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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
Thread started 03 Feb 2015 (Tuesday) 12:29
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Night Lacrosse

5 posts
Joined Jan 2006
Feb 03, 2015 12:29 |  #1

I am looking for advise on camera settings for night time Lacrosse. No flash. I have a 50d, with a sigma 70-200 f2.8.

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Joined Apr 2014
Feb 03, 2015 15:09 |  #2

Depending on how well it's grabbing focus in the dark, you might want to use oneshot autofocus and pre-focus on your subject to prepare for a shot. Just saying because I've had lots of trouble with that cameras autofocus in the lowlight... Shutterspeed around 1/800 to start freezing motion, and then just setting ISO accordingly. Aperture I would just keep at f/2.8. Goodluck!

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Feb 03, 2015 19:18 as a reply to  @ Vaun808's post |  #3

I will just add if you "pre-focus" somewhere, use the back button focus and de-activate the half press Afocus on the shutter release (it's how i do when i "Pre-focus")

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Feb 03, 2015 19:38 |  #4

One shot and pre focus is wrong, your results will suffer with less than a foot depth of field and rapidly moving subjects. Position yourself directly under a light pole and wait for the action to come to you. Set maximum ISO and find the manual setting that provides proper exposure of players. If the lighting allows, stopping down to f3.5 or 4 will give more DoF and possibly more in focus pictures.
Night sports shooting is one of the most difficult situations for a variety of reasons, including the stadium lights that might flicker under high shutter but not noticeable to your eye.
You can look around here for ideas on how others do it, night football has the same issues so don't limit your search to LAX.

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Feb 03, 2015 21:44 |  #5

I shoot a lot of women's LAX and I have a 50d (but I actually don't use it for LAX).

Without knowing how well (or not) lit your field is the simple answer is set your lens to f2.8, set your shutter speed to 1/640, adjust your ISO to what makes a good exposure. Hopefully it is less than 6400, even better if it is 3200. Don't under expose, when you boost the exposure in post is when noise becomes a big problem. If you expose properly, noise is bad at 6400 but not unusable. If you have to, lower your shutter speed as necessary. when you get below 1/500 your chance of getting a good photo goes down greatly.

LAX moves fast so you must use servo focus. One-shot focus guarantees out of focus photos in almost any sport, away from a base or a goal net. Servo focus gives you a chance. Set your camera so that focus is priority over shutter release.

Look for the brightest part of the field but it could be in a place where no action happens. unfortunately, you really want to be on the end line to get attackers faces. Usually that is the worst lit part of the field.

Shoot a lot when they get close to you and don't worry when you are throwing away 90% of your shots.

Have fun.

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Feb 05, 2015 10:04 |  #6

A few more thoughts-

On poorly lit fields, there are usually at least 4 light poles, 2 on each side. To get the best lit part of the field, you will want to be on a sideline, between them. Now- Draw a line down the center of the field from endline to endline (in your head, of course...). You will want to shoot action that is:

1. Between the lights. Once the play moves beyond the last light pole, it is going to get darker.
2. On the near side of that imaginary line. Light falls off- once they are on the other side, they are more backlit from the other side than they are from yours. Your lens will likely give you good reach for the near half only anyway.

The last 2 posts were spot on about camera settings. I would open the lens to 2.8, set the shutter to 1/640, then adjust iso to get good exposure. 3200 would be a miracle- I've never come across that on any fields I shoot on- (high school and DIII college) More than likely, I end up at 6400 and higher.

Have fun!

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Feb 05, 2015 17:03 |  #7

I shoot a lot of high school soccer at night. Now depending on your field lighting, you'll be ISO3200-6400 to get the S/S you need. !/800 or better. You may get by with a few at 1/640 but you will get motion blur. Definitely need Ai Servo for action. Single point focus. Shoot in RAW as it gives you more to work with in post. We have pretty good light s for H.S. and I shoot a lot at iso6400 ss1/1000

Soccer I tend to stand between the goal/end line and midfield. I'll get players as they come across the field (into the light. If I am near the end line or behind the end line shooting the attack, I try to add some exposure since the subject will only be lit from the sides.


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Night Lacrosse
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