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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 18 Nov 2011 (Friday) 23:10
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Sports photogs question

 
pmarz
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Nov 18, 2011 23:10 |  #1

I have been debating this with a fellow photog. I am a big believer in catching the dramtic wide open action shot with the 200 f2 or 300 2.8 or close to wide open. She likes stopping down quite a bit. I am curious to hear the preferences out there. I am shooting an Illinos hs football semi final tomorrow (daylight) and wide open!


Canon 8-16 fisheye Canon 16-35 2.8 II Canon 24-70 2.8 II Canon 35L, 85L, 135L,200f/2 Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II Canon 300 f4.IS Canon 300 f2.8 IS II Canon 500 f/4 II Canon 100l macro is, Canon 180 macro, Sigma 180 2.8 Macro . 5dIII,7d,Canon 1dx 1.4 canon extender Canon 2.0 extender and two 580ex speedlites, three 600ex speedlites. and a bunch of studio lighting Zeiss 50mm Makro

  
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NewEnglandPhotographer
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Nov 18, 2011 23:15 |  #2

I think 99% of sports photographers will shoot as wide open as their lens allows, as long as it is still decently sharp. Your friend is in the tiny tiny minority.


Canon 7D | 70-200mm f2.8is II L | 24-70mm f2.8 L | 50mm f1.8 | 28mm f1.8 | Canon 1.4x TC II | 580EX II

  
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pmarz
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Nov 18, 2011 23:24 as a reply to  @ NewEnglandPhotographer's post |  #3

I agree, I am shoot with the 300 2.8 and the 200 f/2 one on the mark iv and amother on the 7d. She say go down one full stop. I just cant do that.


Canon 8-16 fisheye Canon 16-35 2.8 II Canon 24-70 2.8 II Canon 35L, 85L, 135L,200f/2 Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II Canon 300 f4.IS Canon 300 f2.8 IS II Canon 500 f/4 II Canon 100l macro is, Canon 180 macro, Sigma 180 2.8 Macro . 5dIII,7d,Canon 1dx 1.4 canon extender Canon 2.0 extender and two 580ex speedlites, three 600ex speedlites. and a bunch of studio lighting Zeiss 50mm Makro

  
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NewEnglandPhotographer
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Nov 18, 2011 23:31 |  #4

lol, with that 200 f2, I'd never change the aperture! lol...

What is her reasoning? Shed rather use a higher ISO? She'd rather have a larger DOF? She'd rather have even sharper images? She just likes to be different?


Canon 7D | 70-200mm f2.8is II L | 24-70mm f2.8 L | 50mm f1.8 | 28mm f1.8 | Canon 1.4x TC II | 580EX II

  
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msowsun
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Nov 18, 2011 23:32 |  #5

"One full stop" is not the same as "stopping down quite a bit".

I can see shooting at f/4 instead of f/2.8 for a little more depth of field and a little extra sharpness.


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malla1962
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Nov 19, 2011 05:28 as a reply to  @ msowsun's post |  #6

Well the only reason I will stop my 300f2.8 down is for a little more DOF as is has cought me out in the past.


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Echo63
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Nov 19, 2011 08:31 as a reply to  @ malla1962's post |  #7

+1 for wide open, although it depends on what I'm shooting and where.

For normal field sports with big primes (footy, cricket, soccer, hockey etc, 3,4,5,600mm) I will shoot wide open and adjust aperture to keep the shutter speed over 1/500 and under 1/8000
Basketball (indoors) I will shoot with 24-70 and 70-200 both at f4 for a little extra sharpness from those lenses, the local stadium is around 1/500@f4 3200iso when all the tv lights are on, and 6400 ISO when they have some turned off

Motorsport (a 300, 400 or 500 sometimes with converters) I will shoot in shutter priority anywhere from 1/30 to 1/640th and adjusting the ISO to try and keep the aperture around 2 stops down from wide open (not always possible at an Aussie racetrack during summer, or a rally stage after sunset)
Shutter speed depends on what I'm trying to do, and what angle I'm shooting from.


