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Oh, for a few more fps......

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Harry Lavo, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. :Bohoo:Any other D50 users attempting to shoot sports certainly knows the frustration I feel sometimes. The following sequence is from last night''s New England College Baseball League game here in Holyoke. Smelling a possible shot at the plate from the runner on second base, I put myself in perfect position and sure enough, a line drive single to center field...got set to shoot and snapped off three continuous shots.

    The first shows the catcher setting up to catch the ball...no runner in sight.
    1/1000s f/4.0 at 70.0mm

    The second shows the catcher set up to block the slide and make the tag. Notice runners hand and foot just entering shot at left.
    1/1500s f/4.0 at 70.0mm

    The third shows the end of the slide. The runner was declared "safe" which certainly looks suspect from this shot, but we will never know BECAUSE the money shot never happened....would have been right in between #2 and #3.
    1/1000s f/4.0 at 70.0mm

    A D200 would have solved the problem...5fps vs 3fs. A D2Hs would have aced the sequence...11 frames in the same time period. What's a frustrated D50 user to do?

    The answer potentially is simple: either raise the money to get the D200 or D2Hs, or get out of serious sports photography. Sports photography, I am learning, is one place where money, while not buying everything, comes pretty damn close!:biggrin:
  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Thats why I always say a D200:>))))
    Someday someone will listen when asking to buy D50..40 80 or whatever.....

    Good shots though:>)))
  3. Well you are hereby licensed to use these as "proof* that you are correct...:biggrin:

    Glad you liked 'em.
  4. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    My D100 was too slow.
    When i got the D200, I said if this doesn't drive the 80-400 VR I am through.

    Well she does so I am still shootin::) ))
  5. gvk


    Jun 17, 2005
    Mystic, CT
    When shooting sports, anticipation and timing are much more important than fps. Understanding of the sport and anticipating where and when the key play will develop are essential skills of the sports shooter. No one gets it right all, or even most of the time! A dictum of sports photography is that "if you saw the play, you missed the shot."

    A "frustrated" user of any camera must learn when to push the shutter release. The machine gun approach can sometimes succeed only by blind luck. However, when you get 5 fps you will then wish for 8 or 10. If you really want instant replay you should be shooting video. Even 10 fps will not be enough! Sequences taken at high fps can be interesting and illustrative, but in my experience will rarely capture the peak of the action.
  6. No disrespect meant Harry, but there's always the ol' pull the trigger at the right time trick. It's been done sucessfully for many years.

    Lotsa great, on the money, sport shots made with Speed Graphics, and Rolleiflex TLRs.
  7. Thanks, Gerry. I agree with you completely...and it is one of the reasons I like shooting baseball, since there is so much stratagy involved that it is often possible to "position" shots in advance. As I did in this case. I also agree that a wider perspective and sense of "timing" is important. And I don't think I do too bad in that department...otherwise I wouldn't have a good beginning and end to many sequences like this one. But cameras do play a role viz the 6.0mp D50...in this regard as well as speed. For example, the higher pixel count of the D200 allows greater cropping before image destruction...thus allowing a somewhat wider field of view in the viewfinder. And the D2X with its cropped center but visible boundry allows for seeing what is happing outside the picture zone.

    I just find in many cases I've got the timing pretty much right, but just can't get enough frames in the sequence.
  8. SoCalBob


    Feb 9, 2006
    Riverside, CA
    Harry, I'm afraid I have to agree with Gerry and Stephen. For me, the machine gun approach with my 3 fps D80 usually yields more misses than hits and I doubt if I'd do much better with a 5 fps D200. I have better luck trying to time a single shot.

    Not sports, but here's one I nailed last night when there were a lot of swallows flying around at sunset. I just waited for a bird to fly into the frame, and out of three single shots this was the best. I would have liked a faster shutter speed, but the light was waning quickly.

    D80, 70-300VR @ 140mm, 1/250 @ f/8, EV -0.3, ISO 200
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  9. No question about it Stephen. And I don't even use continuous unless the situation is likely to demand it. And have a fair number of good shots for it...including a ball-on-bat shot up on the sports forum today.

