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So frustrated...is there a solution?? (1 image)
I have a Nikon D80, 18-200vr, 50mm f1.8, and a SB600.I've been taking photos of my nephews baseball games and everything was ok..

He had his firt night game fri. night. I could not get one decent picture! Was using a tripod and 18-200 lens. I came home read the forum again, most said the 18-200 was too slow. I cannot use flash but the field was pretty lit up. Last night I brought 50mm, no setting would give me a good picture.



The lady sitting next to me had a point and shoot I think Sigma and was getting beautiful pictures!!.

Will I have to take out my Nikon N80 to get any decent photos at night?? With the amount of money I have spent on the D80 and accessories you would think I could possibly get something good..

Take it I'm still learning, been shooting with D80 since december, but I feel very frustrated.Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!.

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Melissa..

Comments (18)

I belive it would be a good idea to actually show us the "bad" pictures you are talking about...

Comment #1

What ISO were you using. 100 is too slow. A night game you would be best off with 800 or so..

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Comment #2

1. Crank up the ISO as high as you need. Start with 1600..

2. The 18-200 is too slow. The 50 has the aperture you need, but is too short (but still your best option with what you have)..

3. The 80-200/2.8 or (better yet though expensive) 70-200/2.8 VR are the lenses of choice. Maybe you can rent them?4. The 85/1.8 might be an option..

5. Is that sodium-vapor light? You'll never get an acceptable color photo with it...

Comment #3

Use ISO 800 as a minumum, probably ISO 1600.VR is great but it cant stop motion.

You say someone compact pics looked great, is that on the camera display screen or a pc screen?.

Give your AF a chance. In ilow contrast light just have the central focus sensor activated..

Dont quit, it takes time sometimes. The D80 is a good cam but you need time with it.Shay son of Che..

Comment #4

Lissard wrote:.

I have a Nikon D80, 18-200vr, 50mm f1.8, and a SB600.I've been taking photos of my nephews baseball games and everythingwas ok...The only decent photo was ofmy nephew in the dugout with the sb600 on!.

You see why sport photographers usually have the high dollar equipment and are very close to the field with professional lighting not little league lighting. You need very fast glass and bodies to regularly capture the action..

The lady sitting next to me had a point and shoot I think Sigma andwas getting beautiful pictures!!.

That is the beauty of P&S cameras. The camera makes the decisions, higher iso, slower shutter, etc. plus there is in camera image processing. Ever since the brownie there has been the joke of the auto camera getting the shot while the manual camera owner was still setting up..

If you're only chimping on your neighbor's camera it is next to impossible to tell if the image is acceptable. Most images look good at 2"X2"..

Will I have to take out my Nikon N80 to get any decent photos atnight?? With the amount of money I have spent on the D80 andaccessories you would think I could possibly get something good.Take it I'm still learning, been shooting with D80 since december,but I feel very frustrated.Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!.

Melissa.

You've received some good advice from other posters, the one extra piece I would give is to learn the game and set up the shot in advance. For example, you know the kid batting is a good hitter, you "pre-focus" on second base (before he swings) to catch him rounding the bag or if the kid batting is terrible "pre-focus" where he will turn to the dugout after striking out again. Watch the pitcher to catch the moment when he is "still" in his throwing motion..

There is a lot of stillness in baseball. Learn to capture it. If you can get inside the fence great if not keep your lens close to the fence to minimize it's effect on the image. Have your nephew stand at various positions while you try different settings. You will be amazed at how sharp a person can be at slow shutter speeds if they are relatively still. If your nephew is too busy/embarrassed, borrow a team shirt and you stand around the field at the varioius positions.



Without pro equipment you need to plan, plan, plan and ruthlessly follow your plan..

Then you have a chance to capture the great sports image otherwise you will be stuck in the stands wishing you had your money back..

REd..

Comment #5

Lissard wrote:.

The lady sitting next to me had a point and shoot I think Sigma andwas getting beautiful pictures!!.

