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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 06 Mar 2018 (Tuesday) 19:20
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Sports shooters. How do you shoot? Short or long bursts?

 
Vladdo
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Mar 06, 2018 19:20 |  #1

Bit of background. I've been shooting aviation for maybe 10? years and have upgraded my gear over the years and I'm now at a point where I have the best gear. 1DX2 + 500mm F4. I primarily want to shoot at 1000mm with a 2x extender.

I shoot a lot of prop aircraft, so I like to keep the shutter speed down to get some reasonable prop blur. I realise that I'm never going to shoot 1000mm @ 1/50th second hand held. So I shoot around 1/200th-1/250th for piston aircraft and a little bit faster for turbine props. My usual shooting style is to set the DX2 in AI Servo mode, mode 5 AF, Shutter priority (1/200th) and auto ISO, with full 61 point tracking.

Having had a couple of failed outings recently, it makes me wonder if I'm actually using the right style for the job. When I shoot a burst, I'll half hold the shutter button, achieve focus lock then just mash down on the shutter until I have maybe 100 shots. Out of that 100 shots, I'll probably get 10 that are sharp and perhaps 1 or 2 that are super sharp. A friend suggested that perhaps I don't just hold down the shutter, I should take a short burst, take finger off shutter, achieve focus lock, rattle off a few more shots and repeat the process. That way the AF has time to keep up and I should get better keeper rates. However, what's the point of the AI servo mode if it cannot achieve good focus lock over a period of time.

Thoughts?


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rdalrt
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Mar 06, 2018 20:16 |  #2

Are you not using back button focus? In any event, I shoot short bursts of 3-5 frames. Sometimes pumping the back button focus button between bursts.


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johnf3f
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Post edited 3 months ago by johnf3f.
     
Mar 06, 2018 20:20 |  #3

I don't do much aviation photography but that looks like a very low hit rate to me.

Last time out I used my 1DX (Mk1) and 300 F2.8 L IS for large aircraft and add a 2 x Mk3 extender for the single seaters. I use AF Case 2, back button focus, Manual mode with Auto ISO and exposure compensation activated by the SET button and adjusted by the front dial (by the shutter release). AF point selection is single + 4 surrounding expansion points.

I tend to shoot bursts of 3 to 10 frames though more when necessary. If I do my part then I expect nearly all shots to be sharp - an aircraft at a display is hardly a challenge for a 1 series.

If the lighting isn't ideal then your extender will not help - is it a Canon Mk3 extender? Are you stopping down a bit? Is your IS on - the IS on my lenses can really muck up AF tracking. Also I have set my max fps to 10 - don't know if that makes a difference?

Hope some of this may help.


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apersson850
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Post edited 3 months ago by apersson850.
     
Mar 07, 2018 02:57 |  #4

You can set the camera to spend more or less time on readjusting focus between shots.
I usually use the camera, for general action, as I would use a submachine gun. Short bursts of 3-5 shots, then re-aim.

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s1a1om
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Mar 07, 2018 08:05 |  #5

Can’t answer your question, but why do you need 1000mm? How far away are the aircraft when you’re shooting them?

Air to air seem like most people stay below 200mm with a lot of the top photographers frequently shooting wide angle lenses. For airshows 150-600 seems liken a popular range.

200mm on a crop sensor seems to get me plenty close to single engine planes landing at airports.


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Larry ­ Weinman
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Mar 07, 2018 08:08 |  #6

You didn’t say anything about a tripod. 1000 mm really requires a tripod and maybe mirror lockup and a shutter speed faster then 1/250. It is even helpful to exert a slight upward support with your hand under the lens


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Bassat
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Mar 07, 2018 08:58 |  #7

That is a lot of camera for that many misses. My guess is your technique needs a bit of polishing.

My 1D4 wouldn't give me one OOF frame as long as I did my part. So far, the 80D is just as good. Both cost a small fraction of the 1DX2. Maybe the 2X TC is the problem?


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RPCrowe
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Mar 09, 2018 22:35 |  #8

A 500mm lens with a 2x extender seems like a LOT OF GLASS to hand-hold, especially at 1/250 second...


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Choderboy
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Mar 10, 2018 03:00 |  #9

These were shot with a 5D2. Old, simple AF system. It rarely missed. 1DX2 should almost never miss focus.

200mm. Coming straight at the camera, one of the more challenging AF scenarios.

