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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
Thread started 01 Oct 2007 (Monday) 14:25
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New Gymnastics Sharing Thread..

 
jdando
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Dec 18, 2007 22:37 as a reply to  @ post 4510308 |  #271

Hey Gang;

Another meet in MN. My girl is doing well, tough night on the beam, but good on the floor and vault.

My picture taking was solid, but focusing issues still abound:mad:

Shot RAW, ai servo, center focus point, custom white balance, ISO 1600, f2.0 with 100mm, 1/250 ss, crop, resized and sharpen with Irfanview.

I thought I had the center focus point on the torso, but the results say otherwise. The climbing wall in the background seems to be in focus while the gymnast is not.

Could the UV filter be giving me issues?


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Jeremy
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redoor
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Dec 18, 2007 23:43 |  #272

jdando wrote in post #4532077 (external link)
Hey Gang;

Another meet in MN. My girl is doing well, tough night on the beam, but good on the floor and vault.

My picture taking was solid, but focusing issues still abound:mad:

Shot RAW, ai servo, center focus point, custom white balance, ISO 1600, f2.0 with 100mm, 1/250 ss, crop, resized and sharpen with Irfanview.

I thought I had the center focus point on the torso, but the results say otherwise. The climbing wall in the background seems to be in focus while the gymnast is not.

Could the UV filter be giving me issues?

I would do some testing with the filter....Off vs on..why would you need it for the indoor shooting?...are you using the filter for protection of the lens?...use lens hood. Maybe your lens need calabration...Good Luck


Tim

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bwolford
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Dec 19, 2007 08:19 as a reply to  @ redoor's post |  #273

jdando,

How far were you from the action. 50 ft with that set up should give you about 6ft of DOF. 100 ft would give you about 23ft or so...

I don't have a lot of experience with that camera's AI Servo, but I did see a lot of contrast in that background that can throw an AF system off. Granted if you were focused on her torso, the contrast between her torso and the background should have been dramatic enough to lock in focus. In the off chance you locked focus before the move/jump, it might not be where you think it is.

I've found that by reassigning my AF to the * button on my camera, I can pre-focus and lock in a specific location and then release my finger from * and shoot away at that location. If they were moving to you or from you, the AI Servo may be helpful, but isn't always necessary when they are jumping in place or not necessarily moving around. The hybrid of using AI Servo, triggering focus with * and then releasing for these more "static" shots helps, at least for me.

Can you set your focus to the * or other button on your camera? UPDATE: I just checked your manual and you can set custom function 4 to assign focus lock to the * button. Essentially, set CFn-4 to 1. Then to focus you press and hold * until you have focus you want to achieve (or keep AI Servo working). When you want to lock focus at specific point, release * and focus won't change. It takes some getting used to, but my experience has been my keeper rate went up when I figured out how to best use this.

I'd really like to see a full size version of these with full EXIF to make any other recommendation.


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gymdad
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Dec 19, 2007 09:07 |  #274

jdando,

Could some of the problem be the slow shutter speed? (for example, notice the motion blur in her feet in the first shot)

I think Brice is right: seeing a full sized version might help. In both shots, I can't really see any points on the wall that are much more sharply focused than the gymnast. It seems like at least some part of that wall would be really sharp if AF locked on it. (that could easily be my eyes or my monitor, though--maybe some others here could help)


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jdando
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Dec 19, 2007 18:33 as a reply to  @ gymdad's post |  #275

Thanks for the feedback Tim, Brice and GymDad;

The filter was there for lens protection. I will shoot tonight with out it. The 100mm does not have a hood.

Here are screen shots from ZoomBrowser showing my focus point and shotting information.

IMAGE: http://home.comcast.net/%7Ejdando/Images/mrdscreenshot.jpg


IMAGE: http://home.comcast.net/%7Ejdando/Images/jessscreenshot.jpg

Here is the link the original RAW images

photo1 (external link)

photo2 (external link)

EXIF should be intact
For location I was about 10 feet off the mat shooting across the entire mat. I would guess about 50-60 feet from me to the girls. The wall is located about 10 feet behind the girls.

