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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
Thread started 18 Dec 2008 (Thursday) 10:35
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Lack of Sharpness

 
Merman
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Dec 18, 2008 10:35 |  #1

I'm struggling to figure out what I'm missing for sharpness. I'm using a 30D with 70-200 2.8. I've tried every shutter speed, iso, aperture, etc etc and I'm not figuring this stuff out. The only thing I have not used is a flash of any sort. Sometimes the player is clear, but the ball is fuzzy, or vice versa. I even bought a cheap 1.8 just to see if that amount of aperture would make a difference. Not really. :confused::confused::confused: Help please!


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Anke
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Dec 18, 2008 10:37 |  #2

At f/2.8 and 1/250 its a combination of the ball moving too quickly to be frozen at that shutter speed and the fact that the ball is possibly travelling out of the plane of focus.


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Anke
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Dec 18, 2008 10:43 |  #3

What ISO did you use?


Anke
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Merman
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Dec 18, 2008 10:47 |  #4

I have been anywhere from 800 to 1600.

What combo of shutter speed and aperture do you think I'm looking for? I've experimented, but not having much luck.

Thanks




  
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computerguru3190
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Dec 18, 2008 10:50 as a reply to  @ Merman's post |  #5

Unfortunately, High ISO means your going to lose a little bit of sharpness with pretty much anything. Unless you use a flash to freeze their movement its going to be kinda unfocused at 1/250.




  
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cstewart
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Dec 18, 2008 10:59 |  #6

Don't be afraid to bump to 3200 ISO and use a faster shutter speed. Live with the noise or else use some noise reduction in post processing.

What auto focus mode are you using (AI Servo I hope) and are you using center point only (probably best)? Do you use the shutter "half press" for focus or have you moved focus off the shutter and on to the * button on the back (preferred by many sports photogs)? It could be that the AF mode is simply picking up something other than the main subject (eg in your first image the wall, ref and lady in front row look a bit sharper than the player). The above settings will help keep focus on your main subject once you get used to shooting that way.


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jacuff
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Dec 18, 2008 11:00 |  #7

Merman wrote in post #6902593 (external link)
I even bought a cheap 1.8 just to see if that amount of aperture would make a difference. Not really. :confused::confused::confused: Help please!

Nope, with the 1.8 you'll get a faster shutter speed, but you'll also get a much narrower depth of field. The only way your going to get sharpness is to use strobes. If the thought of buying 2-4 strobes just seems too much, try experimenting with a Speedlite 580EXII on a flash bracket.


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Merman
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Dec 18, 2008 11:10 |  #8

I knew you guys would give enough homework so I could skip my real work and play with cameras today.

I haven't been able to get higher than 1600 iso. I'll look and see if I can with the 30D.

What focus mode?? That's a good question and I don't have that answer. So that shows my ignorance. I will try to figure that one out. Yes I am using center point and am trying harder to concentrate on where exactly that is when clicking. I half press the button for focus.

Mentioned was the people in the background nice and sharp and subject not. I get a lot of that. (Santa in the form of UPS just dropped off a 50D. Gotta love Santa) Makes the few hairs I have left go grayer!




  
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nhbeast
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Dec 18, 2008 11:51 |  #9

Merman wrote in post #6902789 (external link)
I knew you guys would give enough homework so I could skip my real work and play with cameras today.

I haven't been able to get higher than 1600 iso. I'll look and see if I can with the 30D.

What focus mode?? That's a good question and I don't have that answer. So that shows my ignorance. I will try to figure that one out. Yes I am using center point and am trying harder to concentrate on where exactly that is when clicking. I half press the button for focus.

Mentioned was the people in the background nice and sharp and subject not. I get a lot of that. (Santa in the form of UPS just dropped off a 50D. Gotta love Santa) Makes the few hairs I have left go grayer!

The 30D does support ISO 3200, it's a custom function you have to turn on first. The set the ISO to 'H' for High. That's 3200.


