Saturday, 3 December 2011

Bowling: Sigma 18-50 Low Light Test

Some friends went for a bowling game a few days ago n I decided to follow and shoot some test shots of indoor low light sports photography to learn a bit or two about the needed equipment for this situation. Currently I have a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM which includes a Hypersonic Silent Motor and an optical stabilizer. Yeah the aperture value changes as I change the focal length. This is a US$ 200 lens and the main reason I picked it because of the f/2.8 at 18mm and the optical stabilizer so I wouldn't expect miracles from it.

I was eyeing on the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM lens. It is f/4 and it is an L glass. I heard it got great bang for buck so I decided how will it perform in low light. But the Canon is seriously heavy and big. Another option is a Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD, with more reach at 300mm, an ultrasonic motor, also optical stabilizer and costs less than half of the Canon. Because of these lenses are f/4 so I tweaked my short Sigma to be at f/4, with an ISO 1600 it gives shutter speeds of around 1/160s.

Ah my test subjects were Naz, Khalish, Paan and Chox. Thanks guys...

Let the games begin in ISO 1600.
This is ISO 1600 f/2.8 1/200s which was adequate to freeze his motion
ISO 1600 to the untrained eye is fine but I can see the noise. Dam
noise in the dark areas man!
I'm quite impressed with f/4 still being able to produce nice shallow depth of field
Gogogo Alealeale
U mad bro?
le despair
ISO 1600 f/3.5 1/200s kinda good but this is cheating, lower than f/4 man.
ISO 1600 f/4 1/160s still blurry!
Romp Jeans advert by Chox wohoo!
Jeans advert again Naz?
Nice power stance Khalish.
This ISO 1600 f/4.5 1/100s is not enough to capture his fast movement.
ISO 1600 f/3.5 1/160s is good enough for motionless subjects
The verdict of this experiment is, you're gonna need the f/2.8 at the long end to give nice 1/200s or above to avoid blurs in low light situations. But an insane clean high ISO performance of a full frame would be nice too. A hypersonic motor wont cut it as I experienced a lot of focus hunting so we'll need the ultrasonic motor. The body for the job is indeed a full frame 5D Mark II with a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM lens in front of it. Both of these guys are so expensive even after robbing a bank I'm still not sure if I can afford them. Maybe I'll just go back to where I belong, travel photography.

Justa video I recorded...

And plus
ISO 1600 f/4.5 1/160s. It was dark.
ISO 100 f/4 1/15s an impromptu test of the optical stabilizer shot handheld. 1/15s man! This guy wont be so sad if you visit his store..

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