Getting gym shooting better

Boz Mon

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Apr 2, 2008
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So my D40, 55-200mm, and SB-600 combination failed. I tried out the Pentax ME-Super, 80-200mm f/4 and 1600iso film which came out acceptable. I was shooting at 1/125 and there was motion blur, but not too much. I was thinking that if I use my D40, and my 17-50 f/2.8 that would be much better? Or I could possibly use my 90mm f/2.8? What do you guys think? I would really like to stay away from using a flash.
use either of the 2.8 lenses. this way you will get to chose a higher SS. also the lens will depend on when you are standing.
i like to use at least a 320 SS which i use a 50 1.8 to get
First of all what are you shooting? That is really important in knowing what to suggest. For example, you can get away with flash in basketball, but not in gymnastics.(both in a gym) Also we need to know what distance you'll be shooting at. From what you said above I'm guessing you're wanting to be at the longer end. You're going to need something like the Nikon 70-200 2.8 or the Tamron 70-200 2.8 to get the shutter speed that you need to stop action.
I am shooting volleyball, I can pretty much sit on the sidelines at the very bottom of the bleachers. Maybe I will try my 17-50 and see how that goes. I would really like 200mm but the lens I have isnt fast enough. If I use the 17-50 at f/2.8 will I have to crank the ISO up to 1600?
Probably, if you want to stop action. I've used my 80-200 f/2.8 at my son's basketball games and the best I can get is 1/250 at ISO 1600 on my D80. This gym is lit pretty well too.
Even though the gym looks well lit, it really isn't. ISO 1600 is going to be needed more than likely. This type of situation is really where the Full frames like the D700 and the D3 show their worth. ISO 3200 with a 2.8 lens gets it done in low light like this. My suggestion would be to shoot with your 17-50 2.8 and when you can afford it upgrade your tele to 2.8 as well. Sigma and Tamron make very nice versions of this lens, and they are resonable. For about $700 you can pick one up.
For the Me Super why not try a 50mm f1.7. If your close to the action then it might well work and given film is better resolution you can get away with cropping better.

Pentax also do a smc FA 77 mm f1.8 Limited Lens. Whilst it's not cheap (no surprise for such a spec) it's fast and has an aperture ring ( DA lenses don't ) so will work fine on a Me Super.
Gym lighting is a disaster from what I've experienced. Generally massively high ceilings, often multiple kinds of light, and never anywhere near enough of it. To compound it, you are almost invariably forced to use long focal lengths.

Fastest lens you can get and highest ISO you can tolerate seems to be the only way to do it.
One of my friend use 85mm F/1.8 for shooting indoor volleyball match of his daughter team. And the result were decent.

Search "85mm f/1.8 volleyball" in, you will find some photos that taken by others.
Ok, I am going to try the 17-50 and see how that goes.....Also I have a 50mm 1.4 for my pentax, but focusing that thing on the fly is not easy with the small DOF.

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