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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 28 Aug 2014 (Thursday) 10:19
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Shooting sport in low light

 
jgirehorse
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Aug 28, 2014 10:19 |  #1

Hi Everybody,

Hope somebody can help,tonight I am shooting pics at my Son's rugby league match but kick off is approx 1 hour before sunset.

I have a 75 - 300 mm zoom lens but the f/ratio is max f/5.6 at long range zoom,I think f/4 ish at best.

My other lens is fixed 50 mm with a f/ratio of f/1.8.

I intend to set the ISO high,perhaps upwards of 400 maybe 800
Set auto white balance
Shoot RAW
Set up tripod

But I don't know whether to shoot in Time Value or Aperture Value,usually I shoot in Av but have only done one other evening match,it rained and all my pics had heavy blur :(

My gut instinct is shoot in TV with long lens 1st half,in the 2nd half when light is falling (although the flood lights may be on in 2nd half)shoot with the fixed lens that has a better aperture prospect(F/1.8) and heavy crop later on pc for close up shots.

I am going to buy a zoom with a lower F/ratio in order to have better chance of getting good low light pics but this won't be for a while,I need to save up 1st.

I have a Canon EOS 350D,Canon 70-300mm zoom F/4 - 5.6,Canon 50mm f/1.18 fixed + a Canon 35-80mm F/4 - 5.6

All help appreciated,thanks in advance

John




  
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Plumtreelad
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Aug 28, 2014 10:35 |  #2

You really need to wait for the experts but in the meantime let me give you my opinion.

You are going to struggle. the 50mm is too short for covering rugby. If the zoom has a max 5.6 then the shutter speed will be so long that you will get motion blur. I would normally suggest manual and set the iso as high as you dare ( to keep noise to a manageable level) get the shutter speed to at least 1/500 and see what that leaves for aperture. If you cannot get sufficient light at f5.6 then you will have to push the iso higher. Better to have noise and no motion blur!

But as I said, I think that you will struggle


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jgirehorse
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Aug 28, 2014 10:42 |  #3

Plumtreelad wrote in post #17122674 (external link)
You really need to wait for the experts but in the meantime let me give you my opinion.

You are going to struggle. the 50mm is too short for covering rugby. If the zoom has a max 5.6 then the shutter speed will be so long that you will get motion blur. I would normally suggest manual and set the iso as high as you dare ( to keep noise to a manageable level) get the shutter speed to at least 1/500 and see what that leaves for aperture. If you cannot get sufficient light at f5.6 then you will have to push the iso higher. Better to have noise and no motion blur!

But as I said, I think that you will struggle

Shoot manual - check
Set high ISO - check
Make sure at least 1/500 shutter speed - check

Thanks very much,will do and let you know how I get on,thanks again




  
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i_am_cdn
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Aug 29, 2014 11:39 |  #4

unfortunately you don't have the right gear to shoot sports in low light.

you need to shoot as wide open as possible in order to isolate your subject, and you will need at least 1/500s if not faster (I prefer 1/1000, but will go to 1/800)

The best way from my experience is shooting AV mode, then upping your ISO until your shutter is at least 1/500. I find I almost always am adjusting my ISO to get the correct exposure.

I only shoot Manual when the light conditions get tricky with lots of contrast and the camera meter is not giving me a reliable exposure.

hope this helps


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jgirehorse
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Sep 04, 2014 02:58 |  #5

Thanks all for advice,very much appreciated.I got some reasonable images considering the light and equipment I'm using.
Fortunately,the Rugby team's next match has an 11.30 am kick off,so hopefully with the good light (and also my tri-pod)I'm expecting much better results.
When I have saved up enough,I intend to buy a zoom lens with a low F number,the 2nd hand camera shop recommended a Sigma 70-200mm F2.8.Anyway,thanks again for advise and help




  
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Hannya
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Sep 04, 2014 07:56 |  #6

Just wonder why you think you need a tripod?


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jgirehorse
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Sep 04, 2014 10:24 |  #7

Hannya wrote in post #17134999 (external link)
Just wonder why you think you need a tripod?

Hi Hannya,

Warning - I am totally new to DSLR photography and on a steep learning curve.

