I continue to explore sports shots lit with speedlights. Here are some equipment comments and some recent examples from a few recent shoots. Except for the soccer shot, I used my FourSquare and SB900 speedlights in high speed sync triggered with PocketWizard Flex TT5s; and for all the shots I used my new D800.
D800 lore: OMG!!!
More Thoughtful D800 lore: ISO: I have shot up to ISO 3200 and I am satisfied with the low levels of noise the images contain. Perhaps the D700 was better on this front, but what the hey, ISO 3200 is still pretty special, and it can go higher still with acceptable images. Focusing speed: 3D tracking with 51 focus points in continuous focus = heaven. Maybe it is not as good or fast on the focus as a D4 but it is thousands of dollars less and it is still both good and very very good. Megapixels: 36.3 megapixels = amazing. It is hard to say much more except as D800s come into circulation, try one and see what 36.3 megapixels can do. At some point early on, Nikon put out a white sheet warning that with so many megapixels, you might have to use a tripod more often because the slightest shake or quiver would be much more apparent. I am going on 57, and while I am still steady, I am older than in my D80 days and yet, I have not experienced anything like the white paper warning portends. Tripods are great; but not any more needed on the D800 than on the D700 than on the D300 etc. etc. Storage: I find the images are very lush, but the files generated are huge so, while not a downside in my book, it is something to be aware of. NEF raw files come out of the camera measuring some 45 megabytes each and if you do any Lightroom or CS6 work on the image, the file size will quickly exceed 100 megabytes. So, if you do the math, every time you have a 100 image shoot, you will start with 4.5 gigabytes of files, and if you work on just 25 of them, you will have almost 6 gigabytes of images. That’s a whole lot of storage issues but storage is cheap. Frames per Second: fewer than a D700 or a D4, or any of the family of D3s. For sports action shots without flash, this could be an issue. With sports speedlight shots, it is a non issue since the camera is still much faster than speedlight recycling time.
Flex lore: I know there is disagreement as to the Flex TT5s but I enjoy them and they are very reliable for me, with the following three basic reliability observations: 1.) follow the directions – they are very important. turn the units on top to bottom: so, on the transceiver that sits on the hot shoe, it must be turned on first, and the camera second; on the unit attached to the speedlight, turn the speedlight on first and then the transceiver and wait for the flash to fire its own test shot; 2.) use the antenna – meaning flip it out of its holder so it is extended out from the unit; 3.) battery power is very important; when the AAs start to run down, the units will likely start to fail. I use Eneloop rechargeables so I am a little green and because they maintain a steady amount of power that they deliver the failure of the unit is delayed until much later in the charge capacity, at least it seems that way to me.
The FourSquare: explore the link. It is a very cool light modifier. Dave Black uses it. David Tejada uses it. ”Nuff said.
And, some shots:
thanks for stopping by my blog . . . Mark