial to Tv or the nikon equiv. - set shutter speed to your desired speed (1/125 for instance).
    *have fun.
     
  8. Wandering_Pugilist

    Wandering_Pugilist TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tips. The sb400 looks around more my size. Would it produce similar results?
     
  9. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    @SB400

    It doesn't swivel or tilt, I don't believe.... may be fine for fights, but for general use indoors tilting and swiveling is nice.
     
  10. Wandering_Pugilist

    Wandering_Pugilist TPF Noob!

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    When you say "below", what do you mean? Most photographers have told me to "upgrade" to a D50, D70 or D80 when I tell them I lost my D40. All I've been told is that you have a better selection of lenses with the former three but I guess in my case it would be kind of moot. So does the D40 therefore have more advantages than the D50 besides the lense limits?
     
  11. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The D40 is a newer version of the D50. The only reason you'd want a D50 instead is for the AF motor, so it will work with all lenses. Other than that, stick with a D40 and buy AF-S lenses that can autofocus on their own.
     
  12. Wandering_Pugilist

    Wandering_Pugilist TPF Noob!

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    so...if you had to choose one more lens besides the stock 18-55, which one would it be for my type of situation (boxing)?
     

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