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Archive 2012 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?
  
 
black magic
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


Below is my first post to another thread by a guy who was trying to shoot HS sports with the 5100, which tells where I'm at.

I have been trying to decide which body and lens to buy (will have to purchase used). Have always been a nikon person. There are so many different reviews/opinions about the best choices that my head is spinning.

What I would love to hear/see is a short recommendation/examples of shots from photographers who are getting quality images of HS sports from particular Nikon models so I can purchase a used body and get going.

What's important to me:
1. Very fast AF focus and processing in lower light
2. sharpness and clarity
3. as little noise as possible at 3200-6400 ISO
4. I only have about $3000 to buy a body and lens, but could add another lens for football before next sesson.

Would really appreciate seeing a few images and finding out what equipment you used that may fit my needs.
Thanks

My first post. Just wanted to say that I empathize with you because I am also shooting HS football, soccer and basketball with the 5100. I cannot afford a D3 or other camera at the moment. What I'm finding is that the camera and lens focus cannot keep up with much of this fast action. So I, the photographer, can capture it but the focus isn't quite there yet. When the focus did make it in time I am still extremely frustrated by the noise with this lighting. I cannot shoot an ISO of less than 6400 in these gyms and that makes for much frustration when I start looking at the shots in computer.



Nov 27, 2012 at 03:49 PM
mdalby
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


You will get a pretty wide variety in approaches. I think everyone wiuld recommend that if you have to choose where to put your money, you get more bang for your buck by putting that money in glass. Pretty much the best lens option would be the 70-200 VR II. You can get away with a D300, especially if you use strobes to freeze the action.

Some people on this forum don't like the strobe look. Others can't see shooting basketball without it. Strobes get you consistency for your white balance that is difficult in gyms with light cycling. Strobes get you better contrast and freeze the action so you don't have to shoot wide open and you can get more DOF and get more shots in focus.

You can get a strobe solution pretty cheap with used speedlights.



Nov 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM
black magic
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


thank you for the reply.
I am one of those people who doesn't really like the look of strobed sports. I have seen a few examples of that technique that I thought were nice and would still be willing to have an open mind.
I agree that the 70-200 seems like a must and would also help a lot for football.
Do you feel that the D300 is my best option as far as focus speed and noise reduction go?



Nov 27, 2012 at 04:20 PM
mdalby
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


D700 would be better if you can swing it


Nov 27, 2012 at 04:24 PM
black magic
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


an example of my idea of some really good images of basketball are in this thread
"First basketball game of the season " posted by Stogis



Nov 27, 2012 at 04:26 PM
black magic
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


Thank you! That's what I'm looking for. Direct recommendations from people with the experience.
I was a film photographer my entire career and then pretty much stopped shooting 10 years ago. Just started shooting again a several months ago and obviously have much to learn about this whole new world of digital.
Funny thing is, just like the old days, many photographers are very "equipment techie" and talk it until they're blue in the face! I don't have time or interest in talking about it, just put some good equipment in my hand and I'll use it.



Nov 27, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Carl Auer
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


Moved to correct gear talk board


Nov 27, 2012 at 04:56 PM
pbraymond
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


I am a far cry from an expert sport photographer, but given your parameters in the OP, here's my recommendation, hope you don't mind me chiming in.

1. D7000
2. 70-200 f2.8 VR first version (due to cost, and it's super on a DX Nikon), or even the older 80-200 AFS since VR does not come into play with basketball)
3. Something wider, though fast focusing and wide zoom in Nikon DX land is likely the 17-55, which may be attainable in your budget of $3000
4. Second D7000 body so you don't have to change lenses (later on in the season)

I choose the D7000 over the D300's due to ISO performance, I'm guessing you'd be shooting ISO 3200 or higher at f2.8. The 16MP gives a little bit more cropping ability, but you do loose the 8fps. I believe the D7000 tracks just as fast as the D300's with AFS lenses, just maybe not as fast with screw drive lenses.

I enjoyed using a D700 + grip + 70-200 VR2, but was a little short shooting far court. A 24-70 on a second body provided all I needed for the game.




Nov 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Grantland
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


i shoot a lot of high school sports and i would recommend a D700 w/70-200 VR II.

i'll be using this setup tonight for a girls high school game and will post a few shots.




Nov 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM
georgms
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


Just in case strobing is not an option: I would go the FX-route for sure. I shoot a lot of indoor-sports and for me ISO3200 is the absolute upper limit for the D7000. A D700 or well-used D3 with AF-S 70-200/2.8 VR I (or 80-200/2.8 AF-S) might eventually fit in your budget and will handle low light sports much better than the D7k in my opinion.


Nov 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



pbraymond
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


georgms wrote:
Just in case strobing is not an option: I would go the FX-route for sure. I shoot a lot of indoor-sports and for me ISO3200 is the absolute upper limit for the D7000. A D700 or well-used D3 with AF-S 70-200/2.8 VR I (or 80-200/2.8 AF-S) might eventually fit in your budget and will handle low light sports much better than the D7k in my opinion.


