What would it be and why ? 50mm 1.8 or 1.4. Sure your going to let a lot of light in but no DOF. I am really torn. I dont want to use a strobe unless I absolutley have to. The "ways of today" is no flash, so thats the way I will lean.
Even if you stop down some there's an advantage to a faster (f/1.4 vs. f/1.8) lens. The more light the lens lets through to the camera, the better the autofocus system can work. All other things being equal, your rate of in-focus shots will be better with an f/1.4 lens than with an f/1.8 lens, even if you stop them both down to say f/2 to increase DOF.
Of course, "all else" is never equal, so there may be other reasons to prefer the 1.4 or 1.8. I've only used the 1.8, so I can't speak to that issue.
I have found the 50 on a DX body (D300 for me) to be perfect. What I see through the viewfinder is exactly what I see with my eyes. I can shoot with both eyes open. I try to stay at f/2.2 or so in my gym, so 1.8 vs 1.4 makes no difference. Both are great.
Remove the 1.4 crop zoom and I suppose 70mm lens would have the same effect on FX body. Might be tough to find though. heh heh.
I find shooting at 2.8 with those lenses a bit too slow in gyms. When I shoot with the D300 and 50 1.8, I usually open up to f/2 or 2.2. The speed combined with the ISO setting on my D300 allow for reasonable shutter speed to avoid motion blurs inside. But only barely. At 2.8 my shutter speeds are too low and jacking up the ISO much higher produces mushy results anyway.
Well, much depends on the gym, lighting, and camera.
My D600/D3s offer me about 2 stops advantage over your D300. Maybe 2.5 stops. I am generally shooting at ISO 3200, F2.8, 1/1000 or 1/800. With just a little cleanup in lightroom, my photos are good enough for magazine publication.
Obviously, your conditions may be very different.
>I find shooting at 2.8 with those lenses a bit too slow in >gyms. When I shoot with the D300 and 50 1.8, I usually open >up to f/2 or 2.2. The speed combined with the ISO setting on >my D300 allow for reasonable shutter speed to avoid motion >blurs inside. But only barely. At 2.8 my shutter speeds are >too low and jacking up the ISO much higher produces mushy >results anyway. > >DWiggins - Minneapolis Nikoner >D3, >D300, D40, 18-200VR, 28-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8VR, 70-300VR, 300 >2.8VRI, 105 2.8VR, 85 1.8D, 50 1.4D > >Always looking to upgrade, just ask my ex-wife.
Perrone, you sound very knowledgeable about photography. Could you post some "magazine" quality 50mm basketball photographs. I notice a lot of your photographs are shot outside in the bright sunlight. I would like to see some indoor basketball photos, so that I might have some type of "goal" for myself.
I am kind of a budget photographer, but it looks like you have some great equipment and could produce some " outstanding " basketball photographs. I sure would like to take a look at your photos. If it wouldnt be too much trouble. I know mine would look like garbage next to yours.
I never knew you shot for some of the " big time " magazines. Cant wait to see them.
>Perrone, you sound very knowledgeable about photography. >Could you post some "magazine" quality 50mm >basketball photographs. I notice a lot of your photographs are >shot outside in the bright sunlight. I would like to see some >indoor basketball photos, so that I might have some type of >"goal" for myself.
Part of my assignments and contract work are outside in daylight, part outside and night, and part inside. Right now, it's soccer (mostly night), volleyball, and basketball season. So nearly all D3s, and D600 shooting. I don't think that using my photos is a good "goal" unless you plan on moving from a D200. That will be a TERRIBLE limiting factor unless you can strobe. In that case, all bets are off.
>I am kind of a budget photographer, but it looks like you have >some great equipment and could produce some " outstanding >" basketball photographs. I sure would like to take a >look at your photos. If it wouldnt be too much trouble. I know >mine would look like garbage next to yours.
As an add on, I just looked at my lens stats for this basketball season
Of my published photos here is the len breakdown:
24-70 - 17 70-200 - 133 85 - 6 300 - 54
Of the 133 images shot on the 70-200, 38 are taken at 70mm (close to what a 50mm would produce on DX), and 29 are at 200mm. That pattern shows that the 70-200 for me, is being use to cover both ends of the court. I do the bulk of my work with that lens.
I switch onto the 300 to get defensive play isolation, and fast break starts from the other end of the court. I use the 24-70 if a lot of play is happening near the close basket.
I'm no expert at shooting basketball. I am shooting it for the first time in MANY years. Having played the game at a very good level (turned down a college scholarship) I have a pretty good understanding of what makes compelling basketball photos, even if I am not good enough to capture them yet. My basketball photography mentor is John McDonough at S.i. I've worked with him for a couple days, and hope to work with him again in the future. If you're looking for someone to emulate or look up to, check out his work.
