Football shots

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Rpg, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Rpg

    Rpg TPF Noob!

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    I'm brand new at photography and I am using a Pentax 10K under stadium lights. I am using a Pentax 50-135mm f2.8 and a Pentax 77mm f1.9 lens.
    I am shooting it on all green which I think means everything is automatic.
    I tend to get a lot of blur shots. Is this the best way to run the camera for what I'm doing? I can't find any bigger lenses to get closer, but the shots I'm getting seem to be pretty close. I just do not know why some of them are blurry, and some not. I.E. The quarterback looks good, but his throwing arm is blurry. Any ideas? Thanks, Randall
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Blurriness is caused by movement, either of the camera or the subject. The way to combat blurriness is with fast shutter speeds. The faster the shutter speed, the less blur you will have.

    Now, it isn't as simple as setting a faster shutter speed because you need to have enough light get into the camera to make your exposure...and if you make the shutter speed faster, less light gets in.

    Your exposure is controlled by three things. The shutter speed, the aperture of the lens and the ISO setting. They all work together to get enough light into the camera.

    The problem is that the lights on the football field, are really not that bright. Your camera, in auto, will most likely have set the largest aperture already (lower F number). So your aperture is already maxed out. Then it, uses a shutter speed that is fast enough to get the exposure...but with that lighting, the shutter speed just isn't fast enough to freeze motion. How fast does it have to be? That depends, you will learn that from experience. I'd suggest that 1/125 would be a minimum and even faster is better.

    So, since the aperture is at it's maximum and the shutter speed still isnt' fast enough...your only option is to turn up the ISO setting. The higher the ISO setting, the faster the shutter speed that you will get. Problem solved? Well, sort of. The higher the ISO, the more digital noise you will get. This is a trade off, noise is better than blur, but it's up to you.

    So there you have it, just turn up the ISO and you will have faster shutter speeds....with some noise.

    When it's dark, your camera will probably choose the largest aperture in Auto...but you might want to use Aperture priority mode and set it to the lowest F number...this way, you are assured of getting the fasted shutter speeds possible.
     
  3. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Take the camera off Full Auto.

    Set aperture to max (f2.8)

    Shoot in Shutter Priority mode and set your ISO to a level where you can shoot at 1/250th or faster (1/500th preferred). Depending on the light this could be anywhere between ISO400 up to ISO1600 to maintain this.

    Or do as Mike says and use Aperture Priority and choose the max aperture (f2.8) and cycle the ISO again to make sure you have the high shutter speeds required for stopping motion and stopping camera shake.

    With a 135mm lens and a 1.5x crop factor you will need around 1/150th - 1/200th just to stop camera shake and faster (maybe 1/500th) to stop fast motion.
     
  4. carusoswi

    carusoswi TPF Noob!

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    I agree with the advice given previously. A couple of points, though: the amount of light that gets into your camera is really only dependent upon your shutter speed, aperture, and, of course, how much light is availble from the scene. The ISO setting doesn't technically allow more light to reach the sensor, it just make the sensor more "sensitive" to light - the term is derived by the numbers developed to express the relative light sensitivity of various film emulsions.

    Also, the blurriness with which you are struggling is exacerbated as you move to longer range lenses, so, in addition to selecting a relatively high shutter speed and higher ISO setting (and larger apertures to increase light transmission into the camera), you may want to try using a tripod to steady the camera. Also, bear in mind that wider apertures reduce depth of field, so you will want to be certain to pick (if you can) spots where action is likely to take place on the field, and try to focus as accurately as possible. Larger lens apertures (lower F-stop numbers) will greatly reduce your depth of field.

    Good luck.

    Caruso
     
  5. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    That makes sense to me now. My textbook states that aperture and shutter are the 2 settings that you can adjust to get a correct exposure. I was wondering why didn't it mention ISO, but that explains why.
     
  6. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Is it an old one? In film cameras, you put the film in and it has a set rating.... Like say ISO50 or ISO100 etc. You can't change this (well ok you can cheat but I'll not go into that).

    So one you set your aperture in a film camera the only 2 things you can change are the SS and Ap as your txt book states.

    With digital you can amend ISO for every image which is a big advantage.
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think your lens is plenty fast you just need to get out of auto. Try using at least shutter priority and trying some higher shutter speeds. I think some samples might help to tell us what you may be doing wrong as well.
     

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