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Photography Question 
Saundra Vaudreuil

Shooting in a Gym Without Flash

I have a Nikon D50 and love it. I took about 1200 pictures during my daughter's soccer season. Now we move indoors for basketball, and I have no idea what to do. I don't want to distract the players with a flash. What do I need to take pictures of my daughter playing basketball? I consider myself a beginner. So please keep your answer simple. I have a very good eye for pictures, but I really don't know much about my camera. Please help. Thanks!!!

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12/8/2007 7:44:55 PM

W.    Hi Saundra,
In low light, you need a "fast" light sensitive lens to be able to use large apertures and reasonable shutter speeds with high ISO settings. Lenses like that are very expensive. What lens, with what max aperture, have you got? You may also want to use a tripod or monopod for support to mitigate camera shake.

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12/8/2007 8:06:30 PM

Scott H.   You don't say what lens you will be using, but I will give you the benefit of my experience. Where I live, we have a junior college, a high school, and a junior high school gym, with the lighting in each one progressively darker. To shoot in the junior college gym with a D200 (at ISO 3200), I need an 85mm f1.8 and/or a 50mm f1.8 lens. Shooting either lens at f1.8 gives me a shutter speed of about 1/500. (I shoot under the basket so I need as fast of a shutter speed as possible). The images are noisy but usable for prints of 8x10 or less. I assume your daughter is not college-age and therefore playing in a not-so-well-lit gym. Also, your camera only goes to ISO 1600. Here's the bottom-line: Buy yourself a 50mm f1.8 for around $100 new (or a 85mm f1.8 for $300 used), set the D50 to ISO 1600, continuous focus, dynamic focusing, and set the lens aperture to f1.8. Then get as close as you can and shoot away. Good luck!

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12/9/2007 3:25:04 PM

Saundra Vaudreuil   Scott, Thank you SO MUCH for your information. That is exactly what I was looking for. I will be asking for a new lens for Christmas and will shoot away. My daughter is only in 10th grade so she does play in not-so-well-lit gyms. Thanks again!!! BTW, I looked at some of the pictures in your gallery - they are obsolutely beautiful!!

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12/9/2007 4:35:55 PM

Kay T. Bailey   Hi Saundra, I sell images at sporting
events I do use flash. You aim towards
the ceiling toward the center not directly at the players or if under a basket you bounce off the wall unless its a nasty color. It shouldn't bother the players because I have noticed a lot of point and shoot cameras going off too and their flashes are aimed directly at the players. I have done it both ways with younger an older players and had no complaints I also shoot with fast lens at high ISO for events that I can not use flash and my advice is make sure you have your noise filters set to as high a setting as you can and if you can afford it vibration reduction is a great feature to have on a fast lens for lowlight shooting. Kay Bailey

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12/11/2007 5:58:39 AM

Nancy de Flon
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/24/2006
  Hi Saundra, You say you don't know much about your camera. I also have a Nikon D50 and a year ago I took Simon Stafford's course on the D50. It was absolutely invaluable and I highly recommend Simon's course. Nancy de Flon

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12/11/2007 11:36:55 AM

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