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Indoor Action Photography...........HELP!!!!!
I have been here before with this question. I am in need of help with this situation. I want to be able to get stop action photography inside a gym at moderate distances. Maybe I am doing something wrong but I have an Oly E-510 with the dual lense kit and I cannot get any good results..

I have only been at it for 2 days now and have not read the manual over completely. I have 30 days to figure out whether this thing will work for what I want or return it. I like the handling and all the bells and whistles on it. It takes great family photos and has performed well in some outside action photos, but I have not figured out how to get it to cooperate inside or in low light situations..

Once I know that this camera will work, I will take more time to learn all of it's features, but I need to know soon if this is for my needs..

Perhaps I need some help with how to shoot in manual mode, because I have only had success with the sports mode (but not in a gym)..

Perhaps I have the wrong camera. I did try my friends XTi, but not indoors or in a gym, and I preferred the results of the e-510 for j-peg straight out of the camera. Maybe I should look towards a Nikon d80 but now things are getting large and more pricey..

Thanks Dan..

Comments (18)

Stopping action indoors in a gym takes serious gear, fast lenses which are pricey. From moderate distances you will definitely need a 70-200/2.8, maybe a 300/2.8. You will also need a fast shutter speed and thius a camera capable of high ISO to get decent photos. You are looking at around $1000 for the 70-200 and about $3k for a 300/2.8.........

You *may* be able to get by with a slower lens and a camera that can shoot at ISO3200, but to stop sports action usually takes about 1/500th of a second or so, depending on the sport.....and that takes a lot of light to get that speed or a fast lens and ISO..

JohnPentax *ist-D, K100D, Fuji F20/31fd, Oly Stylushttp://www.pbase.com/jglover..

Comment #1

Matcat5 wrote:.

I have been here before with this question. I am in need of helpwith this situation. I want to be able to get stop actionphotography inside a gym at moderate distances. Maybe I am doingsomething wrong but I have an Oly E-510 with the dual lense kit and Icannot get any good results..

The problem is the lens. The dual kit lenses (the 14-42 and 40-150) are f5.6 at the long end. That is way too slow for indoors. You will need f2 lenses to shoot sports indoors. This generally means a fast prime. I am not familiar with Oly, so I looked on B&H for lenses for the 4/3rds system.

I see only the Oly 50mm f2 ($425) or the Sigma 30 f1.4 ($430) that fit the criteria. The 30mm lens is probably too short. The 50mm lens on a 4/3rds (equivalent to 100mm FoV on 35mm film) may be long enough. I really don't know how good they are as far as image quality or AF speed..

As the others have said, you need at least 1/500 to stop motion for sports. Indoor HS gyms basically have light levels of about 7 EV (if you are lucky). In order to get 1/500 at these light levels, you need to shoot at f2 and ISO 1600..

[snip].

Perhaps I need some help with how to shoot in manual mode, because Ihave only had success with the sports mode (but not in a gym)..

I don't have the Oly, but indoors it is pretty common to shoot in M mode. If the lighting varies in different parts of the gym, then it may be a better idea to shoot in Aperture priority at f2 (wide open) and ISO 1600 (and hope to get a fast enough shutterspeed)..

Perhaps I have the wrong camera. I did try my friends XTi, but notindoors or in a gym, and I preferred the results of the e-510 forj-peg straight out of the camera. Maybe I should look towards aNikon d80 but now things are getting large and more pricey..

Before you switch to a different system, figure out if the lens selection on that system meets your needs. I am not familiar with Nikon lenses, since I shoot Canon (XT and 30D). I can only tell you about Canon system lenses..

For indoor sports, you will find that the Canon 85 f1.8 lens ($340) is very sharp and has very fast AF. Canon also has the 100 f2 ($380) and the 135 f2L ($900) that are good for indoor sports (from respected review sites). I've personally used the XT with the Canon 85 f1.8 lens to shoot indoor wrestling and was able to get photos printed at 12x18 that looked good. I had to shoot at ISO 1600 and f2, though. That is another consideration on camera systems. You need to see if ISO 1600 looks good enough to you for your print size - only you can determine this...