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5027/5659311952_f31ffe44da_o.jpg

400mm. Almost straight at the camera.
IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5266/5658739985_129217b894_o.jpg

Simple way for you to isolate problem is use very high shutter speed, freeze the props like a newby.
Are you using IS? Mode 2 for panning?

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BigAl007
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Mar 10, 2018 07:22 |  #10

RPCrowe wrote in post #18581464 (external link)
A 500mm lens with a 2x extender seems like a LOT OF GLASS to hand-hold, especially at 1/250 second...


Larry Weinman wrote in post #18579594 (external link)
You didn’t say anything about a tripod. 1000 mm really requires a tripod and maybe mirror lockup and a shutter speed faster then 1/250. It is even helpful to exert a slight upward support with your hand under the lens



I'm now shooting at airshows in the UK using a Sigma 150-600 C, on a 50D. For many of the single engine types to get a good angle, rather than just dead side on, the aircraft can be over 800m away. So even with 600mm on APS-C I often need to add an additional 1.5× crop, for an effective 900mm. To match that on a 35mm format sensor I would need 1440mm.

For prop aircraft I shoot at 1/160s or slower. I did start out using a tripod at airshows in my early days on 35mm film in the 1970's. The real problem I found was that at an airshow you need to be able to make a pan that requires a swing that closely approaches 180°. Simple hand holding is much better than trying to negotiate moving around the tripod in a confined and crowded area. The optimum system that I found was to use a shoulder stock system to support the camera and lens, so that you can use it just like a shotgun. Back in the 70's I had a really nice stock sold in the UK under Dixons own Prinz brand. That went missing over the years, so now I use a custom built rig made using one of those 15mm rod systems used for building DSLR video rigs.

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I also have a custom modified remote that I tape to the front hand grip to fire the camera. This allows me to control the AF without the need to worry about first/second press of a single button. I had hoped it would allow me to trip the shutter without initiating the AF, as I could on my old 300D, with the 3.5mm TRS plug for the remote. Unfortunately even if you don't initiate AF the camera will operate the AF if the image seems to be out of focus. So no simulating full BBAF.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4549/38211446081_3d9bae93ca_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/21dB​DDT  (external link) 0001 (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

If I'm just hand holding then I will usually just shoot three or four shot bursts, with the expectation that the first and last will be throwaways, since it doesn't matter how smooth you are, just flexing the finger can cause some disturbance to the camera. The same applies to the last shot, as you start to relax off the button you will again disturb the camera. The same effects also apply in my sport, Olympic style target rifle shooting, at least knowing this allows me to compensate for it. This is not nearly such an issue with the shoulder stock rig, as with the remote the button movements are not directly on the camera, and they work in a neutral direction. You still need to be smooth in operation, just jabbing at the buttons is never good.

So here are a couple of images taken at the last airshow I shot, Duxford last September. These two images were both shot at 1/80s at 600mm. Both were also given the 1.5× crop that I often use. This could also be referred to as removing 33.33% linearly, or 55.55% by area. I use ML's DualISO feature and in the conversion to the DNG file it reveals some pixels that would normally be masked in a CR2 file. To achieve the crop I reduce the image so that you go from 4770×3177px to 3177×2116px. Very easy to do in the Lr crop tool, as you just need to use the X key twice.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4468/37765009046_79eef9a4a7_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Zxax​tC  (external link) Hawker Fury Mk I (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4800/38915953320_5d5e722ba9_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/22hS​r7q  (external link) Yakovlev Yak 3 (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

There is one effect that you have to consider when shooting moving objects at slow shutter speeds, especially with very long lenses, and that is parallax. Thanks to parallax different parts of the same aircraft can have different apparent velocities. This can mean that although you nailed focus, and got the pan dead right on the cockpit, the tailplane, nose, and both wingtips can all end up with a little apparent motion blur. What is more the blur can often seem to be in different directions! This can happen even when the aircraft is flying straight and level. Some of the top competitive aerobatic aircraft can do amazing things, which can include roll rates of over 540°/s, thats 90 RPM! So as well as getting prop blur, you can get the whole aircraft giving rotational blur during a display. There is a little bit of parallax blur visible in the photo of the Hawker Fury above.

Alan

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RodS57
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Mar 10, 2018 16:58 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #11

Thanks for taking the time to go into such detail. I don't have many opportunities to shoot aircraft. As a result prop blur wasn't something I had even considered in the past. Makes me a rank amateur I guess :-) . I don't mind. For me it is as much enjoying trying as it is the result.


Rod


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Sports shooters. How do you shoot? Short or long bursts?
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