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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk
Thread started 05 Nov 2016 (Saturday) 21:20
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Lens for night time sports?

 
pat.kane
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Nov 06, 2016 18:36 |  #16

rdalrt wrote in post #18176957 (external link)
The 300 is still actually a bit short for football. You would be surprised how close the action could get to you even with a 300 before you would have to switch to something shorter. Especially on a FF like the 5D III.

My sentiments exactly.


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pat.kane
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Nov 06, 2016 19:00 |  #17

mathogre wrote in post #18176989 (external link)
I completely disagree regarding f/5.6 for sports. Here's a set at the link below using the 5DM3 and the 100-400 Mk I. 1/500s, f/5.6, and ISO from 10,000 to 16,000.

Graham, you appear to be on a reasonably well lit field, because the equivalent ISO would be 25,600 to get the same 1/500-sec at f/5.6 at Yorktown (I thought I recognized that girl chasing!), and that's in the middle of their field and it is 1-2 stops worse in the end zones. Yorktown's baseball field lighting is worse than the football field and 1/500-sec isn't fast enough for baseball (everything will be a nasty blur). What do you think of the 5D Mk III's performance at ISO 51,200 or 102,400? That's probably where it would have to be at Yorktown for baseball action at f/5.6.

My big takeaway from your post is the OP didn't share the ambient conditions for his fields. If he has well-lit fields, he may indeed be able to use f/5.6.


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mathogre
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Oakton, VA USA
Nov 06, 2016 19:16 |  #18

pat.kane wrote in post #18177675 (external link)
Graham, you appear to be on a reasonably well lit field, because the equivalent ISO would be 25,600 to get the same 1/500-sec at f/5.6 at Yorktown (I thought I recognized that girl chasing!), and that's in the middle of their field and it is 1-2 stops worse in the end zones. Yorktown's baseball field lighting is worse than the football field and 1/500-sec isn't fast enough for baseball (everything will be a nasty blur). What do you think of the 5D Mk III's performance at ISO 51,200 or 102,400? That's probably where it would have to be at Yorktown for baseball action at f/5.6.

My big takeaway from your post is the OP didn't share the ambient conditions for his fields. If he has well-lit fields, he may indeed be able to use f/5.6.

Hi Pat!

Good point! I really didn't think too much about that. I'm probably rather spoiled and assume that most fields are lit about the same. These were shot at Oakton HS. Our field is pretty well lit, and it's actually fairly evenly lit. I shot one game this spring at McLean HS, and their field isn't as well lit, which surprises me a bit. While much of the night photos were done at ISO 16,000, there were a few at ISO 20,000.

Given some of the other things I've shot, I don't like shooting at ISO 25,600 and have never tried higher, not even to experiment.

So yes, I concede the point that faster lenses are still needed, and high ISO has its limitations. :D


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Talley
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Nov 06, 2016 19:20 |  #19

400 2.8 is the only option for football period. You can even get an older non IS model for a decent price.

Outside of that for a budget minded person the 120-300 2.8 OS is a great option.


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3jc
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Nov 06, 2016 19:48 |  #20

I have used the 7D II and the 100-400L II all year for high school football. Here is a link to my Flickr account to give you an idea of what the photos look like. All of the 2016 games are with this combo.

https://www.flickr.com ...s/oakridgewildcats/​albums (external link)

IMAGE: https://c5.staticflickr.com/6/5535/30340600460_5c60f84f0b_b.jpg
Photo from 3jc's gallery.



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Deardorff
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Post has been edited 10 months ago by Deardorff.
Nov 10, 2016 08:20 |  #21

300 or 400 f/2.8. with my preference being the 400. A second body with a 24-70 f/2.8. Maybe a small body with a 16-18mm equivalent lens pre set for when the play comes to your sideline and you get the runner diving over the goal line or going up for the pass/interception right in front of you.

Don't forget that a lot of Vertical composition works well. A monopod helps you more than almost any other accessory.

If you have sideline access, DON'T STAND UP! Blocking the view of paying fans is not a good thing. Every NFL and major college stadium has you on your knees or sitting. Knee pads are very good to have


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Valerie ­ S
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Nov 19, 2016 02:58 |  #22

mathogre wrote in post #18177382 (external link)
I am sure this is a great lens! With this however, you're now in the two body mode, as the 400mm is good for the far half of the field only. Up close and personal, you need something with a shorter focal length. You have zero time to change lenses. At our football games, there's a guy with a 400 f/2.8 on a monopod, and that's all he brings. Impressive as it looks to everyone else seeing him, I know what it means. He's still missing half of the shots.

