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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 14 Oct 2015 (Wednesday) 13:52
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Tips for shooting football with a 5D2?

 
mikepj
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Oct 14, 2015 13:52 |  #1

Hi folks.

Whether you would call it luck or just having a good connection, I was able to score a field pass to get on the sidelines of the local university's football game this weekend. I'm pretty excited about having the chance to do something like this.

The thing is, sports photography isn't a typical genre for me. I'm mostly a landscape and event photographer (you can see some of my work at http://radiant.photogr​aphy (external link)). So my equipment is geared (no pun intended) toward those areas and is not really ideal for sports. My main setup for the game will be a 5D2 with a 100-400L on a monopod. It's a day game, so I think the lens will do just fine, but I'm a little concerned about the 5D2 because of it's slower AF and frame rate.

So my question is, do you have any tips for capturing good moments at a football game with a 5D2?

With the game coming up so quickly, and it being a one-off event, telling me to rent or buy a more appropriate camera body isn't helpful. I would be not only up against the logistics of getting it here in time, but I wouldn't want to have to learn a whole new camera body the day of the game.

But how can I gain a little bit more focusing performance? The center AF point is most sensitive, but I've read a lot of sports photographers say to use all the focus points. Would that slow down focusing speed though? What about using AF expansion?

What about the slower frame rate: should I try to time the moments perfectly before hitting the shutter, or is it better to just spray and pray?


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JohnTrav
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Oct 14, 2015 22:56 |  #2

I only shot with my 5Dii for sports once. I mainly use my 7D for sports. But when I did use my 5Dii I only used the center point because it's the only cross type focus point. As far as speed of the focus I didn't seem to have an issue with speed. Only issue I had was in AI servo it front focused a little bit. It could have just been my calibration though. I still got plenty of useable shots though. It sounds like you don't really have much if an option though.

Another limitation is that it doesn't have a high FPS and the buffer fills quickly. Either way I think you should do just fine. I think the lens is a good one for the situation.


Canon 5D Mark III - Canon 5D Mark II - Canon 7D - Canon 70-200 f/2.8L - Canon 24-70 f/2.8L - Canon 17-40L - Canon 85 f/1.8 - Canon 50 f/1.4 - Canon 580 exii (x2) - rokinon 8mm fishey

  
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mikepj
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Oct 15, 2015 10:23 as a reply to  @ JohnTrav's post |  #3

Thanks, that's good to hear. I figured there had to have been more than a handful of photographers using the 5D2 for sports shooting 5 years ago if they didn't have the budget for a 1D series.

Good thought on double-checking the MFA for the 100-400 before the game. I am also a little concerned about the buffer. I figured I would start off shooting RAW and then switch to JPG if it becomes an issue.

At some point I should probably pick up a second body, and the 7D series would be a good place to start. Right now I have an EOS M with the EF-M adapter, which I'll bring along with a wider angle lens just to minimize the number of lens changes while capturing the crowd and other parts of the event. That's not going to help me a whole lot if the action comes close to me on the field though, simply because the play would be over before the camera would turn on and focus. :lol:


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gonzogolf
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Oct 15, 2015 10:37 |  #4

Football players are big targets, the 5DII Focusng system will do fine. It might be helpful to let us know why you are shooting this one off event. If you are shooting a particular player for instance there tricks that might apply.




  
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mikepj
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Oct 15, 2015 11:20 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #5

I'm not shooting this game for any particular reason, it's just something I've always wanted to do. I'm friends with a university photographer, and recently asked what the chances would be of actually being able to photograph a football game. Even though it's more of a personal photo event for me, I'm approaching it as if it was a job. I will be trying to capture not just what happens on the field, but the "story" of the game day.

Been trying to read pretty much everything I can find about photographing a game for the past couple of days, just so I'm not a complete novice walking in the door. I want to make sure I don't keep anyone else from getting their job done.

I would like to capture a variety of players, both on offense and defense, just to get a feel of what it takes to capture each position. Any general tips would be appreciated as well.


Radiant Photography (external link) Instagram (external link) Instagram (Sports) (external link) Flickr (external link)
5D Mark IV, 7D Mark II, Rebel SL1
16-35 ƒ4L, 24-105 ƒ4L, 70-200 ƒ2.8L IS II, 100-400 ƒ4.5-5.6L, 85 ƒ1.8, 50 ƒ1.8 STM, 24mm ƒ2.8 STM

  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 15, 2015 11:26 |  #6

The reason I asked is your description sounded like a classic case of being asked to shoot for a family member. If you are just shooting for yourself then work on isolating players where the action is likely to go. You can't catch up to the action you have to anticipate it. That means you sometimes guess wrong, but when you get it right it pays off. The slow frame rate on the 5D2 means you aren't going to be able to rely on bursts to get peak action so timing the shot will be critical.




