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Need Some Indoor Sports Advice

dave351

Michigan, US
96 posts

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dave351 Registered since 28th Jan 2010
Fri 28-Dec-12 01:49 AM | edited Fri 28-Dec-12 01:53 AM by dave351

Hello Nikonians,

I'm new to the site and also new to shooting sports. Most of my experience is in studio portrait photography - where the lighting and exposure is (usually) nicely controlled. A few months ago, a new magazine started up in my (rural) area for the local high school athletes. 9 x 12, full glossy color and free to the athletes and parents (it's ad-sponsored). While talking to the local rep about advertising, I mentioned that I am an amateur photographer and offered to help her out if she could use me.

So, I've shot a number of events for them and I'm struggling. The local rep (who also takes pictures for the magazine) is very happy with my work, but the main editor/publisher has been very critical - not so much of the "content" but of the quality of my images. He says they're too dark and too noisy for printing in the magazine. He's also commented that some of them aren't sharp enough.

Here are some images that I've taken and submitted to the magazine:


D700, 80-200, f/2.8, 1/800, ISO 3200, no post-processing

Click on image to view larger version




D700, 80-200, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO 5000, no post-processing
Click on image to view larger version




D700, 80-200, f/2.8, 1/640, ISO 3200, +5 EV, LR4 NR & AutoTone
Click on image to view larger version




D700, 70-200, f/2.8, 1/500, ISO 2500, LR4 NR & AutoTone
Click on image to view larger version




D700, 70-200, f/2.8, 1/500, ISO 2500, LR4 NR & AutoTone
Click on image to view larger version



My typical basketball settings are:

  • AF-C: Release
  • AF-S: Release
  • Focus Track: 4
  • ActiveD: Normal
  • HighISONR: High - I know it slows my burst but hasn't been a problem yet, and I'm paranoid about noise!
  • Metering: Spot
  • Focus Mode: Single Point / Continuous
  • ISO: fixed (adjusted for the gym that I'm shooting in)
  • WB: preset via gray card (with extra pic of gray card for LR adjustments later)
  • I shoot RAW (editor wants me to shoot jpeg but I can't bring myself to do it, so I export to jpeg via LR to send to him).


As you can see in my images above, I tend to stay around 2500-3200 ISO. I'd like to go higher so that I can bump up my shutter speed a bit, but the photos seem to become too noisy and dark when I try it (and I'm not able to salvage them in LR). The local rep shoots with a D7000 & 80-200 in jpeg mode. The editor set up her camera for her so all she has to do is use her WB dome, set her ISO (usually around 5000) and start shooting - and he's happy with the pics she sends him (she doesn't do any post-processing other than cropping the pics).

I have lurked in this forum for a while and I've read quite a few posts (and tried to apply what I learned). I feel like my D700 should be able to give me better images at a higher ISO, but it's not working for me, so I figured I'd see if anyone could help me out. Thanks in advance!!

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