"Look at me! I've got this BIG LENS! Size matters."

"Um, you're missing half of the action, and I'm getting it all."

Here's two body mode. You have one camera body with the 400 f/2.8 and another with the 70-200 f/2.8. You use the appropriate kit depending on where the action is on the field. Additional expense for the second body and lens is $13,000 to $17,000, depending on how you go with the second body. Based on the OP, this is high school sports. Most of us doing high school sports choke on the expense of a 100-400mm lens. Even my Mk I lens was used. Going to a high end pro lens and a second high end body is beyond what one could expect to achieve through spousal negotiation.

You're not "getting it all" when the players are small in the frame and cropping robs the detail. Shooting with a 400 does have it's disadvantages inside the 15 yd line or so, but you can still fill the frame and capture great detail on the faces. People trump grass.

Also, a second body at 13K to 17K? I shoot Nikon. My second body is a D500 with the new 70-200/2.8E FL - $4800. Who I upgrade my second body to another D5, it's still about $9300 - a good amount, but still a far cry from 13K.

2.8 really is necessary for nighttime sports. Besides the light advantage, the image separation from the smaller DoF makes a big difference.


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Deardorff
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Nov 20, 2016 07:36 |  #23

"At our football games, there's a guy with a 400 f/2.8 on a monopod, and that's all he brings. Impressive as it looks to everyone else seeing him, I know what it means. He's still missing half of the shots. "Look at me! I've got this BIG LENS! Size matters." "Um, you're missing half of the action, and I'm getting it all."

---------------

What makes you think he is missing half the shots?
It may be that he views the game differently than you do and as the players get closer he is working for faces an isolating players rather than getting generic junk. He may be playing the odds and working for specific images where the shallow depth of field at f/2.8 when the action is closer is just what he likes.

Not everyone photographs an event the same way. Some play it safe and others push and come up with interesting images. There is a lot more to photographing a football game than following the ball all the time.


"I've been a procrastinator all my life. I keep meaning to do something about that."

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Deardorff
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Nov 20, 2016 07:39 |  #24

3jc wrote in post #18177712 (external link)
I have used the 7D II and the 100-400L II all year for high school football. Here is a link to my Flickr account to give you an idea of what the photos look like. All of the 2016 games are with this combo.

https://www.flickr.com ...s/oakridgewildcats/​albums (external link)



You would benefit from a 400 f/2.8. Shooting wide open would isolate the players with a background more out of focus. Change to a vertical composition and you get rid of all the extraneous space that adds nothing to the image. Nice, but needs work to be more than just another action picture.


"I've been a procrastinator all my life. I keep meaning to do something about that."

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Keystone4132
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Dec 18, 2016 16:55 |  #25

Given your implied budget, I would go with a 7D and a 300 2.8 (used/refurb) and opt for Mark II versions if you can swing it. I would also keep the 5D III w/the 70-200 attached as second rig, if it is in the budget.

That said, for night sports, I believe the ultimate setup is:

Body I: Canon 1DX Mark II
Lens I: Canon 400mm 2.8 IS USM II
(on monopod)

Body II: Canon 1DX Mark II
Lens II: Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS USM II
(over shoulder)

Can you get great shots with less? Absolutely. Do you have the best chance to get the best shots with the above setup? Without a doubt.

This is my hobby (I suck at golf and poker) and where I choose to spend my money. I knew very little about photography (and still don't) when I started but wanted to capture a few memories, before my boys went off to college. It has grown into a passion. I assume the OP has the same motives.

This was my progression:
Year 1. Canon Rebel w/kit telephoto -->bot Canon 7D (Canon refurb) & used (10yr old) 70-200 2.8 Mark I
Year 2. Bot Canon 7D Mark II --> sold 70-200 Mark I and bought 70-200 IS Mark II
Year 3. Bot Canon 1DX (new). Bot Canon 300 2.8 IS Mark II (barely used)...this was a huge leap forward for results.
Year 4. Bot 1DX II (new "Street Price" deal). Bot Canon 400 2.8 IS Mark II (used but literally never used)

I am about to shoot my fourth season of high school soccer (my oldest son) but have also shot two seasons of basketball (my youngest son). I will be outside, in the cold and wet, with poor stadium lighting shooting a sport that moves quickly from end to end at a moments notice. I will be using the above setup (albeit with the second 1DX being a Mark I).

