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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
Thread started 17 Mar 2013 (Sunday) 11:29
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need guidance for Soccer shoots

 
Soccer45
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Mar 17, 2013 11:29 |  #1

Need advice

My kids play Premier Soccer year round as well as on their High school Teams. I am the photographer for both. due to their expensive passions I am limited on what I can spend on my next purchase.

My current set up is a basic Cannon Rebel Ti1 with a couple of lenses, my go to, game day lens is a Cannon 55-250 f4-5.6 IS lens. All I use is “Sports Mode”

I know the game and the players and can anticipate and get great some great shots but not all the time, fast focus and frames per second is my problem, getting about 3 frames per second

• Do I keep the same camera and upgrade to a 70- 200 f2.8 lens and live with 3 frames per second ?

• Do I get a Cannon EOS 6D and keep the lens I have, 5 frames per second,

• Do I get the Cannon EOS 7D, 8 frames per second and get the 70-200 f2.8 lens and figure a way out to hide and pay off the AX card when it arrives…

Any advice is helpful on this;-)a




  
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watt100
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Mar 17, 2013 11:49 |  #2

Soccer45 wrote in post #15724476 (external link)
Need advice

My kids play Premier Soccer year round as well as on their High school Teams. I am the photographer for both. due to their expensive passions I am limited on what I can spend on my next purchase.

My current set up is a basic Cannon Rebel Ti1 with a couple of lenses, my go to, game day lens is a Cannon 55-250 f4-5.6 IS lens. All I use is “Sports Mode”

I know the game and the players and can anticipate and get great some great shots but not all the time, fast focus and frames per second is my problem, getting about 3 frames per second

• Do I keep the same camera and upgrade to a 70- 200 f2.8 lens and live with 3 frames per second ?

• Do I get a Cannon EOS 6D and keep the lens I have, 5 frames per second,

• Do I get the Cannon EOS 7D, 8 frames per second and get the 70-200 f2.8 lens and figure a way out to hide and pay off the AX card when it arrives…

Any advice is helpful on this;-)a

First thing, get out of sports mode!
seriously, learning how to use the "exposure triangle" with the creative modes (manual, Av, etc.) will get you better pics.
If you're shooting daytime sports my vote would be the 7D (used) and a 70-200 (f4 or f2.8) or if you find 200mm limiting look at the 100-400. Or look at some of the Sigma lens. At any rate, if you went with the newer 6D you would have to replace the EF-S lens like the 55-250IS (they don't work on full frame)




  
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groundloop
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Mar 17, 2013 11:49 |  #3

Option 4..... Upgrade to a 7D ($850 - $900 used on ebay) and 70-200 f4 L (non IS around $500 used).

You mentioned that a faster focus and frames per second is what you wanted to improve, so from that I'm guessing you maybe don't absolutely need the f2.8 lens. I've been in kind of the same boat, I've got a Canon 450D/XSi and had been shooting sports with the 55-250 also. I recently upgraded to the 70-200 f4 non IS and it's a great lens for daytime sports. Fast focus you say, the autofocus on that is scary fast compared to the 55-250. And yes, there's a 7D in my future as well, just as soon as I can sell enough other stuff to rejuvenate my paypal account.




  
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DC ­ Fan
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Mar 17, 2013 12:20 |  #4

Soccer45 wrote in post #15724476 (external link)
Need advice

My kids play Premier Soccer year round as well as on their High school Teams. I am the photographer for both. due to their expensive passions I am limited on what I can spend on my next purchase.

My current set up is a basic Cannon Rebel Ti1 with a couple of lenses, my go to, game day lens is a Cannon 55-250 f4-5.6 IS lens. All I use is “Sports Mode”

I know the game and the players and can anticipate and get great some great shots but not all the time, fast focus and frames per second is my problem, getting about 3 frames per second

• Do I keep the same camera and upgrade to a 70- 200 f2.8 lens and live with 3 frames per second ?

• Do I get a Cannon EOS 6D and keep the lens I have, 5 frames per second,

• Do I get the Cannon EOS 7D, 8 frames per second and get the 70-200 f2.8 lens and figure a way out to hide and pay off the AX card when it arrives…

Any advice is helpful on this;-)a

If you're really interested in equipment, first consider something less expensive than a camera body: a lens.

This soccer image came from a similar body; a Canon T2i. The difference is the lens, which was a Canon 70-300mm IS lens.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Another lens in the same range that might help, is the Tamron 70-300mm VC, which was used in this image.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


A 70-200mm f/2.8 is useful for night events, but it's short for the distances found in soccer. 300mm can be considered a daytime minimum. Frame rate isn't a huge factor: these sample images came from 3 fps cameras.

