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Thread: sports pics

  1. #1
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    Default sports pics

    ok, so I got the nikon D60 kit from camera land, love it so far. TONS of learning to do. I have done some great shots in the house of the family around xmas.

    So I go to my daughters basketball game at bartlett high school hoping to get some good action shots. I have the camera set in sport mode(also tried auto with and without the flash) had the nikkor 55-200mm f4-5.6 ed VR lens on. The lighting SEEMS pretty good there, but most of my shots were blurred. Do I need a faster lens to get those super crisp action shots? If I do which one? Are there any tricks to getting crisp pics with this lens?

    another question: what is the most popular, easy to use editing software? maybe free?

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    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    You'll want to have to look at:

    a) are you using flash? A lot of the really good sports photographers are setting strobes up in the rafters for indoor sports. Some places don't allow flash of any kind, you'll probably have to check with the home team coach.

    b) ISO - indoors in most gyms is actually pretty dark. You're going to have to boost the ISO up to 1250-1600 at least to start to get get fast enough shutter speeds to freeze the action. I'm not sure how the D60 handles the noise that comes with high ISO speeds, but I upgraded to the D300 precisely because I wanted better performance from the camera at high ISO settings.

    c) a faster lens ALWAY helps. You can get good pictures from the 55-200, but remember that is is f/4 only at 55mm, and then closes down to 5.6 at 200mm, which is not conducive to quality shots. If you're interested in a zoom and are on a budget (like most of us!), then I'd recommend the 80-200mm f/2.8. You can get excellent quality used ones from KEH or Adorama for less than $500 (and then sell the 55-200 to help pay for it - that's what I did!). As far as for basketball, a shorter lens would work better, because you're mostly going to be shooting when the ball is your half of the court. a 50mm 1.4 ($275 Like New condition) or 50mm f/1.8 ($125 brand new) would fit the bill nicely, and they can be had for not much money.

    Have fun, the learning during the journey is the fun part.

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    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    mods please delete this one - duplicate post.

    Thanks

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    With the little basketball photo experience I have, I would agree than a "fast 50" would be a good choice. The 50mm f/1.8 would be the one I would try simply because of the price. If you park yourself moderately close to the basket 50mm should work well. You might even decide you want something shorter.

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    Default Thanks guys!

    Thanks guys, for that price, I can try it!!!

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    Keep in mind that the 50 mm lens is going to capture an image similar to what you are seeing with your eye. So if zoom is needed, this is of no use. You will get an image of half the court with little people running around.

    For software, I have Photoshop Elements 6.0 and love it. Very easy to use too. There is another version out now, 7.0, but I am not sure what the added features are. Could be nothing big. I would get the 6.0. It is cheap now. Be sure to buy Scott Kelby's "Photoshop Elements 6.0 for Digital Photographers". Great book that is oriented towards beginners. It will teach you all you need to know. Both can be bought at Amazon.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    For free software you have several choices...

    XnView does a lot of things, but is most suitable for batch processing. I use it to make mass conversions for size, sharpness, brightness, file type, etc. It's also nice fast file viewer.

    Another is IrfanView. It's more suitable for individual editing in a general sense. I don't believe it does localized spot editing, but I haven't used it much.

    Similar to the above is Fast Stone.

    Google's Picasa is all the rage right now, and for a free editor it's quite nice. With just a little time figuring it out you will be up and running with one of the best simple image editors. A lot of its features are just gimmicks, but there are enough useful features to do justice to most photographs. It also has a nice simple collage function, but I hate its file browser -- very non standard.

    Paint.NET is another freebie, but I know almost nothing about it.

    GIMP is in a class all by itself. It is almost a complete solution for image editing, and is used by many people -- even a few professionals. It's not for the faint of heart though. You will have to spend some serious time figuring it all out. But the result is a very capable image editor.

    For low cost image editors...

    Adobe Photoshop Elements is probably the best option. You can usually find it for under $100. Adoble continues to update it, adding useful features and better automation every year. Adobe keeps it dumbed down so as not to compete with the real Photshop, but it still does just about anything you might want to do to a photograph.

    Corel's PaintShop Pro actually has more features than Elements, and is probably easier to use too. My only issue with it is that ever since Corel bought it they seem more interested in adding to the fluff without adding any real photo editing capabilities. Every iteration is more bloated than the one before, but without one useful addition. It's implementation of 16 bit images, and color management is pathetic, and is the reason I finally abandoned it. But it still has a better print layout function than Photoshop, so I keep it on my computer. Most recent price I've seen is $80.

    Picture Windows Pro is another very capable editor in the $100 price range, but I've only played with it a little bit.

    There are others too. These are just the ones that come to mind.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post


    Adobe Photoshop Elements is probably the best option. You can usually find it for under $100. Adoble continues to update it, adding useful features and better automation every year. Adobe keeps it dumbed down so as not to compete with the real Photshop, but it still does just about anything you might want to do to a photograph.

    .

    Elements 6 is on Amazon for $65. The Scott Kelby book for it is $29. This is all you would need to get started (and maybe all you ever need). More than I need and I have been playing with it for a year. Great software and easy to use.

    http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photosho...517976&sr=8-12

    http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Elem...2517976&sr=8-4
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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