Pipernails wrote in post #10896678
I am renting a Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS (and monopod) for the first time. I will be using it with my Mark III 1D to shoot my son's football games. Since I have never dealt with a lens of this magnitude, I'd appreciate some advice.
- Should I position myself in the endzone when shooting the offense?
- Where should I position myself when shooting the defense?
- How many yards can I stay ahead of the play on offense and behind the play on defense with the 400mm?
Any other tips, suggestions, and advice is greatly appreciated.
On a separate note, I noticed when shooting burst mode in RAW, it takes several seconds to clear the buffer once it is filled. The camera gives a "busy" signal and I'm afraid of missing shots when this happens. Is it better to wait for that one shot or try and get a series of shots (ie. running back coming towards me)?
It really depends on the type of shot you are trying to get as to where is best to position yourself. You can shoot anywhere from the line of scrimmage to 35-40 yards downfield. I generally position myself based on where the light is best more than anything, trying to avoid the half sun half shade situations as much as possible.
Other tips, get it a few days early if at all possible and practice shooting with it. That lens is a monster and on a monopod it takes some time to get used to. You have such a narrow view through the viewfinder it is really hard to quickly change your aim.
Shoot from farther away than you think you should if the action is going to be coming toward you. What looks good through the viewfinder before the snap quickly changes as the action comes at you.
If you can maintain a fast shutter speed, I like to shoot at f/4. I think the images are sharper, the background still is plenty blurred and the additional DOF can be a lifesaver.
Also, don't get discouraged with OOF images if you are shooting tight. The DOF is so thin it happens a lot.
Get ready to answer lots of questions from people. That lens is an attention getter for sure.
You can search for my football photo posts on here to get an idea of where I was shooting from. I don't think I have any football photos on here that were not shot with that lens on a Mark III and very rarely do I crop anything I post here.
Any other questions let me know.
Have fun. Prime lenses have some limitations but the image quality is incredible.
One last suggestion, since you are renting, you might also consider trying a 300 f/2.8 sometime as well. It is a bit easier to manage and also has incredible image quality.
Regarding the buffer issue. Try to refrain from really long bursts of shots and you will be fine. That is one thing with using the 400 that will be less of an issue. Very few plays will last long enough for you max out the buffer with that lens since it is so long they will either be past you or so large in the display you won't have anything left to shoot.
I would also suggest investing in a Sandisk 16GB Extreme 60 MB/s card. I think it gives you almost 30 frames of burst shooting in RAW and clears out as fast as the camera can dump it and will hold around 1100 images. Even if you max out the buffer, you will have 10+ images available by the time the next play starts. You should also be able to shoot even while it is busy dumping.
I have only had one play in the past two years that I maxed out my buffer and it was a sideline to sideline scramble followed by an interception and a sideline to sideline return.