I will have reach (400mm) and breadth (70-200) without having to change lenses, the ability to capture 12+ RAW fps at high ISO ranges with sharp, fast glass. Even with all of this great equipment I can and will still screw things up. My progression above was driven by my seeing the results that each upgrade brought to the table but also seeing what it lacked. I wish I had gotten to my current setup sooner.

It is all a trade-off, with the gating factor being money.

You don't need a 1DX II, but you settle for fewer fps, smaller buffer, and less ISO sensitivity
You don't need a 400mm but you settle for more crops with more noise
You don't need a 70-200 in addition to the telephoto, but you will miss closer in shots
You don't need 2 bodies but you won't be able to switch lenses in time
You don't need Mark II lenses but they are sharper and faster to focus
You don't need a monopod but some of your shots will be fuzzy because you shake

You do, however, need F/2.8 if you are going to shoot at night under high school stadium lights.

All of these things I learned the hard way.


Enjoy




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Ambient ­ Light ­ Studios
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Post has been last edited 8 months ago by Ambient Light Studios. 2 edits done in total.
Jan 23, 2017 02:33 as a reply to post 18176928 |  #26

Pat.Kane, Agreed, I'm using the 400 2.8 mii on my 1dxmii and the 70-200 2.8 mii on my 7dmii. It's a great combination but takes a bit of getting used to the juggling around! Have not tried night baseball yet with the 400 yet, I it is awesome for night football and night tennis.




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sfinkernagel
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Joined Apr 2006
Pocono Lake, PA USA
Feb 21, 2017 22:50 |  #27

I'll add another lens option... Sigma's 120-300 2.8 is a nice piece of glass. I use it a lot for field sports at night on the 7DII. My main body is a 1DX, but I have no issues with the image quality from that setup. No other zoom with that range and aperture that I'm aware of, and while the 400 would be nice... there is a big price difference there.




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TeamSpeed
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Post has been last edited 7 months ago by TeamSpeed. 2 edits done in total.
Feb 22, 2017 07:02 |  #28

1. You can get fairly clean shots with the 7D2 up through 12800, provided you don't underexpose, and you use NR tools and good post processing techniques.
2. You can go to ISO 25600 with the 5D3, with the same caveats.
3. You can use a 1.4x on the 70-200 to get nearly a 300mm at f4, which may be enough.
4. These shots are just for parents to have of their kids, this means perhaps images that are sized as 8x10s, but quite frankly at these ISOs, you should shoot for a final result as a 1500x2100 (5x7).
5. A 1DIV is not really any better than the 7D2 at high ISO, and you lose pixel density, so crops from that body will come at a resolution, thus uprezzing, penalty.
6. A 5DIV is better than all of these options, it handles ISO better, has the resolution to crop to a 1.3 FOV at higher resolution, etc. You can go up to ISO 32000 with that camera using the same caveats as 1 and 2. The 5D4, short of the 7fps vs 10fps, negates the need of a 1DIV these days.
7. Getting a sigma 120-300 2.8 is a great option, albeit expensive around $2K or more, but you can add a 1.4x to that as well to get a 420mm f4 view.


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Luxx
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St Louis
Feb 22, 2017 11:53 |  #29

youth and high school night sports and poorly lit gyms routinely need ISO 6400 f stop 2.8 to get shutter speeds 1/400 or so. This means that you are about a stop away from getting the shutter speed you really want.


I use lightroom for post processing and I am not an expert. With that in mind I will take 7Dii to 3200 happily...6400 if I must, 6D to 6400 and 5Div (which i just got yesterday and checked out taking photos of soccer at a foggy poorly lit night field to at least 12800. At 12800 and 2.8 lens I finally have the ability to take pictures of all the kids night games and in any gym (with flicker detect too).

Previously for outdoor night games I would eventually just give up and for indoor would use 85 1.8 or 135 2.0 to get the extra stop.




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Lens for night time sports?
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