Girl's Basketball--New Shooter here...Help and Comments please!

Started Dec 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
GPapa Senior Member • Posts: 1,919
Lens Choice and Exposure Modes

Lens Choice:

For indoor sports the 85mm f/1.8 prime gets recommended often. The focal length is about right on a crop sensor body if you can get access to the perimeter of the court. A couple of days ago I posted 14 photos in a thread titled High School Girls Basketball. I was shooting with a 70-200 lens. Of the 14 frames I selected to share in this forum, 11 of them were in the 70-90mm range. I think this is fairly typical. You won't miss much action using an 85mm lens.

I have an 85mm f/1.8 that I use when in gyms with poor lighting, where the 70-200 f/2.8 just will not perform.

Another plus for the 85mm lens is image sharpness. I get sharper images from the 85mm than from my 70-200. Being able to use faster shutter speeds may be part of this.

When choosing lens brand/model be sure the auto focus is fast. The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is recommended for this reason. I don't know about performance of other brand/model of the 85mm lens. Maybe someone will offer some suggestions on that or you can do some web research before making a purchase.

Exposure Modes:

Most sports shooters will avoid any automatic exposure modes. The light in gymnasiums is usually fairly constant and you can easily strike a balance between shutter speed, aperture and ISO that will work for just about any location on the court for the entire game. I will usually set up the camera to slightly over expose at mid court where there is more light than under the basket. Most of the interesting action takes place under the basket anyway.

Another problem with auto exposure modes is the light and dark uniforms of the athletes will cause auto exposure to both overexpose and under expose. You really want to expose for the faces of the athletes.

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