Circular Polarizer and 300mm Zoom for Outdoor Action Shots

edited April 2013 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
@Moose and all - just joined the group and can't wait to tap into your knowledge.

Should I use a polarizing filter (I have the Zeikos that came with the camera, which I know is low end) with my DX Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 zoom lens that I use for my son's outdoor Lacrosse games?

I know that the Zeikos is a cheap brand, but raises the question of whether I should use even a better polarizing filter; I'm torn.

On one hand, I do get glare from the sun during that time of day so perhaps I should invest in a B+H or Hoya polarizing filter for my DX 300mm f/4.5?

On the other hand, since it is a D5100 with a 300mm f/4.5 (contra the better 300mm f/3.5), which are both DX models, is it even worth putting a filter on?

My last general question is what camera setting or mode should I use for outdoor action sports with my zoom lens? Currently, I am using the Sports and Pet mode and I really don't see a difference in the picture quality between the two.

Please let me know as I have his game coming up soon and I want to shoot the best pictures I can!



  • Howdy @david - Welcome to the forum! Let's dive in...

    1. Are you using the included lens hood that came with your 55-300mm lens? That should cut out most of the sun flare and excessive glare.

    2. If you're shooting in a direction towards the sun (sun is in the frame of the photo), my advice is to get on the other side of the field rather than mess with a circular polarizer. Circular polarizers are better suited for landscape and nature photography.

    3. If you need to quickly adjust your settings, then stick with the Sports scene mode. If you've got a little bit of time to tweak your settings, jump over into Shutter priority (S on the mode dial).

    - Set your shutter speed to 1/1000
    - Set your ISO to Auto
    - Set your Focus Mode to AF-C and the Focus Point to AF Area or 3D Tracking.
    - Set your Release mode to Continuous (burst)

    With these settings in place, half-press the shutter to continuously focus on your son. When ready, fully press the shutter and hold it down to rattle off a burst of shots.

    All the best and happy shooting! :)
  • edited April 2013

    1. Yes, I'm using the lens hood that came with the lens. It does cut out some of the glare.

    2. Understood and I will give it a try from the other side.

    3. Will give the Shutter priority a try this weekend.

    Wish me luck. I'll report back! Many thanks again for response!

    - David

  • edited April 2013
    @Moose, here are a couple of technical issues I had:

    1. I could not adjust the ISO to Auto. It gave me options from 100 all the way up, but no Auto ISO option to select when in shutter priority.

    2. Can you give me detailed steps in how to change shutter speed to 1/1000? I couldn't find that as well.

    Apologies for the rookie questions in advance.

    Thanks and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  • edited April 2013

    1. You have to jump into the MENU and select ISO Sensitivity Settings. There you will find the option to enable Auto ISO.

    2. Once in Shutter priority (S on the mode dial), just rotate the smaller command dial left or right to adjust the shutter speed.

    No apologies needed, glad to help any way I can. Happy shooting! :)
  • edited April 2013

    I was able to set the shutter speed (#2 above), but am still puzzled on setting the ISO to Auto. When going to menu, then ISO sensitivity, I see Auto, but it is not one of the highlighted choices. I see choices ranging anywhere from 100 all the way to Hi 2. In other words, I can't select Auto as you advised.

    Note that I am in S-priority. The other settings in this Menu > ISO sensitivity settings are as follows:

    - Auto ISO sensitivity control: ON
    - Maximum Sensitivity: 6400 (why this number, I have no idea)
    - Minimum Shutter Speed: 1/30 (not sure why it's set at this number as well)

    Your help and other member's help is much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance and I look forward to finally figuring this out.


  • edited April 2013
    @david - It's a bit confusing, I agree. The ISO Sensitivity label will show 100, 200 or whatever you had previously selected. There's no Auto selection. However, as long as Auto ISO Sensitivity Control is ON then Auto ISO is enabled.

    You can test this by taking a test shot indoors and then viewing the image on your camera. If you click the UP Arrow on the directional pad when viewing images, you'll get a screen that gives you the image details. Locate the ISO label and you'll see the camera is in fact choosing the ISO for you.

    The Maximum Sensitivity setting allows you to control how high you want the Auto ISO to go. In some situations (like shooting outdoors in bright light), you'll want to make sure it never goes beyond say 800. When indoors, you'll want to set the max between 3200 and 6400 depending on how fast the subject is moving.

    The Minimum Shutter Speed pertains specifically to shooting in Aperture priority (A on the mode dial). Since you're shooting in Shutter priority for Sports, you don't need to worry about this.

    This setting allows you to control how slow you want the shutter speed to get in low light situations while in Aperture priority. This will depend largely on what you're shooting. For portraits, you should bump it to 1/90. For sports, you would need to set it to 1/500.

    Hope that all makes sense...all the best! :)

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