Need tips on basketball shooting

Joined
Jul 28, 2008
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167
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Southern California
I used my D300 this weekend to shoot a basketball game. This is the first time I've done action shooting. I had mostly throw aways due to subject blur.

I used a 85 1.8 and 50 1.8 and the gym was well lit. Speed wasn't a problem. However, I set focus to continuous but did not get many subjects in focus. I think the big problem is I tend to "track" the player with the ball. I tried to manually set the camera to 1/500 and 2.8 but I got dark exposures.

Any tips?

Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
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Chicago, IL
Try aperture priority and set your aperture to about f/2 for a little better depth of field if you have decent light. You should be good at around iso 1600 for a good stop action shutter speed to avoid motion blur. Both those lenses you mentioned should be just fine on the D300 for basketball.

Here is a shot on a D300 iso 1250 1/640s f/1.8 50mm f/1.8

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Better light college gyn D300 iso 1600 1/800s f/1.8 85mm f/1.4

View attachment 241403
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
832
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Sandy, UT
you could if you wanted to invest in some alien bee's and shoot with strobes.

I did that this past year and It will be very hard to go back if I ever do have to shoot with available light.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
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Lansdowne, PA
Posting photos with the attached EXIF would help us help you,

Gary

I used my D300 this weekend to shoot a basketball game. This is the first time I've done action shooting. I had mostly throw aways due to subject blur.

I used a 85 1.8 and 50 1.8 and the gym was well lit. Speed wasn't a problem. However, I set focus to continuous but did not get many subjects in focus. I think the big problem is I tend to "track" the player with the ball. I tried to manually set the camera to 1/500 and 2.8 but I got dark exposures.

Any tips?

Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
16,847
Location
West of Boston
My daughter plays in a well-lit gym, I was able to shoot ISO 1250 and varying shutter speeds, mostly @ f2....I shot Manual.

W/ those lens, being screw driven, you've definitely got to be in AF-C and pre-focus, and track your subject. Having said that, I gravitated to my Sigma 30f1.4 because of its "AFS" (despite its shallow DOF), and I'm eagerly awaiting the 'rumored' Nikon 50f1.4AFS for this season (or may get the Sigma 50f1.4 AFS). I'll use my 85 for more 'static' shots like tip-off or from the corner, of say the foul shooter.

85@f2...I had pre-focused on the girl in white's face...and the movement was mostly vertical in the focal plane so it was 'easy' for the 85 to maintain...
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Look for some of my threads from this past winter as I got my D300 dialed in....here are a couple

One
Two
 
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Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
167
Location
Southern California
Thanks for all the tips! I'll try them out at practice to see my best options.

I thought that by manually setting the aperture and shutter speed the ISO would automatically adjust for the correct exposure?
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
167
Location
Southern California
Only if you turn the "auto ISO" feature on.

I'm such an idiot! Thanks I'll check what the setting was. I remember reading it on some other sports website saying it works great due to the great ISO that the D300 produces. Didn't check on the auto setting though...
 
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
399
Location
So. Cal
Consult Strobist

David hobby had this on his blog a couple years ago. It still applies today.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04/on-assignment-prep-basketball.html
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04/on-assignment-big-gym-little-lights.html

Just from reading and seeing examples of what people have posted on the Strobist Flickr forums, the key is getting lights in the right place and hope they don't 'grow legs' and disappear before the event is over.

Of course having more than one body is nice so you can cover both ends of the court but most of us aren't living that large.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
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Sandy, UT
I shot high school basketball with strobes (alienbees B800's) all season long and it is so worth it! In most places I was at 3200 F2, with strobes I was down to ISO 400-640 and F2.8 to F4 at times.

Needless to say images were a ton better! If you have the money to spare there is no comparison image quality wise.

Here are two examples:

Non-strobed (F2.0 1/320th ISO 1600)
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Strobed (F2.8 1/250th ISO 800)
View attachment 241406
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
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Location
Pennsylvania
Can I ask where do you put the strobes? Could you use speedlights instead?
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
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Location
Sandy, UT
Yeah if you use speedlights they would be setup behind the basket at the edges of the court using direct flash.

My strobes were setup in the same area but I bounce them so the light is more natural.

Also the nice thing is you can shoot in all jpg so your processing time is cut down.

In some gym's I had to leak my light more then others because the ceiling was to high, or it was a dark color. I would simply not bounce as much.

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Joined
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Nice shots! In the past I have always just used my SB800 on my camera and then it get those horrible shadows. How many speedlights would I use or would I just stay put on one side of the court and not move?
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
832
Location
Sandy, UT
You would put at least two on the end your shooting. It would be direct flash so you would want to get them as high as possible to help get rid of shadows.

Some people like the harsh light of direct flash, some hate it.

To me I like low ISO lol
 

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