I need help!! Lol!! I have just purchased a Nikon D 5000..along with the Nikon 55-200 mm f/4-5.6 G ED AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor Lens. My daughter is in cheerleading and I have purchased this to be able to take decent action shots of her. I tried it out this weekend and was not successful at all..I tried reading the handbook but I have no photo. exp and I must be honest..didn't really understand it. If someone can help me out I would so greatly appreciate it. I'm not sure what the camera's setting should be at..I have bought a completly useless lens for this purpose???
#1. "RE: NEED HELP WITH MY D 5000" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! My daughter is a competitive cheerleader so I shoot a lot of cheerleading. What exposure mode are you using?
I assume they are performing in a gym. Many are lit like dungeons so getting enough light is always a problem.
Could you be more specific as to what is wrong with your images? (blurry?)
Since your subject is moving you will have to use a fast shutter speed to freeze their motion. Set the shutter speed to 1/250th sec. minimum or faster if at all possible.
You will have to turn the ISO up (ISO 800-3200 or even HI (ISO 6400) may be required.) depending on the ambient light level.
Now, regarding your lens; Your lens is very capable of capturing fast moving subjects in good lighting (sunlight). When shooting sports in low light (gyms, etc...) a fast lens is the price of entry. Fast Constant aperture f/2.8 lenses in the 70-200mm range start at about $700.00 and go up to $2400.00.
To get the most light possible through the 55-200mm you will have to shoot at the 55mm zoom setting (f/4) which will provide a full stop more light than shooting at 200mm (f/5.6). A one stop difference is the equivalent of doubling the light. In other words you can use a shutter speed twice as fast at 55mm (f/4) than you can at 200mm (f/5.6). f/2.8 is one stop faster than f/4 and two stops faster than f/5.6.
I use (f/2.8) constant aperture zooms and even faster primes. My settings are as follows: Shutter Speed: 1/250th - 1/500th sec. Aperture (f-stop): f/2.8 ISO: 800 to 6400 depending on ambient lighting conditions.
If you keep the zoom set at 55mm (f/4)on your lens you will only have to gain one stop of ISO over what I would be shooting at. In dark gyms you will have issues with noise but at least you will be able to capture an image.
I always shoot in Manual exposure mode, however if you use Shutter Priority (S) mode with the Shutter Speed set at 1/250th sec. and Auto ISO setting the maximum sensitivity to ISO 3200 or HI (ISO 6400) if required. (see page 149 of the D5000 Users Manual.)
The alternative is to use Aperture Priority (A) mode and watch the shutter speed in the viewfinder then adjust the ISO accordingly. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#2. "RE: NEED HELP WITH MY D 5000" In response to Reply # 1
Thanks for your response..
I was trying it out with the sports mode that the camera has
but the pictures kept coming out blurry..
I tried reading the handbook but since I don't have any photo
exp..it was actually difficult to understand it..lol..
I'll try the settings that you are suggesting. What type of
lens do you use? I do have one question, if I shoot at 55mm
zoom, won't the pictures look like they are taken from far
away? As you probably know, when her squad goes up to
perform, they allow the families to come up to the front so I
am not that far away yet the pics did look like I was. Not
sure if that makes any sense...
#3. "RE: NEED HELP WITH MY D 5000" In response to Reply # 2
>I was trying it out with the sports mode that the camera has >but the pictures kept coming out blurry..
Your shutter speed is too slow! If the background is is not blurry but the subjects are blurry it is blur due to subject movement. Using a faster shutter speed will solve that problem. Check the Exif data on a well exposed image. What was the shutter speed, Aperture (f/#), and ISO? The ISO was most likely set too low for the ambient conditions. We can extrapolate an exposure for that venue from the above information.
>I tried reading the handbook but since I don't have any photo >exp..it was actually difficult to understand it..lol..
You might want to get; Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It will get you up and running in Manual exposure mode.
>I'll try the settings that you are suggesting. What type of >lens do you use?
If you look at my User Profile you will see that I am very well equipped. I typically shoot multiple bodies with different lenses. The lenses I use most often: All Nikkor: 70-200mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S VR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S 200mm f/2G ED IF AF-S VR
>I do have one question, if I shoot at 55mm >zoom, won't the pictures look like they are taken from far away?
55mm on a DX body like your D5000 has the same Field of View (FOV) as a short telephoto on an FX body. True it is not ideal but it will help you gain shutter speed, and you need a faster shutter speed to capture a usable (without blur) image! The reason I recommended using 55mm with that lens is because it will allow the most light possible thru the lens at that zoom setting. The 55-200mm is a variable aperture lens. This means that at 55mm the aperture is f/4. At 200mm the aperture is f/5.6. A full one stop difference. Remember if you can get an additional stop of light thru the lens, you can double the shutter speed (to freeze the motion) using the same ISO setting (keeping the noise to a minimum).
If you are shooting in a gym even a well lit (Ha Ha!!) gym lthe ambient lighting is problematic. If you are shooting at a National Event with high power stage lighting you may be able to shoot at f/5.6 if you are willing to turn the ISO up higher say from ISO 800 to ISO 3200 (two stops compared to f/2.8) zooming in will be less of an issue. The best lighting I have seen so far even at a National competition was: 1/500th sec., f/2.8, ISO 800 and that is only at one venue. Be aware if the backgrounds are black or lighted it can cause you to over or under expose. In many gyms you will be shooting at ISO 3200 or higher at f/4 already. Noise will be an issue.
>As you probably know, when her squad goes up to >perform, they allow the families to come up to the front so I >am not that far away yet the pics did look like I was. Not >sure if that makes any sense...
It depends on the type of images that you are trying to capture. If you are trying to fill the frame with your daughter, depending where her spot is (front row, middle row, or back row) and where you are shooting from focal length can be an issue. At some venues I shoot from the top of the bleachers at others front row center. When shooting from the front my 70-200mm can be too long (even on an FX body) for a full height shot of my daughter (she is front row center) and is way too long for shooting the pyramids. It does work well for the diagonal tumbling runs. I hope this helps! Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!