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Need advice on D90 settings shooting sports with 28-70 2.8 lens

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Fmandan Registered since 31st Dec 2011
Mon 13-Feb-12 08:38 AM

I have a D90 and Nikon 28-70 2.8 “The Beast” lens. I’ve found that this FX lens on my DX body is just about right for my intended purpose of shooting Wrestling –Matside. In fact, the Nikon 70-200 "sports lens", even on an FX body would be too tight / close from where I shoot) I went with the 28-70 for several reasons, but mostly its reputation for “sharp” pictures, its 2.8 aperture, and fast autofocus speed.

My goal: Shoot in gyms where lighting is “so-so” at best without a flash, and capture sharp images with the ability to “stop action”. –Not too much to ask, right?

I’ve been playing with: my ISO, Aperture, & shutter speed trying to get my pics to come out right.

The problem: While I have gotten some decent shots, many of my pictures are simply too soft and if I crank up the shutter speed to stop the action, the pictures become too dim. When I use my SB600 flash, my pictures are much sharper, but then I’m limited to the flashes ability to recharge and not overheat etc. Also, not using a flash, assures me I’m not being a distraction to the wrestlers and I can get a series of action pictures.

When I say too soft, I mean they look pretty good when I'm viewing them at 25%, but at 75% or full view they're fairly grainy.

I’m hoping someone can suggest some adjustments or a combination of settings that I haven’t tried yet to help in getting sharper pictures from my D90 and 28-70 2.8 lens.

Also, when I attach my SB600 flash, the shutter speed is greatly limited. Is there a way around this, or does it really matter with a flash?