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Best Settings for Ice Hockey

edited March 2013 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
I'm a brand new user to the D5100, and I just started experimenting with my son's ice hockey. First shots have been ok, but I would like any input on how to make them better. I know the game well enough to anticipate action, but I would like to know with limited lighting, how to make them more crisp. I have been using the sports mode, and have not tried changing any settings around as of yet. Looking for advice, thanks


  • edited March 2013
    What lens are you using? The kit lens doesn't do the best in low lighting situations.
    How have your pictures turned out thus far? Are they too dark blurry?

    Having something like a f/2.8 lens really helps when you need low light and high speed performance.

    I don't know if you like this guy but he does a bit on hockey. Not super helpful on settings as much as knowing the sport, which you already do but it may help some:

    Knowing how to manipulate your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings is going to give you the most control in any environment. Having nice glass is a plus beyond that.
  • edited March 2013
    Rule of thumb is a minimum shutter speed of 1/250" to freeze sports action; indoors and outdoor night events are a tough gig. I was shooting my daughter figure skating at the indoor rink last weekend with my 55-300mm f/3.5-f/5.6 Nikkor lens and I was freezing her spins and jumps at f/4.5, 1/125" ( 800 ISO, 72mm zoom), though there was some motion blur in her skate blade. If I wanted to stop action during a hockey game, I would consider dialing up the ISO to 1600 or 3200 so you can get the shutter speed up to 1/250" or 1/320". If you have a faster lens as Adelphos is recommending, then you wouldn't need to ramp up the ISO setting as high and probably would still end up with more than adequate shutter speed; that would be the best case scenario.

    Another thing you want to think about is artificial lighting. Go into your shooting menu, open up white balance (default is Auto), open the fluorescent tab, and select the type of lighting used by your rink so your camera can give your exposures proper color tones.
  • Howdy @mven33 - I agree with everything @Adelphos and @GerardH said. If you can tell us what lens you were using, that would help determine the issue with your shots.
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