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Thread started 14 Dec 2013 (Saturday) 13:24
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How should I spend my $$

 
GoCanes
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Dec 14, 2013 13:24 |  #1

I currently shoot ice hockey in primarily low light situations and my results have been mixed. I look at some of the photos posted on this site of hockey photos and I am so jealous. My shots come out mediocre, with some close cropped shots beginning to improve but certainly they lack clarity and pop I see in others photos. I shoot in the highest iso and post process in lightroom. I also enjoy taking scenic shots during vacations. I take shots of my niece and nephew in the sunshine and have no complaints about those photos.

I take no video with the camera.

I want to spend around $400.00

t1i to a 1diii would run about $500 out of pocket but two of my lenses would then need to be replaced. Which would cost me some money.

t1i to a 7d would run around $500 to upgrade.

t1i to a 70d would be about $750 for a new one maybe $650 for used. 70D's are on sale all over the place right now for $950.00 new.

maybe its the lens:

Sigma 70-200 2.8 to canon 70-200 2.8 non-is might run $300 to upgrade.

Any advice is welcome.


Canon 7D, Sigma 17-70, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma Ex DC HSM 10-20mm, Canon 430 EX II, Sigma 70-210 2.8
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/dantoniophotos/ (external link)

  
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Craign
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Dec 14, 2013 15:27 |  #2

"I shoot in the highest iso and post process in Lightroom." I assume that means is H2 or ISO12800. I shot a youth football game one night while accidentally being at ISO12800. The result was not pretty. I shoot high school basketball at ISO6400, f/2.8 and SS 1/640 with surprisingly good results. They don't look like some photos we see posted here. They do print okay.

I spent many hours searching the internet for info about shooting high ISO and processing in Lightroom. First, be sure to shoot in RAW. There was useful information on POTN, You Tube and some other web sites. Nothing was exactly what worked best for me. After experimenting with many suggestions, I developed a preset for our gym. I still have to tweak shots depending on the various locations on the floor. Lighting is inconsistent with the center much brighter than the sides or ends. The court lighting has different light fixtures than the sides and end which sometimes cause a problem with WB.

Suggestions: Shoot in RAW, don't use ISO higher than 6400 in your T1i, ETTR (Expose To The Right or slightly overexpose) and try to keep the SS above 1/500 sec.

I don't think you can improve much with a budget $400 budget.


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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DC ­ Fan
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Dec 14, 2013 15:52 |  #3

GoCanes wrote in post #16526991 (external link)
I currently shoot ice hockey in primarily low light situations and my results have been mixed. I look at some of the photos posted on this site of hockey photos and I am so jealous. My shots come out mediocre, with some close cropped shots beginning to improve but certainly they lack clarity and pop I see in others photos. I shoot in the highest iso and post process in lightroom. I also enjoy taking scenic shots during vacations. I take shots of my niece and nephew in the sunshine and have no complaints about those photos.

I take no video with the camera.

I want to spend around $400.00

t1i to a 1diii would run about $500 out of pocket but two of my lenses would then need to be replaced. Which would cost me some money.

t1i to a 7d would run around $500 to upgrade.

t1i to a 70d would be about $750 for a new one maybe $650 for used. 70D's are on sale all over the place right now for $950.00 new.

maybe its the lens:

Sigma 70-200 2.8 to canon 70-200 2.8 non-is might run $300 to upgrade.

Any advice is welcome.

The least expensive fast-focusing 70-200mm f/2.8 is a non-stabilized Sigma unit, (external link) which sells for around US $ 1,000 new.

There may be another factor in this situation. If you need to take your photographs through a rink's glass, you're going to lose light and clarity, not matter how clean the glass.

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Many hockey photographers have the advantage of using photo holes cut in the glass. Others take the risk of photographing from open areas in a penalty box or a team bench. You may need to decide if the chance of being struck by a flying puck is worth the possibility of getting clear images.



  
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bubbygator
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Dec 14, 2013 16:16 as a reply to  @ DC Fan's post |  #4

I've been (amateur) shooting HS/College basketball for a few years. The best advice I can offer is this <link (external link)> to a new 85/1.8 lens at less than $400.

This prime has the quality necessary for really good pics, and is one of the best in fast spot auto-focus.

