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Nikon D40X What is the best setting for night pictures at a youth football game (under lights) My pictures are not coming out focused and very dark

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It will take a little experimentation on your part, but you are likely to get the best results by turning off most of the automatic features on the D40x.

First, for exposure, a lighted field tends to have pretty even lighting across it. You still need a decently high shutter speed to capture football action, so you will need a high ISO setting.Turn your D40x mode dial to "M" for manual (see p.43 of your manual). Set your ISO to 1600 (see p.37 in the manual).

Consulting my 1973 Kodak Master Photoguide, I'd suggest using an initial starting point for your exposures to be a shutter speed of 1/400s ("400" on the LCD) and and aperture of f/4 on your lens (p.43). If your lens is slower than that, equivalent starting points would be 1/200s at f/5.6 and 1/160s at f/6.3. For best results, though, you will want to use a faster lens for night sports.

Take a picture of a subject on the field, then display it via playback. Click the multi-selector up or down until you see the histogram display. While most of the bars in the histogram may be toward the dark end of the scale, there should be some in the mid-tone region representing your subject. If everything is toward the dark end, you will need to open your aperture or reduce your shutter speed. If there are bars piling up at the extreme right or light end of the histogram, you can increase your shutter speed. Continue this process until you find the exposure setting that gives you a clear-looking picture on playback with a good histogram. You should be able to use this setting for the rest of the evening. It pays to check occasionally, though, as sometimes lights either increase in brightness with time, or some lights may go out.

Concerning poor focus: if you are using a telephoto lens under low light, the camera autofocus mechanism can either take a long time to focus, or may fail to focus. This is another case where you may get better results going manual. If you are using an AF-S lens, there should be a switch on the lens marked "A <-> M". Switch it to the "M" position and you will now focus the lens manually. You will turn the focus ring until your subject appears its sharpest in the viewfinder. If you can predict where the action will be happening, you can pre-focus on the spot and wait for the play to unfold and take the picture when the players get there. Choosing moments when players naturally have minimal movement in the midst of action is something all sports photographers learn, so as to make the most of the small action-stopping ability of shutter speeds in low light situations, such as when the quarterback stops to throw a pass, or catching a receiver at the topmost height of a jump.

Remember after the game to restore your usual settings to the camera: a more moderate ISO setting, selecting the "P" or an automatic mode on the dial, and turn the switch on your lens back to "A" for automatic focusing.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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1 Answer

What's the best settings for night football game


The following link has good answers to your question.
http://photo.net/digital-camera-forum/00XPqF

I hope this helps.

Oct 22, 2010 | Nikon D40x Digital Camera

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When I look through the viewfinder on my Nikon D40x it is blurry and looks out of focus, but when but after I take the picture it is clear on the lcd screen. Is there a setting I can change or is something...


Adjust view finder focus as you will see setting there, to view correct focus in view finder itself.
Camera is just fine because it is taking good focus pictures.

Oct 17, 2010 | Nikon D40x Digital Camera

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This may sound trite, but it's night! Try adding some light on the subject.

Feb 21, 2010 | Nikon D40x Digital Camera

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Friday Night Lights Blur


Congrats on the D40! It is a great camera! Best buy out there for a DSLR. You can spend more, but for the money you can't get a better camera.

I've been shooting football games from the sidelines for four years with a Nikon D70, which is almost the same camera as the D40.

For shutter speed, you'll need to use a maximum of about 1/350. With the lighting at most high school stadiums, you won't likely be able to get enough light at this shutter speed with the "shooting modes".

You need to set:

ISO to 3200 (max)
Program mode to "S"
Shutter speed to 1/350 or maybe 1/500. The 'S' mode will keep the shutter speed where you set it and vary the aperature to control exposure, as best it can.

This will give you photos at most locations with the 18-55 that are a bit dark, and you'll need to adjust the lighting in whatever software you use. If this gets you photos that are acceptable at your location, you can stop here.

But if not, then you'll need to move to some more complicated "tricks".

I could describe some techniques, but Ken Rockwell has a good explanation of how to do this on his website (you also may find it useful for general photography hints).

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000/high-iso-comparison.htm#3200

And then look at where he talks about "pushing".

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/photoshop/pushing-iso.htm

Ken also talks about setting ISO to 6400, which can be done on this camera. You'll need to work with removing the grain (noise) afterwards, though.

If you're using the 18-55 and are happy with the zoom, then you could potentially switch to the straight 50mm f1.8 lens that Nikon sells for about $120. This won't autofocus on the D40, but the f1.8 will get you far better low light capability. The 50 is easy and fast to focus manually.

You could also go after the 80-200mm f2.8, which goes for about $800 new or $500 on ebay. Again, you'd have to manual focus, but the f2.8 will get you way more light into the camera.

If you post what you are using for lens and give a general idea of what you use for software, I can point you some other places that will show how to deal with noise and also lighten your exposure if you need to.

Sep 19, 2009 | Nikon D40 Digital Camera with G-II 18-55mm...

1 Answer

Pictures are coming out dark and often can't get it to focus


Having gone over a year without a response to my query, I assume lowering the ISO took care of the grain problem.

Jul 25, 2009 | Nikon D40x Digital Camera

1 Answer

White Pictures


if the camera is on a very reflective surface such as sasnd or snow, sometimes the light meter can be fooled and so you have to try to find a snow mode or manually increace the apeture or shutterspeed or lower the ISO you might also check to see if the camera is set on a very high ISO, or very low apeture or shutter speed, another possibility is that the exposure level is set very high or is locked so the camera will over expose, also if you focus the camera on a dark object, then the rest of the picture will be over exposed, so try to focus on a object that is about halfway between black and white.

Jul 23, 2009 | Nikon D40x Digital Camera

1 Answer

Can't take pictures in low light/no flash with my Nikon D40X


First of all you need a tripod to cut down on the movement . Next use the mode dail and select a nigt setting .
You can even use a shutter speed in Aperature Prioity .Ypu might want to use exposure comp .
This should work for you.

Apr 07, 2009 | Nikon D40x Digital Camera

1 Answer

Images are coming out REALLY dark


first GET TO AUTO MODE WITH FULL AUTO
if this doesn't work try going to manual and setting the exposure up to +1 or +2

Feb 04, 2009 | Nikon D40x Digital Camera

1 Answer

D40x Camera with mirror lens = black pictures


Usually tele lenses need longer exposure,and mirror lenses need more than normal lenses.Try with 1sec, half sec,( 2 in the speed dial, not 2" ) or quarter sec (4 in the speed dial) exposures.

One more thing, you need good sturdy stands to hold cameras.

Apr 02, 2008 | Nikon D40x Digital Camera

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