Comment #2

You should be able to get acceptable shots with your E-510. you will need to get your shutter speed faster than 1/125 (1/250 is better) to freeze the action. most experienced sports shooters will be using very high ISO's (1600 or 3200) and large aperture lenses (nothing smaller than f/2.8) - this is the same for ANY camera/system..

A monopod will help you keep steady (tripods are usually out for indoor games)..

Practice, practice!.

Cheers,S.**My XT IS Full Frame APS-C/FF of course!*****So is my 5D 35mm/FF**..

Comment #3

I would invest into Sony A700 that has very fast and accurate AF in combination with Minolta 200mm f/2.8 (G) lens at ISO 800-1600 will give you results you are looking for..

My daughter is in gymnastics too, though still very little. I'm slowly talking my wife into such important investment needed to document our daughter achievments. http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #4

Matcat5 wrote:.

More Opinions Please!!.

There's nothing more to ad. Fast lens, high ISO, monopod and keept he shutter spped as high as you can..

OK... one more thing. Practice. Even with good gear, you have to know how to use it..

If you're using the 14-42 and the 40-150 lenses, they're too slow for what you want to do...

Comment #5

Would the 50mm f/1.4d be suitable for indoor sports?.

JC...

Comment #6

The 50 is usually a little short for sports, but if you accept that, the quality will be good..

Cheers,S.**My XT IS Full Frame APS-C/FF of course!*****So is my 5D 35mm/FF**..

Comment #7

You can do what you want with Oly gear, maybe not the two kit lenses, but it can be done..

Most of what you are experiencing is the fact that you have no experience with this sort of photography. The camera isn't the problem, although the lenses are a contributing factor. Oly has fast glass, and just like everyone else, they charge a premium for it..

Unless you want to spend literally thousands of dollars, this will probably be the best single thing you can do, other than practice practice practice, to improve you shots..

This Oly lens will improve your shutter speeds by a couple of stops over the kit lens... and it isn't horribly expensive like some of the others..

Http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...lympus_261002_50_200mm_f_2_8_3_5_ED_Zuiko.html.

You could also look at some of the longer primes, Sigma does a 150mm f/2.8 Macro for the Oly platform....

Oh, did I mention practice? Practice? How about practice? OK, got that out of my system..

A monopod adds some stability to the camera, if used correctly. It is *not* a tripod, user intervention is required to make it work properly. Here comes that word again... practice! In general, you can get an extra stop or two out of a monopod, if used correctly and after a little *practice*. Two days does not practice make. It takes a little time and effort to be comfortable with any new endeavor, and all of this photography stuff is no different..

Crime Scene PhotographyA small gallery of personal work: http://picasaweb.google.com/PID885..

Comment #8

Sorry to say, though, that I disagree that f/2.8 is "fast" for sports. As zooms go, it's as fast as they usually get. But not fast enough for indoor sports (unless you're talking college level or pro)..

I'd opt for truly FAST primes if possible. 30/1.4 or 85/1.4 tuly are winners. I find the 50/1.4 to be a weird focal length (personally) for shooting sports- not wide enough from courtside for basketball... Not long enough from the stands. YMMV..

I've added much more info in two posts right in this thread:.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=24945621.

Further, most 70-200/2.8 zooms aren't $1000-ish. They are $1600-ish new. Shoting f/2.8 might offer 1/160 at ISO 1600, but far from an ideal- and not fast enough shutter speed. I try to keep over 1/320 sec at wide open (let's say f/2.8)... That makes ISO usually 2500 for night basketball. Daytime can be easier, but not much, outside lighting usually doesn't a large role in lighting in gyms IMHO..

Indoor sports is one of the toughest things to capture (like concert photography or theater performances)... You're usually talking about the most expensive lenses, the best bodies to perform at the highest ISO's... And techniques that need to be absolutely solid to nail exposures and reduce noise/artifacting..

I'm quite certain this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I'm simply relaying the truths as I've learned them from my own experiences. Best of luck, keep shooting! More questions? You can always e-mail me too..

