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Thread: Question to the Sports Minded Togs

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    Question to the Sports Minded Togs

    I have been letting the grey matter get the better of me.

    How is it that we all try to find the sweat spot on our various lenses? say F5 - F8 but if your glass is of the F2.8 quality or better, and we're chasing a nice blurred background or not, we/I set to F2.8 AV, Servo Ai mode, ISO @ 400 - 500 and happly snap away in burst mode and pray my or your AF has turned up to play today for that one real keeper shot?

    In my low light work, my Sigma 18-50MM F2.8 loves F5 and will work happily for very long exposure times, and then seems to re-act well for landscape work at the typical F8 - 11ish Stops on first/fading light.

    This goes against the grain of the sweat spot.

    Has ISO got that much to do with it?

    Is it all about the speed? Ladies maybe can answer that one.LOL

    So do we/I target the main object in the frame and use a smaller F-Stop closer to the sweat spot, to gain the all important sharpness?

    Or do we use the open F-Stop and shot a wider image, crop and pp/sharpe/adjust/highlight/brush and combe it till it's desirable?

    Love to hear your thoughts and reason behind experiences - or instances you may choose each or either.

    I'm using my experiences with Rugby Union, so I would be refering to our faster moving sports,

    I guess Lawn Bowls may be out of the theme of this one. LOL

    Thanks you all in advance.
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    Gotcha Roosta, I think, Giving this question some thought , Not quite sure what you are talking about, But remember for Landscapes you would be using ISO100 or less, And to get your shutter speed for night Sport , Even with the 2.8 you'll need a higher ISO for sure , I always if I can shoot at f8- f10 for landscapes, For sport bumping the ISO to 160 I shoot at f7.1 in daylight , Probably does'nt answer your question , Will see what others say - Bill
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    Firstly I only shoot sport wide open, 2.8 under the following circumstances :

    1/ the light requires it to maintain an acceptable shutter speed at an acceptable Iso

    2/ the backgrounds are crappy And I Want to blur as much as possible

    3/ to differentiate my shots from the mum with 70-300 next to me

    4/ to show off

    (in order)

    I usually shoot at f/3.5 if the lights ok. Gives a bit more scope for error and more importantly a bit more dof to get two players in focus in a tackle

    The sweet spot of my lenses may well be f/8 on a test chart, but they are also bloody sharp at 2.8 so that side of it doesn't worry me, it used to when I had 3rd party glass that wasn't sharp wide open and I had to step down to f/4 to start getting the sort of sharpness I wanted - but then I found it harder to achieve points 1-4 above

    Also, 2.8 or close shot right makes the subject pop out of the bokeh with great colour and contrast
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    Thanks from me as well Darren, 4 good points

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Firstly I only shoot sport wide open, 2.8 under the following circumstances :

    1/ the light requires it to maintain an acceptable shutter speed at an acceptable Iso


    Darren, do you mean shooting in AV, to let the camera predict the shutter op?


    2/ the backgrounds are crappy And I Want to blur as much as possible


    This I understand, but cant always help given the league and areas its played.


    3/ to differentiate my shots from the mum with 70-300 next to me


    understand completly here.


    4/ to show off


    (Best reason so far.LOL)The gear you have, has far more capabilites then Mum with the 300, although, for me, sometimes Mum seems to pull of the lucky shot, we toil away with the better gear, but its more the tech stuff I was after.

    (in order)

    I usually shoot at f/3.5 if the lights ok. Gives a bit more scope for error and more importantly a bit more dof to get two players in focus in a tackle

    The sweet spot of my lenses may well be f/8 on a test chart, but they are also bloody sharp at 2.8 so that side of it doesn't worry me, it used to when I had 3rd party glass that wasn't sharp wide open and I had to step down to f/4 to start getting the sort of sharpness I wanted - but then I found it harder to achieve points 1-4 above

    Also, 2.8 or close shot right makes the subject pop out of the bokeh with great colour and contrast
    I find my Canon 70-200 MM L F2.8 fine, but the user isn't the sharpest, so I posed the question, I'll try it at F3.5 or F4 + to see what results I get, The touch season is starting up here soon, played under lights with our late setting sun, so it will be interesting, I'll post some shots for the usual CC, always looking to get better, and always thankful for your response mate.

    Cheers

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    Re Sport: I have F/2.8 telephoto and zoom lenses - PRIMARILY to allow me to make the minimum acceptable to freeze the action.

    Substantially - that is the first priority of MOSTLY ALL Sports Images – to freeze the action, and the second is: to fill the frame.

    So, when shooting sport, I am NOT thinking about "the sweet spot of any lens" - I am mainly thinking about “freezing” and “filling” and then "timing" the shot at "the moment".

