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Photography Question 
Celeste McWilliams

Sports Photography: Stopping the Action

I shoot high-speed motorcycle races. When using my Nikon N6006 (film) with a Nikkor 70-300mm lens, I was able to capture the action great. I'm now using a Nikon D70 with a Sigma 28-300mm lens. If I attempt to use a high shutter speed to stop the action, the photos are very dark. Racers seem to be blurry regardless of what settings I use. I never had this problem with a film set-up. Any thoughts/suggestions?

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3/20/2005 6:12:46 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Indoor/night lighting is not very bright. To get motion-freezing shutter speeds, you need to set a high ISO. What speed film were you using when you didn't have this problem? I suspect it was ISO 800, in which case you need to set the D70 similarly.
If you still have the Nikkor 70-300, use it instead. It's a little sharper at 300mm than the Sigma 28-300, and also 1/3 stop faster maximum aperture (f/5.6 v. f/6.3).

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3/21/2005 9:12:49 AM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  OK!!!! IS THAT CHAD REED!!! MY SON WOULD FLIP!!! Did you get to see him race!!! ????? When was this taken? Was this a race he beat Ricky!!! ???? This guy is my sons ultimate HERO -- no joke!

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3/21/2005 1:14:16 PM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Sorry Celeste I was overtaken by Chad Reed, I should have responded to your question. I Shoot my son in similar situations but I don't seem to have this problem. I use an automatic sports setting on my Canon 10D and I get great color and crisp shots in poor lighting situations like these. I wish I could help you out I will keep checking this question to see if someone actually has some digital advice for you. Maybe I could try it too! Thanks for asking for the advice.

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3/21/2005 1:21:53 PM

Gena A. Tussey
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  I don't know if this helps but with the D70 you can sync at 1/500 at 5.6 at iso800 or 1600 and still get good result if you are not too far away. I have shot a few bmx(not as but if you are not too worried about grain, 1600 is pretty good otherwise stick with the 800. Also with a SB 600 or 800, you can sync at 500. That "should" stop a train but.... Good luck! Wish I was you....

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3/22/2005 5:34:40 PM

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