The more expensive lens are good - especially the 70-200/2,8, which every pro uses. The 85/1.8 has every bit of the quality of that pro lens, but will need some cropping to get details on the long shots.


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JeffreyG
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Dec 14, 2013 17:20 |  #5

Hold off on the gear for a moment and focus on the details. I see a few things that could improve your shots regardless of the camera you use.

1) All of the hockey shots are underexposed. Push the exposure until the ice is white. You want it to read 99-99-99 on the histogram when you are done. Getting those shots brighter will really improve the pop, noise, color.....everything.

2) Shoot peak action and get faces and tight. Most of your action shots are loose and so they have no focus. And in these loose shots you are not focal length limited because most of the time they are not a 200mm focal length.

3) Change your position. I'm sensing from a lot of the shots that you are not placing yourself in the best spot to shoot peak action.

4) Practice focus. You have a lot of shots where the focus plane is not at the location of the action. Practice changing active AF point on the fly and learn to track and follow your subject perfectly.

If you do ever move to a different body, I think the 1D3 is a better camera than the 7D. The files hold up to processing better at high ISO, and the feature set overall is better.

I would not put the 70D in consideration for a specific task like sports as the former two bodies are better. And Canon has not improved sensor technology in any measureable way from the era of the 1D4/5D2/7D.....so the 7D and 70D will be about the same for sensor output while the 7D has a better feature set for sports.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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GoCanes
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Dec 15, 2013 08:15 |  #6

JeffreyG wrote in post #16527515 (external link)
Hold off on the gear for a moment and focus on the details. I see a few things that could improve your shots regardless of the camera you use.

1) All of the hockey shots are underexposed. Push the exposure until the ice is white. You want it to read 99-99-99 on the histogram when you are done. Getting those shots brighter will really improve the pop, noise, color.....everything.

2) Shoot peak action and get faces and tight. Most of your action shots are loose and so they have no focus. And in these loose shots you are not focal length limited because most of the time they are not a 200mm focal length.

3) Change your position. I'm sensing from a lot of the shots that you are not placing yourself in the best spot to shoot peak action.

4) Practice focus. You have a lot of shots where the focus plane is not at the location of the action. Practice changing active AF point on the fly and learn to track and follow your subject perfectly.

Thanks so much. On a lot of my shots I am maxed out on exposure, in that if I want to stay at a minimum of 1/1000, that is the best exposure I can get as the iso is as high as it can get and I am at 2.8. Not sure what I can do to improve. I do bring down the whites a lot in LR5 before posting, as well as massive NR, which of course does not help. That is the primary reason I began looking at my gear. I was wondering if I should upgrade my lens to the canon 70-200 non-is or based on your suggestion the 1d3. Which would give me greater shots? Or is it more of a technique issue?

I have been trying to get the crop tighter, the last batch of shots I felt I did a better job. I love the shots of players looking up the ice carrying the puck or shooting. I find the corner behind the goal is the best place for me. If I am around the blue line I get a great deal of distortion from shooting through the glass at an angle looking towards center ice, and only backs or sides of players if in the offensive zone (if that makes sense). Any suggestions for types of photos or locations for me.

As a side note, I wish I had more focus when taking photos. When my son gets out there I start focusing on the game not photos, and bam it all goes out the window! There is no advice for that one.


Canon 7D, Sigma 17-70, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma Ex DC HSM 10-20mm, Canon 430 EX II, Sigma 70-210 2.8
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/dantoniophotos/ (external link)

  
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JeffreyG
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Dec 15, 2013 09:12 |  #7

GoCanes wrote in post #16528701 (external link)
Thanks so much. On a lot of my shots I am maxed out on exposure, in that if I want to stay at a minimum of 1/1000, that is the best exposure I can get as the iso is as high as it can get and I am at 2.8. Not sure what I can do to improve. I do bring down the whites a lot in LR5 before posting, as well as massive NR, which of course does not help.

I'll use one of you shots to show you what I'm talking about, and then address the gear question last.

I think you shoud stop bringing down the whites, the ice is looking dingy. I took a quick pass with one of your images for an example. This shot was at 146mm, and as you can see the image is loose. Shoot tighter.

