#1. "RE: Sports Photography" In response to Reply # 0
Had similar problems photographing indoor tennis. I got a few tips that really helped me. The first is that you need to have a faster shutter in order to capture the action without blur, so I used 1/200 shutter speed (might even go a little more next time as the rackets were blurred with faster swings). I used an f-stop of 5, and cranked my ISO up to 2000 (to allow more light into the picture). I'm also using a Nikon D5000 with a kit lens (18-55 VR). I'm under flourescent (sp) lighting. No flash! All in Manual Mode. I'm not sure this will help, but it sure helped me. I was always afraid of ISO until I began learning about it.
If anyone has better advice, please chime in as I'm a relative newb.
#2. "RE: Sports Photography" In response to Reply # 0 Tue 29-Dec-09 11:25 AM by blw
Jason has provided good advice. In general, you're trying to do something that is technically difficult.
You need a pretty fast shutter speed - 1/200th is the minimum, I'd say, and 1/500th would be much better - in order to stop the blur. But indoors, you probably don't have a lot of light, certainly not relative to 1/500th. Indeed, high school gyms and night football fields have a well-deserved reputation as "light dungeons." It may look like there's a lot of light, but photographically, there isn't.
Your kit lens, which doesn't open up very far, isn't helping very much. It's f/5.6 at the longer focal lengths, which is inevitably where sports shots get taken. So this means that you're now going to have to use 4x the ISO or 1/4th the shutter speed than you would if you had a faster f/2.8 lens (to say nothing of even faster lenses).
Since exposure is set by the trio of shutter speed, aperture and ISO, you're running out of options. The shutter speed is mandated by your subject, the maximum aperture of the lens is a physical thing that you can't improve, so your only choice is to increase the ISO. As Jason has discovered, dialing it up toe ISO 2000 or more is usually required. Personally I've had to send the ISO up as high as ISO 6400 or 12800 (!!) when doing indoor or night sports. Of course, high ISO values make the image noisy or grainy, but that's more or less unavoidable in these circumstances. Noisy is far better than blurry or too dark to see, which are the alternatives.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#3. "RE: Sports Photography" In response to Reply # 0
Great advise above! You are at the mercy of the ambient lighting conditions. There are three things that you can do to achieve the faster shutter speed that you need to freeze the motion of your daughter. 1. Increase the ISO as high as required with the Aperture wide open (smallest f/#). If you can get a shutter speed of at least 1/250th sec. you should be able to capture a usable image.
If the ambient lighting is too low to get the shutter speed fast enough, you are left with two options.
2. Get a faster lens; Prime or contsant aperture f/2.8 zoom.
3. Use a Speedlight to increase the light level. If you use a Speedlight you will be limited to 1/200th sec. which is the fastest sync speed of the D3000. The short flash duration will help to freeze the movement of your subject. Your shooting distance will be dependent on the range (power) of your Speedlight. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#4. "RE: Sports Photography" In response to Reply # 3
More excellent advice. I've experimented a little more with the settings the other posters have mentioned and have even gotten better images. But, when I dialed to 3200 ISO I started getting a little grainier than I wanted, but when I wasn't zoomed in on the image when viewing on the computer, I didn't really notice that much. The pictures were even brighter and more clear at 1/250th shutter. But, at 1/500 or more I started getting underexposed (simply not enough lighting). I did try using flash (not a speedlight) on my camera and got some decent shots, but they were not as good as without. This thread has really helped me further my knowledge of my D5000. One additional question,I got another 55-200 non-VR lens. I'm thinking it will be ok for this instance (indoor tennis shooting) as well so long as i'm using a faster shutter? Am I on the right track with that thought process? Thanks for any further advice!
#5. "RE: Sports Photography" In response to Reply # 4
If you use your 55-200mm lens instead of the 18-55mm at the 55mm zoom setting (f/4) you will gain a full stop over the 18-55mm at 55mm (f/5.6). The one stop gain in aperture will allow you to use a shutter speed twice as fast given the same ISO. The rule of thumb for the minimum shutter speed to prevent blur due to camera shake is: Minimum Shutter Speed = 1 / 1.5 X focal length of the lens. Minimum Shutter Speed = 1 / 1.5 X 200mm Minimum Shutter Speed = 1 / 300 th sec. The above formula is for DX bodies without the use of VR. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#6. "RE: Sports Photography" In response to Reply # 5
>Hi Jason, > >If you use your 55-200mm lens instead of the 18-55mm at the >55mm zoom setting (f/4) you will gain a full stop over the >18-55mm at 55mm (f/5.6). The one stop gain in aperture will >allow you to use a shutter speed twice as fast given the same >ISO. >The rule of thumb for the minimum shutter speed to prevent >blur due to camera shake is: >Minimum Shutter Speed = 1 / 1.5 X focal length of the lens. >Minimum Shutter Speed = 1 / 1.5 X 200mm >Minimum Shutter Speed = 1 / 300 th sec. >The above formula is for DX bodies without the use of VR. >Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
Excellent! Thanks for that wonderful advice! Hope this information has also helped the OP. I'll try this out very soon. Hopefully I can get some great photos!