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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 11 Dec 2011 (Sunday) 20:39
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Focus issues with basketball

 
snyderman
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Dec 12, 2011 18:02 |  #16

Dfuller120 wrote in post #13534481 (external link)
Dave,
Thanks I will give it more time to focus and turn off the 4 squares. Other posts have said the four squares were the only way to go. It seems to focus fine on moving objects like glaciers and fence posts as well as candid people shots. I even shot some hawks in flight in Wyoming with a lot of success. I have the tracking set where you suggested. I have a game tomorrow night and will post my results. Thanks for taking the time to explain. Again, I didn't have any problems with my old Rebel using the same lenses.

Those telling you about the 'assist points' around centerpoint gave you good advice ... IF you're shooting birds in flight. The focus will 'pass off' to a support point if the bird flies away from the centerpoint.

When shooting basketball with the assist points, they will likely pick up arms waving in front of your intended target or, in your case, the scoring table, the people in the stands or the back wall of the gym.

See how the assist points bail you out in one case (birds in flight) and sink your ship (basketball) in another?

Dial that focus down to the narrowest focus point possible, keep it glued to the letters on a jersey and see if you don't see a huge improvement this week.

dave


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Dec 12, 2011 18:07 |  #17

Center point AF only. AI Servo.

I do not own that body, but my 1s are set up maximum sensitivity, AF priority, expansion assist.

And that lens is slow to focus anyway. Consider the 85 f/1.8.


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Dec 13, 2011 08:55 as a reply to  @ S.Horton's post |  #18

Of all the lenses I own, the 50mm f/1.8 is the poorest to focus on moving targets. Plus, I shoot a LOT of sports (with a lot of lenses--see gear list and link) and am shooting with a 1D Mark IV. The "Nifty Fifty" isn't so nifty for sports.

The 85 f/1.8 is a fast focusing lens, cheap and sharp. Keep the button pressed half way (or better yet, back button focus) with the focus point on the target for at least a half second, then fire the shutter as needed. The 7D should do a great job for you with sports.

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rweav72
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Dec 15, 2011 21:52 |  #19

+1 on the back button focus. I use the Sigma 50 and get pretty good results under the basket. 85 1.8 when shooting the corners. Both lenses work great for High School BBall. Used this combo when I got to shoot the Kentucky All Stars vs Kentucky Christian College and got some great shots.


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Dec 18, 2011 17:41 |  #20

The nifty isn't so nifty for moving objects. In addition to the above, Wait until the players are closer to you


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Dec 18, 2011 21:16 as a reply to  @ ChunkyDA's post |  #21

My issue isn't focus, but in using an 85 1.8 wide open. Here is how I shot my first indoor game a few days ago: I use AI Servo, single middle focus point, shutter priority set at 1/640, ISO 3200. Also what I did was, and I'm sure it's not the right way, was even though my aperture was flashing at 1.8, I cranked up the exposure to +3, and it gave me decent exposure, but I was able to correct it somewhat in Lightroom.

My question is this: In using a 1.8 lens wide open, will I have an issue with just my focus point being sharp as opposed to the rest of the picture? It seems that way for me, but not to such an extent that it's a bad shot, or at least by my eyes anyway... :)

(I have pro equipment, but by no means a pro..)

Any insight on my settings and the "1.8" question is appreciated.

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snyderman
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Dec 19, 2011 09:09 |  #22

kenjancef wrote in post #13565766 (external link)
My issue isn't focus, but in using an 85 1.8 wide open. Here is how I shot my first indoor game a few days ago: I use AI Servo, single middle focus point, shutter priority set at 1/640, ISO 3200. Also what I did was, and I'm sure it's not the right way, was even though my aperture was flashing at 1.8, I cranked up the exposure to +3, and it gave me decent exposure, but I was able to correct it somewhat in Lightroom.

