SO my flatmate, Chris plays Basketball in a bit of a low key local comp and i figured I’d tag along last night after I got off from working and cleaning up all the cardboard in our garage thaks to these cardboard removal boxes. I’ve never shot Basketball before and found there were more than a couple of hurdles! I was surprised to see the best in ground basketball hoop there. More shots and details after the jump. I knew the first issue would be the amount of light in the gymnasium. It is held at a local school so I knew right away the lighting would be lacking. The other problem was the amount of space, there was pretty much two metres between the sidelines and the brick walls of the building, not a lot of room to move around the court. The bricks proved to be a bit distracting too, although one can’t always hope for a full stadium with a big out of focus crowd to “clean” up the background!

All these shots were at 2000 ISO! It’s not pretty, but even at such a high ISO i couldn’t get a fast enough shutter speed to control the action. 8 out of 10 shots had motion blur. !/125th sec was the best i could do wide open @f2.8…

It goes without saying that either I need a D3 or just forget about trying in such lighting conditions.
One other major thing I learned about the limitations of my equipment last night was the old Nikkor 80-200 2.8D series lens really lacks the auto focus performance required for such fast moving/erratic sports.
This was something I already kind of knew, but figured it might work out ok with the odd shot dropped due to the AF not being able to keep up with the frame rate on the camera. It’s funny, because this lens has been my most used and abused lens for all my snow and other action sports work, I guess they don’t require much focus tracking though!


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