Manual settings for d7000 with 55-300 for evening and night time baseball games.

rbk35rbk35 Posts: 3Member
edited September 2013 in D90/D7x00
Looking for some recommended setting for shooting pony league baseball games during late evening and night time.


  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited September 2013
    It looks like you dialed everything in at 1/400th, f/5, and iso 6400. The iso is the setting is what makes the image look a bit muddy.

    Personally I would get out of manual mode - the camera is faster than the shooter. For sports I set my camera to "S" shutter, and the ISO to "auto" and let the camera think for me most of the time. Fast movement needs the higher shutter speed - most of your images you could have gotten away with a shutter speed of 1/100 (if VR and a steady hand can compensate) or 1/200th. That would lower your ISO to 1600-5000 for a clearer image. I would probably also set the EV compensation down to -1 to -2 and utilize spot metering to lower the ISO as well and plan on bringing it back in Post (editing.) The lower the ISO the better.

    With that lens combo there is not much you can do. The only lens (with a reasonable price tag/sub $1,000) would be the 85mm f/1.8 that would give you a sizable advantage of a few stops.
    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • nikhgnikhg Posts: 2Member
    edited September 2013
    Those settings are probably as good as it can get with the lighting and lens/camera combination. I wouldn't drop the shutter speed any more than 1/250, but you have nothing else to play with.

    Like TaoTeJared said, since your focal lengths were 100mm for those photos, you could try the 85 1.8g. I have it and it's a great lens. If you wanted more reach, you could look at an 80-200 or 180 2.8. There is an excellent condition 180 2.8 for $400 on eBay, which is even cheaper than an 85 1.8 (but you lose 1.3 stops).

    Also, those photos are heavily cropped. Cropping on any camera at 6400 is going to cause a noticeable drop in quality, so try to stay away from it if at all possible. - See more at:

    @TaoTeJared I'm not sure if I agree with shooting at a lower ISO and then bringing it back. Shooting at the right exposure at 3200 is going to be less noisy (not to mention better colors etc) than shooting at -1 @1600 and then pushing it a stop.
    Post edited by nikhg on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    shooting moving people at night is tricky to say the least, and that's probably why the 2.8 superzooms cost an arm and a leg!

    I agree with the shutter comments to try to push the ISO down for still subjects, but if you want to get a clean picture of the pitch in action then an even higher shutter speed may be needed. I've played around with a sigma 85 1.4, which is <$1K btw, at night and its great for freezing action. However, the reach is nowhere near the 300 of the 55-300 zoom. Keep trying different settings. Eventually, I gave up using my 55-300 in favor of the 70-300 (another cheap option) . The latter focuses a little quicker and IMHO seems to allow more fluid continuous shooting, so hopefully one of the frames will be a keeper.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited September 2013
    A couple of comments....first, in the conditions you have done well, rbk35. I thought maybe you had used too much sharpening in post, but this might be another artifact. Moving subjects....the angle you are looking is critical as well. More from the side, might need higher shutter speeds....

    My suggestion, measure what light you have by doing some test shots, looking at the histogram. Then try setting the camera at shutter speed, aperture you want, ISO auto up to 6400. I would shoot about 1/250th sec at night and see if you get what you want. If the camera/lens will focus quickly and accurately, shoot wide open. For most of us we shoot a lot of test shots, then determine what seems to produce the result we want. My desire is to stop action, possible only in good light.

    Here is one I took, first time I tried this, no choice of vantage point. More in the set.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    These actually look fairly good... You are kinda limited with that lens but it'll do. Ive shot Pro minor league baseball at night with a D7000 and I always Shoot manual. Shoot your images raw and underexpose them at 1/2 a stop so you can maintain a fast shutter speed 6400 is pushing it but it is livable. I recommend post processing in Lightroom or Pshop and using 30% luminance. The raw sharpner is much nicer than a filter sharpner... Vr does not compensate for motion blur just for shake blur.
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • rbk35rbk35 Posts: 3Member
    Thanks for all the comments. Looking to upgrade the lens. The 70-200 vrII is out of my range. Looking at the 80-200 or a sigma or tamron with 2.8.
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