>Of the 133 images shot on the 70-200, 38 are taken at 70mm >(close to what a 50mm would produce on DX), and 29 are at >200mm. That pattern shows that the 70-200 for me, is being >use to cover both ends of the court. I do the bulk of my work >with that lens.
Amen, Phil. The 50 1.8 is a nice complement to have in your pocket. There is a reason the 70-200 is one of the best Nikon EVER made. Versatility is beyond compare. It gives incredible flexibility for shooting basketball and if I could take only one lens, that's the one.
My only concern for RDeal is the ISO limitations of the D200 are going to severely handcuff that incredible piece of glass.
The high school I cover has a new gym with good lighting. As I mentioned before. When all else fails STROBE.400 watts works fine in my domain and I point it straight at the ceiling.No grips from anyone.Yet.
Recently purchased some studio lighting. This ought to be interesting
>The high school I cover has a new gym with good lighting. As >I mentioned before. When all else fails STROBE.400 watts works >fine in my domain and I point it straight at the ceiling.No >grips from anyone.Yet.
What settings do you shoot at in your gym? Mine are terrible. I am at ISO 3200 to get 1/800 at F2.8
>Recently purchased some studio lighting. This ought to be >interesting
I shoot a lot of basketball in dim elementary and middle school gyms. I carry the following kit: D7000, AFS 50mm f1.8, AFS 35mm f1.8DX, and 85mm f1.8 AF-D. I use them all, at least once a week, all winter long. I use the 50 and 35 mm primes under the basket from the baseline. In these gyms, and for this level of basketball, I can get right up within 5-6 feet of the baseline. If I were shooting high school, I'd probably be a little farther back. When I have seen pros shooting college ball, they are right up against the post that supports the basket. I am strickly looking for layups, rebounds, and an occassional open jump shot photo from here.
At some point in every game, I put the 85mm on and go out to the sidelines and shoot the guards and the defense.
I typically shoot all three primes at f2.2-2.8 or so. I find that f1.8 is just too shallow a DOF for my focus technique/ability, and I can usually get no worse than ISO 3200 at 1/500 with this aperture. I have tried to use my 35-70 f2.8 AFD for hoops. The AF is too slow, and f2.8 on this lens seems to let in less light, and produce about a half-stop less exposure than the same f2.8 on the primes. I chalk this up to the light having to pass more glass. Also, I think an f1.8 prime stopped down is probably going to be sharper than an f2.8 wide open, most of the time.
If I had to breakdown the use of the lenses, it would probably be: 50mm-50%, 35mm-35%, and 85mm-15%. That said, I am not crazy about my 85 f1.8 AFD (I think it focuses much slower and less accurately than the other AFS primes). If/when I upgrade to the newer AFS version, I think I'll use it more.
I am 100% happy with this range/kit for indoor basketball on a DX camera. If you put a gun to my head and made me take two lenses out of my bag, the remaining one would be the AFS 50mm f1.8G. I don't own either f1.4 version, but reviews suggest that they do not focus faster (and are perhaps even slower). And, good luck getting many keepers at f1.4. The viewfinder would be slightly brighter, but I think that would be negligible. ALso, the 35mm DX and the AFS 50 1.8 are very small and light. I typically have one on the camera and the other in my pants pocket throughout the game - this way I don't have to drag a bag around the room, and can get out of the way quickly, if necessary. The 1.4 lenses are a little bigger and heavier for a pants pocket. I'm a hobbiest, who is also just a Dad, so I'm not wearing a photo vest.
I plan to upgrade to the D600 someday to gain even better high ISO performance. I have given my basketball kit some thought, and will adjust it as such when I move to FX: Keep the 50 f1.8, as it will now cover what my 35mm does; Keep an 85mm f1.8, as it will cover about what the 50mm now does, and be fast for dark gyms; add an XX-200 f2.8 zoom to replace what is now covered by my 85mm (albeit slower), and even enhance the kit with more range.
>I am not >crazy about my 85 f1.8 AFD (I think it focuses much slower and >less accurately than the other AFS primes).
I agree with this. The AF 85 f/1.8D works fairly well on my D3, not so well on my D7000. It's usable on the D7000 for sideline shots where the distance to the subject isn't changing rapidly, but it's pretty limited.
With my D700 I normal use my 24-85 f/2.8-4 to shoot basketball games, but I'll occasionally take my 50 mm. f/1.8 and 85 mm. f/1.8 to shoot a basketball game just for old time's sake. I used to use the 50 mm. and 85 mm. all the time with my D200. The 50 mm. works fine, but I agree with you that the 85 mm is lacking in focus speed.
