70-200 questions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Bryant, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. Bryant

    Bryant TPF Noob!

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    My 70-200 f/4L finally came in the mail yesterday and I got the time to take it out and test with my soccer team. I figured I'd set the ap. at f/10 and adjust the shutter as necessary, but looking back on the computer tonight, they are all blurry. I'm guessing it was just the shutter speed was to slow, making a blur in the motion. I don't think it's necessary to post pictures. I was totally amazed with the quality of the shots that came out though.

    I need information on in-camera settings that are beneficial to soccer and field hockey because they are my main things I'm shooting. Would it be smart to just set it to tv? What's a good shutter, like 1/1000th? Also about my camera, I tried later on today, it was still just as sunny, and set to tv with 1/1000 and it came up as f4 on the camera. Then I thought why not 2000, my camera began to blink f4, but looking at the exposure meter it was still spot on perfect. Is this a warning, or is that my camera doesn't have the knowledge of how many stops under exposure it is to display in the lcd.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When it blinks it's telling you that it needs to open up more, but it can't (because f/4 is the max). The exposure meter was still 'perfect' because it was still set to take a 'perfect' exposure - if you had adjusted it to underexpose by 1 stop the blinking f/4 might have stopped (but maybe not, depending on the light).

    You'll get that in Av mode too; 30' will blink in the viewfinder - telling you that it needs an exposure longer than 30 seconds but it can't do it. (Or in very bright light you might get 4000 blinking.)

    You have to change something else (ISO, aperture, shutter speed) to make it stop blinking.

    I'm assuming these are daylight games? In Tv mode you would probably be OK with it set to 1/500 or 1/400, you shouldn't get any blur from the camera then.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is why I suggest that beginning sports shooters start in AV mode instead of TV mode. Let you aperture and ISO control you shutter instead of the other way around.

    First set the aperture wide open, in this case f4. To get those striking action shots you want a shallow DOF with just the subject of the action in focus. This makes the action pop from the photo instead of blending with a crisp in focus background.

    Next start cranking you ISO up until you get a minimum of 1/320th of a second. 1/500th would be my preferred and is easily accomplished during the daytime. Depending on the field and the lighting you may be pushing to get 1/320th at night. If you go any lower that 1/250th you will be lucky to freeze the action. That is pretty much the bare minimum for freezing field sports.

    During daytime shooting I would shoot for somewhere between 1/500th and 1/1000th of a second shutter speed and keep the ISO as low as possible to accomplish this. An ISO of 100 or 200 with a shutter speed of 1/1000th is going to freeze the action and provide better looking photos than shots at 1/4000th of a second and an ISO of 1600.

    By using AV mode it forces the camera to use a shutter speed, if reached, that will provide correct exposure. The information in the viewfinder will let you know if you are not there as your shutter speed will blink if you are not.

    Use AI Servo mode and a single focus point to track the action. I prefer the center point for most field sports. Use the dedicated focus button on the back of the body to continually follow and focus on the action. If you have a grip then set the focus to the * button in the custom functions. This allows you to use the same button in both landscape and portrait mode with the grip. Follow the action with the camera constantly focusing and keep you focus point dead on the subject of the action. This is probably the hardest part that just takes practice. If you focus point slips off the subject for even a fraction of a second the camera will start to hunt for focus. That and slow shutter speeds are probably the two biggest reasons good shots come out blurry or out of focus.

    If you plan on shooting a lot of night games you may want to look at trading up from the f4 to the f2.8. It is more expensive but f2.8 is about as slow as you can use for most night games at least at the high school and average college level.

    Finally, I am going to assume that you are a parent shooting a child. If so then my last piece of advise will be this. The minute that you put that camera up to your face you cease to be a parent. You are now a photographer. You do not care who wins or loses and you root for no one, all you care about is good action and capturing that action. If you are in parent mode you will watch the game and then quickly attempt to capture action as it is happening. If you are in photographer mode you are anticipating the action, following the action and already prepared to capture the moment instead of scrambling to get the shot as it is passing you by. Good luck and practice, practice, practice. Sports photography is one of the most demanding forms of photography there is.
     
  4. uplander

    uplander TPF Noob!

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    Excellent advice gryph!
    I copied and saved this as a tutorial for first timers. I could not have said it better.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Indeed! I put it right at #3, with wedding photography being #2 and #1 being journalistic photo shooting while in a war zone (or similar), being the #1 toughest to do.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    And the difference between #1 & #2 is??????? :lol:
     
  7. Bryant

    Bryant TPF Noob!

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    Nice on haha. Thanks for all of your help. Btw, I'm a senior in highschool and I had an avulsion fracture so I'm out for a while, giving me time and a subject to shoot.

    It's been preseason all week, giving me the oppurtunity everyday. I took your advice, I still like tv, that way I don't loose the 4.0 aperture, greatest quality in my eye. I had shutter at around 800 all day because it was gorgeous and I was able to have an iso of 100 :wink:, so all was well. Uploaded them and there was no blur at all, although some came out dark which I have no clue why, i never adjusted the settings, except to make sure my f was still 4.

    thanks
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That works in great light, but F4 is a limit...and once the light dictates that you have reached or exceeded that limit, your shots will either be under exposed or the camera won't fire (the F4 will flash). But when in Av, you can just set F4 and not have to worry about the limits because it's likely that your shutter speeds will be between 30 seconds and 1/4000 for most things.

    I agree with the above advice...try Av and see if you don't like it. Just remember to watch the shutter speeds that you are getting and up the ISO when needed.
     
  9. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Well, the other thing I wanted to say is that aperture is a great quality of the lens, but that lens will still perform better (rather it will be sharper) stopped down a stop or two. Which if you are doing your photography during the afternoon shouldn't be a problem.

    Although you could have a much cheaper lens that could also take photos at say 5.6 that lens won't be as sharp there because it too will be sharper stopped down. Basically in my own convoluted way I am trying to say that you are still using your lenses best feature even if you stop it down a bit.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The speed at which you duck? :lol:
    A well trained husband can out-duck about any marine out there! :lol: :lol:

    Which is one of the advantages to owning a lens that does F/2.8 in those ranges. Though the Canon L glass is recognized as being of quality, it still has that limitation of the F/4 aperture. I would even say that the Canon L 70-200 @ F/2.8 set to F/4 is sharper than the Canon L 70-200 @ F/4 set to F/4, plus you have a whole other stop more to open up to when needed.

    In real world shooting, that extra little drop makes a big difference especially when the light starts to fall off and you don't own a MkIII.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  11. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Yep, I would definitely agree with you there. It's something that took me a little while, when got my first 2.8 zoom I almost never wanted to take it off of 2.8, because I had payed so much more for the extra stop or two. But, what I had to realize is that the benefit of the 2.8 extends beyond merely the wide aperture, it's also generally better at focusing, and it's sharper stopped down a stop or two than is another lens wide open.
     
  12. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Heck, I wasn't thinking of the husband. I just equate wedding photographer and war corespondent as the same thing. Personally I would be more afraid of BrideZilla and Mommasaurus-Rex than some enemy that doesn't really want to be there either. :mrgreen::lol::mrgreen:
     

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