My question is this: In using a 1.8 lens wide open, will I have an issue with just my focus point being sharp as opposed to the rest of the picture? It seems that way for me, but not to such an extent that it's a bad shot, or at least by my eyes anyway... :)

(I have pro equipment, but by no means a pro..)

Any insight on my settings and the "1.8" question is appreciated.

Shots from Friday night, more on my Flickr if anyone cares to check them out...


IMG_0397 (external link) by kenjancef (external link), on Flickr


IMG_0241 (external link) by kenjancef (external link), on Flickr


IMG_0201 (external link) by kenjancef (external link), on Flickr

Ken,

A couple of things aren't adding up. If you shoot in TV mode and set shutter to 1/640, when you add exposure compensation, the camera has to get it from somewhere. I'm pretty certain when you shoot AV mode, the camera gets added exposure by LOWERING shutter speed.

Since I only shoot manual or AV, I'm not exactly sure where your 7D is getting the exposure bump from, if not a reduction in shutter speed.

The best method of shooting HS basketball with ambient light is to use manual mode, set shutter to 1/640, your 85mm lens to f/2 and raise ISO until you have good exposure.

Also, you might want to set the centerpoint to the finest focus mode. The centerpoint will then have the dot inside it. Point directly at jersey letters and you should get faces in focus.

dave


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kenjancef
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Dec 19, 2011 14:39 |  #23

snyderman wrote in post #13567679 (external link)
Ken,

A couple of things aren't adding up. If you shoot in TV mode and set shutter to 1/640, when you add exposure compensation, the camera has to get it from somewhere. I'm pretty certain when you shoot AV mode, the camera gets added exposure by LOWERING shutter speed.

Since I only shoot manual or AV, I'm not exactly sure where your 7D is getting the exposure bump from, if not a reduction in shutter speed.

The best method of shooting HS basketball with ambient light is to use manual mode, set shutter to 1/640, your 85mm lens to f/2 and raise ISO until you have good exposure.

Also, you might want to set the centerpoint to the finest focus mode. The centerpoint will then have the dot inside it. Point directly at jersey letters and you should get faces in focus.

dave

Dunno.... like I said, I have a lot to learn, and what I described works for me, but I am ALWAYS open to new ideas and tips. I'll try shooting manual and see what happens.. I'm never afraid to go manual.

I usually arrive early, and spectators (students) are usually floating around the court so I'll test out some stuff, and test what you described.

Thanks for the tips and reply!


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Dec 19, 2011 20:18 |  #24

I have been having the same issue with my 50mm 1.4 and 7d. When it locks on, focus it is sharp. I shot a game tonight and it seems I tossed half of them out because of focus issues. Perhaps I am asking too much from this particular lens.


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Dec 19, 2011 21:36 |  #25

firefighter4u wrote in post #13571073 (external link)
I have been having the same issue with my 50mm 1.4 and 7d. When it locks on, focus it is sharp. I shot a game tonight and it seems I tossed half of them out because of focus issues. Perhaps I am asking too much from this particular lens.

I know for me, it's user error, but that's why I love shooting in high-speed continuous mode, that way I get more pics to choose from. I would check out the links posted by others in this thread for good settings on the 7D, it's made a difference for me, and look into back-button focusing. It takes getting used to, but works well when you get the hang of it.


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Dec 20, 2011 05:30 as a reply to  @ kenjancef's post |  #26

That is part of my frustration, I have been using the settings that are suggested. I guess that only leaves one last problem... me! lol I have been thinking about upgrading to the 24-70 lens for reasons other than sports. I have been wondering if that would be a faster focusing lens that I could use or again, do I just need to get better? Time will tell, basketball season just got started here!


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kenjancef
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Dec 20, 2011 06:11 |  #27

firefighter4u wrote in post #13572705 (external link)
That is part of my frustration, I have been using the settings that are suggested. I guess that only leaves one last problem... me! lol I have been thinking about upgrading to the 24-70 lens for reasons other than sports. I have been wondering if that would be a faster focusing lens that I could use or again, do I just need to get better? Time will tell, basketball season just got started here!