  
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mikepj
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Oct 15, 2015 11:49 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #7

Oh, nope, I've been asked by family/friends to help in the past, so I know how that all goes, but this isn't one of those times. I am in the transition phase of moving from being a hobbyist photographer to getting paid for my work. I did a paid wedding earlier this year, and have been trying to get my foot in the door for more event photography gigs.

Sports photography has interested me in the past, I just haven't been focusing on that when purchasing gear the past few years. Depending on how this weekend goes, that could change.

I did just pick up an 85mm f1.8 a few weeks ago with the hopes of using it for some indoor sports like basketball or gymnastics, but I don't think it will help me much for football. I was planning to bring the 100-400, 24-105, and the 22mm for my EOS M. I've read flashes are a big no-no for NCAA events, so I'm leaving those at home. With using the 100-400, I didn't see any reason to bring my 70-200 f4 or a 1.4x TC.

It sounds like focusing will be fine but framerate might be an issue. I'll try to time the first shot right but then trail a few frames after that just in case the peak moment is just afterward. Our team doesn't have much of a running game, so I'll be looking for pass plays more often. From the end zone, I'm hoping to be able to see where the quarterback is looking to help me a little with that.


Radiant Photography (external link) Instagram (external link) Instagram (Sports) (external link) Flickr (external link)
5D Mark IV, 7D Mark II, Rebel SL1
16-35 ƒ4L, 24-105 ƒ4L, 70-200 ƒ2.8L IS II, 100-400 ƒ4.5-5.6L, 85 ƒ1.8, 50 ƒ1.8 STM, 24mm ƒ2.8 STM

  
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JohnTrav
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Oct 15, 2015 13:40 |  #8

I am kind of in the same boat right now. I am shooting high school Soccor under the lights for the first time tonight. I was asked by one of the boosters to do it. I will probly be using my 5Dii a lot for it just for noise control.

I will play with my 7D too with it at high ISO to see what I can do too. I see a lot of people put out very nice work with 7D's under those conditions


Canon 5D Mark III - Canon 5D Mark II - Canon 7D - Canon 70-200 f/2.8L - Canon 24-70 f/2.8L - Canon 17-40L - Canon 85 f/1.8 - Canon 50 f/1.4 - Canon 580 exii (x2) - rokinon 8mm fishey

  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 15, 2015 13:45 |  #9

JohnTrav wrote in post #17746688 (external link)
I am kind of in the same boat right now. I am shooting high school Soccor under the lights for the first time tonight. I was asked by one of the boosters to do it. I will probly be using my 5Dii a lot for it just for noise control.

I will play with my 7D too with it at high ISO to see what I can do too. I see a lot of people put out very nice work with 7D's under those conditions

From the tests I've seen the 7D was close enough in terms of noise to the 5D2 that it doesn't make sense to give up the frame rate and advanced focus to use it for football. The 5D2 does have an ISO advantage, but high ISO sports shots can tolerate a bit of noise and not be noticed in the way a portrait or landscape would. Just be certain to resist the temptation to underexposed a shot to get a bit more SS. Underexposed shots are where noise rears its ugly head.




  
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JohnTrav
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Oct 15, 2015 14:36 |  #10

gonzogolf wrote in post #17746693 (external link)
From the tests I've seen the 7D was close enough in terms of noise to the 5D2 that it doesn't make sense to give up the frame rate and advanced focus to use it for football. The 5D2 does have an ISO advantage, but high ISO sports shots can tolerate a bit of noise and not be noticed in the way a portrait or landscape would. Just be certain to resist the temptation to underexposed a shot to get a bit more SS. Underexposed shots are where noise rears its ugly head.

I was thinking more along the lines of exposing to the right a little. Maybe 1/3 or 2/3 a stop and bringing it back down in post. It's my first time so I am hoping to play around a little bit while they warm up and see what I like and what works for me.

I hate giving up the better AF and FPS. That's why I never use my 5Dii for sports. But I also usually shoot in daylight at iso's 250-640 and about 1/800-1/1000 a second.

