Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday Night Lights

High school football season has officially started and last night I covered the first varsity game ever for a new high school. But more importantly(to me) I got to put my D3s to its first real test and it aced the exam.

Super fast focus and amazing ISO performance. Once the sun dropped and the players were lit only by the stadium lights I took the ISO up to 4000, set my shutter to 1/1000 and varied my aperture from f/3.2 to f/4, depending on the location of the players on the field.

With that shutter speed of 1/1000 I was able to freeze the action flawlessly, something I was never able to do with my older D300, especially on darker fields like our local Grape Bowl.

But I had one big disadvantage-my lens.

On my D300 my 200mm 2.8 worked well enough for football
(not great since it wasn't long enough for mid-field action or action on the opposite sideline) because of the 1.5 crop factor. That means to have my photos show nothing but the action I didn't have to crop much. But on the full framed D3s I lose that crop factor. That leads to more cropping and that leads to what little noise there is being made bigger. Photos look less sharp because of this.

So this cements my buying a 300mm lens mid-September. If I want to take full advantage of the D3s I have to have the longer telephoto lens.

But other than that things couldn't have gone better(from the equipment standpoint-the game could have used some better action).

Here are some shots.

First up is a pregame shot of the coach talking to his players. I couldn't pass up the beautiful "Golden hour."

(Nikon D300 ISO 800, f/3.2 @ 1/1250)

And some action shots.

(Nikon D3s ISO 4000, f/4 @ 1/1000)

(Nikon D3s ISO 4000, f/3.2 @ 1/1000)

(Nikon D3s ISO 4000, f/3.2 @ 1/1000)

That's all for now. I'm looking forward to using the new camera at Monday's varsity girls volleyball at Tokay and the upcoming basketball season.

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