Some advice on ISO settings...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by BuS_RiDeR, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. BuS_RiDeR

    BuS_RiDeR No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am plannimg a few outings in the near future to shoot some local minor hockey league games. The plan is to test my skills (or lack of...) with a bit of action photography.

    Since I will not be using a flash, I was wondering what ISO settings you would recommend. I will be using a tripod.

    I plan to try at ISO 400-800 and move up from there, depending on the results.

    Am I on the right path or should I start at a higher ISO setting? (1200 or even higher?)

    Any constructive advice is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    400-800 would probably be sufficient... hockey games tend to have decent light vs other sports that are indoors, plus the light reflects well off the ice.

    I'd see if you can sneak in and shoot some practices first to get a feel for it. Hockey as you know is fast moving, keeping the shutter at a minimum of 1/500th should be your goal.
     
  3. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What lens? What aperture? Do you have a 2.8 lens? You should for indoor fast action. If you don't you're really going to have to crank that ISO. Something like a 70-200 2.8 or something would be ideal and probably around 800 depending on lighting maybe higher or lower.
    tj
     
  4. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wouldn't go faster than 800, or you're probably going to have an annoying amount of noise with a 50d... the best thing you can do is try to fill the frame with your subject and minimize cropping. If you do that, and if you expose to the right, you should be ok going higher than that if you need to.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'm not sure if the tripod will help too much, except to keep the weight of the camera off of your hands,arms,and shoulders. Maybe using the tripod as if it were a monopod, with all three legs stowed together, would be of some use.
    Anyway, tripod or not...with the lenses in your profile, I would think that a high ISO setting would be advisable, to get an adequate shutter speed.

    As far as adequate shutter speeds in sports photography--if the subject is coming head-on directly at the camera, motion can be rendered sharply at much lower speeds than if the action is happening parallel to the camera.

    If the shutter speeds you get are slow, you might try panning with the players moving across the ice. As for shots on the goal, hope you get good focus and shoot as soon as you think the shot is going to be made, and with your reaction time and the camera's you'll probably be okay.

    Check your results on the LCD screen periodically, but don't waste time going through shots during the game--that can often be little more than a huge waste of shot opportunities.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    The rule of thumb is that you want to use as low an ISO as possible....only turning it up when needed. In the case of indoor hockey, you will likely need to turn it up in order to get fast enough shutter speeds. I wouldn't be afraid to go to 1600 with a 50D...heck, even 3200 would be usable...as long as you nail the exposure.
    You might have a bit of a hard time because your lenses don't have large max apertures...and the lighting is minor league rinks may not be great.

    A tripod probably isn't necessary...unless you have a huge, heavy lens that you don't want to hold all night. A tripod allows you to use a slower shutter speed by eliminating camera shake...but when shooting moving subjects, you need a fast shutter speed anyway...so the tripod isn't really helping all that much.

    When shooting hockey, one thing to watch out for is all the white ice. It will throw off the camera's meter in any of the auto modes...likely causing under exposed shots. The lighting will be fairly consistent, so I'd suggest finding an exposure that works well and putting the camera into manual mode.
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    One thing to consider, as well, is a trial of a good noise-reduction package (Noisware, Noise Ninja, or similar). You might be able to get away with a bit higher ISO with one of them.
     
  8. BuS_RiDeR

    BuS_RiDeR No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for all the input!

    Unfortunately I can't afford a good lens ATM. So I am trying to make do with the Canon ES 75-300, 4.0-5.6 III that I already have.

    I know that isn't a very good lens... And that is one of the reasons I am compensating with higher ISO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  9. BuS_RiDeR

    BuS_RiDeR No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On a second note... do you think I would be better off lenswise with my Canon EF-S 17-85mm USM IS 1:4.0-5.6 or the Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 III.

    I understand that the EF has no IS... But it does offer a superior zoom, and they are the same speed.... Or am I wrong?
     
  10. iolair

    iolair No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Take both lenses - ideally to a practice session first - and compare the results. If you use the 75-300 (probably the best choice, I suspect), then it'd be a good idea to invest in a monopod if you haven't already got one to steady it (much more mobile than a tripod).
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  11. BuS_RiDeR

    BuS_RiDeR No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Monopod here we come! Going to have to invest in one.
     
  12. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    You have people telling you things like "Oh, X ISO should be fine," or "Never shoot above Y ISO! You'll get noise!" Although I think that is fine advice, I think something that can be more useful to you is simply shoot at the lowest ISO that will allow you to use the proper aperture/shutter combination. In the case of hockey, you're going to have to go wide open on the aperture anyway, but you're probably going to want a reasonably fast shutter. Enough shutter to stop the action.

    If it's a choice between having noise or not stopping the action (in this case), I'd take the noise every time.

    EDIT: Didn't see Big Mike's post. He said basically what I said.
     

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