sharper/better focused images, fast sports?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by shadowlands, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    Yes from all the above.

    I learned long ago when doing sports on my D7000 that Single Point focus is the way to go. After all, you want to focus on ONE particular subject. The camera's computer doesn't know that. The camera wants to focus on the best contrast detected image out there. I learned that with the 70-300 nikon lens which, because of contrast issues, liked to focus on background fences and other subjects with more contrast. Nikon's also like the cross detection points in the middle of the frame (on the older AF systems).

    The single focus point will give you focus on the subject that YOU want, not the camera's computer. You do have to keep your aim on the subject.

    I also always use Manual Exposure because I want a particular Aperture and a particular Shutter Speed. You can use AP and SP but have to set those other limits to do what you want in your parameters.

    ie, you want f/2.8 for subject isolation
    and you want a high shutter speed to stop action.
    you need both with AUTO ISO to control the ISO

    Though one particular person here on TPF showed AP with parameters to counter if it got too bright the shutter would increase if the camera was at base ISO for a proper exposure.

    Once I got all that and worked on my finger's ability to push the button half way my capture rate for in-focus shots skyrocketed. Many times I knew when I took a shot that was OOF before looking at it. (I have to Focus Acquire turned off)

    As the action moved I also kept the focus throw short by focusing on the moving action but not taking a pic unless I wanted too. This minimized the focus throw distance for the lens and improved keepers once again.

    I also try to get the action (primarily soccer) moving towards me. So I'm not in the "middle" of the sidelines but I try to be at the corners to get the action and faces coming towards me.


     
  2. shadowlands

    shadowlands No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I appreciate the tips. Hey, 3D tracking is never mentioned. It's over-rated, I'm hearing? I will truly go back to single spot focus for sure. I believe that's what I did in the past with more success.
    Auto ISO, note taken.
     
  3. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    3D tracking is nice especially if there is only ONE subject you are tracking and it's a clear background. Different 3D tracking/AF systems will vary a bit on that. But in soccer (or whatever), if you use 3D tracking what subject is the camera going to initially focus on? If you are using a large aperture there could be a possibility that the real subject you want is OOF.

    So Single Focus puts all the effort on the photographer. If you focus on the Subject that you want, then it's your finger, the lens focus speed, and how quickly you take the shot. Less things to go wrong, hopefully.
     
  4. shadowlands

    shadowlands No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most excellent. Thanks big time, for taking the time.
    I'll on the filed tomorrow morning, hopefully with better results.
     
  5. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You may want to open up the lens if you're trying to get a close up but otherwise sports are usually done usaing a midrange to smaller f stop. Depends on the playing area and if you're trying to get a number of players in focus. Keep the shutter speed up fast enough to freeze action.

    It takes practice. Lots. I've done mostly hockey, learned with a mechanical film camera, all manual settings. I usually shoot manually with my digital camera now. It takes learning to anticipate the action to be set where the play will go next; it works better to let the play come to you rather than trying to chase it around with your lens.

    Go early, find good vantage points, consider how the background's going to look from there. Watch posts and poles etc. and frame straight, frame so you're not chopping people and things off, get them in the frame or keep them out of the frame. Go for 'clean' shots.

    Look at good professional photographers' work to learn from. Notice where they shoot from, how they frame shots, how they captured the action, etc. Some well known good photographers are Peter Read Miller, Walter Iooss, Neil Leifer, Bill Frakes, Robert Beck, Brad Mangin.... You might try Sports Photography and Photojournalism for Professional Photographers and Photography | SportsShooter.com , it's done by pro photographers. Last I looked they weren't as active (stopped doing a newsletter probably because they're working pros) but you can search the site.
     
  6. shadowlands

    shadowlands No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You guys rock! Shot my kids football game. Single Point. MUCH MUCH MUCH improved. 90% keepers!!! I will keep practicing of course, but this is a great start!
     
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