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Low light and night sports with D300

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Jason, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Jason


    Aug 15, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    I am getting ready to start taking some shots at our local high school sporting events. At the moment I have a D300. I will be using a variety of lenses to get the job done, but one that I won't have is the 400 2.8:frown:

    Not in the budget. My biggest lens is going to be the 200-400VR, but I will also have the 70-200VR. The football field is pretty well illuminated but I can't honestly say how good as I have not taken any shots there yet at night.

    My questions is, will the D300 be able to produce quality shots at 1600-3200 ISO or am I wishing a little too hard on the upper end? My lens collection is primarily based on a DX platform, but in the back of my mind a little voice keeps whispering D3 with the thoughts of high ISO for night games. :wink:

    Wildlife is my priority and that is taken mostly in good light thus the choice of the D300 with the 200-400VR. Can someone shed some light on this that has went through this already?

    Thanks in advance...
  2. Will you be shooting for the sidelines or the stands? I shoot 3 football games a week and the D300 (which I do not shoot) should do you a good job. There is a lot of D300 sports shooters here and your D300 and 70-200 VR (which I shoot on my D3) will do the trick. Its going to be a hit and miss until you get your sweet spot on setting. I shoot for Humble High School here in humble TX check out our website (I am the teem photog) maybe you can get an idea or two. There are a lot of sport shoot here on the cafe and I sure you will good advice. Good luck and let us see some of your work.
  3. The D300 is excellent at ISO1600 and really darn good at ISO3200 if you get the exposure right in-cam. Trying to boost it in post will punish you just like any body. It's easily a stop better than previous Nikon bodies I shot with, including the D200 and D2H, for noise control, and more like 2 stops better for color saturation and detail. That's my assessment anyway. The D700 is about another stop better at ISO3200 than the D300, but you do lose effective reach and also have to deal with an even tighter DOF.

    ISO3200 hockey with D300 (EXIF should be intact):
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  4. DJ,
    Nice work!
  5. ibcj


    Dec 19, 2006
    New York
    Tonight I shot my first night football with the D300, or any camera for that matter. I was using my 200mm f/2 on a monopod without flash. To say that it was challenging is an understatement. I didn't go above ISO 1600 and the shutter speed suffered, even at f/2. It was a good learning experience, but certainly didn't come close to the images that I get in better lighting conditions. The good news is that I can clearly make out my son in the pictures. The flaws are more noticeable to me than anyone else that will see them. :biggrin:
  6. Why not? I am only using a D50 @ 1600 in these photos. 80-200 f2.8


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  7. TheCommons


    Jul 2, 2008
    LA, CA ;)
    Just out of curiousity, is there a significant difference in AF speed between the D700 and D300
  8. Jason


    Aug 15, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    D300 high ISO

    Thanks for the replies thus far. Soon as the school is done with my background check, I will get into the action. I hope more will reply with their thoughts on this. This is one fine place to learn...thanks again.
  9. Jason, come on over to the Sports forum as suggested, lots of night football shooters there.

    Frank (eng45ine) has a pretty effective flash setup that many have implemented, scroll down this page.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  10. Jason


    Aug 15, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    D300 High ISO

    I watch the Sports discussion daily thanks for the reminder though. The activities director would rather I not use the flash much, especially when I am up close. He has not ruled it out, but mentioned he thought it might cause a distraction. Once my background check is complete I will have a nice sit down meeting with him and get all the details ironed out on what I can and can't do.

    In the mean time, I will continually check the forum for more updates on such shooting. Thanks for all the help.

  11. Ummmmm... no. Would you expect there to be? I've heard a couple people claim that, but I actually use the two cameras back-to-back with the same lens kit, and there's no difference. In fact, because the D300 has a tighter crop on the subject (given the same lens), I'd argue it's easier for the camera to acquire focus on the effectively larger target. Honestly, I don't buy it when others claim the D700's better. I don't see it, and I've tried.

    I WILL say that I believe the larger battery (EN-EL4a's) in the grip DOES make some noticeable difference in acquisition over using the standard EN-EL3e's. I can't back this up with charts or sound clips or lab data, it's just my impression in using the camera. Yeah, seat of the pants only.
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