Tips on sports photography??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by 0ptics, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. 0ptics

    0ptics TPF Noob!

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    Hello so I wanted to try some sports photography and my friend told me to take some photos of the sport Kendo ("A Japanese form of fencing with two-handed bamboo swords"). I don't have any fancy lens/camera; what I have available is Nikon D3100 (3 fps) and Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5/6, 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, and 55-200mm f/4-5.6. My friend said they practice in gym (so indoor) so I'm worried that there would be poor lighting, mostly when I need a extremely fast shutter speed. But ya I had some questions about settings and any extra help/tips would be great for indoor sports photography; also I'm PRETTY sure that I'll be able to get close to the action, but will make sure with my friend.

    1) What AF-area mode should I use, I usually use "Dynamic-area AF"
    2) What metering should I use, I usually set it on "Matrix"
    3) I'm assuming that I should shoot in single burst instead of continuous because D3100 is too slow (3 fps), correct?
    4) Which lens should I use, I was thinking the 50mm f/1.4 because I'm able to get a faster aperture as well as a decent focal length. The 55-200mm would be nice, BUT having an aperture of f/4 seems way too high for indoor shots. I guess, would it be a "bad" idea to use a prime lens for sports?
    5) And last, I watched one of Jared Polin's video about shooting ice hockey (and some tips about indoor sports) and he mentioned that since the ambient lighting is usually poor for indoor (or in this case hockey) it's useful shooting the image underexposed for a faster shutter speed then using Lightroom/PS to make it look nicer, as he said "cheating the system". This technique seems that it should work very well, but I still would like some of you guys opinion.


    Here's a video of Kendo just for clarification of the sport :)!

    Thanks!
    0ptics


     
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  2. 0ptics

    0ptics TPF Noob!

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    Please...!?
     
  3. mikham44

    mikham44 TPF Noob!

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    I would probably use either the 35 or 50 mm. You have a crop censor, and u will be close, so I think these will be the best lense choices. They also have large apertures, so u may be a able to get a pretty fast shutter speed will it wide open :)
     
  4. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    OUCH. The sport you are trying to capture requires a very fast shutter speed to stop the motion in the moving swords. Add that to indoors and I don't know as I could do it without flash. Can you use flash? I am guessing it's a no?
    Your are going to be maxing out your ISO and opening your aperture wide open on that 50mm and your shutter is going to need to be maybe 1/1000, maybe faster? You can stop the motion of the people at about 1/400, but the swords? Not going to happen. Realistically you will probably only be able to stop the blur in the people.
    Focus should be a single point and you need to place it on your subject that you want in focus-they are not going to be both in focus at f/1.4. The DOF is just too shallow.
    Continuous-not single. No, it's not going to shoot a bunch of frames fast, but if you do want a series you want to be able to use the maximum capability of the camera.
    Metering? Well, that depends on you. In this instance I'd be in full manual in order to max out every possible bit of exposure I can get. If you don't have the knowledge to do that? Then probably matrix and and a +EC.
     
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  5. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are probably at (or beyond) the limits of your equipment, sadly.

    I shoot a lot if indoor soccer. I'm shooting with a D7000 and a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, and to keep shutter speed at 1/500 I'm running ISO's up to 6400. I don't know if the D3100 is going to give you acceptable shots at that ISO. Hell, even for me, I'm wishing I were shooting a D700...

    If you can use flash, you can up your odds. Only trouble there will be refresh times. You'll have to make each shutter press count.

    As to your specific questions:
    1. I shoot AF-C with 9 point dynamic area AF
    2. I prefer spot metering. The arena I shoot in has white walls. If I meter in matrix, the players are underexposed. I don't care if the walls are blown out...
    3. 3 FPS is too slow, but I think I'd still shoot continuous... I'd try to anticipate the action and start firing before the perfect moment occurs...
    4. That's a really tough call. Neither is optimal... If you can come remotely close to a full frame (i.e. you can get close) then the 50 is the way to go. If the 50 is going to force you to crop 50% or more of the image to get a decent result, then the 55-200 might be better, even with the smaller aperture... If you can swing it, buy a new lens... Take deep breaths. Find something leather to bight down on, and buy the 70-200...
    5. Do NOT shoot underexposed and up it in LR. The noise will be flat out awful. You want to be on the hairy edge, just shy of overexposed. (Histogram shifted all the way to the right, but not blowing out). You will have the greatest amount of digital data in the capture with that scenario.
     
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  6. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto TPF Noob!

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    D4 FTW [​IMG]
     

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