I hope that you are soon able to acquire a D600. An FX dslr is a big leap forward for shooting sports in low-light environments.
Sat 17-Nov-12 01:04 AM | edited Sat 17-Nov-12 01:07 AM by ZoneV
70-200/2.8 for college level basketball in a good arena, no joke. In that situation, you have excellent light, and lots of space. You're at/near the baseline and sitting. That's the best lens in that situation. That's on DX.
High school is different. Usually you have low light and not much room. You won't likely be able to shoot from the baseline due to space issues. In that case, something between 50mm and 135mm. Again, on DX. But with a fast aperture...faster than f/2, preferably, unless you can go above ISO 3200 with your camera. You also may be able to use flash for high school basketball (off-camera and clamped securely would be best).
Sat 17-Nov-12 11:26 AM | edited Sat 17-Nov-12 11:28 AM by rickdayton
I was the first person to reply to this thread and have been following every post for the last couple weeks. RDeal, I went over this post again this morning (and admit I may have missed it) I still don't know what camera body you are shooting. I checked your orifile and it says D200 but you mah have upgraded so i son't know that for sure. That to me is going to make all the difference in the world in making a suggestion as to which lens to recommend.
Thanks for your reply Rick. I have decided to give the 50mm a go and see what happens. I have my 70-200 2.8 to fall back on.
Sure dont want a 85mm. They say its too slow . I still have a D200 in fact I just bought another brand new one. I dont really require anything real fancy, just a basic easy to use camera.
Rick, check out the photoI just posted. This is a real photograph. Dont ask me what happened. I thought I overexposed to compensate for strong backlight, but I couldnt hardly make out an image. Got to messing with contrast and other adjustments and come up with this " freak"
I'm glad to hear that others have had a similar problem with their 85 f1.8D in shooting hoops. I LOVED this lens for six years until I started using it for hoops. Now, I can't wait to trade it in. KEH will pay around $250 (I paid only about $350 new). I thought it was slow focusing, but I wasn't sure if it was the lens, or if I was not using it correctly. As soon as I can scratch up a little cash, I'm going to buy the new AFS 85 f1.8G. If it is an improvement over the AFD version similar to what I got when I upgraded my 50mm to the AFS version, then I'll be satisfied.
One other note: There is a lot of support for the 70-200 f2.8 on this thread. On FX, that would probably be the preferred single lens solution. But, for us amateurs, it's a very expensive option, and it doesn't go wide enough on DX (IMO) for under the hoop shots in high school and middle school gyms. I can usually get right up to the baseline, so I use the 50mm and even the 35mm to get the floor and the bottom of the bank board in the shot.
Some of you guys are way more advanced than me, and I don't presume to tell you your business, but I know some of you like very tight crops on the shooters heads/faces. I prefer to get bodies, and crop a little later.
One way or another I'd check out the focusing speed on that new 85 mm. f/1.8 AF-S prime before deciding to purchase. When Thom Hogan tested the 50 mm. f/1.4 AF-S lens he found that the focusing speed was slower than on many other AF-S lenses. When he used the lens to shoot basketball he found that his hit rate was decidedly down from what he normally expects with an AF-S lens.
Some are indeed faster than others, but it's AF-S, IF, and SWM, so it won't be unduly slow. I've used my 50mm f/1.8 D shooting basketball as recently as last season - knowing how to anticipate the action helps, as well as a few settings your camera may or may not have.
Thom's a smart guy, but not exactly a sports shooter.
It's also a good idea to occasionally step back and realize what excellent equipment we have available to us. Compared to the manual focus lenses and relatively poor optics compared to what we have now, Hy Peskin did an amazing job.
My 2 cents worth. I have a D300 and own both 50mm 1.8 and 1.4 primes. I shoot at f/2 with either and get very good results with both. I bought an 85mm lens years ago for basketball but, truth be told, I never really used it and sold it months later. I spend most of my time behind the baseline so the 85mm was just too tight. Cheers, Dave
"Stupidity is a gift from God, but one mustn't misuse it" - Pope John Paul II
Thanks for the input, Bob. I read reviews of the 50mm f1.8AFSG before buying, and they didn't rave about focus speed, either. That said, I think the newer lens locks-on faster, and tracks better. I haven't done any scientific testing, but I know that my keeper percentage is higher. Curiously, I didn't notice as much of a difference with the D90 vs the D7000. So,...it might not be focus speed as much as focus accuracy. Both are exposed exponentially more on the D7000 than on the D90.
I don't know anybody local who has a new AFS 85 f1.8, and it's probably not worth the money on such an inexpensive (relatively) lens to rent one first. I'll probably just buy it from B&H and try it for a shoot. If I'm not impressed, I can send it back.