Indoor Basketball & Frustrated

Discussion in 'Sports' started by tracy_mccann, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Hello,
    I've taken hundreds of indoor pictures of my child’s basketball games. After adjusting my ISO, shutter speed and white balance various times, images are still blurred and not crisp. My latest shots were taken with a Nikon 55-200 lense, 3200 ISO, 1/200. I also have a Nikon 18-55mm and a Tamron 70-300mm lense. Any advice as to which lense and settings to use that will improve the clarity of my photos would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
  2. What you're describing sounds like kit lenses, which generally are not that fast. Especially for sports. Are the lenses you're referring to 3.5-5.6 or higher? You probably want to get something at 2.8 or lower to really start capturing action without blur. You also don't say what camera you are using. You could push your shutter speed up some more too.
  3. Whoops, double post.
  4. Thanks for your reply Rich! I'm sorry I forgot to say that I'm using the Nikon d5000.
  5. Tracy -
    The 55-200 - is not a sharp lens by anyone's definition and you're trying to shoot indoors in bad light with it.... not a good equation.
    The 18-55 is a good kit lens - but it is probably a little too short for getting good shots from the stands. For the sidelines - it would be about the the right focal length. But again too slow (doesn't let enough light in).
    If you're on the sidelines - look at a Nikon 85 mm f1.8. Get the previous model (the non-g version) - about $250-300.00
    If you in the stands - look for a sigma 70-200 f2.8 (Non-OS) - about $500-$600 used.
    Either of those will get you better shutter speeds - which is probably why your photos are blurred. You need to be at 1/300 + for basketball.
  6. A couple of things. Your D5000 is pretty good at 3200 ISO but will be harsher than at lower settings. The 55-200 is a good lens but is keeping you at 1/200 sec. You may be thinking about the rule that says that you can hand-hold at the recriprocal of the focal length of the lens. This is somewhat true with standing still but not when shooting a moving subject.
    When I shoot basketball I shoot at 1/500 sec when I can't shoot faster. You could get there with an F/2.8 lens as Rich sid. They are not expensive. If you can't get one of those get the old "plastid fantastic" 50 mm F/1.8. You can get one for about a $100. This will give you about 75 mm on your D5000 and allow about 1/500 or better. You will want to get as close as possible but that lens is dead sharp.
    Also take a look at your autofocus. Consider dynamic tracking continuous autofocus as the setting you use. Then hold steady and squeeze.
  7. Sharp pictures of basketball at 1/200th will require good technique and timing to capture your subject at peak action, so the subject isn't moving much.
    This is an example at 1/320 at 24mm. (At longer focal lengths, you'll need even higher shutter speeds.) Notice how the hand and ball are moving too fast. If I had taken a shot of her jumping up or falling back down, more of her would be blurred, as well.
    This is 1/200 at 146mm. The ball is sharp because it's at the top of the dribble, and the girl has just started to move. You can see her left hand and right foot are just starting in motion, but the rest of her body hasn't caught up yet. Another step or two later, and she'd be all blurry at that shutter speed.
    Similar idea here. 1/250 at 28mm. The defensive player is at the top of her jump, so she's stationary. Her hair is starting to move, but isn't flying up yet. :)
    Does this help?
  8. Tracy normal to short tele f1.8 (IS if possible)
    Eric love the pink soxs.
  9. Lens sharpness is not the issue here, it is shutter speed. 1/200 sec. is too slow to freeze fast action. I like to shoot at 1/800 in well lit collegiate arenas, but will settle for 1/500 sec. in high school gyms. At f/4 or 5.6, not enough light can get to the sensor to allow for shutter speeds this high without cranking up the ISO beyond a usable setting. A faster lens will give you the most improvement. A 2.8 zoom lens is a great tool, but they typically cost quite a bit. For a more affordable way to get the shutter speed you're looking for a prime will be a better choice. The fast prime will allow for an even faster shutter speed than the f/2.8 zoom as most primes are f/1.4 or 1.8, however you will lose the versatility of a zoom lens and may have to crop more photos (this is the trade-off for affordable fast glass). I would rent or borrow a 50mm and an 85mm lens to see which focal length best fits your needs, then decide and buy one.
  10. double post
  11. A 50 mm f/1.8 lens is perfect for basketball if you can sit on the end line. I'm often shooting in a junior college gym with poor lighting. I usually shoot at 1/400 at ISO 1600.

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