I have heard some people say that the 50 1.4 is a little slow on AF, but I haven't used mine long enough to confirm or deny. For the game I did last Friday I used an 85 1.8 for most of them and I had no issues with focus speed, but if I don't keep up with the fast movement I tend to focus on something I don't want to focus on. I'm not a pro by no means, but I would think that the 50 1.4 would be better than the 24-70 if only because of the bigger aperture. That night I tried my 70-200 2.8 and pics were still very dark.

It's going to be trial-and-error, but hopefully I'll find a happy medium.


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Dec 20, 2011 10:03 |  #28

kenjancef wrote in post #13565766 (external link)
My issue isn't focus, but in using an 85 1.8 wide open. Here is how I shot my first indoor game a few days ago: I use AI Servo, single middle focus point, shutter priority set at 1/640, ISO 3200. Also what I did was, and I'm sure it's not the right way, was even though my aperture was flashing at 1.8, I cranked up the exposure to +3, and it gave me decent exposure, but I was able to correct it somewhat in Lightroom.

My question is this: In using a 1.8 lens wide open, will I have an issue with just my focus point being sharp as opposed to the rest of the picture? It seems that way for me, but not to such an extent that it's a bad shot, or at least by my eyes anyway... :)

(I have pro equipment, but by no means a pro..)

Any insight on my settings and the "1.8" question is appreciated.

I'm still a noob at sports photography, but here's my take. IIRC, if your aperture was blinking in Tv mode, then you've maxed out exposure with your given settings (shutter speed & ISO), therefore setting EC to +3 or any positive value will do nothing. Throw it manual mode and find a setting (bump up ISO) until highlights just begin to clip. Watch the histogram, and expose to the right. As far as focus issues, it looks like you just missed. Your margin of error is small with that thin DOF @1.8, so it should come with practice. A few more games will get you there.


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kenjancef
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Dec 20, 2011 11:31 |  #29

abruckse wrote in post #13573535 (external link)
I'm still a noob at sports photography, but here's my take. IIRC, if your aperture was blinking in Tv mode, then you've maxed out exposure with your given settings (shutter speed & ISO), therefore setting EC to +3 or any positive value will do nothing. Throw it manual mode and find a setting (bump up ISO) until highlights just begin to clip. Watch the histogram, and expose to the right. As far as focus issues, it looks like you just missed. Your margin of error is small with that thin DOF @1.8, so it should come with practice. A few more games will get you there.

Sounds weird, but going +3 did make a difference. I wish I knew more to know why, but it did. When I took my first shot, I looked at the LCD and the shot looked like it was nighttime. I bumped up to +2, and it got better, went to +3 and it was acceptable. Why would that happen? I'd like to know so I know what's happening. Your suggestions make perfect sense and I will try that the next time (maybe this Friday, but definitely after Christmas).

As far as focus, yea, I know it's me... :) but the best thing is that for this school, my wife works there, and I am doing this not only for free, but to help the kids, because they have no one to do it. I don't mind at all because there's no pressure, and I get to learn at the same time... win-win for me (and for the kids too...). I love seeing my Flickr views go sky high a few days after a game, makes me feel good that I'm helping them.


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Dec 20, 2011 14:46 |  #30

kenjancef wrote in post #13573952 (external link)
Sounds weird, but going +3 did make a difference. I wish I knew more to know why, but it did. When I took my first shot, I looked at the LCD and the shot looked like it was nighttime. I bumped up to +2, and it got better, went to +3 and it was acceptable.

I bought a 7D last week and tried it out for the first time last night. Took it to a basketball game with the 85/1.8

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I have it here on my desk and tried the same settings you used... Tv, 1/640", ISO 3200.

The 1.8 blinks in the viewfinder (indicating aperture is maxed out and the image in unexposed for the selected Tv shutter speed).

But the exposure does not change when I add Exposure Compensation... +1, +2, or +3

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Focus issues with basketball
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