My son plays HS basketball, and last evening I went to shoot a game. The indoor lighting was excellent, the 85mm Nikkor lens' field of view was perfect for the action, I boosted ISO to 800, but couldn't get the shot I wanted without a little blur. I used Aperature priority, but the NEF data shows my shots were mostly 1/80 to 1/90 at F2.8 to F3.5, so I wasn't getting the full advantage of the F1.4 lens. The roughly two-stop difference between F3.5 and F1.4 would have gotten me up to a shutter speed that would have eliminated any motion blur. (I used a monopod to steady the camera, which helped, but 1/90 is just not fast enough for the action.) What do I need to do to get that lens shooting fully open? There is an unlock on the aperature ring on the lens that would have let me open it up. Should I do that? What would have been best settings that would have yielded a 1/250 shutter speed? Should I have just gone to shutter priority at 250? I had the right equipment -- my trusty D200 and an awesome piece of glass, the 85mm F1.4 lens -- but didn't know how to use it.
If you were in Aperture Priority mode and you shot a picture at f2.8, that means that you set the Aperture at f2.8. The camera varies the shutter speed and possibly the ISO when in Aperture Priority mode. If you want f1.4, simply rotate the command dial until f1.4 is displayed. If your shutter speed is still too slow, simply increase the ISO above 800 and get Noise Ninja for your post-processing.
VT, I shot H.S. basketball last night, as I have been doing weekly, using a D200 and the Nikkor 85/1.8. I have found through experience that I need to shoot ISO 3200 and set the camera to manual mode f1.8 and shutter at 1/400 to freeze the action. My images have noise which I then remeove with Noise Ninja in PhotoShop. Today I printed out several 5x7's to give to the kids and they looked great.
My buddy who shoots with me is doing the same thing with his Canon 20D and his 85/1.8 lens. We have found that for both H.S basketball and last fall, football, the lighting is simply not enough for lower ISO. BTW, I have my high ISO setting on the D200 set to NR and also the long exposure. My Canon buddy and I think the D200 has lower noise than his Canon. Hope this helps. Cheers, Bill P.
As touched on in the last response, I think manual would have been the best option for this type of shooting.
Given that the lighting is usually fairly constant at a ball game you could have set your aperture and shutter speed early on (by viewing the histogram for a few experimental shots) and then just left it there.
So you might have gone 1.4 @ 1/125 or 1/250 plus auto ISO.
That's a combination that might be worth trying next game.