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Thread started 11 Oct 2011 (Tuesday) 11:28
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40D & 85mm 1.8...Dark Gymnastics Meet..Now what? Help!

 
amyskis
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Oct 11, 2011 11:28 |  #1

I shot my daughter's Level 5 gymnastics meet last week with my Canon 40D, 1.8 85mm. I shot auto focus center point in AV mode with auto white balance and ISO 1250.

I just lightened them up a bit in Picasa but they are SOOO grainy. What am I doing wrong? I don't know anything about white balance or RAW but if someone can just tell me exactly what settings with what buttons and dials I need to adjust, I would really appreciate it.

I also have a Tamron 2.8 zoom but it seems kind of fussy so I don't like to use it. I've browsed other forums and threads about gymnastics photography but I get overwhelmed by the technical talk...I'm just a mom with a nice camera that I don't know how to use:). A lot of people have such sharp photos that aren't so grainy...help!

Thank you so much!

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Tommydigi
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Oct 11, 2011 11:30 |  #2

You would have a much better time in post using something like lightroom.


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TeleFragger
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Oct 11, 2011 11:34 |  #3

can you post a pic for us to see with all the exif data intact?

i havent gone to my neice's gymnastics meets yet but plan on it...

im thinking the high ISO maybe the grainy part?
i dont like going over ISO 800 on my camera...


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dwarrenr
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Oct 11, 2011 11:38 |  #4

First I must state, I've never shot a 40D so I'm not up to speed on what it limits are...but with that said from reading in the past an ISO of 1250 on the 40D will have a lot of grain.

You'll also want to shoot in manual mode. You'll want to start with the aperture at f/2 (or 1.8 if you are able to get a good lock on focus...1.8 will have a very shallow dept of field) and then set your shutter speed to the speed necessary to freeze your action. Then start upping your ISO until you a proper exposure, then up it another 1/3rd. You'll introduce less grain bringing down the exposure in post then adding light.

I think that is the info you're looking for.


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TeleFragger
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Oct 11, 2011 11:38 |  #5

hmmm maybe someone else can chime in for ya...

to me it isnt too bad.. i have a tough time with no flash and low light indoor stuff like this...

exif--

Date Oct 2, 2011 3:19:21 AM
Width 2592
Height 3888
File Size 4285445
Camera Canon
Model Canon EOS 40D
ISO 1250
Exposure 1/800 sec
Aperture 1.8
Focal Length 85mm
Flash Used false
White Balance 0
Metering Mode 5
Exposure Program 3
CCD Width 22.2504
Exposure Bias -1.3333334
Focal Plane X-Resolution 4438.356
Focal Plane Resolution Unit 2.0
Date and Time (Original) 2011:10:02 10:19:21
Color Space 1
X-Resolution 72.0
Y-Resolution 72.0
Resolution Unit 2
Software Picasa
Date and Time 2011:10:02 10:19:21
YCbCr Positioning 2
Date and Time (Digitized) 2011:10:02 10:19:21
Subject Time 74
Sub Sec Time (Original) 74
Sub Sec Time (Digitized) 74
Custom Rendered 0
Exposure Mode 0
Focal Length (in 35mm film) 138
Scene Capture Type 0
Interoperability Index R98
Related Image Width 3888
Related Image Height 2592
Lens 85mm f/1.8-23


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dwarrenr
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Oct 11, 2011 11:42 |  #6

Amy - do you have a program installed that you can edit on rather then using the online editor?


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Tommydigi
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Oct 11, 2011 11:45 |  #7

I agree to above, they are really not that bad.

I did own a 40D and I remember ISO 800 being the cut off for noise. After that it was not the greatest but I think these can easily be fixed up in lightroom or photoshop.

It may be helpful to set exposure manually and I would probably stop the 85 down to 2.0 or 2.2 if possible.


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Oct 11, 2011 11:53 |  #8

A 40D should be able to pull off ISO 1600 provided you shoot raw and with the right exposure (with proper noise reduction of course). Wiggleroom for exposure correction in raw at higher ISO's becomes really tiny, but that said, if you want more contrast in the images it always works for me to overexpose it by 1/3 stop and then pull down for more contrast - rather than boosting highlights (which a contrast adjustment will usually do).

I'd also watch out for fluorescent lights, since they tend to change power and color within a cycle (50 / 60Hz, so whenever you're shooting faster than 1/50th or 1/60th) . That makes it a reality that you will have white balance and exposure issues between identical frames, so it's always a good idea to take multiple shots of the same thing under fluorescent lights.

I'd shoot this at in manual at f/2 - 2.2 and aim for 1/400th or so as a shutterspeed and select the appropriate ISO for when your meter would hit 1/3 stop overexposed. Of course lower the ISO if you find that you have enough light.


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amyskis
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Oct 11, 2011 12:20 |  #9

I only edit in Picasa, I should probably get Photoshop.

Some threads in forums have people that shoot 1600 and highter, and then some say no more than 800. That's where I am so confused. These gyms are so dark with NO window light and you can't use flash. I've never shot in full manual, though I have shot with autofocus IN manual.

Our next meet is in our own gym which is VERY white. I think I will go to practice tonight and use some of your hints and see what I come up with . Keep the comments coming, thank you!!




  
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TeleFragger
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Oct 11, 2011 12:26 |  #10

you can get photoshop elements 9 on a budget.. since it seems im more like you (this is a hobby for me) i find using elements a lot easier..
also you see others using higher ISO and most likely their camera can just handle it better...

it maybe also getting that perfect setting to run the higher ISO..i know my camera can go 3200 and i dont go over 800... so could be settings..
sometimes i will use high ISO if there is no way to get a pic... a slightly grainy pic to me can be better than no pic at all...


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Tommydigi
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Oct 11, 2011 12:27 |  #11

I have gotten useable shots with a 40D at 3200 but you have to make sure the exposure is correct or the noise will be worse.

Its actually easier to shoot in manual. Here is what you do. First set up a test shot using AV or TV or whatever. Check the photo and histogram to make sure what you are wanting in focus is exposed correctly. Check the settings and then just put those settings in manual. It would probably be most important to keep a fast shutter so adjust the ISO and aperture as much as possible.

Shooting RAW and editing in Lightroom or Photoshop will really help with post.


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Oct 11, 2011 12:33 |  #12

Proper exposure with a higher ISO beats trying to boost an underexposed image at a lower ISO. I dont like the 40D at higher ISO's, but you gotta do what you have to, to get the shot. I agree with the above that you need a better processing software, but if not PSE, at least shoot raw and use DPP.




  
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4Bucks
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Oct 11, 2011 14:01 |  #13

I took a shot at in in Picasa: not "photoshop" quality but tried to work with what you are using.
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amyskis
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Oct 11, 2011 14:39 |  #14

[QUOTE=4Bucks;13235743​]I took a shot at in in Picasa: not "photoshop" quality but tried to work with what you are using.

I did that too but I posted it un-edited so everyone could see. Thank you!

I know I need to focus more on the face but I can't frame the whole body when I have the center point on the face...any ideas?

How do I switch to RAW?




  
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Oct 11, 2011 15:45 |  #15

When shooting volleyball I make the focal point to the far left. I shoot mostly in portrait orientation. This allows me to pt the dot on the chest or face and still get the arms extended up where the action with the ball is. Just an idea.
For example: This shot has my focal point on the number of the player. The subject is pretty close to me (70-200 lens) so I couldn't get the entire body but I hope this gives you the idea of what I mean. (BTW: edited in Picasa).

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40D & 85mm 1.8...Dark Gymnastics Meet..Now what? Help!
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