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D800 help shooting Football at night

Eagle IL

Deerfield, US
27 posts

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Eagle IL Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Jan 2009
Thu 12-Sep-13 06:07 PM

EAGLE IL


Hi All,
I have a D300S and love it. I use a 70-200VRII and 80-400mm lens for shooting sports. FPS is not so important to me for football.

When using my D300S, I found myself going up to H3 to try and get the shutter speed up with my 70-200 lens. A lot of the pictures did not turn out so well.

I have heard the D600-800 have much better low light capability. Will I notice a difference? I understand the crop factor of the DX vs. FX.

I am going to purchase a D800 and wondered what the best settings are to shoot HS Football games at night on the field under lights.

Can someone who has the experience and knowledge out there give me some advice? Would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Randy

OMMBoy

San Diego, US
678 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 help shooting Football at night" | In response to Reply # 0

OMMBoy Registered since 22nd Feb 2007
Fri 13-Sep-13 02:26 AM

Hi, Randy! Sorry you haven't received any help or suggestions with your question about shooting football games at night. Perhaps you should try posting your question in the Sports forum -- you might have better luck there :)

Good luck!

Chris

_________________________________
The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.
Ernst Haas, 1985


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PSAGuy

Lake Elmo, US
1761 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 help shooting Football at night" | In response to Reply # 0

PSAGuy Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Nov 2008
Fri 13-Sep-13 03:04 AM | edited Fri 13-Sep-13 03:07 AM by PSAGuy

Stadium lights vary from venue to venue so much, it's difficult to provide a stock answer. What might work at one field, may be way off at the next. As a high school varsity football coach myself I'll tell you we see this every Friday night. Tonight (Friday) for example we play at a horrible field with lots of "dead zones" for lighting.
It's pretty much hit or miss unless you are at a new, modern school where money is not in short supply.
In general however the D800 should provide nicer results than the D300 or the D300s when set at ISO 3200 or above. These are minimum settings you'll need to get the shutter up to 1/500th which is minimum for action photography. . This body has much better high ISO performance, which will allow you to bump up your shutter speeds to capture action. Other great bodies for this are the D3/D3s and D4....more specific bodies for sports and events.

awothers

Peterborough, CA
74 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 help shooting Football at night" | In response to Reply # 0

awothers Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Sep 2012
Fri 13-Sep-13 10:37 AM

You might want to check out Kelby Training video re Sports photography. Kelbytraining.com Beginners Sports Photography.

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aztwang

Avondale, US
408 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 help shooting Football at night" | In response to Reply # 0

aztwang Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Dec 2009
Sat 14-Sep-13 05:49 AM

Just a few notes regarding settings and lighting. PSAguy has valid points. Some fields are like horrible and have acceptable pools of light, then they dissappear. Try starting off at 6400iso, 2.8 and 1/640th in MANUAL. Manual is a must as lighting exposure will jump all over the place as lighting changes so much. If 1/640th does not get it then try dropping to 1/500th...if you need more then drop the S/S again. Some may tell you that the D800/E is no good at 6400..BUT if you take the time to downsample your files to 12mp equivilent the noise will be very acceptable after applying noise reduction in post. I have not tried the D800 above 6400 so no help there. Remember, noise in post always turns out best with a properly exposed image. Trying to bump exposure a bunch in post will increase your noise, so try to get it right on the field and dot rely on post to save your image.
Hope this helps.










>EAGLE IL


>Hi All,
>I have a D300S and love it. I use a 70-200VRII and 80-400mm
>lens for shooting sports. FPS is not so important to me for
>football.
>
>When using my D300S, I found myself going up to H3 to try and
>get the shutter speed up with my 70-200 lens. A lot of the
>pictures did not turn out so well.
>
>I have heard the D600-800 have much better low light
>capability. Will I notice a difference? I understand the
>crop factor of the DX vs. FX.
>
>I am going to purchase a D800 and wondered what the best
>settings are to shoot HS Football games at night on the field
>under lights.
>
>Can someone who has the experience and knowledge out there
>give me some advice? Would be much appreciated.
>
>Thanks,
>Randy


.

"Technical aspects MUST be innate"



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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3330 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 help shooting Football at night" | In response to Reply # 0

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Sat 14-Sep-13 01:07 PM | edited Sat 14-Sep-13 01:13 PM by ajdooley

Randy -
The D800 and 70-200mm f2.8 VR II will serve you very well for shooting HS football. I assume you can get access to the fields. The way most HS stadiums are lit at night, the 80-400 is unfortunately, not going to make it.
I shoot for a small weekly newspaper in Illinois and have the D800 and both of the lenses you have noted.
I agree, lighting at HS football fields can range from decent to abysmal. In any case, your D800 will produce superb images easily up to ISO 6400, which should enable you to get the job done.
Here's my methodology. Yes, fields can be unevenly lit. And backgrounds can throw auto exposure readings completely off. What I do is take a few test shots, enlarge them on the LCD and look at skin tones. When I find one that seems to work, I translate that setting into a manual setting and shoot the game at that setting. I find I can pull quite nice images out with post processing, but do try to ensure you are not underexposing. That's a sure way to end up with a ton of noise.
BTW, I use CS6 as well, and it does a superb job of suppressing noise -- I sharpen and then move the luminance slider to the right (40-50) to get rid of artifacts.
I am attaching a couple of photos from Columbia, IL two weeks ago -- D800, 70-200 VRII, CS6. These are shot at ISO 3200. The shot of the QB getting drilled is a pretty strong crop -- only about 20% of the original image. Columbia recently resurfaced their field and replaced their lights -- it used to be like a coal mine, but I shot there with a D700 and got similar results at 6400, and the D800 is superior.
Good luck, and enjoy your new D800. It will far outdo low light photos you got from your D300. The D300 is a fine camera, but the FX sensor is far superior, especially under low light.
BTW, I recommend a monopod for this kind of shooting. Even with a decent shutter speed -- 1/320th -- it helps eliminate one source of soft images. I use VR with the monopod.
If you are ready for a REAL challenge, go inside the gym at Columbia and shoot volleyball! It's 2 stops darker!




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Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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Eagle IL

Deerfield, US
27 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 help shooting Football at night" | In response to Reply # 5

Eagle IL Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Jan 2009
Mon 16-Sep-13 01:26 PM


Thanks for your help everyone, I am really excited to try these suggestions out.

Even though I have been a member for a while, this is one of my first posts asking for help. I really appreciate the many responses. It is good to know that there is so much support for members from others in the know!

I will update this forum with my results. Thanks again!
Randy

G