Brice, regarding the focusing button assignment. That seems rather confusing reading it, but I will give it a try. You mentioned that I might be letting off the shutter button and letting it recompose (my words) I think that could be one of my issues. I am still learning how to press instead of JAM the shutter. I think I could be inducing some huge camera shake also.

GymDad; Regarding the slow shutter, I thought I was doing well to get 1/320th not sure I can get any faster with my existing equipment.

Looking forward to your comments!
jeremy

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JeffreyG
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Dec 19, 2007 19:20 |  #276

IMO, that is a dead miss. To my eyes the plywood is sharp and the athelete is soft. So now you wonder why.

I had the same issue happening myself (go back to page 18 ) and I was thinking I was making a mistake but as it turned out in my case my lens calibration was off and missing behind a longer distances. Try this yourself just to be sure. Go outside and shoot pictures of static objects 40 meters or so distant in one shot mode. Try to pick targets that have other stuff 2-5 meters behind in the frame to see what is what.

OTOH, the plywood is pretty sharp. This suggests that the AF picked it, which could be technique (as in, you may have allowed the point to wander off the athelete momentarily). Only problem is, at least in image 6376 she is not moving really so why would you miss?


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fugfuggy
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Dec 19, 2007 19:31 |  #277

yep, gotta agree. If there is no problem with your lens then stick these in the bin and chalk it up to another miss. Happens to us all.




  
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bwolford
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Dec 19, 2007 20:45 |  #278

jdando wrote in post #4537134 (external link)
Brice, regarding the focusing button assignment. That seems rather confusing reading it, but I will give it a try. You mentioned that I might be letting off the shutter button and letting it recompose (my words) I think that could be one of my issues. I am still learning how to press instead of JAM the shutter. I think I could be inducing some huge camera shake also.

I over complicated it. Once you have the button set, you press it while you want focusing to work. You find something to lock into and all you have to do is release the * and viola, focus is locked at that distance. AI Servo works as long as the * is pressed for those times when the subject is moving forward or backward.

Press the shutter button to take the picture.

I'm looking at your raw images now. BRB :)

EDIT: Definitely need to test that lens. As others have said the wall is the most in focus part of the image and I'm surprised that it could be that far out of calibration without you noticing before. Let us know how the controlled test turns out...


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GBRandy
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Dec 20, 2007 07:52 |  #279

Does the XT have an ability to turn "AF point expansion" on? If so, I would disable that as your AF point selection options are very far apart.

More likely than selecting AF on the wall, I suspect the AF tracking is not super quick and may be over & undershooting the selected spot...in this case it just landed on the wall. Lets face it, my MKIIN and the MKIII do not track perfectly in low light....an XT would logically have issues as well.

I use the * button to focus on everything. The professional sports photogs I know all use that method exclusively. Once you get used to it, you will wonder how you lived without it...

I have never used a 100 f2 so I can not speak to it's capabilities...but if it is anywhere near what my lowly 85 f1.8 is, it should be fine. Test if you like, but I suspect it is within tolerance....

In short, you have just discovered one of the major headaches in indoor sports photography :) not every shot is going to be tack sharp......what did the immediate previous and subsequent shots look like?


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bwolford
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Dec 20, 2007 08:35 |  #280

GBRandy wrote in post #4540005 (external link)
Does the XT have an ability to turn "AF point expansion" on? If so, I would disable that as your AF point selection options are very far apart.

More likely than selecting AF on the wall, I suspect the AF tracking is not super quick and may be over & undershooting the selected spot...in this case it just landed on the wall. Lets face it, my MKIIN and the MKIII do not track perfectly in low light....an XT would logically have issues as well.

I use the * button to focus on everything. The professional sports photogs I know all use that method exclusively. Once you get used to it, you will wonder how you lived without it...

I have never used a 100 f2 so I can not speak to it's capabilities...but if it is anywhere near what my lowly 85 f1.8 is, it should be fine. Test if you like, but I suspect it is within tolerance....

In short, you have just discovered one of the major headaches in indoor sports photography :) not every shot is going to be tack sharp......what did the immediate previous and subsequent shots look like?