    Apropos DoF – that is a function of “The Shot” (Cine terminology) or “The Framing” (Stills terminology).

    An “Half Shot” is going to have the same DoF at the same aperture no matter what (within any one camera format) – and on a 135 format camera (or “Full Frame”) – F/6.3 will give you about 2ft DoF for an Half Shot - and that’s usually fine for most sports.

    Getting to Full Length shots – then that’s a different kettle of kippers – isolating one bod’ in the maul – at a full length shot then F/3.5 is about what is necessary to do that – but if the Full Length Shot is the Winger flying down the sideline, then F/5.6 will provide a more than acceptable OoF, if the B/G is the crowd across the other side of the field or the opposition, in the middle of the field, 30ft away.

    EG: A Half Shot of a Sportswoman in action

    Thinking:
    Shutter Speed: “to freeze”
    Focal Length: “to fill”
    Shutter Release: “to time”

    The DoF is quite suitable, IMO – I used F/6.3 – there no particular need to open to F/2.8 for a Sports Shot at this Framing.



    WW
    Last edited by William W; 01-11-2011 at 10:44am.

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    Thanks William W, great info, sorry haven't replied sooner. WIll take all onboard and give it a go.

    P.S. Nice capture, where you lying pool deck, or in the water?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosta View Post
    where you lying pool deck, or in the water?
    Laying prone on the pool deck and at the edge of it; the camera was as low as I could get it and still manoeuvre.
    Thank you for the kind comment.

    WW

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    As long as you didn't take out the swimmer in lane 1 or 8, a long black or white lens may not have been to visable mate. LOL

    Cheers,,

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    haha,

    cheers

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    only sport I shoot is soccer ...as said before...
    f/2.8 at night. you need all the light you can get to attain fast shutterspeeds. aim for 1/1000s as a bare minimum when player is on the ball. bump the ISO if you have to. when using film , I use to underexpose to help increase shutterspeeds - then push process it afterwards. looking at your kit though - speed isn't an issue.
    f/3.5 by day. player sits nicely in depth of field. everything else it out of focus.
    I favour centre weighted metering (especially at night). prevents the camera trying to meter the dark background. spot metering is a little too accurate - you only need to spot meter the shine on a shirt from the floodlights and the exposure is up the spout.
    also...use AI servo because everyone is moving around

    but most of all (and I say this because it rarely seems to happen)....compose the shot. essentially, it's an environmental portrait.

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    I'd use manual at night, once it's dark it's not as though the lighting changes much

    1/640s is ok for soccer, 1/800s better, 1/1000 if you can get away with it but not at the expense of Iso

    I wouldn't underexposed much at night, if tall, if you push exposure in post you'll introduce lots of noise

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    I will usually use manual camera mode for all sports, especially if the light is mostly constant, so therefore metering mode whilst shooting becomes irrelevant - minimizing un-necessary distractions is important.

    Underexposing and push processing is not a facility we have with digital: I suggest NEVER to underexpose a sports image captured with digital media.

    Minimum Shutter speeds suitable to perceptively freeze the action are not a blanket, one shutter speed fits all, for any particular sport.

    The minimum Shutter Speed required is related to the Sport but also dependent upon:

    • the degree of competence of the competitors (obvious)
    • the age of the competitors (obvious)
    • the type of action within the sport (e.g. the dive for a breaststroke start requires a faster shutter than the stroke itself)
    • the relationship of the action / movement to the camera (e.g. transverse vs. head-on)



    WW
    Last edited by William W; 08-11-2011 at 3:51am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I'd use manual at night, once it's dark it's not as though the lighting changes much

    1/640s is ok for soccer, 1/800s better, 1/1000 if you can get away with it but not at the expense of Iso

    I wouldn't underexposed much at night, if tall, if you push exposure in post you'll introduce lots of noise
    I have found I tend to change between M and AV a bit, as you sa Darren if the light isn't changing alot, it's alot easier to shoot in, but with the setting sun in the west, it tends to get shadowy in places on the field, so I tend to hover around ISO 400 and SS of 1/800 upwards at F2.8. Must admit, I haven't used the exp comp dial whilst shooting sport. Landscapes yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by sunny6teen View Post
    only sport I shoot is soccer ...as said before...
    f/2.8 at night. you need all the light you can get to attain fast shutterspeeds. aim for 1/1000s as a bare minimum when player is on the ball. bump the ISO if you have to. when using film , I use to underexpose to help increase shutterspeeds - then push process it afterwards. looking at your kit though - speed isn't an issue.
    f/3.5 by day. player sits nicely in depth of field. everything else it out of focus.
    I favour centre weighted metering (especially at night). prevents the camera trying to meter the dark background. spot metering is a little too accurate - you only need to spot meter the shine on a shirt from the floodlights and the exposure is up the spout.
    also...use AI servo because everyone is moving around