I lost a few shots recently,partly due camera shake and partly down to rain and poor light conditions.The poor light combined with rain meant I did n't have one image good enough to post on my Son's rugby team facebook page,all the images had loads of motion blur.

The next match I wanted to max my chances of securing sharp images,I think I did but also missed shots due movement on tri-pod not as flexible as handholding.

I also have no IS,so I have to be careful esp on long shots.

Got to go,thanks in advance for all advice




  
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Hannya
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Sep 08, 2014 09:43 |  #8

jgirehorse wrote in post #17135253 (external link)
Hi Hannya,

Warning - I am totally new to DSLR photography and on a steep learning curve.

I lost a few shots recently,partly due camera shake and partly down to rain and poor light conditions.The poor light combined with rain meant I did n't have one image good enough to post on my Son's rugby team facebook page,all the images had loads of motion blur.

The next match I wanted to max my chances of securing sharp images,I think I did but also missed shots due movement on tri-pod not as flexible as handholding.

I also have no IS,so I have to be careful esp on long shots.

Got to go,thanks in advance for all advice

General rule of thumb - if your exposure (eg 1/500th) is greater than your focal length (e.g. 300mm) you don't have to worry about camera shake. For sport you need to try and achieve 1/1000th or close to. In poor light you can risk 1/320th as long as you sit so the action is coming towards you (rather than flying past you) and still get something useable. So 1/320th is going to give you a little motion blur, but IS won't help If you really have to have extra support, use a monopod. I find they just get in the way. Your biggest problem is the lack of wide aperture on a 70-300mm.


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jgirehorse
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Sep 08, 2014 10:51 |  #9

Hannya wrote in post #17142033 (external link)
General rule of thumb - if your exposure (eg 1/500th) is greater than your focal length (e.g. 300mm) you don't have to worry about camera shake. For sport you need to try and achieve 1/1000th or close to. In poor light you can risk 1/320th as long as you sit so the action is coming towards you (rather than flying past you) and still get something useable. So 1/320th is going to give you a little motion blur, but IS won't help If you really have to have extra support, use a monopod. I find they just get in the way. Your biggest problem is the lack of wide aperture on a 70-300mm.

Hi Hannya,thanks very much,will do best to memorise;ie,
focal length lesser than an exposure value = sharp images.
focal length lesser than an exposure value = sharp images.
focal length lesser than an exposure value = sharp images.

And I totally agree,tripod work restricts freedom of movement,I am going to test my monopod next time and compare results.

I am saving up to get a zoom lens with a focal ratio of 2.8,not sure what focal length,poss 200 maybe 300.I also not sure whether to hold out for a Canon lens or get a Sigma,a 2nd hand Sigma is in my budget,decisions / decisions / decisions

Thanks again for your kind advice,it is much valued,good luck and best wishes

John




  
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Hannya
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Sep 08, 2014 15:21 |  #10

jgirehorse wrote in post #17142129 (external link)
Hi Hannya,thanks very much,will do best to memorise;ie,
focal length lesser than an exposure value = sharp images.
focal length lesser than an exposure value = sharp images.
focal length lesser than an exposure value = sharp images.

And I totally agree,tripod work restricts freedom of movement,I am going to test my monopod next time and compare results.

I am saving up to get a zoom lens with a focal ratio of 2.8,not sure what focal length,poss 200 maybe 300.I also not sure whether to hold out for a Canon lens or get a Sigma,a 2nd hand Sigma is in my budget,decisions / decisions / decisions

Thanks again for your kind advice,it is much valued,good luck and best wishes

John

Err - getting sharp images also involved getting the focus right. Trouble with a 70-300 (I started with the Canon 70-300) is that the autofocus 'lags' so make sure you master that one too!

Personally, unless you have 2 camera bodies for 2 lenses, a 300mm will be too long for the close action. Its all a matter of budget and need. I use a 70-200 and while I can't do action at the other end, I can and do wait for the action to come to me and make it work for me.


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jgirehorse
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Sep 08, 2014 16:27 |  #11

A 70-200 sounds right but I think a Sigma rather than Canon,as long as the f/number is low and is made in Japan.
I like the phrase - waiting for the action to come to you,I am going to bear that in mind next time out.
Hannya,apologies if this is stupid question,do you ever shoot manual focus at sports events?Is it all usually too fast?At home,in the garden,I was testing autofocus and I was failing to lock on the washing line but in manual focus I picked it up really well.
I ought to be testing manual focus shots at the game and then preview the images in my camera LCD but my Canon 350D has quite a small LCD display,I worry of missing a good shot while checking the image.