I also pulled up the exposure nearly one stop to get the ice back to about where it should be and to try and bring up the shadows. A lot is lost in the shadows, if you can push the histogram to the right and not pull the highlights down you will have more to work with. I think if I started with the original RAW, and particularly if it had been shot at 200mm I could get this to look pretty good.

Finally, you can come down as slow as 1/640 for a shutter speed with hockey. That gains you 2/3 stop, which is going to be very close to a correct exposure.

That is the primary reason I began looking at my gear. I was wondering if I should upgrade my lens to the canon 70-200 non-is or based on your suggestion the 1d3. Which would give me greater shots? Or is it more of a technique issue?

I'll be frank, you can make a lot of progress in technique with the gear you have. A lot of the stuff that needs to be tighter is not at 200mm, and I think you just need more experience to get better timing, framing and focus.

That said, a better AF system goes a long way so long as you are comfortable with it and can set it up well for the sport you are shooting.

Both the 1D3 and 7D will offer you about a one stop improvement in noise, and both have a much better feature set. They each bring something different to consider.
7D - cleaner, better images and a better feature set. The files do not tolerate heavy manipulation as well as the 1D3/
1D3 - cleaner, better images and a better feature set, but now the 10MP 1.3X sensor limits your reach a bit.
70-200L - Better AF motor would be the draw, but I don't now if the AF motor you have is fast or slow. Note that the Canon 1D bodies will drive most lenses faster than other EOS bodies.

I have been trying to get the crop tighter, the last batch of shots I felt I did a better job. I love the shots of players looking up the ice carrying the puck or shooting. I find the corner behind the goal is the best place for me. If I am around the blue line I get a great deal of distortion from shooting through the glass at an angle looking towards center ice, and only backs or sides of players if in the offensive zone (if that makes sense). Any suggestions for types of photos or locations for me.

Corners are where I would shoot, too.

As a side note, I wish I had more focus when taking photos. When my son gets out there I start focusing on the game not photos, and bam it all goes out the window! There is no advice for that one.

I always forget to shoot the celebration after a point in volleyball. It's just one of those things for me, and I get that.


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GoCanes
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Dec 15, 2013 11:26 as a reply to  @ JeffreyG's post |  #8

Thanks. I appreciate your taking the time. I will work on technique. Funny thing is that photo was a penalty shot. You can't get more advance notice. I will stop bringing down the exposure in PP.

If I take the time and see improvement I will consider upgrading otherwise I will keep practicing.


Canon 7D, Sigma 17-70, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma Ex DC HSM 10-20mm, Canon 430 EX II, Sigma 70-210 2.8
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/dantoniophotos/ (external link)

  
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bubbygator
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Dec 15, 2013 14:35 |  #9

GoCanes wrote in post #16528701 (external link)
... When my son gets out there I start focusing on the game not photos, and bam it all goes out the window! There is no advice for that one.

Well, I'll offer advice anyway. Start making your pics available to the team through your son (he probably has a FB to send them a link). If hockey is anything like basketball, his friends will all be friendlier, and he may ask you himself to pay more attention to the rest of the kids. At least, that's what happened to me - it made me realize that my pics had a value and I should "concentrate on the action" regardless of where my grandson was located.


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Dec 16, 2013 11:23 |  #10

GoCanes wrote in post #16526991 (external link)
I currently shoot ice hockey in primarily low light situations and my results have been mixed. I look at some of the photos posted on this site of hockey photos and I am so jealous. My shots come out mediocre, with some close cropped shots beginning to improve but certainly they lack clarity and pop I see in others photos. I shoot in the highest iso and post process in lightroom. I also enjoy taking scenic shots during vacations. I take shots of my niece and nephew in the sunshine and have no complaints about those photos.

I take no video with the camera.

I want to spend around $400.00

t1i to a 1diii would run about $500 out of pocket but two of my lenses would then need to be replaced. Which would cost me some money.

t1i to a 7d would run around $500 to upgrade.

t1i to a 70d would be about $750 for a new one maybe $650 for used. 70D's are on sale all over the place right now for $950.00 new.

maybe its the lens:

Sigma 70-200 2.8 to canon 70-200 2.8 non-is might run $300 to upgrade.

Any advice is welcome.

