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Archive 2013 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?
  
 
Ben Amato
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p.1 #1 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Of those that shoot basketball regularly with a 300mm f2.8 lens… do you use a monopod? I find I'm a lot slower with the monopod than with just the camera/lens combo. What other lenses (besides 70-200) do you find yourself using regularly for BB.

Ben



Feb 25, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Grantland
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p.1 #2 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


i often shoot a 200f/2.0 w/1.4x for basketball without a monopod on one body and a 24-70 or 70-200 on a second body.

i am sitting on the floor so there isn't a real need for a monopod IMO.

grant



Feb 25, 2013 at 07:05 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #3 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Ben Amato wrote:
What other lenses (besides 70-200) do you find yourself using regularly for BB.


200/1.8L
135/2L
85/1.8

no monopod



Feb 25, 2013 at 07:05 PM
DomoFoto
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p.1 #4 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


No monopod

24-70
70-200
16-35 (remote)

Ben Amato wrote:
Of those that shoot basketball regularly with a 300mm f2.8 lens… do you use a monopod? I find I'm a lot slower with the monopod than with just the camera/lens combo. What other lenses (besides 70-200) do you find yourself using regularly for BB.

Ben




Feb 25, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Ben Amato
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p.1 #5 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


I asked because I have seen quite a few shooters at college games using their shortened monopods. Last game I sat next to a guy with a 400 on a monopod. I tried it last week but found it really cumbersome. Next question: If you could have your choice of spots behind the basket, where would you prefer?

Grant: I love the 200 f/2.0 for basketball too! That is one great lens.
Clarence: Do you ever use a 1.4x on the 200?
Domo: Can't get the school I shoot at the most to agree to a remote on the backboard.

Ben



Feb 25, 2013 at 07:32 PM
DomoFoto
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p.1 #6 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Ben Amato wrote:
Next question: If you could have your choice of spots behind the basket, where would you prefer?


Depending on the style of play I like the seat closest to the basket or just outside the 3 point line.



Feb 25, 2013 at 07:54 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #7 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Ben Amato wrote:
Clarence: Do you ever use a 1.4x on the 200?


For field sports, yes, a lot. For basketball, very rarely.

I've tried it a few times and it gives a very usable 280mm at f/2.5, so wider aperture and faster shutter speeds than the 70-200/2.8

But I'm not trying to shoot far court action for editorial coverage. I'm mainly capturing "faces with ball". So the 200/1.8 is great for that... from midcourt to outside the 3-point line I get great reach from elbows to head The 85 or 135 are good for "wider" shots which include a defender. I'll capture action, only because a little action helps sell faces. I'll capture defenders only because defensive interaction (and the opposition's uniforms) establishes scene and context to help sell the ball handler's pictures. I typically sit about 3' - 5' off to the right side under the basket (i.e., free throw shooter's left hand side as they face the basket).

I've tried capturing action at the far basket with a longer lens (I've even tried 600/4L... talk about trying to follow a game though a soda straw), but 99.44% of the time I just get backsides. And lots of obstructions... 9 other players' backs and 3 referee butts always seemed to end up between my lens and the ball.








Feb 25, 2013 at 08:00 PM
shaneroper
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p.1 #8 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Clarence, I am with you on shooting the down court stuff.. I know there are great images that can be had but I find myself leaving my 300 in the bag and shooting with my 70-200, 90% of the time. I think I would rather have a 24-70 or a wide angle and just shoot the action coming at me. But, my style might change who knows..



Feb 25, 2013 at 08:11 PM
acoll123
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p.1 #9 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


I shoot available light basketball with a 300/2.8 on a 5DIII and a 70-200/2.8 on a 1DX. 90% of my keepers are from the 70-200 but the 10% from from the 300 are usually emotion shots / close ups of the coaches or specific players. If the games aren't too crowded, I can find a spot in the stands and focus from above onto the rim and wait some action there - only do this if I know I have some other shots from the floor already.
The only other lens I use for basketball is the 24-70/2.8 if I am only allowed to be under the basket.



Feb 25, 2013 at 08:18 PM
zappahead
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p.1 #10 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


I shoot handheld with a 300mm on 1D4 last year, NO monopod. Switched to 400mm on 1DX this year for down court and yes to monopod. I haven't seen anyone else using monopod all season except for me. But I'm to old to handhold my 400 all game. Also I like the look this combo better.
My basketball kit is 4 camera's
1D4 with 70-200 in catwalk above basket(south basket)
5D with 16-35 clamped to basket (south Basket)
1D4 with 24-70mm with me (north basket)
1DX with 400 with me (north basket) 400 fires remotes
I don't have a choice of my seat, they are assigned. I pull #3, not to bad,but I could use a ref's butt filter more times than not.



Feb 25, 2013 at 08:51 PM
 

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Ralph Thompson
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p.1 #11 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


I've seen some venues say no to lens hoods much less a monopod... May want to check the rules of your venue...


