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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

 
Rubi ­ Jane
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Dec 04, 2012 15:02 |  #16

Zivnuska wrote in post #15320367 (external link)
Could you expand on that point?

When you have a somewhat static or predictable subject using the * button to focus while using the shutter only to release the shutter is an easy task with a little practice. When I'm pounding through continuous frames for several hours straight, shooting a finish line of marathon for example, it gets tiring and mentally challenging to keep the two buttons functioning separately. When chasing down action it's easier and more accurate to raise your camera half press the shutter and keep pressing the shutter button than to work the * button independently to gain focus.

Plus there usually isn't time to focus & recompose when shooting sports so a single button to focus & fire the shutter has advantages over a 2 button process.


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Rubi ­ Jane
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Dec 04, 2012 15:13 |  #17

xchangx wrote in post #15322942 (external link)
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.

I was asking the OP for samples but you make a valid point, wide apertures can offer sufficient DOF for sports. There's been many dark mornings I have to shoot marathon starts at 2.8 to just get a decent shutter speed, I'll take less DOF over motion blur most of the time if the focal point is what I want.

There's so many variables to DOF that saying one aperture works over another is pointless. Distance to subject, sensor size, focal length, aperture all have a role. My plan is to produce saleable images with sufficient subject separation so they "pop". My 70-200 will produce sharper images at f/4 than 2.8 under great light, but I will shoot at 2.8 before jumping up a stop with ISO to maintain shutter speed. It comes down to knowing your gear, knowing your light and how the images will come out under the conditions of the day. I usually only have one chance to fire a few frames for each competitor so I have to have each shot count. If I cull more than 2 or 3% of the shots my team & I have had a bad day.


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convergent
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Dec 05, 2012 06:58 |  #18

Rubi Jane wrote in post #15326156 (external link)
When you have a somewhat static or predictable subject using the * button to focus while using the shutter only to release the shutter is an easy task with a little practice. When I'm pounding through continuous frames for several hours straight, shooting a finish line of marathon for example, it gets tiring and mentally challenging to keep the two buttons functioning separately. When chasing down action it's easier and more accurate to raise your camera half press the shutter and keep pressing the shutter button than to work the * button independently to gain focus.

Plus there usually isn't time to focus & recompose when shooting sports so a single button to focus & fire the shutter has advantages over a 2 button process.

I would completely disagree with what you've said here. I am a sports shooter and I would never go back to half shutter for any action shooting. My advice is the total opposite of yours. I'll use half shutter for simple static subjects, but never sports. The point of the separate button is control. Shooting sports there is a great need to control the cameras behavior in how and when it's autofocusing. There are many things happening that can interfere with what you are shooting. Being able to quickly prefocus before a predicted peak action moment, or avoiding something in the frame are more difficult with half shutter. I don't have any problem coordinating my two fingers, and don't find it mentally draining at all. In fact, trying to go back to half shutter is mentally frustrating.

Bottom line is its personal preference. I know a lot of sports shooters use the separate button. I'm sure a lot don't as well. It may also depend on what sport. I shoot mostly team sports.


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waterrockets
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Dec 05, 2012 07:33 |  #19

convergent wrote in post #15328745 (external link)
<snip> Being able to quickly prefocus before a predicted peak action moment, or avoiding something in the frame are more difficult with half shutter. <snip>

I really can feel this one. For a corner kick, I'll focus on the ball or a bit in front of it, once placed, then compose my shot for the right part of the kick. Then fire the shot, knowing that focus will be correct.

Refs going in front of me too. Just let go of the back button and keep shooting through him or her.


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nigpd
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Dec 05, 2012 08:14 |  #20

convergent wrote in post #15328745 (external link)
I would completely disagree with what you've said here. I am a sports shooter and I would never go back to half shutter for any action shooting. My advice is the total opposite of yours. I'll use half shutter for simple static subjects, but never sports. The point of the separate button is control. Shooting sports there is a great need to control the cameras behavior in how and when it's autofocusing. There are many things happening that can interfere with what you are shooting. Being able to quickly prefocus before a predicted peak action moment, or avoiding something in the frame are more difficult with half shutter. I don't have any problem coordinating my two fingers, and don't find it mentally draining at all. In fact, trying to go back to half shutter is mentally frustrating.

Bottom line is its personal preference. I know a lot of sports shooters use the separate button. I'm sure a lot don't as well. It may also depend on what sport. I shoot mostly team sports.

I'm with you on this one, Mike. I much prefer to keep things simple by separating out focus from exposure/shutter firing. It just seems more intuitive to me. Even at my age (:D) I dont find it difficult to coordinate thumb and forefinger.


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Hannya
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Dec 05, 2012 09:16 |  #21

Originally Posted by Rubi Jane

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I used * for focusing at weddings, but with sports the action is often too fast.

Zivnuska wrote in post #15320367 (external link)
Could you expand on that point?

Yeah, I wondered about that since weddings are generally fairly sedate if busy events. Nothing like running of football/soccer. And those sports are where BBF is really most useful :confused: But Rubi Jane seems to shoot mostly running-type events, so perhaps they are more like fast weddings?


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AntonLargiader
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Dec 05, 2012 09:37 |  #22

xchangx wrote in post #15319920 (external link)
For one thing, you have a 2.8 lens so use it at 2.8.

Having a 2.8 lens doesn't dictate that 2.8 is the right aperture for everything. For runners, I shoot f/3.5 or f/4. WAY better results if there's enough light.

