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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk
Thread started 04 Jan 2011 (Tuesday) 17:54
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Need MMA/boxing focusing advice

 
nighthunter310
Member
132 posts
Joined Oct 2009
Los Angeles, CA
Jan 04, 2011 17:54 |  #1

Just shot my first MMA fight ringside. I used my 50D and a 24-70mm. I had some trouble trying to get good focus on the guys when they were running around. It was a little dark, so I had to shoot at 3200 ISO. In hindsight, maybe I could have shot at 6400 even, since my images are not even that noisy.

Does anybody have any advice on what I can do to make the focusing a little easier?

Right now I have it set to AI Servo and use the middle focus point only. I use the back button to focus. Somehow it did not feel to me like the AI Servo was actually tracking them at all while I was holding down the back button.

Thanks!


Canon 7D - Canon 50D
_______________
Canon 24-70L 2.8 - Canon 17-35L 2.8 - Canon 50 1.4 USM - Canon 85 1.8 USM - Sigma 30 1.4 - Tokina 10-17 3.5-5.6 Fisheye

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ChunkyDA
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Joined Apr 2007
Emerald Coast, FL
Jan 05, 2011 20:29 |  #2

If it was that dark and you need/want to take pictures of rapidly shifting subjects...the 50D just won't focus fast enough. The focus sensor relies on the amount of light falling on it, not the ISO you set to make a proper exposure. I'm sure there are other suggestions but for me, I'd invest in a used 1D MkII.


Dave
Support Search and Rescue, Get Lostexternal link
Gear list and some feedback

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nighthunter310
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
132 posts
Joined Oct 2009
Los Angeles, CA
Jan 06, 2011 02:01 |  #3

Thanks for the advice! Do you know about how much I should expect to pay for one of those?


Canon 7D - Canon 50D
_______________
Canon 24-70L 2.8 - Canon 17-35L 2.8 - Canon 50 1.4 USM - Canon 85 1.8 USM - Sigma 30 1.4 - Tokina 10-17 3.5-5.6 Fisheye

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Gatorboy
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Bel Air, MD
Jan 06, 2011 05:26 |  #4

nighthunter310 wrote in post #11573904external link
Right now I have it set to AI Servo and use the middle focus point only. I use the back button to focus.

That is the ideal setup.


Dave Hoffmann

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SnapLocally.com
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Joined May 2007
Jan 08, 2011 17:48 |  #5

ChunkyDA wrote in post #11581747external link
If it was that dark and you need/want to take pictures of rapidly shifting subjects...the 50D just won't focus fast enough. The focus sensor relies on the amount of light falling on it, not the ISO you set to make a proper exposure. I'm sure there are other suggestions but for me, I'd invest in a used 1D MkII.

With all due respect, I disagree. The 50D WILL focus fast enough depending on the lens used, and contrast of the subject.

Regarding the 1D MKII- it's a fine camera for it's time, and that time was 6 years ago. There's no way I'd recommend buying a 5 or 6 year old used camera. The 50D has plenty of potential for Combat Sports Photography, and the fact is yes, shooting fights in less than optimum lighting will require shooting at ISO 3200, and occasionally at 6400- a full stop beyond what the 1D MKII is capable of. That said, I'd recommend the 7D over a used 1D, hands down. But I don't recommend any body upgrades until you're using your current equipment to it's full potential, except maybe some new glass.


www.SnapLocally.comexternal link

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flickserve
Senior Member
835 posts
Joined Sep 2007
H.K.
Jan 09, 2011 18:49 |  #6

I've used the 24-70 indoors and really do not get on with it. The speed at which it focuses is slow.

Although I haven't got the 85/1.8, I do have the 100/2 which focuses extremely quickly. The other benefit is being able to use a wider aperture.

I'advise you to try your 85/1.8. You can have a go with your 50/1.4 as well but start off with f2.2 and see how you go from there.




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sethmo
Senior Member
463 posts
Joined Jun 2007
Keokuk, IA
Jan 17, 2011 21:28 |  #7

I just shot an MMA fight last weekend, but I was lucky and this venue had amazing light. I used a 50d and 35L as I was anticipating crappy light, but ended up being able to shoot at 1/800,f2.8,ISo800.

Pics from this weekend:
http://www.sethmophoto​.com/f761627445external link

In "normal" MMA setups, I have to shoot 1/320-400,f1.8-2,ISO800-1600. I always use AI Servo mode with spot metering and have good luck getting focus majority of the time. For the most part I use auto focus points when the fighters are moving, and single points when they are on the ground. Getting the right timing however, that is the real trick! I have yet to master that.

I have used the Canon 50 f1.4 before and I found it too long for a lot of shots. I also have the Sigma 30mm f1.4 and it does a fairly good job, just have to crop the shots when the fighters are on the opposite side of the cage.

These pics were taken with the Siggy 30mm f1.4:
http://www.sethmophoto​.com/f356756573external link

I would also have to agree with SnapLocally, the 50d is fine, your glass just was not fast enough for the poor light, this is where primes are your friend. It is nice to have the 24-70 range, but having fast glass is much more important to me.

Good luck! I have another fight to photograph this weekend, they are a lot of fun!


-=sethmo - Canon EOS 50d=-
Links: Websiteexternal link / Gear List

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SnapLocally.com
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1,728 posts
Joined May 2007
Jan 18, 2011 18:48 |  #8

I for one am not an "equipment snob". I started off with an XTi and a used Tamron 28-75. Not the fastest equipment, but I learned a lot with what I had, and only when I made my money back (and then some) could I justify equipment upgrades.

Here's a few samples I took using that combination:

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www.SnapLocally.comexternal link

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jimmywires
Senior Member
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539 posts
Joined Mar 2005
Yorktown Va
Jun 13, 2011 17:32 |  #9

@snap you're no "equipment snob". lol I got a shoot sat. whats the slowest shudder speed i can use? i'll have my 2.8's with me. 500-800? or can i go slower for stop action. i got spoiled been shooting semi pro football




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Need MMA/boxing focusing advice
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