Another suggestion. If you want to purchase equipment, buy a light meter (external link) and learn how to take incident readings (external link) to improve exposure.




  
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Noitca
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Dec 17, 2013 11:16 |  #11

I had to double check to make sure I didn't write the OP. Seriously, other than the hockey stuff, which I don't shoot, I have been asking myself the same questions.

Out of curiosity, how much are you expecting to get from the T1i?

I have dreams of changing bodies and/or lenses, and those range in levels of insanity. The lower end of those dreams is about what you were saying. Spending around $500 and see what body upgrade you could get. In my estimates, I assume my T1i is worth maybe $200 or so. With that, the only bodies I could reliably see in the $500-$600 ish range was 1DII, 5Dc, or 50D. 1DIII's I have seen are generally in the ballpark of $1000 total (on here, adorama, KEH, etc.)

Just curious.

Anyway, I get frustrated with my camera all the time. Sometimes I wish I could disable the need to pixel peep things on my pictures.


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
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GoCanes
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Dec 17, 2013 14:49 as a reply to  @ Noitca's post |  #12

You are correct regarding the t1i, should be $200, if you have box and all peripherals. Keep an eye on the 1diii and the 7ds, I have seen the prices dropping recently, maybe because of deals on new cameras for Christmas. You should be able to get the 7d for $700 and the 1diii a bit more. Add $100.00 if you want them pristine.

I still have not decided what to do. I enjoy scenic/vacation photography as well, and for that the 7d would be better for size and weight, so if I upgrade maybe I will choose the 7d.


Canon 7D, Sigma 17-70, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma Ex DC HSM 10-20mm, Canon 430 EX II, Sigma 70-210 2.8
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/dantoniophotos/ (external link)

  
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xchangx
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Dec 18, 2013 11:00 |  #13

DC Fan wrote in post #16531613 (external link)
Another suggestion. If you want to purchase equipment, buy a light meter (external link) and learn how to take incident readings (external link) to improve exposure.

So spend more money on something his camera can do? Negative...

The penalty shot above is under exposed. I know you said you are hitting the max but try dropping the ss to 1/640. Look at the noise on the kid's face. Over exposing and bringing the exposure down in lightroom will help that.


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Dec 18, 2013 11:18 |  #14

xchangx wrote in post #16536963 (external link)
So spend more money on something his camera can do? Negative...

The penalty shot above is under exposed. I know you said you are hitting the max but try dropping the ss to 1/640. Look at the noise on the kid's face. Over exposing and bringing the exposure down in lightroom will help that.

Camera metering systems can be easily fooled by the white color of ice and dasher boards. The predominant white color seen at rinks is likely a reason for the underexposure mentioned in this thread. Long experience has repeatedly proven that incident meter readings are the most accurate methods to acquire exposure settings (external link) in environments with over bright or unusually dark backgrounds.

Several online references recommend incident metering for sports on ice or snow where a camera metering system can be misled by the white background.

http://www.ritzcamera.​com …es/tips/winters​ports.html (external link)

http://www.nikonians.o​rg …ts-of-using-a-light-meter (external link)

http://photo.net …t-techniques-forum/00EEFE (external link)

These are just a few of the circumstances where incident meter readings can avoid the occasional shortcomings of in-camera metering where the light seen by the camera meter is not the same light that leads to correct exposure.




  
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GoCanes
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Dec 18, 2013 14:08 |  #15

xchangx wrote in post #16536963 (external link)
So spend more money on something his camera can do? Negative...

The penalty shot above is under exposed. I know you said you are hitting the max but try dropping the ss to 1/640. Look at the noise on the kid's face. Over exposing and bringing the exposure down in lightroom will help that.

I will try at the 1/640 setting. The metering is difficult on the ice, and I know it is reading high, but besides slowing down the shutter there is little I can do. I have been trying to get some high action shots with the higher speed. I will experiment at slower speeds to bring some more light on the situation.

I was thinking the 7D at higher iso might be an option I should consider.


Canon 7D, Sigma 17-70, Canon 50 1.8, Sigma Ex DC HSM 10-20mm, Canon 430 EX II, Sigma 70-210 2.8
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/dantoniophotos/ (external link)

  
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How should I spend my $$
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