Suggestion for Indoor Basketball Shots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by I AM THE MAN, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Hey everyone! I've been given the job to take some pictures for the first Varsity Basketball Game (High School). My main question is what should I expect to bring with me and what lens to use?

    I currently own:

    A Canon 5D Mark 2 (Main Body)
    A Canon T3 w/ 18-55mm(Always in my bag as a backup)
    Canon 28-135mm
    Canon 50mm Prime (f/1.8)
    Canon 70-200mm f/4 NON IS

    Lately I've been able to use my 70-200 with my 5D alot more than I have been able to with my T3 indoors however, the shutter speed is usually around 1/100s (the highest) so I doubt that would cut it for basketball. Currently I am thinking of using the 28-135mm with my 5D. Would that be a wise choice? The only thing stopping me from using the 50mm is the fact that I can't really get too close to the players so having a zoom is preferable.

    What are your thoughts? Thank you for your answers in advance!
  2. macrumors 65816


    70-200 for sure along with the 28-135. Push your ISO up a bit, Varsity basketball is probably only gonna use this for websites and their newspaper.

    Your prime is definitely not fast enough for sports.
  3. macrumors 6502

    I mean my photos will be used for a website for the school so I want to do my best. I usually do use the 70-200mm for outdoor sports and the results come out outstanding. The only thing is that I don't want to constantly switch out lens so If its possible to stay with the one lens the whole time? If I go with the 70-200, what should I keep my ISO at 6400 or 12800? Would that high of an ISO make the picture a little too grainy?
  4. macrumors 65816


    I shoot 3200 on my 7D and its not full frame! But mine's f/2.8 with IS. The picture is a little grainy on mine, but will be less grainy on yours. Dont forget Post Production. Try 6400 then 12800. 6400 shouldnt be too much of a problem on FF.

    I shoot a lot of basketball and i stay with the 70-200 the whole time so dont worry about that length.
  5. macrumors 68020


    As I've discovered, IS makes little difference in sports photography. Since you're already using a really high shutter speed to cancel out motion blur, the shake of the camera is also eliminated by the fast shutter speed.
    That being said, don't bother taking the 18-55 out; It's too slow to focus. Mount the 28-135 on the T3 and use it for wide shots. The 70-200 f/4L and your 5D Mark II with sufficient ISO to bump up the shutter speed to above 1/500th or 1/640th will do you good.

    Crouch down so that the camera is at the same height as the player's chest or abdomen; the perspective from this angle will give the image a very even feel and put equal emphasis on the player and the sport he's playing. For jump shots, aim up. Be on the opposite direction of the action so you get the player's faces.

    I shoot with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and a T2i; for indoors, I usually use 1/400th or 1/500th (minimum for stopping motion) and ISO 3200. This loses quite a bit of detail than something like ISO 800, but it's the most that I can do without the picture looking like complete crap. With your full frame sensor you should be able to pull around ISO 3200-6400; you won't need to go as high as ISO 12800.
  6. macrumors member

    Non of those lenses is really fast enough to get good shots inside a gym.

    I have a Nikon D7000 and Nikkor 70-200/2.8 and I'm shooting ~1/500 at ISO 1600 to get good looking action shots.

    You'll have to crank up to at least ISO 3200 on the 70-200/4 to get that kind of speed which means you will lose detail and have more noise.

    Shoot in RAW so you can pull some of the noise out with LR or ACR (what are you using to post process?).

    The 28-135 is way to slow for indoor shooting of sports. Unless you just want some wide angle crowd shots or pictures of the athletes standing still (like in a time out huddle).

    The 50/1.8 will really give you the best option of speed/low ISO but obviously no zoom.
  7. macrumors 6502


    Are you shooting for the school on official capacity? If so, can you get courtside access as a photographer so you can get close as possible to the action.

    Also, does the school reimburse you or have petty cash? If so, you may want to look into renting prime lenses or 70-200 f2.8.

    Using what you have:
    You're shooting indoor sports, so you want a higher shutter speed to freeze. As a starting point 1/250 if they're facing you, and 1/500 for side to side to minimize blur.

    Leave 18-55mm at home. Its an EF-S mount, so it won't fit on the 5D. The 28-135mm will fit both cameras.