Before buying a new camera or a lens, try something that's free: a new shooting strategy.

Switch to Program AE, which is "P" on the mode dial, and set the camera to center point focusing only. The center point can be more sensitive to action , and the change of focus point and shooting mode may be all that's needed.



  
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xchangx
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Mar 17, 2013 12:28 |  #5

Always glass before body. Get the 70-200 2.8 first and see how you do with the t1i.

Also learn how to get exposure, it will benefit you more than upgrading equipment.


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
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Motor ­ On
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Mar 17, 2013 12:31 |  #6

Do you have links to the "best of" photos you've already taken? Night games under lights common? Indoor in the winter? How cluttered are the backgrounds? Do you use your 55-250 out at 250 most of the time? Does acquiring new gear mean selling your current gear? What exactly is your budget? Are you selling prints, primarily online viewing, running in a local paper? If you're selling prints how large?

If you can truly anticipate the action, then more frames per second really only results in more hard drive space used up. And if you can anticipate it to be in single shot mode and fire off one frame, is more likely in my experience to have 8fps fire off 20 shots and hope the action fell into one of those fractions of a second.

In my experience just a 70-200 for soccer is a bit on the short side for more than half of soccer shots (it gives you about 25% or so of the field coverage); on a full frame camera this will result in an even shorter reach (technically a wider field of view at the same reach, but you'll have more space around the action). I can see 2.8 being an advantage for the background cleaning, but I wonder if the 2.8 is needed for the lighting conditions you're in if this is outdoors during the day. If it's at night or indoors than I can see 2.8 or faster being a minimum and budget limiting you to 200mm. Also if we're just looking at primarily web size image posting then to do some heavy cropping isn't that big a deal, if you've got parents buying large prints and the wall graphics of their children, then cropping isn't such a good idea and that gap needs to be made up in focal length. You can use teleconverts to get more reach out the 70-200s and Canon's latest TCs do quite well, but still not as good as lenses of the native focal length.

Before getting a new camera you need to look at getting out of the sport auto mode, the 7D flat doesn't have it, and you may find an improvement from being able to utilize all the other options in the camera that were previously inaccessible. I'd suggest a good starting point being Av with the aperture wide open. Then watch the shutter speed and do your best to keep it over 1/1250th and at that shutter speed go ahead and save your battery you can turn the IS off on the lens.

If it were just daytime, I'd say look at the 400 5.6L (for the faster AF) and the 100-400 4-5.6L (for the focal range flexibility) and keep your 55-250, then pick up a 7D or 7DmkII (if it ever comes out) this summer and then run the longer lens on the 7D and the shorter lens on the Rebel, put the camera with a longer lens on a mono pod and put a camera strap on it put the Rebel on something like a Black Rapid where it rests at your hip, when the action gets close the long lens and camera rests against your shoulder while you pick up the shorter focal length camera to get the action nearby.

If night photos are a significant consideration then I'd look to the 70-200 2.8s first and upgrade camera bodies as the funds become available (again 7D update may be approaching soon, but that's what they said last summer too, if it has a new sensor there may be even better noise performance). With nighttime images you're going to be working hard to battle image noise and keep the shutter speed up near 1/1250th, or even 1/500th. I'd look into shooting in RAW and the post processing (photoshop) noise reduction techniques there.

Also if you upgrade to a 7D, it takes CF cards so look at setting aside $300-500 to upgrade your memory cards because you'll be shooting a higher volume of images, in a larger file size, on a camera that can utilize higher write speeds. I went from 8GB on a 20MB/s SD card being enough on a Rebel in jpeg to 90GB not being enough, and anything under 800x cards really being too slow for shooting RAW on my 7D, and I only was taking 30% more images even with the 8fps. Also the 7D's auto focus does take a fair amount of learning to be able to maximize it, when you learn how to exploit it though the successes do go up quite a bit over other systems in the general price bracket. I mention this as it's something you don't want to be trying to learn just as the team heads for the playoffs.

I also wouldn't rule out the 60D and the alleged 70D that's also supposed to be released sometime soon. The 60D and the 7D have the same sensor, the 60 just doesn't have the same dedicated feature set as the 7D, I know this is primarily for sports so the expense is easier to justify, but if you're really budget tight it may result in a significant improvement from where you are at in terms of noise, and AF performance.


