Need help please....total beginner here.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Steve B72, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Steve B72

    Steve B72 TPF Noob!

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    I've been doing sports photography for the last few years...I stepped up to a D500 but starting to think it's too much camera for me and simply don't know how to use it correctly. My pictures seem to be in focus, but grainy at the same time. I'm using a Sigma 150-500mm 1:5-6.3APO. Aside from that, I seem to have to set the F stop to 20 or 22 to get the photos to be light proportionate. If I set it to 5.6, it's way too bright and there's no discernible image. Please help and talk in 5 yr old lingo....I might be able to be helped. Thank You in advance.


     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hmm, there is something about that statement you made ... if that is the case, then you are not using the equipment properly.
     
  3. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your camera has exposure modes: P A S M -- where is your's set? How (auto/manual) and where is the ISO set?

    Joe
     
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  4. Steve B72

    Steve B72 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much Joe...the ISO was set crazy high. Now it functions the way I think I want it to. I'll be trying it out here later today. Thanks for the heads up. I have it set in M mode.
     
  5. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Why do you have the camera set to M mode? Shooting sports how about S (shutter priority)?

    Joe
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    DSLRs basically all work the same no matter at what level they are at- higher level models have more options and more features and often more jpeg auto editing features, but the core of any exposure remains the same through them all.


    For sports I've used a mix of manual and aperture priority as my go-to modes.

    Aperture Priority - this mode lets the photographer control aperture and ISO and lets the camera balance the shutter speed based on the meter reading of the scene. This doesn't mean you ignore the shutter speed, just that the camera is capable of adapting and changing it faster and more reliably than you can (its very easy to miss small changes and why twiddle with the dial to change it when most of the time you'll be aiming for the same exposure- so let the camera do it.
    You can also use exposure compensation which tells the camera to under or over expose the scene (based on the meter reading) using the setting(s) it controls - in this case the shutter speed. Eg on a bright sunny day you might tell the camera to underexpose a little because that iwll protect the highlights in the shot.

    Even though the camera is controlling it, you still have to keep an eye on the shutter speed to ensure its fast enough for the scene.

    Manual mode - this is great for any constant light situation or where you want very specific settings for a creative reason. In nice steady light that isn't changing much manual mode can give you more even exposures that aren't going to vary at the whim of the sensor in teh camera metering the scene. Whilst its not always as fast to change on the fly as one of the priority modes, it does give you totally creative and exposure control.
     
  7. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Also have a D500 and it is an absolutely excellent camera for sports photography and you can get good results with the Sigma 150-500mm. The ISO is probably set wrong if you are up in the f22 range and your shots will be grainy at high ISO levels. I would recommend resetting the camera back to factory defaults by going into menu -> the little wrench -> reset all settings. While you are learning the camera, use p mode so you don't have to worry about camera settings, just getting the shot. It should work fine for outdoor sports, but if indoors you may need to up the ISO. If the camera can't get a good exposure the shutter speed and aperture will blink in the viewfinder. To increase the ISO, push the ISO button (near the on/off switch) and use the main command dial to increase it from the default of 100 to the desired value. I routinely shoot indoor sports at ISO 800 even 1200, but around 1600 the grain will become noticeable.

    Practice around the house holding the camera steady while depressing the shutter. Two of the biggest problems with blur are camera movement and subject movement and it takes a little practice, especially at longer zooms, to hold the camera steady. You can find tutorials online on technique. For subject blur, you will need to shorten your shutter speed and for sports you will probably want to be around the 1/800 or 1/1000 sec. In order to get there, you will need to get to shutter priority mode (S). Find an online tutorial on S mode.

    I highly recommend you pick up David Busch's Nikon D500 Guide to Digital SLR Photography. He goes much farther than the typical user's guide by recommending settings for specific types of photography.
     
  8. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Ok, well you have a great camera so that may help. Nikon DSLRs are very good at handling noise. Saying that while the 150-600mms are pretty good for wildlife they are pretty slow for sports, normally I'd be expecting an f2.8 lens for that. But one thing at a time.

    There's a few ways to go, the easiest way I've found is to set your camera to manual, shoot at the lowest fstop you have, set the metering mode to centre weighted average, set your shutter to 1/800 and set the ISO to auto. Make sure your zoom is 300mm or lower (you can zoom in more but you'll need to up your shutter speed to compensate, so if you really wamt to go to 600mm I'd suggest you want your shutter speed to be at least 1/1000th and probably nearer 1/2000-1/2500th). That's similar to what I use for wildlife and I also spent a couple of years honing my skills shooting pro basketball (as a hobby)

    It wont be perfect for every occasion but it should get resonable shots most of the time.

    Here your learning begins: look up the exposure triangle (just google it). Then look up depth of field, then look up focal length and shutter speed (together). Then look up diffraction. That should after enogh reading and practise get you a basic understanding on what you need to do, in camera, to get sharp shots.
     

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