    but most of all (and I say this because it rarely seems to happen)....compose the shot. essentially, it's an environmental portrait.
    Get what your saying, I was playing around with my 1D body over the weekend and used center weight metering, seemed to react better to faster shutter speeds, I used to be a stickler for spot only, my thought process has changed now. Have to get the 2.8 out of my head I think and maybe more patient with play and get field position, I guess I'm trying to get rid of poor backgrounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I will usually use manual camera mode for all sports, especially if the light is mostly constant, so therefore metering mode whilst shooting becomes irrelevant - minimizing un-necessary distractions is important.

    Underexposing and push processing is not a facility we have with digital: I suggest NEVER to underexpose a sports image captured with digital media.

    Minimum Shutter speeds suitable to perceptively freeze the action are not a blanket, one shutter speed fits all, for any particular sport.

    The minimum Shutter Speed required is related to the Sport but also dependent upon:

    • the degree of competence of the competitors (obvious)
    • the age of the competitors (obvious)
    • the type of action within the sport (e.g. the dive for a breaststroke start requires a faster shutter than the stroke itself)
    • the relationship of the action / movement to the camera (e.g. transverse vs. head-on)



    WW
    Thanks William, also a big one is the togs abitily to read and position themself for the faster moving games, and the bodies AF is up to it, will see how my 1D goes against the trusty old 50D for AF tracking, both in AI Servor mode.

    Our club has several grounds and the touch season is just starting up here, so I'll be shooting in fading sunlight to my back and ground flood lighting in play aswell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosta View Post
    also a big one is the togs abitily to read and position themself for the faster moving games, and the bodies AF is up to it, will see how my 1D goes against the trusty old 50D for AF tracking, both in AI Servor mode. Our club has several grounds and the touch season is just starting up here, so I'll be shooting in fading sunlight to my back and ground flood lighting in play aswell.
    Understood. I agree with the general sentiment.

    BUT - when shooting for “Our Club” (I shoot a reasonable amount of Field Hockey, over a season) - there can be a more long term shooting strategy, if you are not necessarily shooting for the “whole game coverage” , you can nab a few highlights as they come and then with few in the bag adjust the shooting position for a broader coverage of “Our Club” over the season - choosing the guts spot to concentrate on one or two players, each game.

    WW

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    "I suggest NEVER to underexpose a sports image captured with digital media."
    Interesting statement you dont get out much in the midday sun do you, or you dont mind blown highlights. I would say most of the shooters I see in sunny conditions would be underexposing by up to 1 stop if not more. Just my observation and what I do.
    Thanks Steve
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    quite right about underexposing. I did it with film (only because I had to) which is much more forgiving when pushed...before digital days etc.
    1/640 is alright for fat players who are slower ha ha. I agree that it's a bit relative to what you're shooting and of course how good the light is (usually pretty ordinary). I find that most of the time the best shots are happening behind play or in dead ball situations (so speed isn't a big deal anyway). someone clogging a ball at goal may look exciting but can be a bit stagnant on an emotional level if you get my meaning.

    as for ISO vs shutter speed. the shutter just need to be fast enough to get sharp results. if that means bumping up the ISO - so be it. what choice do you have?
    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I'd use manual at night, once it's dark it's not as though the lighting changes much

    1/640s is ok for soccer, 1/800s better, 1/1000 if you can get away with it but not at the expense of Iso

    I wouldn't underexposed much at night, if tall, if you push exposure in post you'll introduce lots of noise

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    Quote Originally Posted by atky View Post
    "I suggest NEVER to underexpose a sports image captured with digital media."
    Interesting statement you dont get out much in the midday sun do you, or you dont mind blown highlights. I would say most of the shooters I see in sunny conditions would be underexposing by up to 1 stop if not more. Just my observation and what I do.
    The main subject should not be underexposed - midday sun or not.
    For a sports capture: fill the frame with pain and gain.
    If some highlights in the back ground are blown then to hell with it.
    Fill the frame with a correctly exposed main subject.
    That's what I do and it sells photos for me - pls see above.

    WW

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    I get out plenty in the midday sun . . .

    "Midday Sun" (11:38am actually) - main subject in overhead sun and eyes are in shadow -
    No underexposure and there no need to do so:


    "Right Inner Takes the Shot"

    Maybe you could show some "midday sun" sports shots you have made and also perhaps explain more fully, your rationale behind stating the need always underexpose them . . .

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 09-11-2011 at 2:46am.

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