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Brian_R
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Nov 19, 2011 08:51 |  #8

i always shoot wide open. a fantastic sports shot has a visually pleasing separation between the subject and background while is achieved from the narrowest DOF possible which you get from shooting wide open.

now when i shoot basketball with my 30 1.4 i will stop down to f2 because at f1.4 the DOF is so narrow and the lens is not as sharp but basically not all the player will be in focus. with a 200 f2 i might stop down to f2.8 but i do not know that lens well nor how narrow your DOF is at 200 f2. but if i had a new 300 2.8 it will never be shot at anything but f2.8

now in the situation of daytime sports it is possible to run into a situation, i have at least once before, where you are at iso 100 f2.8 1/8000 and still over exposed. at that point i will stop down to 3.5 to try and get a good exposure. i would not stop any further past f4 (which is wide open for me in daytime sports because i shoot 70-200 2.8 +1.4X) although i know that shooting at 1/8000 is not bad for your camera i feel its overkill to freeze the action but if you have to get it to get the right exposure then do it, i really like to have a subtle motion blur on the ball

i agree with echo about depending on the sport and situation. honestly it is kind of a case by case thing. and the location affects what you do as well and indoors/outdoors. day/night




  
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pmarz
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Nov 19, 2011 09:23 |  #9

Thanks for the replies, with the fast lenses I dont think anything beats the dramatic look of a wide open shot. Today a cloudy day game for semi final IHSA match between Lemont and Peoria, perfect!


Canon 8-16 fisheye Canon 16-35 2.8 II Canon 24-70 2.8 II Canon 35L, 85L, 135L,200f/2 Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II Canon 300 f4.IS Canon 300 f2.8 IS II Canon 500 f/4 II Canon 100l macro is, Canon 180 macro, Sigma 180 2.8 Macro . 5dIII,7d,Canon 1dx 1.4 canon extender Canon 2.0 extender and two 580ex speedlites, three 600ex speedlites. and a bunch of studio lighting Zeiss 50mm Makro

  
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Brian_R
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Nov 19, 2011 09:27 |  #10

you are so set! i wish that i could have had a nice cloudy day when i was doing field sports this season.




  
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snyderman
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Nov 19, 2011 10:53 |  #11

To my eyes, nothing looks worse than seeing people in the stands nearly as in focus as the subject at a football or basketball game or soccer match. Shooting wide open allows the subject of the image to be isolated from the surroundings. This sends the clear message of focus to the viewer.

I'd be interested whether the shooter who recommends 'stopping down' compares those images to what is seen on SI or ESPN dot com websites.

dave


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amfoto1
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Nov 19, 2011 12:30 |  #12

I do both, sometimes shooting wide open, other times stopping the lens down a bit... Among other things, it depends upon the look I'm going for, the distance between me and the the subject, and how much separation there is between the subject and background. That's why they gave us all those f-stops to work with, after all! I generally don't go much smaller than the diffraction limited aperture for the camera I'm using, unless I'm seriously needing some more DOF, such as with marcro or landscape shots.

Some equestrian examples....

In the image below I used 300/2.8 IS at f5.6... horse's face is tack sharp, rider is slightly behind the ideal plane of focus and a wee bit soft. What little background there is in the image is far away and more than adequately blurred down. With a fast moving subject up close (coming toward me at a full gallop), stopping down a bit also can help reduce focus error.

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5256/5537197377_eef5acac58_b.jpg
Speed Barrels, CSHA Region 3 Gymkhana, May 15, 2010.
EF 300mm f2.8 IS lens at f5.6. EOS 7D at ISO 200, 1/1000 shutter speed. Gitzo 1325 tripod, Kirk BH-1 ballhead, Wimberley Sidekick, ambient light.

Other times, I want a bigger aperture to be sure to place the emphasis in one area of the image, soften the less important areas... Here I wanted the rider blurred more heavily and the emphasis on the horse's face. The difference is more obvious in big prints, than at Internet resolutions...

