Controlling Exposure on Canon 5D Mk II

Discussion in 'Canon' started by AyeSavage, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. AyeSavage
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    AyeSavage New Member

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    Before anybody starts going off about how i should google and search on this website, i posted my own thread cus i have my own question and want a specific answer for my problem...

    So i have had my 5D for about 2 weeks now, and ive been shooting on Full Auto , so now ive decided to try full auto mode so i can learn how to control ISO speed, Shutter speed, and aperture, i have been having problems shooting moving objects. i intern at a fitness / boxing gym and i have been trying to shoot people while boxing and have been coming out with pictures with clear faces and blurry arms and hands.

    Ive read some tutorials some people say put the ISO to about 1600 and make the shutter speed faster to about 1/1000th of a second. Which just makes it darker. I feel like i have tried every option there is to change and still cant get it so im just asking for a pushh into the right direction , i do not expect anyone to feed me with a silver spoon if anyone can send me a link for a tutorial even though i have read many, i will be willing to read it and try it and i will post if i continue having problems thanks.

    - Savage
  2. curtyoungblood
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    curtyoungblood Active Member

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    you need more light, a faster aperture, or increased ISO.
  3. thetrue
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    thetrue New Member

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    ^^^^OR all three.
  4. TCampbell
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    TCampbell Well-Known Member

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    I can't tell you what exposure to set (btw, I also have a 5D II, among others) because I'm not in your fitness center metering your light. The correct exposure is based on the amount of light at the time and location where you're shooting.

    HOWEVER... the blur is happening because the shutter speed isn't fast enough. "Fast enough" is _usually_ about 1/500th... that will freeze most action (all but the fastest.) 1/1000th is probably faster than you really need to go (and to go from 1/500th to 1/1000th) means you're halving the shutter exposure so you'll need to double the exposure using some other aspect such as aperture or ISO.

    You should post a photo showing your problem WITH the "EXIF" data (all the exposure data... the lens, f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO setting.)

    Ideally you have at least an f/2.8 zoom lens or an even faster prime lens, but have carefully evaluated the depth of field.

    For example... if you are shooting from a 20' distance using an f/2.8 zoom at a 70mm focal length you'd have just over 4' DoF and the dimensions of the field would be roughly 10' wide by just under 7' tall. In other words that'd be decent framing and DoF for a boxer. If you tried to use, say, an 85mm prime lens at f/2 (which would DOUBLE your light and allow you to halve your shutter time) your DoF would drop to just 2'. You could get the boxer's face focused, but their outstretched arm would be out of focus not due to motion, but due to it not being within the depth of field (this assumes the arm is nearer to the camera... if you were shooting them from the side it'd be tight but it might be ok.) Also the field of view would be a lot smaller and probably only suitable for "half shots" (waist up framing... not full body shots.)

    You can supplement the light with flash. Flash will tend to freeze the action. Not only can you drop the shutter speed with a flash, you kind of have to drop the shutter speed because you can't fire the the flash at shutter speeds above 1/200th on a 5D II unless your flash supports high-speed sync (and there are some caveats to using that mode.) In any case, using a slow shutter, with a flash, and setting the flash to "second curtain" mode can create some pretty cool effects. This gives you a sharp image that leaves a blurred trail which clearly shows off the motion/speed/power of the subject.

    I don't happen to have any 2nd curtain shutter sync shots to use as examples (perhaps some others can offer to show you how they turn out) but you can certainly go to images.google.com and type in "second curtain shutter sync" as your search and find LOTS of examples. You may really like it.

    I can tell you (owning a 5D II) that taking the ISO up to 1600 is no problem. 3200 actually looks pretty good. And even ISO 6400 is ok as long as you don't display the images in large size (web size images really hide the noise). A while ago I dropped two images into a 'set' on my Flickr account to show this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The first image is the full image (uncropped) sized for Flickr. This was shot using a 5D II at ISO 6400.

    The second picture is the SAME photo (not a different shot) except I made a 100% crop on just his face. At 100% where you can see every pixel you can tell that the image has quite a bit of noise... but it doesn't show up unless you look at the image at this size. Check the shadow areas in the full size (uncropped) image and you'll see that there is obvious noise at ISO 6400... but only visible in the shadows.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  5. QuantumFrame
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    QuantumFrame New Member

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    You could use a flash, if that's an option. (could you post an example of the lighting in the gym?)

    It's really hard to get a clear sharp image of moving objects if you don't have proper lighting. You would have to use a fast shutter speed and also jack-up your ISO to get the exposure you are looking for. You can shoot in continuous mode so you can take bursts of images at one time, so say if you take 10 photos, 1 or 2 may be sharp. Also, shoot in RAW to have more control over the image in post editing.

    To get a better image you are going to have to start practicing in Manual mode. Learn to use the exposure meter that you see on the bottom center of your viewfinder . When the meter is in the center, the camera is telling you that you have the correct exposure. You might need to overexpose to get a clearer image, but paying attention to the meter you will know how far off you are from the correct exposure.

    I haven't done any action photography, I am just going off of what I understand. Good luck!
  6. CanonJim
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    CanonJim Member

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    I'm not so sure a flash is a good idea - wouldn't want a boxer pissed at me after he gets clocked because he blinked.. :)

    The clear faces and blurry hands might also be a problem with focus points. If you're using only the center point, with a shallow DOF, that could very easily cause it.

    Here's a wacky suggestion - use Google Images to find examples of good boxing match photos, and see if you can find out how they were taken - if you find a couple or a dozen that all have a common characteristic, such as a shutter of 1/500th at f/3 and ISO 1600 or whatever, you have a starting point. In other words, find out what works for other people...

    But you will in all probability need a faster lens or more light, somehow.
  7. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Didn't they use flash at boxing matches back in the old days??
  8. thetrue
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    thetrue New Member

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    That's a good point, and I believe I've seen flashes in the audience of recent fights too!
  9. bratkinson
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    bratkinson Well-Known Member

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    Back in the 'old days', ASA(ISO) 10 was considered 'standard', and 25 was 'high speed'. That's what the old Speedgraphic photographers had to deal with. If there wasn't a really bright flash, even in a well lit boxing ring, there wouldn't be a usable image.

    As for flashes from the stands these days...those are mostly point-and-shoot photographers whose camera on "A" decides it needs more light, and the builtin, flashing 'decoration' obligingly flashes...lighting up the back of the heads of the next 3-4 rows of boxing fans. Probably more of an annoyance than a distraction to the boxers (or performers in other venues).

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