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I am using AF-C 3D tracking - I played around with the matrix today and with the exposure level a little. Actually I even played with manual focus on a static point - I had this idea to focus on the rim of the basket and then leave it there and shoot when the players jumped for a layup or rebound. Didn't get the shot I wanted but I'm going to keep trying that angle at least 4-5 minutes a game.
Today I went back to the gym where I posted my original pictures and shot two freshman high school games (boys then girls). Same light, this time with 1/500th and 6,400 ISO. I ended up shooting 900 photos, 379 keepers, 14 better than the rest, and these are my only "2 star" photos. Still not excellent, that will take a while, but I was happy with the results of the camera. Of my 14 "better" photos I was pleasantly surprised that they were split 8 telephoto 6 wide angle.
The first photo is just a pose that I like. I enjoy the player's concentration and it's a shot I can work on perfecting.
The second, I call David vs Goliath - they must have been matched up because I have a shot of them guarding each other the other way as well.
The third was on the wide-angle. Closer to the action.
NIKON D7000 122.0-300.0 mm f/2.8 lens 122mm f/2.8 1/500s 6400 ISO -0.7 EV
NIKON D7000 122.0-300.0 mm f/2.8 lens 160mm f/2.8 1/500s 6400 ISO -0.7 EV
NIKON D7000 17.0-50.0 mm f/2.8 lens 34mm f/2.8 1/500s 6400 ISO +0.7 EV