The manual doesn't mention disabling AF Expansion or even whether it does it. It does specify how to set an AF point. Page 70+


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GBRandy
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Dec 20, 2007 10:59 |  #281

bwolford wrote in post #4540162 (external link)
The manual doesn't mention disabling AF Expansion or even whether it does it. It does specify how to set an AF point. Page 70+

Probably not an option...didnt think it was anyway...just checking.

After looking a these for awhile I suspect the cameras center point was a wee bit right of both targets just prior to the shutter release. The XT AF could no react fast enough to get the gymnast in focus and...tada...the wall is in focus despite the location of the AF point at time of exposure. An MKIIn might get away with that, but no way an XT does...

Keeping the AF point directly on the gymnast at ALL times is trickier than you think....be honest next time you are looking through the viewfinder - I know it is darn hard to do.

If you drift off, the camera is going to do what it is supposed to and focus....on the wall if that's where it is pointed briefly......

EDIT...BTW. pull all your filters off when you go shoot these events. They are optically in the way. I use the lens hoods to protect the front element.....


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jdando
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Dec 20, 2007 11:41 |  #282

Hey gang;

Thanks for all the comments and PM's. Had some time today so I went out and attempted a focus test. Probably did it wrong, but the lens seems to focus well outdoors in good light...

Details are here;

https://photography-on-the.net …php?p=4541128#p​ost4541128


I need some time to digest all these comments, more later.
jeremy


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fugfuggy
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Dec 20, 2007 12:42 |  #283

Jeremy,

I know that you are struggling with focus. Question is, are ALL of your indoor images out of focus or are you just posting the near misses? It looks to me like you are really struggling with a problem that is not necessarily a problem, or one that can be solved. Gymnastics is probably the hardest event or environment to shoot. It takes A LOT of practice to get it right. Keep practicing, play with your focus points and methods and it will come.




  
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GBRandy
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Dec 20, 2007 13:30 as a reply to  @ fugfuggy's post |  #284

Jeremy...Fugfuggy is correct...this is hard stuff...

I have been shooting sports for a very long time. I have numerous awards from High school on up. I ran my College's photo staff for the four years I was there and taught classes throughout. I am not a professional but had a chance to go that route. I have decades of sports photographic techniques squirreled away in my head. I have shot in low lit gyms with film and learned how to use a DOF that is measured in inches....gymnastics in local gyms is the single hardest venue I have ever worked in. From peak action captures, to focus tracking to post process tricks, this is by far the trickiest sport to photograph...you master this and you are home free for other stuff...honest...

I tell you this because you are just starting out and the learning curve is a bit steep and you should not feel alone in going up the hill. What you posted is not bad and indicative to the struggles we all face. In fact you are very close....

Here is a shot I found that simulates what you had times 10! :p I simply missed the AF point, I got in front of the gymnast an have the best basketball hoop shot in the state.

But I get extra brownie points though because I was saddled with a Nikon D200 at the time :cry:

IMAGE: http://www.ymcagymstars.com/2005_06Photos/StevensPoint/slides/DSC_7102.jpg

but after awhile you get better......
IMAGE: http://www.ymcagymstars.com/2007_2008_Photos/Appleton2007/pictures/picture-63.jpg

TRUST ME...Fugfuggy is correct...practice! The film is FREE! :)

GBRandy
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fugfuggy
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Dec 20, 2007 13:38 as a reply to  @ GBRandy's post |  #285

Hey, this may be fun. Post your near misses for Jeremy :P Here is mine. First day with the new camera and had the focal point shifted to the left all day (on accident)

Beautiful american flag in the background.

IMAGE: http://images32.fotki.com/v1047/photos/1/1034366/4693689/Pictures111-vi.jpg

Nice wall

IMAGE: http://images32.fotki.com/v1064/photos/1/1034366/4693689/Pictures106-vi.jpg

and then you get it right

IMAGE: http://images32.fotki.com/v1058/photos/1/1034366/4693689/Pictures036-vi.jpg

its kind of like playing golf, those few really good shots will keep you coming back for more, despite the difficulty of the game.



  
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