Newbie needs help with sports photography


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Sheep0

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Nov 5, 2008
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#1
Hi to all Big Bros and Sis here! :D

Been wanting to take up sports photography, but would be going most for martial-arts sports.
Wanting to know if there is any tips and tricks to taking the photos, like lens, settings, etc..
have been taking pictures of some events but ending up with very blur shots, as punches is too fast or the fighters is jumping :cry:

I am currently using a Nikon D40x with kit lens.

Many many enlightenment is needed ;) Thank You!
 

Jan 27, 2009
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#2
Hi actually i'm into sports photography, i'm using canon 40D and 5DM2 with a 100-400mm L lens.
i guess i could help? haha for shooting indoors what i use is my 135mm f2 because it's good in low-light. so what you'll need is to push your ISO up(1600 max. if not it'll be too grainy), then check your shutter speed, 1/250-1/320 should be good enough then your aperture should be at its BIGGEST(smallest no. possible). For me I keep my sports shots above 1/250-1/800 depending on the lighting.

you can see some on my blog: canonwhale.blogspot.com ;)
 

Jan 27, 2009
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#3
Oh yes, for martial arts and very fast moving objects, i would recommend at LEAST 1/320.
 

ejunlow

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2006
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#4
I'm not a sports photographer.. but the basis of understanding should be close..

You'll want the fastest lens you can buy (1.2 - 2.8).
You'll want a good range telephoto (70-200 comes to mind for indoors near encounter events) unless u're far off.. then consider a supertele.
You'll want to shoot in JPEG not RAW to be trigger happy.
Forget about using flash altogether :)

If you're more into it, consider getting one fast prime for telephoto (100-200ish range), and one fast prime for standard range 50mmish since any zoom telephoto with a good aperture almost always run into the thousands... well good primes run into the thousands too but 1.2 makes a hell lot of difference during indoor shooting.

On camera. Forget about Manual Modes.. Shift to Aperture or Shutter priority. shoot a few test shots and get the WB right before an indoor event since u're likely shooting in Jpeg without the benefit of RAW processing.

Keep spares memory cards in smaller capacities 4g. and have a left side pocket for unused.. and right side pocket for used.. so u wont mix them up in a hurry.

You'll want to think of investing in better neck straps to make moving around more comfortable.

Setting wise... Use as high as ISO you can afford to go without losing image quality to lots of noise.. or get a post noise reduction software if that's really the way to go.

And you should be more or less done...
:)
 

Last edited:
Jan 27, 2009
210
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#5
I'm not a sports photographer.. but the basis of understanding should be close..

You'll want the fastest lens you can buy (1.2 - 2.8).
You'll want a good range telephoto (70-200 comes to mind for indoors near encounter events) unless u're far off.. then consider a supertele.
You'll want to shoot in JPEG not RAW to be trigger happy.
Forget about using flash altogether :)

If you're more into it, consider getting one fast prime for telephoto (100-200ish range), and one fast prime for standard range 50mmish since any zoom telephoto with a good aperture almost always run into the thousands... well good primes run into the thousands too but 1.2 makes a hell lot of difference during indoor shooting.

On camera. Forget about Manual Modes.. Shift to Aperture or Shutter priority. shoot a few test shots and get the WB right before an indoor event since u're likely shooting in Jpeg without the benefit of RAW processing.

Keep spares memory cards in smaller capacities 4g. and have a left side pocket for unused.. and right side pocket for used.. so u wont mix them up in a hurry.

You'll want to think of investing in better neck straps to make moving around more comfortable.

Setting wise... Use as high as ISO you can afford to go without losing image quality to lots of noise.. or get a post noise reduction software if that's really the way to go.

And you should be more or less done...
:)
AGREED. I use the 135mm f2 when i shoot sports indoors with my ISO at 1600-2000 depending on the lighting. Also, i think 1.2 might be too much because if lets say the subject is coming close, at 1.2, the nose of the player(or wherever focused), will be sharp and the ears of the player may become blur so IMHO, 2-2.8 is already very good depending on your DSLR low-light capabilities! Actually, if you're just shooting for fun, experiment and try out for yourself, after all, photography is all about trying out, you wouldn't even know if you've discovered something new others don't if you're not afraid to TRY! Different settings will also give different effects like http://www.flickr.com/photos/skatehouston/3559424983/meta/ . So it all depends on what you want or what you appreciate!

The main thing is to have fun while doing so!
Happy shooting!;p
 

rgy1993

Deregistered
Mar 28, 2007
994
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Singapore
#6
indoor sports photography...

iso: up
aperture: down
shutter speed: fast as possible

if your standing in the crowd maybe look at a telephoto lens to get the reach, even if you just rent one for the day of the event..
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
5,785
2
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#7
Hi to all Big Bros and Sis here! :D

Been wanting to take up sports photography, but would be going most for martial-arts sports.
Wanting to know if there is any tips and tricks to taking the photos, like lens, settings, etc..
have been taking pictures of some events but ending up with very blur shots, as punches is too fast or the fighters is jumping :cry:

I am currently using a Nikon D40x with kit lens.

Many many enlightenment is needed ;) Thank You!
I have done a pretty odd number of events and your number one enemy will be shutter lag so you have to learn whatever sport you are taking and try to pre-empt the move.

practice using shutter priority and EV adjustments as well as ISO controls. there is no hardfast rule so go with whatever that works for you but i do recommend having F2.8 or better lens to make things a whole lot easier.
 

Galdor

Senior Member
Jul 5, 2006
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Planet Gaia
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#8
I guess the best bet would be the 70-200mm f2.8 to give you the fast shutter speed, of course it has to depend on the lighting condition too.
 

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