Cheers.Davidmy flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prodesma/my website: http://kaptures.net/..

Comment #9

Johnc5 wrote:.

Would the 50mm f/1.4d be suitable for indoor sports?.

That is a Nikon lens. I don't think that it would work for the OP, who is using Olympus...

Comment #10

Prodesma wrote:.

I'd opt for truly FAST primes if possible. 30/1.4 or 85/1.4 tuly arewinners. I find the 50/1.4 to be a weird focal length (personally)for shooting sports- not wide enough from courtside for basketball...Not long enough from the stands. YMMV..

I don't see any of these primes for the 4/3rds system. In researching Oly lenses, I only see the following primes:* 8mm f3.5 ($670)* 35mm f3.5 ($200)* 50mm f2 ($425)* 150mm f2 ($2200).

Sigma was the only third party lens maker that supports 4/3rds. The only lenses that they had that were f2 or faster for 4/3rds were:* 24mm f1.8* 30mm f1.4.

Here is the lens chart from Olympus listing all their lenses:http://www.olympus-esystem.com/.../dea/products/lens/pdf/zuiko_lens_eng.pdf.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Further, most 70-200/2.8 zooms aren't $1000-ish. They are $1600-ishnew..

Again, there is no 70-200 f2.8 lens for the 4/3rds system. Even the Sigma 70-200 EX does not come in the 4/3rds mount..

Olympus does have an f2 zoom (35-100mm f2), but that lens costs $2200..

That is why my first post to the OP suggested either: a) trying the 50mm f2 or 30mm f1.4; or b) switching to a different system that had a better lens selection...

Comment #11

The 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 is the only realistic way to go..

This whole discussion shows why the common advice that you need to remember that you are buying a system not just a camera has real merit..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #12

I think the advice you've been given is a little misleading..

Certainly for good indoor sports photography a long zoom with a good wide aperture is needed, but for many ordinary users that's overkill..

Your kit lens is fine to start with. First get happy using this outdoors in reasonable light and then move indoors with it..

Learn to use the higher ISO settings - these are very important. Use 'S' mode to set the shutter speed yourself. The usual rule is shutter duration = 1 / focal lenght.

For example that at your full zoom length you are at 300mm ( which is the 35mm equivalent of your 150mm kit lens at max - their is a factor od 2x multiplier for your sensor size ). Here you would need something like a shutter speed of 1/250 to avoid camera shake affecting the shot too much. If you were at half-zoom that would srop to 1/150th and so on..

There is probably a sport mode which will do a lot of this for you, although you won't learn much doing this !.

A fast ( wide aperture ) long prime zoom ? Yes, we'd all like one. They are expensive and for a beginner rather a waste. Learn to use the basic tools and see what you can get from them..

I would suggest you get some noise reduction software. Higher ISO settings can be relatively noisy and a quick application of something like NeatImage can be a great help..

Please do not be discouraged - what you are trying is difficult..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #13

Sjgcit wrote:.

I think the advice you've been given is a little misleading..

Certainly for good indoor sports photography a long zoom with a goodwide aperture is needed, but for many ordinary users that's overkill..

Your kit lens is fine to start with. First get happy using thisoutdoors in reasonable light and then move indoors with it.....

Please do not be discouraged - what you are trying is difficult..

The OP does say that he wants to take sports shots in a gym and to do so now i.e. not something he might or might not do at some time in the distant future. Indeed the subject of his post clearly states that. He also has to decide very soon whether to keep this camera or return it and get a different one..

In a gym using ISO 1600 you will be lucky to get 1/150th at f/2.8 and will have to push the shot to get 1/320 or more and that is just to stop camera shake. Ideally you want 1/500th or more to stop the action..

IF such capabilities are important to the OP then he needs to know the cost of taking such photos i.e the cost of an f/2.8 zoom or f/2 prime. Maybe he will decide that the cost is too high and put aside his ambitions. Maybe he will look at Nikon/Canon or whatever and decide that he can do the task more easily at an affordable price with some other mfr..