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jacuff
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Dec 18, 2008 11:55 |  #10

Merman wrote in post #6902789 (external link)
I haven't been able to get higher than 1600 iso. I'll look and see if I can with the 30D.

Look for ISO Expansion in the Custom Functions.

Merman wrote in post #6902789 (external link)
What focus mode?? That's a good question and I don't have that answer. So that shows my ignorance. I will try to figure that one out. Yes I am using center point and am trying harder to concentrate on where exactly that is when clicking. I half press the button for focus.

I would guess that if you don't know the answer, you probably shot One Shot. AI Servo is a handy mode for shooting sports. Add that to your homework. :)

Merman wrote in post #6902789 (external link)
Mentioned was the people in the background nice and sharp and subject not. I get a lot of that. (Santa in the form of UPS just dropped off a 50D. Gotta love Santa) Makes the few hairs I have left go grayer!

Cool. I haven't shot a 50D, but it is improved over the 30D.


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Merman
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Dec 18, 2008 11:58 |  #11

Thanks all! Going home for lunch now, but will be back for more homework!




  
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cstewart
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Dec 18, 2008 12:21 |  #12

Merman wrote in post #6902789 (external link)
What focus mode?? That's a good question and I don't have that answer. So that shows my ignorance. I will try to figure that one out. Yes I am using center point and am trying harder to concentrate on where exactly that is when clicking. I half press the button for focus.

Mentioned was the people in the background nice and sharp and subject not. I get a lot of that. (Santa in the form of UPS just dropped off a 50D. Gotta love Santa) Makes the few hairs I have left go grayer!

Because you press the shutter half way to lock focus, I suspect that whenever your center point moves off subject and you go to click a photo again, the camera "refocuses" and thus whatever is now at the center point is in focus and your main subject is not.

If you move the focus function to the * button on the back of the camera (see Custom Function IV and look for other threads on here to learn mre about it), you can separate focus from shutter and keep a better focus lock on your main subject. I used to use shutter focus for hockey and since switching I get way fewer out of focus shots. It takes a bit to get used to but is pretty easy once you do switch.

Also, use AI SERVO for sports NOT AI Focus. Whether you use the half shuter or the * button, if you set focus on your subject and keep the half shutter pressed or rapid fire for that matter or keep the * pressed, the AF should track and keep your main subject in focus.


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superdiver
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Dec 18, 2008 13:04 |  #13

Looking at the pictures its two things, lack of proper focus and slow shutter speed.

On the first one the focus is closer to the audience

and on the second one, if you look closely it looks like his shorts are in focus. He is leaning forward and is arms and ball is moving fast. So the upper half of the player (closer to you and leaning out of the focus point) is blurred cuz of botht he motion and the lack of focus.

Remember, that at the f speeds our depth of focus is litterally inches if we are lucky!

these are what about 70% of my basketball pictures look like...lol...welcome to our world.... thats why you "spray and pray".... and why I am moving to the MkIII as soon as I can, quicker focus MIGHT help me ...lol


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Merman
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Dec 18, 2008 13:46 |  #14

I found the AI focus and AI Servo. I remembered reading that a while back, but never put it to use. I was on One Shot.

And I found the ISO H setting.

I'm going to look into moving the focus function.

So lack of proper focus is something everyone experiences and I'm normal or I'm just really good at being a bad focuser? Maybe that's why my wife accuses me of a short span of attention.

Thank you all for the advice. I'm going to try it out tonight. I'll report back tomorrow!

Mark




  
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Big ­ Hands
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Dec 18, 2008 19:31 |  #15

If you're going to use ISO 1600 and 3200 with regularity, I think it would be a good idea to look into a noise reduction solution such as noiseware or noise ninja among others.


Canon 20D w/grip, 300D, Powershot SX100 w/HF-DC1 flash, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, 85 f/1.8, 17-55 f/2.8 IS, 50 f/1.8, 580EX and some other stuff...

  
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Lack of Sharpness
FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
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