Thanks for your patience and time,best wishes John

To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. - Henri Cartier-Bresson




  
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Sep 09, 2014 03:31 |  #12

jgirehorse wrote in post #17122654 (external link)
Hi Everybody,

Hope somebody can help,tonight I am shooting pics at my Son's rugby league match but kick off is approx 1 hour before sunset.

I have a 75 - 300 mm zoom lens but the f/ratio is max f/5.6 at long range zoom,I think f/4 ish at best.

My other lens is fixed 50 mm with a f/ratio of f/1.8.

I intend to set the ISO high,perhaps upwards of 400 maybe 800
Set auto white balance
Shoot RAW
Set up tripod

But I don't know whether to shoot in Time Value or Aperture Value,usually I shoot in Av but have only done one other evening match,it rained and all my pics had heavy blur :(

My gut instinct is shoot in TV with long lens 1st half,in the 2nd half when light is falling (although the flood lights may be on in 2nd half)shoot with the fixed lens that has a better aperture prospect(F/1.8) and heavy crop later on pc for close up shots.

I am going to buy a zoom with a lower F/ratio in order to have better chance of getting good low light pics but this won't be for a while,I need to save up 1st.

I have a Canon EOS 350D,Canon 70-300mm zoom F/4 - 5.6,Canon 50mm f/1.18 fixed + a Canon 35-80mm F/4 - 5.6

All help appreciated,thanks in advance

John

With a high ISO, enough light and some luck, you can get decent results from a "slow" lens at night.

From a Canon 70-300mm IS lens.

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Camera Maker: Canon
Camera Model: Canon EOS REBEL T2i
Lens: EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Image Date: 2010-10-22 20:15:10 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 110.0mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200)
ISO equiv: 4000
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined


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Camera Maker: Canon
Camera Model: Canon EOS REBEL T2i
Lens: EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Image Date: 2010-11-12 19:55:18 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 170.0mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320)
ISO equiv: 6400
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Spot
Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB


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Camera Maker: Canon
Camera Model: Canon EOS REBEL T2i
Lens: EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Image Date: 2010-11-12 19:45:05 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 70.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320)
ISO equiv: 6400
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Spot
Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB


It's a decent stopgap approach until someone buys you a fast telephoto lens.



  
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jgirehorse
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Sep 09, 2014 15:42 |  #13

Thanks Plumtreelad/I_am_cdn/H​annya and DC fan.I feel that I have learnt a lot in short space of time through your help and this forum.
When I work out how to insert images,I will,I think I would benefit from some constructive critique (even if it hurts!)
Good luck and best wishes,thanks again for help
John




  
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Hannya
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Sep 09, 2014 17:48 |  #14

I always us AI Servo. Action moves too quick to bother with manual focus. Just practice!


“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson

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flickserve
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Oct 11, 2014 18:05 |  #15

jgirehorse wrote in post #17142755 (external link)
A 70-200 sounds right but I think a Sigma rather than Canon,as long as the f/number is low and is made in Japan.
I like the phrase - waiting for the action to come to you,I am going to bear that in mind next time out.
Hannya,apologies if this is stupid question,do you ever shoot manual focus at sports events?Is it all usually too fast?At home,in the garden,I was testing autofocus and I was failing to lock on the washing line but in manual focus I picked it up really well.
I ought to be testing manual focus shots at the game and then preview the images in my camera LCD but my Canon 350D has quite a small LCD display,I worry of missing a good shot while checking the image.

Thanks for your patience and time,best wishes John

To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. - Henri Cartier-Bresson

350D is a basic entry camera. I used to have one and wondered why I sometimes had difficulty getting the focus even with slowly moving targets.

I actually had to change the camera to a 30D which was much better for sports.

I would suggest you try borrowing a newer camera from a friend - something in the xxD series. 30D or newer. You should see a significant difference. Camera technology has advanced so much in 10years.

Cheaper telephotos also have slower auto focus mechanisms. While satisfactory for static subjects, the limitation becomes more apparent in sports.




  
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Shooting sport in low light
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