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john ­ crossley
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Mar 17, 2013 12:33 |  #7

watt100 wrote in post #15724543 (external link)
First thing, get out of sports mode!

Totally agree.

Shoot in AV with the aperture wide open. Then adjust the ISO until you have a shutter speed of 1/1000 or faster.


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Canon ­ Amateur
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Mar 17, 2013 15:42 |  #8

In the weekends I shoot a lot of soccer.
I started with a 400D (XTi) and a 55-200 USM lens. I was very happy with this set. I got some great pictures.
Then I searched the Internet for hints and tips to improve, and encountered this forum. :)
I found out that the lens is more important then the body and bought a 70-200 f/4 L lens.
I immediately saw the improvement. Sold the 55-200 USM.

When I shoot during the day, I use Tv or M, 1/800 (or 1/1000) and adjust the ISO to get the right exposure.
I want to freeze the action so I do not use Av.
Sometimes I choose to shoot at 1/800 or 1/640 and underexpose 1 stop to avoid noise in the high ISO when it becomes darker or cloudy.
After 2 years I encountered more and more the limits of the XTi body and upgraded to a 50D, which I am using now for almost 2 years
I only use the center focus point and shoot raw, not raw+jpg.
The next upgrade will be a 70-200 f/2.8 non IS.

So I go with xchangx, glass before body and learn to get the most out of your camera.


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abruckse
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Mar 17, 2013 18:15 |  #9

Canon Amateur wrote in post #15725313 (external link)
I want to freeze the action so I do not use Av.

I started on an XTi as well. Glass before body is certainly the way to go, especially if your shooting day games where the AF of the rebel series will work just fine.

As far as using Av mode, in field sports, you generally want to shoot wide open, or close to it; therefore, you want to shoot Av and just keep an eye on shutter speed. Bump ISO as needed to maintain a fast shutter speed. But in the end, Av should really only be used if light is changing rapidly or randomly, like on a partly cloudy day or at dusk. Even then, it's certainly not a requirement. Once you get enough practice with manual mode and teach yourself to pay more attention to the light, it all becomes second nature.


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Soccer45
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Mar 17, 2013 20:09 |  #10

Than you for all of the replies I need to digest them all. I think from reading the replies that I am not ready to move up to anything until I get off the "sports mode" addiction I have. With that said I will take the advice of trying a different lens set up. Probably a 70-200 f 4 or f 2.8 and I will see how that goes for the month of April , no night games all outdoor. Mostly my shots used for year book, college recruiting and for the players and parents. No charge for anything because I am not at that level at all in any sense. Here is a sample


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xchangx
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Mar 17, 2013 20:14 |  #11

Canon Amateur wrote in post #15725313 (external link)
In the weekends I shoot a lot of soccer.
I started with a 400D (XTi) and a 55-200 USM lens. I was very happy with this set. I got some great pictures.
Then I searched the Internet for hints and tips to improve, and encountered this forum. :)
I found out that the lens is more important then the body and bought a 70-200 f/4 L lens.
I immediately saw the improvement. Sold the 55-200 USM.

When I shoot during the day, I use Tv or M, 1/800 (or 1/1000) and adjust the ISO to get the right exposure.
I want to freeze the action so I do not use Av.
Sometimes I choose to shoot at 1/800 or 1/640 and underexpose 1 stop to avoid noise in the high ISO when it becomes darker or cloudy.
After 2 years I encountered more and more the limits of the XTi body and upgraded to a 50D, which I am using now for almost 2 years
I only use the center focus point and shoot raw, not raw+jpg.
The next upgrade will be a 70-200 f/2.8 non IS.

So I go with xchangx, glass before body and learn to get the most out of your camera.

You have a few things backwards here. Don't shoot sports with Tv. You want to isolate the players so if you need to shoot in an auto mode shoot Av and set the aperture to 2.8 or the largest it will go. Shooting in Tv means the camera will choose the aperture and could possibly choose, say f5.6 over 2.8.

Also, to reduce noise at high ISO, you want to OVEREXPOSE a little. If you underexpose and bring it up in post you are only making the noise worse.


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
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Soccer45
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Mar 17, 2013 20:21 |  #12

Here is another


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Craign
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Mar 17, 2013 21:45 |  #13

abruckse wrote in post #15725849 (external link)
I started on an XTi as well. Glass before body is certainly the way to go, especially if your shooting day games where the AF of the rebel series will work just fine.

