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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Nikon D300S with SB-800
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05/16/2010 05:29:07 AM · #1
Hi All

Got a session on Saturday night in the middle of a football stadium. It is going to be at 8:30pm so dark. I have the D300S, 16-85, 70-200 and SB-800.

Any advise on how best to use these 2 lens at night in the middle of a stadium to take photos of a performance.

I was out in city last night and struggled and night to get any focus lock
Or a suggestion for a lens for use on the night

Thank you
05/16/2010 09:28:26 AM · #2
At risk of stating the obvious, the 16-85/3.5-5.6 is probably much too slow, expecially at the tele-end. 70-200, left wide open, is probably your only usable glass. If you need something wider, I'd suggesting buying/renting either a prime (1.4/1.8) or a pro mid-zoom (2.8) such as 17-55/2.8, 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8..... All depends on the angle of view you need.

Where are you going to be shooting from? What are you shooting? Need lots more details for what you expect to shoot.

Depending on what you're expecting to shoot, speedlight will probably just stay at home. Working distance will likely be to far for it do really do any good. Again, that depends on where you are and what you expect to shoot.
05/16/2010 10:34:51 AM · #3
If stadium lights are on and you go to mid ISO, you should be ok.
05/16/2010 06:39:34 PM · #4
thanks for the replies

I will be in front of the stage in the middle of the stadium. The stadium lights will be on but not sure how much light i will get out of it
I could use a 17-55 2.8 if that will help me out

Is auto-ISO my friend in this case.
ALso any specific setting i should use. I am more familiar with 'A". I can use "S" if i have some pointers
05/16/2010 06:47:15 PM · #5
also do you think i should get the SB-900 for this event to assist instead of the sb-800
The organiser has said he wants photos of the performance before, during and after. Ie action photos.
I know the 16-85 is not fast enough. The 70-200 should be, shouldnt it
05/16/2010 06:49:00 PM · #6
I'm a little confused by your messages -- what exactly *are* you photographing? Football? A concert? A theatre production?

What are you subjects, what kind of movement will there be, and what kind of lighting?

Message edited by author 2010-05-16 18:50:53.
05/16/2010 07:21:49 PM · #7
halftime entertainment at a footbal game.
There will be a choregraphed dance routine in the middle of the stadium
Lighting will be stadium lighting and also effect lighting
05/17/2010 03:03:41 PM · #8
Originally posted by mrtanz:

halftime entertainment at a footbal game.
There will be a choregraphed dance routine in the middle of the stadium
Lighting will be stadium lighting and also effect lighting


Sounds like you could treat this as a concert shoot. I'm primarily a concert and theatre shooter, so naturally I have lots of thoughts/ideas on this. ;) To save myself re-writing (and everyone reading) rambling for pages :D I'll refer to several threads I've chimed in on or referenced before:

This thread,
this thread
this thread (dated, but all very relevant, if a rather long read...) and
this article/tutorial

Specific thoughts for this thread... D300s is fine body for this. 70-200/2.8 if fine lens. 16-85/3.5-5.6 is too slow to even consider in my opinion. If you need something wider (which if you're going to be that close, you probably will), you should rent or buy one of the lenses I mentioned above.

You'll find many opinions on how to shoot a concert, and some of how you shoot will depend on how comfortable you are with your camera, your ability to change settings on-the-fly, and how quicky lighting conditions are changing.

Details/Explanations are in threads above -- here's the short version -- I would recommend raw, tungsten WB, manual mode, EV comp -0.7 to -1.3, spot meter, leave your lens wide open and adjust ISO and shutter for exposure, check your view finder and histograms often (but not so much you're missing shots), don't bother with flash. All handheld - no tripod or monopod -- tripod/monopod is a liability in a crowd, and can be used as a weapon (against you).

Start with ISO 800, 1/200, f/2.8 and see where you are. You'll need to stay around 1/120 or faster to stop an average person's motion (faster if they are really truckin' around stage), but I'll shoot as low as 1/30 if someone is still and I'm wanting for light. Just see what your light looks like and adjust shutter and ISO from there. In the unlikely case you have enough light, consider stopping down from wide-open to play with depth-of-field... but usually I never change aperture throughout an entire show, simply because there is not enough light. (Again, keep in mind I shoot mostly very dark shows).

And, although I mention it in every single one of the threads above, it's worth repeating again -- STAY OUT OF THE WAY. A good concert photographer is virtually invisible. Remember, if you have a great sight-line... you're probably blocking someone else's view. I'll never forget (or forgive) the shooter who ruined one of my favorite concerts I was attending (as an audience member) several years ago. I use that memory to keep myself out of other people's way, as I would never want to be "that guy" and elicit the outright *rage* that he did in me (and several others) that night.

Bring print-outs of any coorespondence you have, and make sure you have your credentials (photo/media pass) in hand when you enter. Have the cell phone number of someone who is "in charge" and knows you have permission to be there, in case there are problems getting your pass.

Meet with security ahead of time, make nice, and make sure they know you are allowed to be there with a pro camera. Do whatever security says and never EVER argue with them. The right time to discuss anything with security is *before* the shoot; if they bounce you because they don't know who you are or don't recognize your credentials, that's *your* fault.

Since you mentioned dance, I'll also mention a tip for "jumpers" (dancers, guitarists, lead singers who were inspried by David Lee Roth, etc...) -- Try to time your shot with the "top" of the jump. Considering relative motion, anyone jumping will move "least" at the top of their jump, so if you can time your shot with that magic moment at the top, you have the best chance of keeping a sharp image, vs. trying to pan your lens up or down with them. Don't rely on burst-mode for this -- good "jump" shots are almost never caught in burst. Burst mode is good for other shots (especially close-ups on singers, because you'd be amazed how many unflattering contortions a face makes while singing), but jump shots are caught by snipers -- one shot one... er, really-sharp-image.

Okay, I'm rambling again. Sorry, I just love shooting concerts. :P Read the threads above - I can't add much of anything that hasn't already been discussed...

Message edited by author 2010-05-17 15:09:04.
05/19/2010 08:48:17 PM · #9
Thank you very much for the awesome information
I have done a alot of reading now and will put it all into practise on Saturday night

i will post some pics after
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