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6068/6144395151_d04cde9dd3_b.jpg
Sadie & Karen, after the dance...Hossmoor Dressage Show, October 27, 2007.
EF 300mm f2.8 lens at f2.8. EOS 30D at ISO 640, 1/500 shutter speed. Gitzo 1325 tripod, Kirk BH-1 ballhead, Wimberley Sidekick, ambient light.

Plus in the above image it's a slower moving subject so easier to maintain precise focus on. It's also indoors and using a camera that's a little more limited on high ISO performance, so a bigger aperture came in handy in this case for several reasons.

Other lenses improve nicely stopped down slightly...

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5261/5662044471_5227008732_b.jpg
Cloverleaf, CSHA Region 3 gymkhana, April 23, 2011
EF 300mm f4 IS lens at f5.6. EOS 7D at ISO 400, 1/1250 shutter speed. Handheld, ambient light.

The 300/4 IS is very slightly soft wide open. Images are very usable, but there's just enough difference I can tell the f4 lens from the f2.8 lens, when used wide open. The f2.8 lens is clearly optimized for wide open use... The f4 lens not quite. On the other hand, with both lenses at f5.6 it's nearly impossible to tell the 300/4 lens from it's 300/2.8 big brother.

Finally, stopping down a little can help cover up "user errors", for example...

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6222/6236327452_8d971ab302_z.jpg
Sisco & Lucinda, ACTHA Ride for the Mustangs, 2011
EF 300/4 IS lens at f7.1, EOS 7D at ISO 400, 1/2000 shutter speed. Handheld, ambient light.

Shooting fast to catch the horses with ears alert, the focus locked on the weeds a few feet in front of horses & riders... but thanks to using a smaller aperture and additional depth of field the image is usable, hard to tell at Internet resolutions but this image, which is also cropped a bit, actually prints quite good up about perhaps 8x10.

A football game, shooting the players across the field in front of the stands, I might use a really large aperture, too... to help the subject(s) stand out against the busy background of the spectators. Shooting down the field, OTOH, I might use smaller apertures for more depth of field... depending upon the background.... such as to keep the goal posts from blurring away to nothing.

I guess I just don't see any reason not to try different things, to go for different effects.

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wombatHorror
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Nov 19, 2011 12:35 |  #13

pmarz wrote in post #13420841 (external link)
I have been debating this with a fellow photog. I am a big believer in catching the dramtic wide open action shot with the 200 f2 or 300 2.8 or close to wide open. She likes stopping down quite a bit. I am curious to hear the preferences out there. I am shooting an Illinos hs football semi final tomorrow (daylight) and wide open!

I tend to shoot my 300 2.8 at or close to 2.8 for stuff like football, soccer, baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, gymnastics although I usually use it stopped down some for surfing so you get more wave and spray and surfer all in focus and also so the spray doesn't trick AF and leave surfer OOF. Occasionally there are some photos that I wish had a bit more DOF, but usually I think it works out better to pop the subject out from background messes and all, by far, far and away more often.




  
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TooManyShots
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Nov 19, 2011 19:04 |  #14
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Depends if you need some of the background to tell the story of the shot...:) I shoot cycling races. I NEED to stop to f4 or f5.6 because I am trying to capture the race dynamics in relation to the riders.

IMAGE: http://www.oneimagingphotography.com/Cycling/LucarelliCastaldiCupRace723/Pro-123/i-mSrRvf8/0/L/8O2T7419-L.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.oneimagingp​hotography.com …G#1398875708_mS​rRvf8-A-LB  (external link)

Won't it be silly if only the first rider was in focus while the rest of his breakaway companions look blurry??

Here is a time trial shot taken with a 500L. :) F6.3. Well, the point is that when you are shooting with these "big lenses," DOF is shallower by default. I could probably achieve the same DOF with a 300L f2.8 shooting closer at f2.8.

IMAGE: http://www.oneimagingphotography.com/Cycling/Floyd-Bennett-Field-Time-Trial/Axis/i-D6qN896/1/L/headingtoturn4th6-L.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.oneimagingp​hotography.com …f#1321618433_D6​qN896-A-LB  (external link)

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Sports photogs question
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