Basketball questions

Joined
Feb 20, 2011
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A mate would like me to get some shots of his son playing basketball for his school. I believe he's about 15. I've never tried basketball.

I realise fast glass is needed due to generally poor lighting, but I can go when he plays at the best lit venue, which is fairly new so hopefully a bit better than the usual school gyms.

I have a D300s, 70-200 f2.8, but lack short fast zoom, the 16-85 f3.5-5.6 is it. I do also have the AF-S 50 f1.4 and AF-S 35 f1.8.

Do you think I could do much? What's the slowest shutter you'd use? I can get away with 1/500 for rugby, is it too slow for basketball, given I'm much closer to them. (I'm presuming I can get courtside-ish for this).

Also, if I was to get a short fast zoom, what would you recommend? It would seem to come down to N 17-55/2.8, Sigma 17-50/2.8 or Tamron 17-50/2.8.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
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I love the 70-200 for basketball, but I shoot FX. But if you don't get a shorter zoom, just don't sit directly under the basket, even if your credential allows it. Sit on the corner of the baseline, and you'll be okay. I only take two lenses with me for basketball....the 70-200 2.8 and the 24-70, but I prefer the 70-200 on FX.

I think 1/500 works for BB, especially since you'll need to give up ss for iso. But anything less will create problems. Start with the MAX ISO you're comfortable using with your D300s, and start tinkering from there with SS and ISO combinations until you land one you like.

Get there early and shoot the warmups, so you can get dialed in early.

Good luck!:smile:
 
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Thanks Keith. I thought the 70-200 would be a bit long, but like you say, sit back a bit! Worth trying the 50 or 35 do you think?
 
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I've never tried a 35, but when I had the 50 1.4 G, I wasn't tickled with the AF speed. And the IQ didn't compare with either the 24-70 or 70-200.

After using the 70-200, anything else is just a compromise. imho. Shooting the 50 on DX should be a very effective focal length.

BUT....and it's a BIG BUT....if you've got great light as you're anticipating, shooting the 70-200 answers a lot more questions than it asks. Most 50's are going to need to be stopped down to get the best IQ, right? I'd put both of the fixed lenses on the D300s and give them a go, but I'm betting you'll wind up with the 70-200.

Unless your player is on the court ALL the time, you'll need to be locked and loaded with your best stuff when he's on the floor. Even then, getting a great shot of him under the basket may be difficult with all of the arms and elbows flying around. So be sure and get shots of him EVERY time he touches the ball.....sort 'em out when you get home.

Now.....if the arena will be full, the 35 may make a good half-time shot from up in the rafters.
 
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Cheers, appreciate it. I'd heard about the 50's AF speed, but haven't used it much yet. I'm not sure about "great" light, but just maybe better than a school gym.

Arena full - unlikely. Basketball is actually a rather minor sport here.

Thanks again.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
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West of Boston
The 50f1.4G does acquire a little slower than the 1.4D...but if you acquire your target early, say as they start to drive the lane, it actually maintains focus very well.

When I shot w/ my D300, I would be where the 3pt line intersects the baseline. I never took out my f2.8 lenses, despite having pretty decent light.

You'll also want to take a custom WB, I do it at 1/60 to try and match the light cycling...shoot Manual, some will shoot 1/500 but I like to go higher.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
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On my D2X I preferred my 85 1.4 mainly because of the dungeons I had to tolerate.
If you have the 70-200 2.8 with sufficient lighting so your ISO does not suffer, you will be quite pleased with the results.
Best advice I can give is to shoot raw as well as jpeg as the cycling lights will wreak havoc with your white balance.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
3,862
Location
New Zealand
The 50f1.4G does acquire a little slower than the 1.4D...but if you acquire your target early, say as they start to drive the lane, it actually maintains focus very well.

When I shot w/ my D300, I would be where the 3pt line intersects the baseline. I never took out my f2.8 lenses, despite having pretty decent light.

You'll also want to take a custom WB, I do it at 1/60 to try and match the light cycling...shoot Manual, some will shoot 1/500 but I like to go higher.
Cheers. So you shot at with the 50 at f1.4?

meh, I think Id rather the 70-200 at f/2.8 at iso 6400 than a 50 1.4 at iso2000
D300s remember, not FX. But I've used 3200 at the rugby under lights and been happy enough with it, not sure about higher though.

On my D2X I preferred my 85 1.4 mainly because of the dungeons I had to tolerate.
If you have the 70-200 2.8 with sufficient lighting so your ISO does not suffer, you will be quite pleased with the results.
Best advice I can give is to shoot raw as well as jpeg as the cycling lights will wreak havoc with your white balance.
Yeah I always go raw! Don't bother with jpegs as I find ACR does most of what I need.

Thanks all.
 

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