I will def be testing my 7D a little more tonight. Although I did shoot a Bellator MMA event once at ISO6400 with my 7D with very good results


Canon 5D Mark III - Canon 5D Mark II - Canon 7D - Canon 70-200 f/2.8L - Canon 24-70 f/2.8L - Canon 17-40L - Canon 85 f/1.8 - Canon 50 f/1.4 - Canon 580 exii (x2) - rokinon 8mm fishey

  
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n1as
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Oct 15, 2015 14:37 |  #11

A few years ago I had a 5D-2 and 7D. I used the 7D for sports and the 5D2 for non-sports stuff. On one occasion I took the 5D2 to a soccer match.

It did OK. AF speed and accuracy was noticeably worse than the 7D (IIRC) but I was able to get some good shots with it. Still, it was not nearly as good as the 7D for that application.

In time I sold both and upgraded to the the 5D3 works well enough to replace both.

With the 5D2, definitely go center focus only, give it some time to lock on and then time the shot to get your peak action on the first frame. You can't rely on pray & spray with its slow frame rate.


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gonzogolf
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Oct 15, 2015 15:03 |  #12

JohnTrav wrote in post #17746766 (external link)
I was thinking more along the lines of exposing to the right a little. Maybe 1/3 or 2/3 a stop and bringing it back down in post. It's my first time so I am hoping to play around a little bit while they warm up and see what I like and what works for me.

I hate giving up the better AF and FPS. That's why I never use my 5Dii for sports. But I also usually shoot in daylight at iso's 250-640 and about 1/800-1/1000 a second.

I will def be testing my 7D a little more tonight. Although I did shoot a Bellator MMA event once at ISO6400 with my 7D with very good results

I'm not a huge fan of messing with ettr for anything beyond landscape but as long as you don't underexposed you are good.




  
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John
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Oct 15, 2015 15:17 |  #13

Some suggestions:
1) Experiment: get there early, you should be able to catch players warming up on the field almost up to 2 hours before kickoff to get a feel for shooting
2) Try to keep the shutter speed to at least 1/1000th of a second for action shots
3) Keep an eye out on exposure throughout the course of the game as changes in light can be pretty drastic especially for 3pm kickoff games that end near or after 6pm and clouds

Regardless of what you may have read or heard, the 5d2 is a capable camera for sports. Definitely try to time the shot by anticipating the play that's unfolding instead of spraying&praying.


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mikepj
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Oct 15, 2015 15:56 |  #14

Thanks to everyone for the continued suggestions. Sounds like even though the 5D2 isn't perfectly suited for the job like a 7D or 1D would be, I should still be in pretty good shape for the game.

I'll be sure to stick with the center focus point and try to get the peak action in the first frame (probably dragging the shutter).

Game starts at 1pm, so even at the end of the game there should be plenty of light. Forecast says partly cloudy though, so I'll have to keep an eye out for shadows. I'm planning to spend most of my time in Av mode, adjusting ISO to keep the shutter speeds over 1/1000, with +1/3 or +2/3 EV to get better exposure for players' faces.

I have a prior commitment that morning, but I'm planning to get to the game by 11:30. That should give me some time to shoot the warm-ups and get settled in before kickoff.

JohnTrav: Good luck with the soccer game tonight. Curious to know how it turns out for you if you decide to use the 5D2.


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5D Mark IV, 7D Mark II, Rebel SL1
16-35 ƒ4L, 24-105 ƒ4L, 70-200 ƒ2.8L IS II, 100-400 ƒ4.5-5.6L, 85 ƒ1.8, 50 ƒ1.8 STM, 24mm ƒ2.8 STM

  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 15, 2015 16:21 |  #15

mikepj wrote in post #17746863 (external link)
Thanks to everyone for the continued suggestions. Sounds like even though the 5D2 isn't perfectly suited for the job like a 7D or 1D would be, I should still be in pretty good shape for the game.

I'll be sure to stick with the center focus point and try to get the peak action in the first frame (probably dragging the shutter).

Game starts at 1pm, so even at the end of the game there should be plenty of light. Forecast says partly cloudy though, so I'll have to keep an eye out for shadows. I'm planning to spend most of my time in Av mode, adjusting ISO to keep the shutter speeds over 1/1000, with +1/3 or +2/3 EV to get better exposure for players' faces.

I have a prior commitment that morning, but I'm planning to get to the game by 11:30. That should give me some time to shoot the warm-ups and get settled in before kickoff.

JohnTrav: Good luck with the soccer game tonight. Curious to know how it turns out for you if you decide to use the 5D2.

What do you mean by dragging the shutter? That term usually means a slow shutter speed to balance flash with ambient.




  
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Tips for shooting football with a 5D2?
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