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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 26 Nov 2012 (Monday) 21:46
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Newbie to sports photography

 
djhiggins
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Nov 26, 2012 21:46 |  #1

I own a Canon 40D with a 70-200 Canon EF lens (white, professional series). A friend asked me to take some action shots of her son's peewee football game yesterday. The game was 12:30 in the afternoon, and the day was mostly overcast, some breaks of sun, and a bit windy. I've never photographed football before. Most of my sports shots are of my children's summer outdoor swim meets.

I shot the game using the 70-200 lens. I used the Tv mode and had the shutter speed set to 1000 or 1600 with an iso of 400. Many of the shots were blurry. Some seemed as if the autofocus couldn't figure out what to grab, because the trees behind the action were in focus, but the players were not. Others, the entire photo was blurry. I did hit some nice shots, but I deleted a whole lot of fuzzy shots as well.

I have noticed that even with the swimming shots, which I can usually get some sharp images of, were fuzzier this summer (I deleted more than usual). I did play around with the settings during swim season; I was feeling more secure with the camera and lens I guess. I am wondering if I messed with a setting and didn't realize I did, and now it is impacting other situations. I am getting frustrated because even though the image appears to be good on the screen on the back of the camera, when I get home and get it up on the computer screen, I see the fuzziness and want to scream.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!




  
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Mike ­ R
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Nov 26, 2012 22:11 |  #2

Welcom to POTN! When shooting the game, make sure you use center focus point only,and set the camera for AI Servo. Be sure to not use AI Focus. Your shutter speed was plenty fast. Also check the switches on the lens. If you have an IS version, IS should be off.

I hope this helps.


Mike R
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xchangx
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Nov 27, 2012 16:44 |  #3

Next time shoot in AV mode and set your aperture to 2.8. Also, try using the back * button as your autofocus button.


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
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waterrockets
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Nov 29, 2012 22:14 |  #4

What AF point are you using? Hoping it's not auto point selection...


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Hannya
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Dec 03, 2012 07:25 |  #5

xchangx wrote in post #15296894 (external link)
Next time shoot in AV mode and set your aperture to 2.8. Also, try using the back * button as your autofocus button.

Not always a good idea. In good light stick to f5.6 at least - otherwise you are going to have such a thin depth of field you will probably also have fuzzy pictures. Back button focus isn't for everyone, get some experience under your belt before launching into even more buttons! I always use Manual mode, centre point focus and AI Servo.


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xchangx
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Dec 03, 2012 09:18 |  #6

Hannya wrote in post #15319535 (external link)
Not always a good idea. In good light stick to f5.6 at least - otherwise you are going to have such a thin depth of field you will probably also have fuzzy pictures. Back button focus isn't for everyone, get some experience under your belt before launching into even more buttons! I always use Manual mode, centre point focus and AI Servo.

I disagree. For one thing, you have a 2.8 lens so use it at 2.8. If you wanted to shoot at 5.6 then don't waste your money on a 2.8 lens.

Second, you want to isolate your subject from the background. Shooting at 5.6 will not do that.

Third, your DOF at 30ft, 2.8 and 200mm is 0.72 ft. That's plenty enough to get the body/face in focus.


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
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yipDog ­ Studios
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Dec 03, 2012 09:37 |  #7

xchangx wrote in post #15319920 (external link)
I disagree. For one thing, you have a 2.8 lens so use it at 2.8. If you wanted to shoot at 5.6 then don't waste your money on a 2.8 lens.

Second, you want to isolate your subject from the background. Shooting at 5.6 will not do that.

Third, your DOF at 30ft, 2.8 and 200mm is 0.72 ft. That's plenty enough to get the body/face in focus.

Hmmmm...I shot this past weekend at 6.3 and every background is blurred.
At 200mm approx 20 yards away your DOF is just about 3 yards which is great for full body closeup action.
At 100mm approx 20 yards, DOF is 15 yards which is great for wide angle of the whole team.

You buy a 2.8 lens to use in every situation possible, indoors and outside. Stopping down a bit also improves sharpness. Multiple ways to shoot but I prefer to have more than 8" of DOF to shoot sports.


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watt100
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Dec 03, 2012 09:41 |  #8

Hannya wrote in post #15319535 (external link)
Not always a good idea. In good light stick to f5.6 at least - otherwise you are going to have such a thin depth of field you will probably also have fuzzy pictures. Back button focus isn't for everyone, get some experience under your belt before launching into even more buttons! I always use Manual mode, centre point focus and AI Servo.

I agree, stop down for more "DOF" (unless you're going to a tighter isolated shot on one player) AI servo (while half pressing the shutter button), center AF point. I generally use f6.3 for soccer, football, lacrosse, etc with the 100-400




  
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Rubi ­ Jane
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Dec 03, 2012 09:43 |  #9

My biz is shooting sports and generally here's what I set up.

Av mode - aperture f/4 in good light usually offers sufficient background separation
ISO whatever it takes to maintain 1/1000
AI Servo
Centre focus point
Continuous shutter, usually fast setting

I used * for focusing at weddings, but with sports the action is often too fast. Use the shutter button for focus & exposure but use EC to manage backlit or tight in camera cropped subjects where jersey colour might throw off exposure.

Do you have a couple of examples to share with exit?


Lindsey
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xchangx
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Dec 03, 2012 10:45 |  #10

IMAGE: http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000L2ZTj0gxyeY/s/800/I0000L2ZTj0gxyeY.jpg

1/2500
f4 (400 2.8 w/ 1.4tc wide open)
ISO 1600

Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
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Zivnuska
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Dec 03, 2012 11:11 |  #11

Rubi Jane wrote in post #15320011 (external link)
I used * for focusing at weddings, but with sports the action is often too fast.

Could you expand on that point?


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watt100
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Dec 03, 2012 16:56 |  #12

xchangx wrote in post #15320277 (external link)
1/2500
f4 (400 2.8 w/ 1.4tc wide open)
ISO 1600

not sure of the relevance of that photo, the OP has a completely different lens (70-200 zoom) , a different camera (40D) , etc.




  
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waterrockets
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Dec 03, 2012 17:18 |  #13

watt100 wrote in post #15321866 (external link)
not sure of the relevance of that photo, the OP has a completely different lens (70-200 zoom) , a different camera (40D) , etc.

It's a little tough for me to follow, but I believe that photo was in response to Rubi Jane's request for samples.


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watt100
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Dec 03, 2012 17:27 |  #14

waterrockets wrote in post #15321954 (external link)
It's a little tough for me to follow, but I believe that photo was in response to Rubi Jane's request for samples.

OK, but "Rubi Jane" was probably asking for samples from the OP, not another poster !




  
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xchangx
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Dec 03, 2012 21:26 |  #15

I posted that to show that you can shoot wide open with enough DOF. But fine, if you want to shoot at 5.6 go for it. I was in between things at work when I posted it and I guess I misinterpreted Rubi Jane's reply.


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
Freelance sports photographer for Getty Images Sports, Entertainment and News
Freelance sports photographer for Sports Illustrated
My Images with Getty (external link)
My Sportsshooter Page (external link)
My Website (external link)

  
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Newbie to sports photography
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
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