Pics always look great on the back of the camera - I can almost guarantee she got a bunch of noisy garbage when viewed on a computer..

And yes, please show us some of the bad ones, with exif info...

Comment #6

Brute force method:.

- use the fastest glass you have- auto iso- Shutter priority - 1/60 speed or faster- sharpening +2.

- for an 'easier on the eyes' , manually set the white balance, or adjust in post.

Any flash experts have any reccomendations? slow sync perhaps?..

Comment #7

I've been taking pictures of my son's swim meets and have got a few pictures at evening meets that were OK with my D70. I use aperture priority mode and set the auto-ISO feature to go to 1/30 second. I set the aperture wide open and let the camera pick the ISO. Also I use neat Image to take out the noise..

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50mm, f/1.8, 1/125.

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18mm, f/3.5, 1/30.

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125mm, f/4.5, 1/30.

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22mm, f/4, 1/250Much better with flash!.

David Smithhttp://delawarewildflowers.org/..

Comment #8

Lissard wrote:.

I could not get one decentpicture!.

What does this mean? Post a few photos with the exif data. No one can help if they don't know what is wrong with the photos..

In any case, it's all fairly simple. Use shutter priority and a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action. In low light the camera will open the aperture wide. Then you adjust ISO upwards to get the proper exposure. If the photos are noiser than you like, then you will need a faster lens for light this low..

Someone mentioned the pro missing shots while setting up while the point and shooter got all the good photos. It doesn't have to be like that. You can get the camera set up in a few seconds, set the shutter speed and ISO, and then get all your shots in that place by pointing and clicking. Post some photos with exif data so people can help you get the camera set up right for that type of photo...

Comment #9

Getting low-light action shots is not rocket-science....

-If you have a good lens (i.e. fast), Auto ISO, VR off, AF-C, shutter speed 1/320 or even 1/500, and that's it. Try to pre-focus where you anticipate the action to be, so that you won't waste time with the lens hunting focus..

-If you don't have a good lens, well...exactly the same as above. You might have to push 1-2 stops in photoshop then use noise removal, but so what? Everyone's so focused on noise that they prefer blurry pics over it. Big mistake..

Guess what's an even bigger mistake..To think that ALL the actions photos must be 1/500 and freezing action. You're not a pro (even they don't do that all the time); you're taking photos of your kids. So what if there's some motion?.

What's wrong with this pic??? I think motion suits it.

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Heck, I've even taken action shots without AF or metering. Here's a fully manual with a 50mm f2 prime from the early 70s:.

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And it's not like I'm playing it smart or something. These photos were from my very first time at a volley ball game. It's all about being prepared. Think before you go (read, if you're not sure) what kind of settings you need, and how you should follow the action.

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Http://www.flickr.com/photos/96953368@N00/..

Comment #10

Baseball is a sport with rather many possible subjects and a decently large field of which parts of it are usually not going to be well lit..

If you're solely interested in taking pictures of your nephew and not any of the other players, this will simplify the problem significantly because you'll be able to lock AF on him rather than having to switch targets while the ball is in motion. Use continuous autofocus and shoot when appropriate. Use a short burst if you like; the marginal cost is much lower than shooting more film..

If he's playing anywhere other than 1st, 3rd or home base, I would expect him to be in a fairly dark area even on a well-lit field. In addition, if he's not one of those and not the pitcher, he's likely to be running around a fair bit, taxing AF and requiring more shutter speed to freeze him..

Broad recommendations for action shots.

Fast lens; f/3.5 may be barely acceptable, but you'll likely need to choose between extremely high ISO (2500, 3200+ not unlikely away from lights) and motion blur (even 1/400s is likely to give some blur in players, and -will- blur the ball). From the F-mount lineup, the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR would be a decent pick fair range (fairly short for the outfield, but *shrug*), f/2.8 ain't bad, quite fast autofocus..

Shoot wide-open. You'll have minimal DOF and focusing will need to be spot-on, but *you're in the dark* shooting motion and will need every scrap of light you can get. A long shutter speed isn't going to give you much other than motion blur, if the players are moving. You can get away with a slightly longer shutter speed if you're photographing batting a mostly stationary player with moving arms / bat / ball may well be what you want..

