Sports Photography help needed


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Jan 17, 2012
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Hey guys, This is my first post to the group so bare with me... I am having a few problems that I need to figure out... I am wanting to do more sports/action photography... Mainly indoors at Rodeos and Such... I have upgraded to a Canon 7D and a Canon 70-200 2.8 is.. Version 1 Lens. I was hoping that I would be able to shoot a lower iso with a faster shutter .... Tonight I went out and tried for the first time with this new lens. The Arena is very bright with huge Flourecnts or Tungsten lights hung real high. It took an iso of 1600 and shutter of no less than 1/250 to get a decent exposed shot... Even then there is too much noise.....

My question is....Does anybody have experience shooting in these conditions and what is your setup for doing so? I purchased this 2.8 lens hoping for better results and I am dissapointed so far.. My 2.8 is very dark if I try to shoot it at a iso of 400 or lower and shutter speed ofaround 1/500..... which I know is where I need to be...

Can somebody offer some suggestions to help me out!!

Thank you

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I shoot at 12800 (H1) ISO. You will have noise. It's a fact of life, you'll just have to find some decent noise reduction software. I find Lightroom to work pretty well. Post processing will also be your friend, so shoot raw, if you can.
That's part of it. Noise is going to be there. Lightroom and many other programs are available to for noise reduction. Google is your friend for picking one.
WOW that high huh... I had no idea... Yes I use lightroom quite bit... I guess unless I am shooting outdoors, this is just a fact... May I ask what you are shooting? Subject wise? I have seen a few Rodeo Photographers use some strobes placed on the edges of the arena... Ihave always been curious as of that setup also....
Setup varies. You'd be surprised how nice it can look if your exposure is right. The right ISO can make a sharp image even if it's high. Pixel peaking will ALWAYS find the noise, even after processing. Keep shooting and learning. It's digital so it doesn't cost you anything to mess it up. Raise the ISO and keep shooting. I hope to see the results.

Thank you sir.. I will post some of the next time I go shoot... Equipment wise I should be good.. Just have to learn to use it correctly...
Sports photog here,

I was in your boat not too long ago. Thankfully, my employer wants me to shoot small size (-_-), so noise is not as MUCH of an issue. But, using football as an example, I usually have 4000-6000 ISO (Nikon D7000), shooting 250 shutter, wide open 2.8. You will see noise, but for fast paced sports, don't sacrifice shutter speed for low noise, you can always remove noise in post.
Another good idea is to bring a mono pod with you and try to capture some shots when the action stops. You can slow down your shutter speed somewhat and lower your ISO. In basketball, I get great shots of the players at the foul line, spotting up for a jump shot, or even capturing a conversion with a coach or another player will make a great picture.
Thanks Guys.. All things considered, I will post some shots soon...

I have mainly done HDR type stuff..... and I am still learning... But here is some of my work...

GE Photography
Thanks Guys.. All things considered, I will post some shots soon...

I have mainly done HDR type stuff..... and I am still learning... But here is some of my work...

GE Photography

Consider embedding individual images, people arent inclined to click links posted by new users.
I too use a D7000 but I don't really see why your shutter speed would be that slow, unless the lighting is really bad. I shot at a lot of Atlanta Braves games during the 2011 season and I don't consider baseball lighting the absolute best but I was still getting fast shutter speeds and not-so-high ISO levels. I agree though that if you're not getting good results at decent ISO levels, just push it up and clear it out as much as you can in Lightroom.


1250 ISO
1/1600 shutter


1250 ISO
1/1000 shutter
300mm + 1.7 TC


1600 ISO
1/6400 shutter
You may wish to try out a faster lens than that one, preferably a 1.4 prime if you can get your mitts on one. Cheers and bet of luck.
Your setup is fine for what you are trying to do. Your problem is knowledge with high ISO's. I shoot sports with the 7D and 70-200 f/2.8 every day.
The problem you are having is still trying to keep your ISO low. You actually need to go UP. 1/250 is too slow for sports without flash either. You'll find some instances when you can drop that low, but not many. Normally you will need to be around 1/500 give or take a little.

You are underexposing thinking that ISO 1600 will save your butt in post on noise when in reality you're raising the exposure in post and causing your noise problem.
When I am shooting indoors I am trying to remain at f/4 (your lens is sharpest if not wide open) and ISO somewhere between 3200 and 12800

ISO 1600, f/5 shutter 1/800

This one is wide open, 1/400; ISO 12800 7d with Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 OS

Anything in this album was taken at ISO 12800 with the same 7d setup: PhotoReflect - CLake Sports Photography
I'm still getting to know my 7D along with my new to me 70-200mm f2.8 IS . But when I shoot my son's Taekwondo I tend to go 1/800 to 1/1200 for board breaks .

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