Shooting surfing with my new / used 7d mark ii ?

Discussion in 'Canon Cameras' started by TallDude, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. TallDude

    TallDude TPF Noob!

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    I finally upgraded from my T2i to a 7d mark ii. I've been on a DSLR photo hiatus. Actually shooting and editing tons of video with my GoPros and other POV devices. I was shooting my son's basketball for years, but now he is in drum and bugle corps world and didn't really have the camera or lens to get the kind of photos I want. I'm also surfing more and have been wanting to take pictures of a bunch of my buddies.
    After a lot of research reviews and reviews I bought a new Sigma 100 - 400 mm 5.6. I figured with my crop the 150 - 600 mm equivalent I'd have the reach I needed. Most of the photos I'll be taking are in daylight so the 5.6 would be fine. I really know how to dial in the T2i from years of shooting in poorly lit gyms, so my first shots with the 100-400 mm on my T2i were pretty good. SOME were good... but getting the single focal point locked in at 400 mm was a little tricky. Plus the fps was slow. The subject surfer would change direction and I wouldn't get the transition. Big gaps on the continuous fast action.
    I found a 7d mark ii in good shape, well cared for, and about half shutter life for a fair price. Okay... this is a seriously better camera than I'm used to. A little intimidated, but not totally lost in shooting manual. My T2i didn't have 6 tracking sensitivity modes and so many AF options.
    Questions:
    Shooting surfing will be mostly at 400 mm because it's a reef break that's way out. I use a mono pod. With this set up what would be the best AF settings? ISO? Shutter Speed? Should I get a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter? Do I really need a tripod?
    Here are a few sample shots. One at 100 mm and one a 400 mm.


     

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  2. TallDude

    TallDude TPF Noob!

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    Here is one with my T2i.
     

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  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think a zoom lens that goes up to 600 mm would serve your needs better. Keep the shutter speed fast, meaning 1/640 of a second or faster, and whatever ISO you are comfortable with.
     
  4. TallDude

    TallDude TPF Noob!

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    I liked the 100 -400 mm range with an option of a teleconverter, I'll probably get one. At some point I'll get a 70 - 200 mm 2.8. I wanted a little more reach and didn't need that fast of a lens. I was looking at the 150 - 600 mm too, but felt the range was really too far out on a crop for my needs. I think figuring which of the AF options is my first step.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    If you want a 1.4 X teleconverter on your 100 to 400 millimeter lens you would actually probably be better off with no teleconverter and the 150 to 600 mm Zoom. The telephoto converter will cost you one F stop in light Gathering Power and will no doubt degrade your images somewhat although for surfing where your main subject is fairly small and is usually well away from the corners there might not be much downside to the sharpness lost to the teleconverter.
     
  6. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I'd use this as a starting point and tweek if needed:



    It'll take a while to get dialed in the way you like it. The 150-600 is a great focal range, especially with surfers.
     
  7. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Yes, for this sort of photography you need a long lens, 600mm would be fine.......
     
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  8. stapo49

    stapo49 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a Panasonic G9 which has a micro 4/3 sensor and have a Panasonic 100-300 lens which equates to 200-600 in full frame terms. I set the camera in shutter priority with everything thing else auto. Try to shoot at 1/1000 sec or faster if possible. I set the focus to auto focus continuous and shoot burst mode with the 225 auto focus points option. Also shoot in RAW. There is also an option in the G9 to shoot in 4k/6k and choose an image/s from a series of images. Only in jpeg though.

    I must do more surf photography as I am at the beach most of the time anyway.




    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
     
  9. TallDude

    TallDude TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the comments and tips. The AF is really extensive on the 7D. So many options. I usually have plenty of light so dropping a step is not a problem. When I shot basketball with my T2i and my 17-50 mm 2.8, I had to use single point. I'd catch the sleeve of a ref or defender and my subject would drop out of focus. I learned to track the ball. Fun times.... but my son quit playing:( With surfing I'll catch the lip wave breaking in the foreground and again my subject drops out of focus. My T2i had a slow AF and only 9 points. Maybe the 7D's 65 AF points and faster processor will track and keep subject in focus even if a wave pops up in the foreground? I'll go out and play with it when the weather clears.
    BTW, I do shoot in RAW. I use the Canon DPP software because I'm comfortable using it, but I'm trying to learn Lightroom.
     
  10. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    On the 7D mk II focusing. Per Professional Sports Photographer, Peter Read Miller, typically cases 1 and 4 are the ones to use.

    Honestly for settings, since surfing is a daylight sport, I would use a shutter speed of over 1/1000 and use wide open apertures if possible with the ISO completing the exposure triangle.

    600mm effective on that lens should be pretty good as it is. I wouldn't get a 2x TC because the 2 stops of light you loose could very well cause issues with the auto focus. Now the 1.4x TC might be something to look at since it will then be a 1200mm f/8 lens. But honestly, I'd try it at 600 to see what that does for you for a while before paying the $300-400 for the TC.

    One more note to that, if you get, be sure to get only the Canon 1.4x TC version III. The others aren't that good. (In all fairness, I don't know about the Sigma TC's)
     
  11. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    don't knock the 150-600 until you try it.
     
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  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would really focus on learning to use the adjustment brush feature in Lightroom. It is quite amazing. Once you get a feel for how large a brush and how much Edge Feathering you should set, you will be amazed at the ability of the auto masking feature to differentiate your subject from the background and you will be extremely pleased with your ability to paint on whatever Corrections you need. Lightroom is amazing, but of course you do need to learn how to use it. Canon DPP software is quite simple by comparison and is a A-okay for doing basic Global edits and basic adjustments, but the adjustment brush feature that Lightroom has combined with automatic masking makes it a really useful tool. much easier and more intuitive than Photoshop once you get the basic idea down.
     
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