I do not think that any of us are telling him what to do. Certainly I am not. I am informing him as to the likely cost of doing what he wants to do properly given his choice of camera..

Personally I think if he really wants to take indoor sports shots he would be much better off with a Canon or Nikon and a 85mm f/1.8 prime which is fairly affordable and not an exotic price (a longer prime would be better but more expensive) or maybe a Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 but the choice is for him..

P.S. I endorse your last comment..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #14

There are 2 things that can be moving when you take a picture, the camera and the subject. Especially for sports you want to stop (at least most of) the subject's movement relative to the camera, or they'll be blurred. That's why there's so much advice to get the shutter speed up, The faster it is, the higher your percentage of keepers will be..

The other movement is the movement of your camera. I you take a picture of a chair (the chair isn't moving), and the shutter speed is slow, say 1/30th of a second, it's likely (the odds are say 50%) that you'll move a little and the picture will be blurred..

However if the shutter speed is fast enough to stop a basketball player's action, say at least 1/320th, then it's pretty unlikely that your camera's movement will cause any noticable blur because the camera is pretty still. So for sports stopping the subject's motion usually suffices for stopping the camera's motion..

You have to push the ISO waaay up. As an earlier poster mentioned you'll have to decide if this gives acceptable pictures. You'll want the fastest lens you can get..

One other alternative, and for this your keeper rate will be very low, is to pan your subjects with a relatively slow shutter speed. At 1/15 of a second try to keep the subject centered in the lens and if you succeed they will be sharp and the background will be blurred..

-Bruce..

Comment #15

Dan, you got some good advice. Here is a strange possibility that you might consider....

There are adapters for Oly 4/3 cameras that allow non-Oly lenses to be attached. These adapters are cheap...approx. $20-$25. You could get an adapter for Nikkor lenses (just an example!) and find an old manual lens, say a 135mm f:2.8, for almost nothing (prolly less than $100). That would get you an equivalent FL of 270mm at a sorta fast speed..

Or, you could return the E-510, which is not an ideal choice for low-light action pix, since it has too small a sensor and too many megapixels..

Try for about 6MP and as big a piece of Silicon as you can afford. Then get NR software (NI, NW, NN, etc) and learn how to use it. Get a 200-300 (equ) FL lens with a BIG aperture. Get a monopod and shoulder brace. Takes some practice to learn how to use all this!.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #16

Dave_s93 wrote:.

Again, there is no 70-200 f2.8 lens for the 4/3rds system. Even theSigma 70-200 EX does not come in the 4/3rds mount..

Olympus does have an f2 zoom (35-100mm f2), but that lens costs $2200..

That is why my first post to the OP suggested either: a) trying the50mm f2 or 30mm f1.4; or b) switching to a different system that hada better lens selection..

On the 4/3rds system, you need to double the focal length, so the 35-100 is basically a 70-200 equivalent. A 70-200mm on the 4/3rds system would be a 35mm equivalent of a 140-400mm lens..

Edit - the Sigma 30mm f1.4 would be an equivalent to a 60mm, and if it will work with the ec-14 1/4 teleconverter (haven't checked, but don't see why not), will give an equivalent of a 84mm f2 for around $850 for both. Might not be as ideal as the 35-100mm F2, but for about 1/3rd the price it may be an option if the venues are poorly lit..

Leehttp://leem.smugmug.com..

Comment #17

We're all trying to help, and I appreciate your point..

Not to be argumentative, but we don't actually know the light levels in the gym - they could be lousy or not too bad or anywhere in between. Only the OP can say, all we can do is provide options..

I've taken indoor arena shots with reasonable success in not-so-great lighting with a non-DSLR, and part of that is what you regard as success. I think some of the answers assume a level of success that may greater than the OP regards as success. We all have different aims and standards. Some people aim for a reasonable 6x4, some want the best photo on the sports page. There is a limit to what can be achieved without learning and experience..

I am wary of solutions that involve buying expensive equipment when the individual may not have the understanding required to use this effectively..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #18

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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