    But sometimes I do want to use continuous and catch an entire sequence. This isn't the first sequence where I've had the beginning and end nailed but just not enough frames in-between to capture the money shot. I wanted to catch the sequence, not just the tag, since I had such a great vantage point. As you doubtless know, when you start a sequence you are farther from the locus of action, and so precise timing is more difficult than it is in squeezing off a single shot.

    With more fps I would have been able much more likely to catch both the sequence *and* catch the tag...the laws of probability would see to that. That was my point.
  10. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Talk about timing :>)))))) (and a few fps)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  11. Try shooting swimming with all those heads bobbing and turning all the time. the one saving grace is you can get a rhythm that you probably don't get with baseball. While I would certainly like 5 or 8 fps, I have found that my 3 fps D70 does just fine at the pool. I only get into trouble when I "spray and pray" as it were.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2007
  12. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Super shot Ron
    Love the hands in the image.
  13. I agree completely when looking for the single shot...which I often do and have had success at. But in sports one of the exciting things to do is catch a complete sequence...which sometimes can convey much more of the excitement of the sport than a single static shot. And a slide is one of those events that can be beautiful when caught just so...the beginning, the airborne portion, the tag, the aftermath. And as your own experience with the D80 suggests....3 fps is simply not enough to catch most fast-paced sequences.
  14. Quite true Harry. You might want to look into a used D2h. I know I have. They sell for about $1,000. Plus, if Nikon announces the next big thing soon, I would expect to see a number of D2hs' and D2x's on the market at very reasonable prices.
  15. Right on! I'm anxiously awaiting, Ron. Now that Nikon has shown they can really master noise (a la the D40x) there has got to be an update in the works for their "2" series...and a bunch of older "2's" on the market. I've been tempted with a D2Hs, but could really use the better resolution and faster speed of a cropped D2Xs, I think. Do you have any first hand experience with the D2H machines?
  16. Just to show you that I am not proposing to substitue continuous shooting for a well-timed single shot, I caught this last night at a Holyoke Giants game. My experience has been that it is a harder shot to capture than even a ball-on-bat.

    Please excuse the poor quality...it was an overcast night threatening to rain, and my main Nikon 2.8 lens was still at the Nikon repair depot..so I was using a Sigma 70-200 4.0-5.6 and had to throttle it back to 220mm just to get 1/250 for infield shots at iso800. As it turned out, shooting from beside home plate into the outfield, the light only allowed 1/180 so considering, I think the shot came out well. It is, of course, a small blown up detail (about 1/10th, I would guess) of a 3000x2000 jpeg. The noise-reduction makes it "smeary" where out of focus, but the raw jpeg noise is worse. After this shot I did switch to iso1600 to get more speed.

    Centerfielder Justin Little on a dead run, robbing Vermont of at least a double in deep left-center (400ft).
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/180s f/5.3 at 220.0mm iso800
  17. Here's another money shot, just to show you that I *can* time, this one within range of my better lens, and with good light.:smile::

    1/3200s f/2.8 at 200.0mm
  18. Moderator, please remove duplicate. Sorry.

    Moderator ... please remove this duplicate post...a mistake on my part.
  19. No. I have purposefully avoided touching one over the fear of not being able to let it go :eek: 
  20. You'll not get my D2Hs - it is a true keeper. The images it produces are simply stunning and the metering is out of this world.

    I made the mistake of touching a D2Hs while shopping for a D200, then I bought it within 5 days... They made an offer I couldn't refuse ($1000 off on a new floor model, about 200 shutter release)

    Glad I bought it. The image quality is superior to a 6 megapixel camera when making either 11"x14" or 12"x16" prints, that's what really surprised me. Those 4.2 megapixels go a long way and made me better at composing my images knowing I don't have much to crop if I still want a large print. This said when I crop an image I am still surprised at the size I can print the pictures.
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