The OP needs to post some samples. It really doesn't matter what results other people are getting.


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Rubi ­ Jane
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Dec 05, 2012 23:45 |  #23

convergent wrote in post #15328745 (external link)
I would completely disagree with what you've said here. I am a sports shooter and I would never go back to half shutter for any action shooting. My advice is the total opposite of yours. I'll use half shutter for simple static subjects, but never sports. The point of the separate button is control. Shooting sports there is a great need to control the cameras behavior in how and when it's autofocusing. There are many things happening that can interfere with what you are shooting. Being able to quickly prefocus before a predicted peak action moment, or avoiding something in the frame are more difficult with half shutter. I don't have any problem coordinating my two fingers, and don't find it mentally draining at all. In fact, trying to go back to half shutter is mentally frustrating.

Bottom line is its personal preference. I know a lot of sports shooters use the separate button. I'm sure a lot don't as well. It may also depend on what sport. I shoot mostly team sports.

It is personal preference, and I expect somewhat dependent on the type of sport and what you're trying to accomplish. If I were shooting soccer, baseball or evening a triathlon or marathon with the focus on delivering a series of images for press or the event organizer I could easily adapt and use the back button.

When I'm needing to deliver 3-4 shots of every competitor to host online and sell to the participants the action is completely different, and with thousands of competitors coming at you nonstop for several hours, usually several at a time, the back button simply is not an option, for me at least. I welcome you to give it a go though ;-)a


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waterrockets
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Dec 06, 2012 06:24 |  #24

Yeah, my thumb would get tired, as much as I like BBF. With that volume you pretty much have to trust the camera for a few extra things.


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dankopp
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Dec 06, 2012 09:06 |  #25

I'm probably going to get blasted for this, but I would never recommend that a newbie use manual for exposure. I always recommend AV. Sure AV may cause some of the shots to be improperly exposed, but with manual a newbie could cause ALL of her shots to be improperly exposed.




  
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xchangx
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Dec 06, 2012 09:36 |  #26

dankopp wrote in post #15333216 (external link)
I'm probably going to get blasted for this, but I would never recommend that a newbie use manual for exposure. I always recommend AV. Sure AV may cause some of the shots to be improperly exposed, but with manual a newbie could cause ALL of her shots to be improperly exposed.

If you are indoors and have time to shoot and chimp to make sure exposure is good, I don't see any harm. If you were outside and are dealing with shadows and clouds then yeah, AV is a good choice


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AntonLargiader
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Dec 06, 2012 11:34 |  #27

Actually if you're not going to move position for a long time, manual isn't that much of a burden and it doesn't get fooled by different shirt colors.But you have to watch for changing conditions like cloud cover and sun angle.


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joeblack2022
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Dec 06, 2012 11:37 |  #28

djhiggins wrote in post #15293550 (external link)
I own a Canon 40D with a 70-200 Canon EF lens (white, professional series).

No sign of the OP, but I just wanted to point out that he / she did not specify that their lens was a f/2.8. They make them in f/4 you know! ;)


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convergent
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Dec 06, 2012 11:48 |  #29

Rubi Jane wrote in post #15332233 (external link)
It is personal preference, and I expect somewhat dependent on the type of sport and what you're trying to accomplish. If I were shooting soccer, baseball or evening a triathlon or marathon with the focus on delivering a series of images for press or the event organizer I could easily adapt and use the back button.

When I'm needing to deliver 3-4 shots of every competitor to host online and sell to the participants the action is completely different, and with thousands of competitors coming at you nonstop for several hours, usually several at a time, the back button simply is not an option, for me at least. I welcome you to give it a go though ;-)a

Sounds like that's a special case. I've done tournaments where I had to get multiples of every participant... the 10K images in a day kind of thing, and still stuck with back button, but its all what works for your style.

My daughter ran in a 10K over Thanksgiving that had about 6,000 participants. I've not ever tried to do pictures in something like that. I setup along a place in the road about a mile in, and was ready to go. Then the runners started coming... first one... then a couple... then bunches... then a steady stream... then a steady sea of runners about 5 across and non-stop. I started to panic thinking I'd never even see her. If you are working in that environment, all I can say is you are a better man than me! I think my head would spin around a few times and fall off about 15 minutes into it.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Dec 06, 2012 17:33 as a reply to  @ post 15322942 |  #30

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.

I shoot sports with a 400 2.8 and only use back button focus, generally wide open.

I shoot pro sports and generally everyone out there is using back button focus. I don't know what you mean by the sports action is too fast for it. It doesn't seem to be a problem in the NFL, NBA, MLB or MLS.

All manual exposure
Manual WB
back button focus
servo focusing
Generally keep aperture between f/2.8-3.5
Generally keep shutter speed over 1/1250th, but over 1/800th will work
ISO wheever it needs to be

When you have a somewhat static or predictable subject using the * button to focus while using the shutter only to release the shutter is an easy task with a little practice.

With a little more practice you can take your sports shooting to the next level by using it at a game on athletes. It will become a reflex.

I'm probably going to get blasted for this, but I would never recommend that a newbie use manual for exposure. I always recommend AV. Sure AV may cause some of the shots to be improperly exposed, but with manual a newbie could cause ALL of her shots to be improperly exposed.

I like having a very consistent take. An automatic setting like Av can get fooled by the background, the jerseys, etc. If I am under lights or inside I always use manual. If you have clouds changing the exposure +/- 1 or 2 stops, Av may work better until you get used to changing the shutter speed or aperture quickly.


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Newbie to sports photography
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