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Basketball floor remote


Wethersfield, US
7735 posts

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004
Fri 08-Feb-13 02:49 PM

I decided to try a remotely triggered floor camera, as described in this video:


My efforts were partially successful, although I'll make some changes next time I try it, I think.

The basic idea is that I have one camera, a D3, with a 70-200 that I use for the isolation shots. That has a PocketWizard transmitter on it that fires my strobes in the corner of the gym. Now I'm adding a second camera, a D7000, triggered by yet another PocketWizard receiver. When I press the shutter on the D3, it sends out the signal to fire the strobes and trigger the second camera. Because of the delays in the process of triggering the second camera, it actually trips the shutter a split second after the strobes fire. Here's an example:

Isolation shot:

Click on image to view larger version

Floor shot:
Click on image to view larger version

The strobes aren't necessary to the remote camera, of course. If I was shooting available-light, I'd just leave the strobes at home and trigger the remote camera just as I did here. What would be nice would be to figure out a way to have both cameras fire at the exact same time, to light both shots with the strobes, but I don't see a practical way of doing that.

The reason I say this was partially successful is because the set-up was a little more difficult than I expected and the results aren't ideal. In the video, he suggests taping batteries to the bottom of the camera to angle it upward. I did that, but I found that an AA battery had to be placed just so, at the front edge of the MB-D11 grip. I need to find something easier to use for that purpose.

I used a 24mm f/2.8 prime lens. I thought I would need more DOF than I'd get wide open, so I set it to f/4. This was a mistake. There is plenty of DOF, as you can see in the photo. f/2.8 would have been fine, and then I could have lowered the ISO to 2500, making a much less noisy image. (I did heavy noise removal on the image above.) In fact, I feel the angle of view doesn't need to be as wide as it is, so I may try my 35 f/1.8, which I could open up even a bit further. I could probably even slow the shutter speed a little and get away with it if I really had to.

One refinement on the set-up shown in the video is that because in HS basketball I can move back and forth on the baseline, before the game I set up two shooting positions, one on each side of the baseline just inside the 3-point circle, marked with gaffer's tape. Then when I moved from one side to the other as the baseline ref switched sides, I could just pick up the floor camera and put it down at the marked position. The only problem with that is that I frequently nudged the control wheels of the camera in the process of picking it up and putting it down. I wish I had been using a camera than can lock the aperture and SS adjustments like my D3 can.

All in all, I'm pleased with the experiment. I just need to do the refinements I mentioned to get better results. I think I'll be able to get some dramatic shots.

Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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