does this mean I need a flash unit too?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JimO, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. JimO

    JimO Guest

    I just got a Nikon f/2.8 70-200 to use with my D50. The lens is fantastic.
    At least now, I can shoot football games at night. What I would really like
    to be able to do is freeze action. In a football game it doesn't really
    matter but in a volleyball or basketball game, I'd like to be as discreet as
    possible and not use a flash. The shutter speeds required to freeze action
    just result in a very dark picture or complete blackness. Small town high
    school gyms and football fields are not very well list (at least for a
    camera).

    So, my dilema is... am I going to have to bite the bullet and get a flash
    unit? If so, what kind should I get. I noticed a guy at the football game
    on Friday had, what I thought, was a strobe flash mounted on his camera. I
    didn't get a chance to ask him about it, though.

    I'm pretty much a newbie at this and I have other beginner issues as well.
     
    JimO, Oct 16, 2006
    #1
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  2. JimO

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    >I just got a Nikon f/2.8 70-200 to use with my D50. The lens is fantastic.
    >At least now, I can shoot football games at night. What I would really
    >like to be able to do is freeze action. In a football game it doesn't
    >really matter but in a volleyball or basketball game, I'd like to be as
    >discreet as possible and not use a flash. The shutter speeds required to
    >freeze action just result in a very dark picture or complete blackness.
    >Small town high school gyms and football fields are not very well list (at
    >least for a camera).
    >
    > So, my dilema is... am I going to have to bite the bullet and get a flash
    > unit? If so, what kind should I get. I noticed a guy at the football
    > game on Friday had, what I thought, was a strobe flash mounted on his
    > camera. I didn't get a chance to ask him about it, though.
    >
    > I'm pretty much a newbie at this and I have other beginner issues as well.


    If you get a flash, you're still going to be too far away to use it
    unmodified, but a "Better Beamer" will give you the reach you need, they
    work amazingly well. However, there's a very good chance that you aren't
    allowed to use such a rig, you should probably check whether it's alright
    before you go out and buy one. Otherwise, set your aperture at f/2.8, and
    crank up that ISO!

    steve
     
    Steve Wolfe, Oct 16, 2006
    #2
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  3. JimO wrote:
    > I just got a Nikon f/2.8 70-200 to use with my D50. The lens is
    > fantastic. At least now, I can shoot football games at night. What I
    > would really like to be able to do is freeze action. In a football
    > game it doesn't really matter but in a volleyball or basketball game,
    > I'd like to be as discreet as possible and not use a flash. The
    > shutter speeds required to freeze action just result in a very dark
    > picture or complete blackness. Small town high school gyms and
    > football fields are not very well list (at least for a camera).
    >
    > So, my dilema is... am I going to have to bite the bullet and get a
    > flash unit? If so, what kind should I get. I noticed a guy at the
    > football game on Friday had, what I thought, was a strobe flash
    > mounted on his camera. I didn't get a chance to ask him about it,
    > though.
    > I'm pretty much a newbie at this and I have other beginner issues as
    > well.


    I will make two suggestions.

    First if you are going to get a flash that is going to do any real good,
    you are going to need a really powerful flash.

    Second, in my opinion images made without flash, look better than with
    flash. With flash you loose some of the effect of motion and I don't like
    the ghost effect you often get with flash under these conditions.

    Last, when photographing an event, I don't like to become part of the
    event. The best compliment I can get is someone commenting on my good
    pictures and adding that they did not even know someone what photographing
    the event.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
    Joseph Meehan, Oct 16, 2006
    #3
  4. In article <M5AYg.9937$>, JimO
    <> wrote:

    > So, my dilema is... am I going to have to bite the bullet and get a flash
    > unit? If so, what kind should I get. I noticed a guy at the football game
    > on Friday had, what I thought, was a strobe flash mounted on his camera. I
    > didn't get a chance to ask him about it, though.


    The amount of flash illumination you'll need at a normal distance from
    an outdoor, night time game makes the project impractical. In addition
    to the sheer distance, you'll need MUCH more light than a simple Guide
    Number calculation would indicate, because you have no walls or ceiling
    reflecting it back towards the subject. The same situation would make
    the flash lighting very harsh and unpleasant.

    Concentrators such as the Better Beamer would help, but not enough -
    they're primarily for fill illumination, and the BB in particular is
    intended for 300mm lenses or longer.

    BTW, 99.9% of the people you see using flash at events like this are
    operating in blissful ignorance (or have flashes they don't know how to
    turn off) The flash isn't doing anything useful.

    Just crank up the ISO as high as you can and see what happens.
     
    Scott Schuckert, Oct 16, 2006
    #4
  5. JimO

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Steve Wolfe wrote:
    >
    > If you get a flash, you're still going to be too far away to use it
    > unmodified, but a "Better Beamer" will give you the reach you need, they
    > work amazingly well.


