From: Eric Babula on 15 Jan 2007 15:45
"Mike Fields" <spam_me_not_mr.gadget2(a)comcastDOTnet> wrote in
> There are a number of things you can do to get the best possible
> 1) as indicated above .. FAST GLA$$ (expensive low light lenses)
> 2) boost the ISO (which you indicated you have done) there is some
> software such as neatimage to help reduce noise in the image
> from the high ISO
> 3) use a tripod or monopod to help reduce camera movement
> 4) work at taking the pictures when there is minimum movement
> like right at the peak of a jump to spike the ball where the
> player is "hanging" in the air (takes a bit of practice). If
> you get it just right, you get one of those cool shots where
> things are mostly sharp except for the blurred arm etc.
> 5) use the highest shutter speed you can for the exposure (which
> takes us back to #1 again - a lens that is 2 stops bigger
> (lower number) than what you have now means you can multiply
> your shutter speed by 4 for the same shot - there is a big
> difference between 1/125 and 1/500 when you are talking action
To your point #3: Cynicor mentioned that I should turn off the IS,
"because the speeds at which IS makes a difference are too slow to
freeze the play. So there won't be any hand shake, but there'll be
action blur." I've read that before, too. Does this make sense to you,
Item #4: I have been working on those techniques. I try to get the top
of the jump, or when the ball (on a serve) reaches it's apex, or when
the ball reaches the arms on a pass, etc. I still want to stop all the
action of the hitter in those instances, so I see the ball crisply, the
body crisply AND the swinging arm crisply. Maybe I'm asking for too
Good info - thanks!
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
From: Eric Babula on 15 Jan 2007 15:56
Cynicor <j...tru.p...in(a)speak.ea.sy.net> wrote in
> Eric Babula wrote:
>> Cynicor <j...tru.p...in(a)speak.ea.sy.net> wrote:
>>> Well...I don't understand how IS makes 4.0 into 2.8. It can make
>>> 1/30 look like 1/125 second. But the big problem with sports
>>> shooting is that you need to control for the speed first. I turn
>>> IS off now when I shoot hockey, because the speeds at which IS
>>> makes a difference are too slow to freeze the play. So there
>>> won't be any hand shake, but there'll be action blur.
>>> Anyway, try shooting some action RAW so that you can take it back
>>> and fiddle with it to see exactly what settings you'd need in the
>> Hmm, I'm certain that's what he said. I don't pretend to
>> understand that, either. But, your might explain why the guy at
>> the volleyball gym was shooting at 1/240 (or something) and I
>> found 1/90 to be a better shutter speed.
> What he may have meant was that you're in a situation that calls
> for 1/125, f/2.8 settings. You can't get f/2.8 on the slower lens,
> so you set it to f/5.6. To let the same amount of light into the
> camera, you need 1/30. However, your lens is too long to be held at
> 1/30 without shake. With IS, you could neutralize the effects of
> hand-holding at 1/30 if it helps you go two stops slower. So yes,
> the IS makes f/2.8 "equal" to f/5.6 in one form of logic.
> However, while shooting at 1/125, f/2.8 lets in the same amount of
> light as 1/30, f/5.6, it freezes action differently. Otherwise, you
> could shoot at 1/2 second, f/22. (Which you can, if you want to
> create blurred motion effects.)
> I recommend this book:
> ated/dp/0817463003. It talks about, well, exposure and puts
> everything together in an easy-to-read way.
Interesting analysis! I'm learning more and more every hour!
That book sounds pretty good, too! I think I'll have to pick up a copy!
First, I have the National Geographic book to read, and the DVD to
watch. But, this will probably be the next book to get.
You people are awesome! Thanks so much!
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
From: acl on 15 Jan 2007 16:05
Eric Babula wrote:
> "Mike Fields" <spam_me_not_mr.gadget2(a)comcastDOTnet> wrote in
> > There are a number of things you can do to get the best possible
> > pictures:
> > 1) as indicated above .. FAST GLA$$ (expensive low light lenses)
> > 2) boost the ISO (which you indicated you have done) there is some
> > software such as neatimage to help reduce noise in the image
> > from the high ISO
> > 3) use a tripod or monopod to help reduce camera movement
> > 4) work at taking the pictures when there is minimum movement
> > like right at the peak of a jump to spike the ball where the
> > player is "hanging" in the air (takes a bit of practice). If
> > you get it just right, you get one of those cool shots where
> > things are mostly sharp except for the blurred arm etc.
> > 5) use the highest shutter speed you can for the exposure (which
> > takes us back to #1 again - a lens that is 2 stops bigger
> > (lower number) than what you have now means you can multiply
> > your shutter speed by 4 for the same shot - there is a big
> > difference between 1/125 and 1/500 when you are talking action
> > shots.
> > mikey
> To your point #3: Cynicor mentioned that I should turn off the IS,
> "because the speeds at which IS makes a difference are too slow to
> freeze the play. So there won't be any hand shake, but there'll be
> action blur." I've read that before, too. Does this make sense to you,
Hi again. Cynicor was talking about shutter speeds fast enough to make
IS irrelevant (which would also presumably be necessary to freeze
player motion). In your case, shutter speeds are slow enough that IS is
needed to reduce camera shake (but it won't do anything for subject
> Item #4: I have been working on those techniques. I try to get the top
> of the jump, or when the ball (on a serve) reaches it's apex, or when
> the ball reaches the arms on a pass, etc. I still want to stop all the
> action of the hitter in those instances, so I see the ball crisply, the
> body crisply AND the swinging arm crisply. Maybe I'm asking for too
No you're not. However, as people said last time you asked these
questions, you need a fast shutter speed to do this; a faster shutter
speed, in turn, necessitates a wider aperture. Which you don't have,
unfortunately. Maybe you can arrange to use a flash (but that's also
expensive). Other than that, practice and luck will certainly help, but
under those light conditions, you won't easily get what you want.
