Sports Shots under stadium lights...

Discussion in 'Sports' started by wes_odle, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. What are the best settings to get clear action shots at night under
    stadium lighting. I prefer not to use a flash if possible so that
    it does not affect play.
  2. You need a lens that will be sharp at f4 or f5.6, lots of luck, and maybe ISO 1600 film. Football players generally do fine with a flash on a camera....which lets you use a 135mm f2 or 300mm f2.8 lens, ISO 800 film, and a much improved chance to get good action images.

    The shutter speed you end up with will determine how 'sharp' your images are. The fastest shutter speed you can use depends on how 'fast' your lens is......
  3. It depends on what stadium you're at, too. Pro stadiums will be a lot brighter than a high school field. If you're back in the bleachers, your flash won't do any good anyway (and won't disturb anyone either).

    At the local high school field, something like 6400 at f/8, 1/125 is required. It's just not very bright.
  4. It's my understanding that unless the photographer is a pro covering the game he/she probably can't smuggle an SLR into a professional sports game. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'd like to see some high school stadium light shots and, if available, the ISO, shutter speed and aperture specs.
  5. Here one shot: Nikon F5; AF 300mm f2.8 Nikkor lens on a monopod; Fuji Superia 400 film; and a SB-28 speedlight -- from a local high school football game.
  6. I think the answer is that you want the fastest shutter speed you can get with the lenses you have. There are a number of considerations. Are you shooting film or digital? Do you has a media pass to get you close to the action? Assuming you have all the equipment you could want at your disposal you might try a 300 or 400mm f2.8, and shoot wide open. If that's not the case you can probably get your hands on an 80-200mm f2.8. I don't use flash because I don't like to results. I doubt if the players really see the flash. They are just as likely to look into the stadium lights momentarily during a play. I have more trouble with the color of the lights than I do the exposure. Stadium lights pulsate like flourescent. I'll post two examples the first one is Friday night HS football. Shot with a D1h with an 80-200mm, 1600 spd, 1/400th at f2.8. The second is last night at the Little League World Series shot with the D1h same lens, 1600 spd, 1/800 at f2.8. I start to see motion blur below 1/400th. Old timers used to click one frame at the peak of the action and freeze it at 1/60th. I never mastered that. My reflexes are too slow and my eyes aren't good enough to manually focus. Another consideration is that if you are shooting with a slow lens (f4 -f5.6) there may not be enough light for you auto focus to work fast enough.
  7. Tag between 1st & 2nd.
  8. Nice shots of our future Hall of Famers, Ralph.

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