Commack High School Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Smithtown West
Congratulations to the Commack girls basketball team on their win over Smithtown West. Off to a great start. This was my first basketball game of the season back in the south gym. I shot this using manual exposure, ISO 8000, 1/640 sec. @ f/2.8. For the next game I'll probably drop my ISO to 6400 and the shutter speed to 1/500 sec. just to produce some cleaner images. I used three lenses in this game - a 16-55mm, which is my go-to lens for basketball when I can get close to the basket, a 50-140mm which I shoot from the stands at basketball rim level, and a 10-24mm super wide zoom, which produces some interesting shots of almost the entire gym. These are all used on a Fujifilm XT-2 body with an APS-C size sensor so on a full-frame body these would be equivalent to a 24-70mm, 70-200m and 14-32mm.
As I said, the 16-55 is my primary lens for basketball if I can shoot from right outside the key. Commack has only a small amount of room between the baseline and the wall, so this lens is perfect for tight spots like this. For gyms with more room I'll use the 50-140mm for most of the game. Just to break up the monotony I'll use my 50-140mm from the stands, if they're not too crowded, shooting from about eye level with the basketball rim. This allows me to get some cleaner backgrounds since I'm shooting down at the players and reduces the chances of players being blocked by other players. The 10-24mm is fun to use, sparingly, since it covers a lot of territory. It works best for playoff games when the stands are filled with people. The only problem is that the minimum aperture is f/4 so you need to lower your shutter speed a full stop to compensate.
I used to bring out both the 16-55 for near court shots and 50-140 for farcourt shots and switch off between the two depending on which way the play was going, but I found I lost more shots switching lenses than it was worth. Now I just stick with the 16-55 and wait for the play to come to me.
For you folks up in the stands, this is one sport where you have a better chance of getting decent shots from the stands than on the floor. As I said, being up higher than the players allows you to shoot down at them, giving you cleaner backgrounds and reducing the chance they'll be blocked by another player. You can also get some neat eye-level shots of them going up for a layup, assuming they come in from the side opposite you.