50mm Basketball Experiment


TPF Noob!
Nov 14, 2011
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Recently purchased a 50mm prime lens. Since we were sitting close to the basket so I decided to see what basketball photos would look like using this lens. When I say sitting close, I mean close. Had the Ref in my lap, several players at my feet and my wife slapped several errant balls from hitting us.

What do you think...




re-cropped this one.
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Nice action. I think #2 is my favorite. #3 could use a crop. The lady on the left doesn't add to the picture, and her facial expression is rather distracting. What were your settings?
Ended up using 2.5, 800, 3200 with a custom white balance setting on a D90. I was getting really under exposed setting until bumping the shutter speed and ISO up, but was concerned the ISO was too high. I tried lowering the ISO and the shutter speed but couldn't stop the action.

I agree with you on the crop, but I wasn't sure how to crop out #4 in the third picture without cutting off the arm of the defensive player.
number 3, her arm looks broken but its not really her arm. LOL. looks funny with the facial expression.
I would like to get into sports photography some day. Do you just show up and head to sideline? or do you have to set up something with the school in advance? whats protocol?
We have only been to three girls basketball games, but we just walked in and sat in the first row near the baseline. My son plays soccer, runs track and swims. Talked to the coaches and AD at the school and they give my wife and me access to the pool deck and sideline for soccer games. I think it helps that we make the pictures we take available to the players and we are actively involved with those teams.

I am not happy with the quality of the basketball photos and I am struggling with settings. Tonight I use a Tamron 17-50 2.8 lens with settings of 2.8, 250, 1600. Colors and exposure look good, but on my laptop the focus looks soft and it appear we did not stop the action well. Will know know more Monday when I get in front of a bigger monitor.
I think you did a good job of stopping action. You made mention of the other issues.

Do you just give the kids of the pics to have? or charge them a fee? when I played semi-pro football, one team had a photographer on the sideline. Got a couple pics of me for a price. (unfortunately I left them on the bus and lost them forever)
We maintain a Facebook page for each of the sports teams we are involved with and that where I post pictures and team updates. For most this is all they want, but I will fulfill any reasonable request. We give the seniors a CD.
Natalie Portman is in the third one, that I like. I'm not a sports person, but I do agree cropping out the girl on the left, if at all possible would keep it from becoming an internet poster sensation.
Nice action. The face of the bottom left girl in 3 is great.
Your photos are fine, you don't need to crop anyone out. In sports photography, theirs no script, you shoot to capture the moment. Years ago I was photographing an event, I did some things other photographers wasn't doing, setting up remotes, photographing from low angels, During dinner all I heard was negative comments, but after my images was posted guess what happen? The next day, everyone was starting to shoot from low angels. I got good at what I do, by studying other peoples work, and adding my own style to it....branding

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