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  • Andrew JK Tan

Nikon D850 at the BWF World Tour - Singapore Open 2018

It has been a very busy couple of months but I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to photograph top class badminton action at the recent Singapore Open held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

I have photographed many very fast action sports from Ice Hockey , Floorball , Soccer and others , the sport of badminton to me is one of the toughest to photograph well. Capturing the player in an appealing dynamic manner with the shuttlecock clearly defined and as close to the racquet surface as possible is a huge challenge irrespective of the stroke.

There were many challenges faced and here are the two major ones:

1. Indoor lighting is a challenge requiring very high ISOs to maintain the shutter speed required

2.The Nikon D850 at 9FPS is fast but it is definitely not the fastest camera around

Here is what the Nikon D850 has going for it to photograph the action successfully:

1. Great high ISO performance using JPEG FINE* with the in-camera noise reduction

2. Top notch AF tracking performance which can be tuned

3. Superb response and no buffering issues slowing down the 46MP DSLR

Before I share the action captures , the goal for me was to capture the action with the shuttlecock as well defined as possible & as close to the racquet face as possible.

Hardware / Setup & Tips will be shared towards the end of the blog after the images shared , so here goes.

All images captured were from the single session that I spent at the event.

Hardware / Setup

Nikon D850

Nikkor 24-120mm f4.0


ISOs between 6400 to 10,000

Shutter Speeds between 1/1600s to 1/3200s (most at 1/3200s)

AF tracking with lock on set to level 2 , erratic

Group AF mode

Back-Button dedicated focus

9FPS setup


No Flash (as in all photography for sports action)


Always start shooting BEFORE the raquet makes contact with the shuttlecock & continue until after contact.

Shutter Speeds need to be really fast. (refer to setup above)

Timing to trigger the shutter is key.

Well , I hoped you enjoyed this blog.

For me the Nikon D850 did very very well photographing top class badminton action and with this success , the D850 to me definitely can be used to photograph all sports and any fast action subjects with confidence.

Till the next blog on my recent Jakarta Conceptual shoot. Take Care.



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