Consider using shutter-priority or manual. What you don't want to do is choose aperture priority, only to find that your camera is using 1/200s instead of 1/500s because of how dark it is... so if you DO use aperture priority, keep an eye on the shutter speed and adjust ISO and EC to taste. Noise is easier to reduce in post processing than motion blur, especially when we're talking about non-rigid moving subjects..

Exposure example (softball, not baseball, but *shrug*):.

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(obFlickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62617544@N00/913710036/ ).

Was shot at ISO 3200, 1/400s, f/2.9 w/ EC -0.3. I was using an E-1 + 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 at the time (hence the heavy-handed noise removal), and would not go over ISO 800 unless it was essentially obligatory... but that's how bad the light can be if it's 8:36pm on a municipal field and the subjects are near second base. Using an f/3.5-6.3 lens would have made things even more difficult. f/6.3 is a bit more than 2 stops darker than f/2.9, so ISO 12800 would have been called for (or at least ISO 6400 + 1/200s, which probably would have been pushing things badly given non-stationary subject)...

Comment #11

I had my iso at 400, I guess I should have gone higher. Will try that friday night.spot metering, shutter priority, f3.5, 1/25, 50 mm.

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F5, 1/13, 50mm.

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Thanks for all your advise.Melissa..

Comment #12

Yup, that was one of my first DSLR lessons. Don't be afraid to go above 400 ISO. Try going as high as the camera will go and see what's acceptable for you. Remember the rule about handholding shots also, try to keep the shutter at least 1/ focal length. This will help reduce motion blur caused by camera movement. (>1/50 sec at 50mm, etc.) Some people factor in the camera's crop factor, but this is still a good starting point.JonGive me something to shoot..

Comment #13

Lissard wrote:.

I had my iso at 400, I guess I should have gone higher..

Yup. I also noticed you're using shutter priority? You can try aperture priority and just leave the aperture as wide as possible. The camera will then select the fastest shutter speed possible..

Also check your white balance setting..

Good luck!..

Comment #14

I also think that spot metering isn't the best choice for these types of shots. The actual area being metered with spot metering is pretty tiny, and can throw off the exposure if it falls on the wrong spot when the actual shot is taken. I'd probably opt for centre weighted metering for these, because matrix (or whatever it's called with your brand) can also be fooled with bright highlights like outdoor lights..

Marion..

Comment #15

Lissard wrote:.

I had my iso at 400, I guess I should have gone higher. Will trythat friday night.spot metering, shutter priority, f3.5, 1/25, 50 mm.

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F5, 1/13, 50mm.

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Thanks for all your advise.Melissa.

Considering the relatively wide aperture and the very slow shutter speed, you've done pretty well IMO..

Slow shutter speed=camera shake=blur; wide aperture=shallow depth of focus=lots of out of focus items in the frame. Combine the two, and you have done quite well under the circumstances...

Comment #16

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Hmmm....... does anyone agree that the sponsorship/advertising all over the shot above screws up the composition pretty much, turning the image into something of a tangle, especially around the players shirts?.

What a shame... !! .

I do appreciate that this in NO fault of the photographer, BTW.Regards,Baz..

Comment #17

Melissa,.

You sound determined to figure all this out! I don't know what your photography/camera experience is, but I would like to suggest that a good basic book or local course would be worth far more than a new piece of glass..

Once you fully understand the relation between shutter speed, aperature and ISO, things begin to fall into place. Hang in there! While you will encounter much attitude in internet forums, you will also find a tremendous amount of good information/advise. Try to ignore all the noise and get what you need from the forums..

Also, just keep experimenting and shooting like crazy. That, of course, is the beauty of digital..

As noted by other users, posting a few images along with EXIF information will lead to much more useful and specific advise..

While this may not be rocket science, good photography is not easy. Hey, if it were easy, everybody would be doing it .

Rob..

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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