    The T3 is a crop sensor, while the 5D is full frame. This means putting the same lens on the Rebel will have a magnification factor of 1.6. 50mm on the T3 will be equivalent to 80mm on the 5D.

    At the same focal length, the 50mm f1.8 will be 2 1/3 stops faster, so that means you can shoot at a higher shutter speed than the f4. As others pointed out, you may have to crank up the ISO on the 70-200 f4. The 5D may have lower noise than the rebel at the higher ISO.

    So, how about trying out the 50mm on the T3, and the 70-200 f4 on the 5D?
  8. macrumors 65816


    This. Its always off for me during events like this.
  9. macrumors 68010

    Even though the 5DII handles noise well, it doesn't seem like you have any fast lenses in your bag (sans the 50mm f/1.8). If you're not going to be able to get close to the action, I would highly recommend you at least look into renting any of the lenses below:

    EF 85mm f/1.8
    EF 70-200mm f/2.8
    EF 135mm f/2

    Obviously, the 70-200mm f/2.8 will give you the greatest amount of flexibility. You do have the 70-200mm f/4 which will work (given the lighting circumstances), but you will really need to crank up your ISO. If you expose the shots properly, you should get some decent images, especially if you shoot in RAW. You can then clean up the images in Photoshop or whatever other photo editing program you use.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Alright I was thinking of at least keeping the shutter speed at around 1/500s or so. Additionally, I have a reserved seat on the top bleachers so I will be a little high - not sure how that will work out for now, I might just stay on the ground and stay even with the players. At the moment, it all depends on the amount of people who will attend the game and how much space I will have to move around.

    I always shoot RAW, I just can't imagine what I would do without shooting it instead of JPEG.

    Yes I am officially shooting it for the school and the photos will of course be used in the yearbook and newspaper. Sadly though, the school isn't willing to reimburse me with any kind of money, etc. :(

    The lighting is usually really good so that is always a plus. As the others have mentioned, I will probably keep the shutter speed to 1/500s and see how it works out! The game is tomorrow so I am just examining different angles of where I could take the shots from, etc.

    Thank you once again for all your answers!
  11. macrumors member

    Need a fast lens

    I use both the 85 mm 1.8 and the 135mm f2 on my 7d, and both are excellent for low-light basketball. That said, the 85mm is better, as the 135 is more of a portrait lens. Shutter speed has already been discussed, so if you use the 85 mm about the only thing you will have to adjust is White balance and exposure in camera raw...and whatever other tweaks you want, plug-ins, etc.

    Also, according to Scott Kelby--I knew this intuitively, I think, but I can't say for sure that I actually realized it until he said it at Photoshop World, DUH on my part--be sure you have the -ball- in the frame. It's a must for sports.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    He also points out that if the stands/bleachers are in the shot, try to make sure they look as full as possible.
  13. macrumors 65816


    Totally Unrelated...

    I know very, very little about photography (just got my first DSLR about a month ago) so I appreciate reading all this stuff about ISO, shutter speeds, and lenses. Thanks to everyone who has contributed, so far, for all the input. It not only helps the OP, but also the rest of us who peek in out of curiosity. :)
  14. Cheese&Apple, Dec 14, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012

    macrumors demi-god


    At events like a basketball game you can get caught-up in trying to catch those spectacular action shots...don't forget the great candid shots of the coach and players on the bench and fans in the stands.

    ps. Remember to be kind to people when selecting candid images for posting or print.
  15. macrumors 6502


    It may be obvious, but if you're shooting in any of the manual modes. Set for continious, and AI Servo.

    Good luck, and feel free to share with us your shots.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Thank you very much for all your comments! Just one last question-should I shoot on top of the bleachers or on the actual field?
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Never shot a sporting event, but the ONLY shots i have ever seen from the bleachers are the fisheye type showing a packed stadium.

    Hopefully its safe to assume you'll have access prior to the event? Go up there and take a few shots and see how you like them, but personally I doubt they'll be what you are after.

    Good Luck, and feel free to share the results if you can! :)
  18. macrumors 65816


    Both. Walk around and take lots and LOTS of pictures.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Thank you very much for all your replies! I managed to take some decent shots (IMO) but everyone else really liked them! I will post some photos soon! Once again, can't stress it enough, you all really helped! :)

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