Agreed, if you can afford a D700 or D3 with one of the f2.8 AFS telezooms it will provide higher IQ at high ISO's, with a slight loss of reach for far court. The wider lens and second body may have to wait a little while longer, you'll have to decide if the wait is worth it.



Nov 27, 2012 at 06:13 PM
huddy
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


D700+ any 70/80-200 AF-S. ISO3200 looks great on the D700, and 6400 is eminently useable.


Nov 27, 2012 at 06:25 PM
black magic
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


Thanks so much, I will look forward to seeing some of your images with that equipment. I am also shooting 2 games tonight and will perhaps post a couple of those shots using the 5100 and my very slow 70-300!


Nov 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM
black magic
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


Thanks, I really appreciate the imput from you guys!


Nov 27, 2012 at 06:42 PM
hijazist
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


I used to shoot indoor soccer but not for professional work, only as a hobby. As others mentioned the D700 + 70-200 VRII is a great combo but you will gain more FL with a DX body which can come in handy and this combo is over your budget, around $3600. It's all about compromises. I used to have the D300 and it's one of the best cameras for sports (high fps, remarkable AF system, top notch body) albeit it's weak point is ISO performance, I rarely went over ISO 800, ISO 1600 is acceptable but not so good.

So, if you can afford the D700/D3 + 70-200 VRII that would be optimal, if not then the 70-200 VRI is also a great option. If you need more reach then the D7000 is another option that's just a little behind the D700 in terms of ISO performance and AF.



Nov 27, 2012 at 06:52 PM
tonyc90
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


Bang-for-buck for low light indoor sports such as basketball for your $3,000 budget would be a used D700 with MBD10 grip (~$1,500) plus either the old 80-200/2.8 AFS (~$1,000) or used 70-200/2.8 VR 1 (~$1,400).


Nov 27, 2012 at 07:07 PM
DennisC
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


I haven't read all responses, so I apologize if I'm repeating anything.

IMHO...

A D70s or D50 (since they will sync at faster SS than 1/250) and a couple of speedlights will do the trick on a very modest budget. With all due respect to those suggesting fast glass, for indoor sports, there's NOTHING like good light.

Off the top of my head:

D70s: about $200
SB-24 Speedlight: about $50 each; get 2 or 3. You don't need SB-800s, SB-900s and such since you're shooting manual.
Yongnuo Triggers: I dunno, less than $100, probably. But I use Radiopopper JrXs; more expensive, but totally reliable.

I was using a 200VR for these, but an 80-200/2.8 or, heck, an 85/1.8 would be sweet.

Yeah, when they're under the basket, you can get some shadows, depending on how your speedlights are set up. But, really, it ain't that bad. Would you rather have a few shadows or have to deal with the noise and cycling lights? YMMV.

A few shots to show you what I'm getting. These have been downsized greatly for posting, but they were accepted by MaxPreps.

Edited on Dec 02, 2012 at 05:58 PM · View previous versions



Nov 27, 2012 at 08:16 PM
tonyc90
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


Nice exposures Dennis. Agree photography is about the light. But setting lights, even small flash strobes, are not always practical. Not all locations have easy access to a good location to hang or support and service the lights, if they even allow it. And don't forget proper liability insurance.

DennisC wrote:
I haven't read all responses, so I apologize if I'm repeating anything.

IMHO...

A D70s or D50 (since they will sync at faster SS than 1/250) and a couple of speedlights will do the trick on a very modest budget. With all due respect to those suggesting fast glass, for indoor sports, there's NOTHING like good light.

Off the top of my head:

D70s: about $200
SB-24 Speedlight: about $50 each; get 2 or 3. You don't need SB-800s, SB-900s and such since you're shooting manual.
Yongnuo Triggers: I dunno, less than $100, probably. But I use Radiopopper JrXs; more expensive, but totally reliable.

I was using
...Show more



Nov 27, 2012 at 09:01 PM
luke0622
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


used D700 with grip and you could go with Sigma 70-200/2.8 OS, those will set you below $3000, and get a used wide angle or a 50mm/1.8G or 1.4G


Nov 27, 2012 at 09:09 PM
mdalby
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Which Nikon equipment for Basketball?


I think you should reconsider strobes.

Here are some shots with a D700 and strobes.

http://dalbyphoto.smugmug.com/Basketball/20120216-Legend-vs-Ponderosa/i-Jt2HZpK/1/L/MTD_3570_2-L.jpg

http://dalbyphoto.smugmug.com/Basketball/20120114-Legend-vs-Chaparral/i-k4M2G4w/0/L/MTD_0361_2-L.jpg

http://dalbyphoto.smugmug.com/Basketball/20120221-Legend-vs-Brighton/i-SCn3ttJ/2/L/MTD_3782_2-L.jpg

http://dalbyphoto.smugmug.com/Basketball/20120114-Legend-vs-Chaparral/i-LLnCD7z/0/L/MTD_0386_2-L.jpg

http://dalbyphoto.smugmug.com/Basketball/20120114-Legend-vs-Chaparral/i-MsvGGFt/0/L/MTD_0422_2-L.jpg



Nov 28, 2012 at 01:30 AM
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