As far as using Av mode, in field sports, you generally want to shoot wide open, or close to it; therefore, you want to shoot Av and just keep an eye on shutter speed. Bump ISO as needed to maintain a fast shutter speed. But in the end, Av should really only be used if light is changing rapidly or randomly, like on a partly cloudy day or at dusk. Even then, it's certainly not a requirement. Once you get enough practice with manual mode and teach yourself to pay more attention to the light, it all becomes second nature.

Yes! Slightly overexpose - ETTR.

Daytime: AV mode with aperture and ISO set to taste and have SS at 1/1600 sec. Why 1/1600 sec.? That allows shutter speed to vary between 1/500 sec. (minimum to avoid motion blur) and 1/4000 sec. ( maximum for your camera.)

Nighttime and inside: Go manual. Light changes little if any so take total control of the exposure settings. Don't allow the camera to change settings you have determined to be best.

FPS: Timing the shots will result in better photos than using spray and pray. Missing the best moment happens easily when shooting at 6 fps if not timing the shot correctly. I know from bad experience.

New camera and/or lens: There are venues where ISO 6400 and f/2.8 are too dark for a shutter speed fast enough to stop motion blur. Cameras for sports with good high ISO capabilities are expensive. Is 200mm long enough for your needs? You might consider a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM lens for outside, it won't be good in low light. You can save by not getting an IS if you do get a 70-200mm lens. I would upgrade the lens and try that before buying another camera.

There is an almost endless number of possible combinations of gear that would help to some degree. Somehow I think you are aware of that. If in doubt, it's only money. Good luck.


Canon 7D Mark II w/Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip; Canon EOS 50D w/Canon Battery Grip; Canon SL1; Tokina 12mm - 24mm f/4 PRO DX II; Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS; Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS; Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS; Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM; Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS; Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM; Canon Extender EF 1.4x II; Canon Extender EF 2x II; Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
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Canon ­ Amateur
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Mar 18, 2013 04:56 |  #14

xchangx wrote in post #15726205 (external link)
You have a few things backwards here.

You are completely correct in your analysis.
This is why I call myself "Amateur".
It is not restricted to photography that I think backwards. :)

The method I described works for me. My goals and objectives are different than yours.

Using my f/4 lens and 1/1000 ISO 200 in Tv mode the aperture will be wide open in normal weather conditions.
If the sun breaks through I maintain my shutterspeed and the body decides which aperture it uses. f/5.6 or even f/8 is no problem for me.
If the sun goes away I maintain my shutterspeed and adjust the ISO.
I do not use Av because my main goal is to freeze the action. I do not need to seperate the object from the background.
If I would use Av and the sun goes away then I probably end up with a shutterspeed lower than 1/640.

I usualy start with ISO 200 and increase the value as needed.
When I shoot during the evening or in bad lighting conditions, I use ISO 3200 max.
With the f/4 lens I drop down my shutterspeed to minimum 1/640.
As a result I will probably underexpose the picture. If I underexpose more that 2 stops i do not take the picture and enjoy the game by just watching it.
In post processing I bring everything back so the players are recognizable.

In the future, when I have a f/2.8 lens, then the Av mode and ETTR (HAMSTTR) will be used more and more.

And Soccer45 has some more information and ideas to digest.


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sch_photo
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Mar 18, 2013 06:02 |  #15

The saying is: Bodies come and go, but glass is forever...

1) Go to Manual on the settings. Don't leave the camera to make and choices, you will always be disappointed. Do this before you buy ANYTHING. If you go buy a new body and a $800 - $1200 lens you are just going to spend money.

2) Go to Getty Images and look at the photos that their photographers take. Get where the action is, or is going to be. Soccer is a little more difficult to shoot because there is no set "line" like in football. If you are tall, I am 6'-5", the drop to your knees and get a lower angle. It just looks better.

As far as bodies I would recommend just sitting tight right now. The 6D is not great for sports from what I have read and heard others say. The 7D is a nice body, but is probably going to be upgraded in the not too distant future. I was not a fan of it in low light. The football fields around here are too dark and I can't stand the 1.6 sensor.

Lastly... keep shooting. You are going to hit a wall... then another, then another, then after pushing through 2 dozen walls you will go "I get it". After that happens your job is to help another get going.

Good Luck...


Equipment list: Canon 1Dx, Canon 1D mk III, 50D, 400mm 2.8L, 70-200mm 2.8L, 17-40 4.0L, 24-105 4.0L IS, Sigma 15mm 2.8 FE, (2) 580EX II

  
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