    The Better Beamer type devices concentrate the flash field of coverage
    quite a bit and with full frame they will vignette at focal lengths
    under 300 mm, so probably not a good idea with his 70-200 mm lens ...
    even with the 'crop factor' he's right at the vignette limit at his
    longest focal length and won't be able to use this lens at all if he's
    zoomed under 200 mm.

    Bill
    (used a Beamer for years but usually with 500 mm or greater lenses)
     
    Bill Hilton, Oct 16, 2006
    #5
  6. JimO

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    >> If you get a flash, you're still going to be too far away to use it
    >> unmodified, but a "Better Beamer" will give you the reach you need, they
    >> work amazingly well.

    >
    > The Better Beamer type devices concentrate the flash field of coverage
    > quite a bit and with full frame they will vignette at focal lengths
    > under 300 mm, so probably not a good idea with his 70-200 mm lens ...
    > even with the 'crop factor' he's right at the vignette limit at his
    > longest focal length and won't be able to use this lens at all if he's
    > zoomed under 200 mm.


    With a 200mm lens on my Reb XT, the better beamer doesn't quite fill the
    frame vertically, but does horizontally. So far, in shooting various things
    (but only once for football), the falloff to the top and bottom haven't
    bothered me. If he really wanted full coverage, he could set his flash-head
    at a sub-optimal distance, which (according to tests I've seen, but never
    bothered to try) can widen the beam a bit.

    steve
     
    Steve Wolfe, Oct 16, 2006
    #6
  7. JimO

    Eric Babula Guest

    "JimO" <> wrote in
    news:M5AYg.9937$:

    > I just got a Nikon f/2.8 70-200 to use with my D50. The lens is
    > fantastic. At least now, I can shoot football games at night. What
    > I would really like to be able to do is freeze action. In a
    > football game it doesn't really matter but in a volleyball or
    > basketball game, I'd like to be as discreet as possible and not use
    > a flash. The shutter speeds required to freeze action just result
    > in a very dark picture or complete blackness. Small town high
    > school gyms and football fields are not very well list (at least
    > for a camera).
    >
    > So, my dilema is... am I going to have to bite the bullet and get a
    > flash unit? If so, what kind should I get. I noticed a guy at the
    > football game on Friday had, what I thought, was a strobe flash
    > mounted on his camera. I didn't get a chance to ask him about it,
    > though.
    >
    > I'm pretty much a newbie at this and I have other beginner issues
    > as well.
    >
    >
    >


    I've been asking similar questions to yours. I have yet to buy the dSLR,
    but am also looking at the Nikon D50 pretty seriously. You can Google my
    name in rec.photo.digital and see the responses to all my questions.

    It looks like the most popular response to my questions about indoor
    volleyball is to get a better piece of glass. The 85mm f1.8 was a
    popular choice among the people who responded to my questions.
    Basically, you want to have a fast lens. Your lens is f2.8 - is that all
    the way thru 200mm? Seems that most people suggest going with an f1.8,
    or maybe even an f1.4 for this situation.

    Well, instead of me blabbing about something I know little of, just
    check out my recent posts about the subject, and read what the others
    have said. Maybe there's a way to get your lens to work well enough,
    without using flash. I have no idea. I'm a newbie, too.

    Other than that, how do you like the D50?

    Good luck!

    --
    Eric Babula
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
     
    Eric Babula, Oct 16, 2006
    #7
  8. "JimO" <> wrote in message
    news:M5AYg.9937$...
    >I just got a Nikon f/2.8 70-200 to use with my D50. The lens is fantastic.
    >At least now, I can shoot football games at night. What I would really
    >like to be able to do is freeze action. In a football game it doesn't
    >really matter but in a volleyball or basketball game, I'd like to be as
    >discreet as possible and not use a flash. The shutter speeds required to
    >freeze action just result in a very dark picture or complete blackness.

    Generally speaking I find a shutter speed of around 1/250th is best for
    volleyball. It has a tendency to freeze the players action, but allow some
    movement of the ball to give a sense of the action involved. What
    aperture, shutter, and ISO values are you using for your shots?

    Here you can see the player is frozen nicely, but the ball appears to be
    moving in at rocket speed.

    http://andrewcrabtree.com/galleries...ke_tahoe/sunday/mens_final/pages/_DSC2000.htm

    Compare it to this shot where the shutter was much faster and the entire
    image is frozen (I prefer the first one)

    http://andrewcrabtree.com/galleries...ke_tahoe/sunday/mens_final/pages/_DSC2018.htm

    Nikon doesn't make any zooms faster than f2.8. Try boosting the ISO to
    400/800/1600 and shoot at f2.8 and see if you can get shutter speeds fast
    enough. You could also try the 85/1.4 which is 2 stops faster than your
    zoom, but you are restricted to a single focal length.

    I would avoid using a flash if at all possible.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
    Andrew Crabtree, Oct 16, 2006
    #8
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