Action shots in artificial/low light

Discussion in 'Sports' started by kristin_rogers, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. I have the Nikon D5100. My daughter cheers for her highschool. I would like to know what the best lens option would be to take action photos in the artificial/low light of the football stadiums.
  2. you need minimal 70-200/2.8 lens. best are 300 or 400/2.8
  3. On a budged I'd try to buy a 180mm f2.8 AF lens instead of the 70-200 f2.8 VR zoom and add a monopod. (assuming you'll get the inexpensive 50mm or maybe something in the 85/100mm range anyhow. Yes, you'll be slower than using a zoom, but if you drive your daughter to a lot of events you can stack the keepers over time.
    A monopod is a good starting point for low light sports photography even with consumer zooms and ISO cranked up insanely. - Make sure it is tall enough so even the tallest family member can shoot it standing entirely upright. - Mine is too short, some 2" missing - annoying at concerts, when I am trying to shoot over the audience's heads.
  4. A used 180/2.8 AF recommended Jochen is a great budget recommendation, but the 180 won't autofocus on a D5100. I think that my 180 outperforms the 70-200 VR1 I had.
    If the OP can get up close for some shots, a 35/1.8 or better a 50 or 85 1.8G lens will produce the best possible results in low light.
  5. I've shot in these situations many times and it takes at least a 2.8 lens and you need ISO on at least 1600. What focal length you need depends on where the cheerleaders perform and how close you can get to them. Shooting from the stands is generally a waste of time -- long lenses mean more camera shake, which requires a higher shutter speed to overcome, less depth of field, and you have people both in the way and bouncing everything around.

    I would not get a 180. It is the perfect focal length, but only at one specific distance. A zoom gives you much more flexibility. A 70-200 2.8 is expensive if you buy Nikon, but Tamron and Sigma have lower cost options.
  6. Rent a good 70-200 f2.8 VR lens and see if it does the job.
  7. My best advice is to spend time getting to know those in charge instead of spending money on gear. Getting close is more valuable than a new lens. Shooting on level will beat shooting from above nine out of ten times.
  8. i'd say if you have a D5100 your iso will be a sticky point - I have had a D70, then D90, then D7000 and now have two camera's - a D600 and a D3s - all are different in terms of iso - I have a 85mm f1.8, its around $400 or so and a 50mm f1.8 - if you can get close those two lenses will be great lower cost options IMHO And I agree with what Gaute said - get close, down on the field level -
  9. It depends where you can shoot from - it it's the stands you won't get much but I'd suggest a Nikon 300 f4 -- if you can get on the track around the field I'd suggest getting as fast a 85mm as you can afford.
    You should also be aware that your local high school lights are usually not photography friendly as they actually flicker faster than your eye notices but the varaitions in the aount of light and the color temperature of the light can give you a widely diffeent look for each picture.

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