From: ASAAR on 15 Jan 2007 16:37
On 15 Jan 2007 18:07:32 GMT, Eric Babula wrote:
> I do somewhat know what the shutter speeds and aperture do, since I
> started playing with that, with my P&S camera, trying to get decent pics
> of my daughters' volleyball games. Still learning.
> As for the lens - you're right, I didn't want a fixed focal length, just
> yet. I'm not sure at what length I'd typically be shooting, so I chose
> the zoom for now. And, I know I didn't get a really fast lens, either.
> But, I was told that with the Pentax K100D and the in-body IS, an f4.0
> lens would act more like an f2.8 in another camera. The guy in the
> camera store was convinced I'd be able to get very good pics with this
> camera and these lenses, and not have to upgrade to something much more
> expensive. We discussed more expensive cameras (Nikon D70, D200, Pentax
> K10D), but he convinced me that this camera and these lenses would make
> me very happy.
You'll probably end up being very happy with your K100D, but you
don't completely understand what the IS is doing for your pictures
and what its limitations are. First, the IS generally reduces
movement enough so that you get 2 or 3 extra stops of exposure to
play with, and whether you want to take advantage of stops of
aperture or shutter speed is up to you. IS doesn't eliminate camera
movement, it just reduces it. It's the same with using a faster
shutter speed. The faster speeds don't eliminate camera movement,
they just proportionally reduce it. So if you turn IS off and need
to shoot at 1/500th sec. to reduce camera movement to acceptable
levels, with IS turned on you can slow the shutter speed by 2 to 3
stops and end up with the same acceptable amount of camera movement.
One stop slower would be 1/250th sec, two is 1/125th sec., and three
stops is 1/60th sec. Whoever told you that IS would let an f/4.0
lens produce results similar to an f/2.8 non-IS lens is way off,
since the difference is only one f/stop. The two to three f/stop
advantage that IS can provide would allow the f/4.0 lens do the work
of an f/2.0 (two stops) or f/1.4 (three stops) lens that didn't have
the benefit of IS.
But there's one thing that you haven't factored in. The IS won't
be nearly as useful for taking pictures of your daughter's
volleyball games as you think. That's because you're not taking
pictures of trees or buildings or mountains, which would be fine for
your exposure settings of f/5.6 and 1/90th sec. But that shutter
speed is too slow for a moving volleyball player and especially for
a very fast volleyball. You might even want to use a faster shutter
speed than the 1/180th sec. the other guy used, but to use the same
1/180th shutter speed and get the same exposure (1/90th sec. is
twice as long as 1/180th, so it's one stop slower) you'd need to
increase the aperture by one stop, from f/5.6 to f/4.0. At full
zoom this isn't possible with your lenses, so the only options
remaining (other than finding a way to get more light) would be to
either use a higher ISO (your camera may not have ISO 3200, and if
it does, it might produce really ugly results) or just underexpose
by one stop, using f/5.6 and 1/180th sec., and try to correct the
underexposure with a photo editor. Some other things you could try
1. Instead of using the 18-55mm lens at full zoom (f/5.6), use it at
a wider zoom position so that the aperture is closer to its f/3.5
maximum aperture. You'd then be able to get the same exposure at
1/180th sec., but would have to crop and enlarge to get the same
shot. This would only be useful for small prints or situations
where high resolution isn't needed.
2. Use the bigger lens instead [Promaster 70-300mm lens (f4-5.6)],
and if used at the 70mm zoom position you'd have the faster f/4.0
aperture, would be able to shoot at 1/180th sec., and this would
even give you a slightly longer focal length than is possible with
the 18-55mm lens.
3. Try to find a cheap 55 f/1.8 fixed length lens. Then you'd be
able to get the same exposure with a much faster shutter speed,
close to 1/1000th second. This is an advantage you have with the
K100D, as it supplies the IS, not the lens. :)
From: KenJr on 15 Jan 2007 16:53
I've been reading through the responces and some of what I say may
duplicate the advice you've already been given.
In article <Xns98B96DBEC6409ebabulacare2com(a)220.127.116.11>,
> As part of that explanation, he
> pulled out a gray cloth and a white cloth (he used both for his
> settings). I remember the white cloth was used to set Manual/Custom
> White Balance, but I can't remember what he used the gray cloth for.
As others have said the white cloth(card) is for setting manual white
balance. You could probably get away with using a white index card. The
grey cloth(card) was for setting exposure as you guessed.
> Any additional help you can offer would be appreciated, too.
First of all forget about IS, turn it off. IS is great for shooting
still life but is nearly worthless for action shots. Your best bet with
indoor sports will be to set the camera for the highest ISO and set the
camera for (A)perture priority. Set the aperture as low as it will go
for the lens you are using. This will let the camera select the highest
shutter speed it can given the availible light.
If you still end up with slow shutter speeds and blurry pictures then
you can set the EV to -1.0 and shoot RAW and brighten the pictures with
your RAW editor. Keep in mind that doing this will also increase the
noise in the pictures.
If you still get unexceptable results your only alternative is faster
glass. Try looking on Ebay for fast primes at or near the focal lengths
your using. You should find some nice inexpensive manual focus lens.