Feb 25, 2013 at 09:28 PM
mkchang
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p.1 #12 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


I just recently got a new monopod that's shorter and could be used while sitting down. However, it's easier for me to hand hold my 400:








Feb 25, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Russ Isabella
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p.1 #13 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Yes to the monopod on my long lens (either 300 f/2.8 or 200 f/1.8 + 1.4x TC), and pretty much everyone who shoots the NBA games I'm shooting uses a monopod on their long lens. Not saying that makes it right, just that that may be part of the reason why I feel it's okay to do it. For me, it definitely helps me maneuver the rig from lap to eye and back to have the monopod on it. 70-200 on other body for near-court action. Occasionally I will throw on my 24-70 for wider near-court action. My favorite positions are as close to under the basket as I can get (usually the 3rd position from the stanchion--definitely a more dangerous spot than farther out) or farther out near the 3-point line. Anywhere in between seems to increase the likelihood of being blocked frequently by the refs. I must say that I am generally very disappointed by the quality of the downcourt shots I get with the long lens (not because of being blocked or getting backs, but IQ sucks, regardless of which long lens). More and more I have been thinking of bagging it altogether and using that camera as a remote on the far side. Haven't tried that yet, but I'll get there.


Feb 25, 2013 at 09:57 PM
tntcorp
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p.1 #14 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Ben Amato wrote:
Of those that shoot basketball regularly with a 300mm f2.8 lens… do you use a monopod? I find I'm a lot slower with the monopod than with just the camera/lens combo. What other lenses (besides 70-200) do you find yourself using regularly for BB.

Ben


on the floor, it's the 70-200mm for down or across the court and 24-70mm at the baseline to top of the key.



Feb 25, 2013 at 10:04 PM
dmwierz
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p.1 #15 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


I gotta counter what Russ said. In Chicago, monopods are not allowed court side at NBA events. I handhold my 400 for down court shots (when I'm not doing a goal stanchion remote). I do agree with Russ on one count, though: I rarely get more than a couple keepers from my 400. With the file integrity of modern cameras, you can shoot a 70-200 zoomed all the way in, and crop tight, and never miss your 300.








Feb 26, 2013 at 03:08 AM
gschlact
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p.1 #16 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Hey Dennis,
I love that shot, makes up for all the downcourt backside shots everyone was talking about.

I was at a game last month- I forgot to ask whether anyone in this shot was from our Sports Forum since I only know names not faces.
Guy








Feb 26, 2013 at 03:45 AM
dmwierz
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p.1 #17 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Guy, nope, nobody in this august lineup are members here, although if this is the game I think it is, I occupied the open spot during portions of the second half. Notice no monopods.

You ID'ed one of the biggest issues with down court shots - very few of them show faces. However, sometimes you get lucky.

Shooting with a 70-200 also can let you stay wide enough to capture some other action, like this shot from the same game as the one of The Bird Man above:







Neither of these shots are anything special - just the most recent ones I have that illustrate how a super tele isn't necessarily required for down court shooting.



Feb 26, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Ben Amato
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p.1 #18 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Great comments everyone. Interesting about the limited use of monopods.

Mike (zappa): Are you shooting action with the 400 or just faces and coaches. Do you get a number of solid shots with your remotes? Which of the remotes gives the best percentage of keepers?

Michael Chang: Same question. What are you focusing on with your 400?

Russ: I have noticed the same thing regarding IQ. Shooting down court seems like a lot of wasted effort. I have been focusing more on midcourt defense and less on shot blocking recently. Mainly looking for facial intensity. I do find it great for coaches and player emotional outbursts.

Dennis: I agree with your 70-200 thoughts. I found myself sticking with mine rather than picking up the 300 more and more as the season went on. Ralph mentioned that lens hoods are not allowed in some venues. I have heard that rubber lens hoods are used by many pros. Any thoughts on this. What about your long tele’s?

Anyone, thoughts on remotes! We all see some great shots occasionally on the forum. But not that often. Is it worth the expense and effort to set these up regularly. I suppose at the upper level (NBA, Elite NCAA teams) this is mandatory. What about everyone else?

Ben



Feb 26, 2013 at 01:37 PM
dmwierz
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p.1 #19 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Ben,

You are correct - no plastic lens hoods (though this one is enforced less frequently than the no monopod rule, and I still see the occasional photographer with a plastic hood on his/her 70-200). I have rubber hoods on my 70-200 and 24-70. As far as super tele's, notice the image posted by Guy above: all the tele's have no lens hoods on them (the 300 to the right and the 400 on the left).

Concerning remotes, I have become a big fan of them. Here's yet another shot from the Bulls/Heat game, taken with a 1D MkIII with a 24-70 set at 24mm, ISO 3200, 1/640s, f/4.0, mounted in portrait orientation, about 30 inches off the floor, on the goal stanchion.







And here's one from a game a couple weeks ago (similar setup to the one above):







I typically get 10-15 keepers from my remotes from each game, which is a LOT more than I used to get from the 400 (or even the 300 I employed a couple seasons ago) and I think the shots are better, for the most part.



Feb 26, 2013 at 03:33 PM
zappahead
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p.1 #20 · Basketball/300mm/Monopod?


Ben,
I find I get a lot of awesome Nix post-up faces, reaction shots, bringing ball up court, and visiting coaches with 400mm. Here are a couple from Michigan vs MSU



© Great Scott Productions 2013





© Great Scott Productions 2013




Feb 26, 2013 at 07:31 PM
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