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Thread: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

  1. #1

    Default Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    Hi all,
    I had encounted a problem which I had never meet before in Indoor sports shooting so far until these two days of shooting...
    Is that sometime, or i should half, that the picture will end up became blur at the subject and sharp at the back.. I was really puzzled by the problem, tried and experiment but failed. Please help if you know what is the solution. Thanks

    My Usual setting:
    Len: 70-200mm IS USM F/2.8
    shutter speed: 1/250 or 1/320 cos the lighting was really bad
    aperture: F./2.8
    ISO: 1600
    metering: Evaluative
    focus points:All, 9points
    shooting mode: Al Servo
    white balance: fluroence

    THANKS!!

  2. #2
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    Looks as if your cam uses whatever focus point 'screams' instead of the focus point that is at your intended subject. But it's still a long time till cameras can read the photographer's mind - So tell the cam where to focus at. Define only one focus point (e.g. center) and try to use smaller aperture to get a bit more DOF.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Looks as if your cam uses whatever focus point 'screams' instead of the focus point that is at your intended subject. But it's still a long time till cameras can read the photographer's mind - So tell the cam where to focus at. Define only one focus point (e.g. center) and try to use smaller aperture to get a bit more DOF.
    Thanks! it is usual? so you meant that i need to use a smaller aperture like 2.8 and below? what is the use actually? I thought all the 9 points will just focus at their respective place? haha.. Seriously, i just encounted this the past two days when i had shot quite number of indoor before. and the blur subject and sharp background happened in quite a number of shot until at a point that i was really fustrated. haha..I'm using a Canon 40D

  4. #4
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    Quote Originally Posted by succeed91 View Post
    I thought all the 9 points will just focus at their respective place?
    Your camera tries to focus on whatever you have in front of the lens. 9 AF points try to find focus lock - but none of them knows what you are aiming at or what YOU want to have in focus. So please tell the camera exactly what you like to have in focus - e.g. by using one focus point. Secondly, significant patterns in the background will 'appeal' to the focus points to lock on them. All this will successfully prevent the cam from focusing on your target
    Regarding DOF: Check this website for more information and calculation of DOF. Under certain conditions f/2.8 might be too thin. It depends on distance to subject and focal length.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    Quote Originally Posted by succeed91 View Post
    Thanks! it is usual? so you meant that i need to use a smaller aperture like 2.8 and below? what is the use actually? I thought all the 9 points will just focus at their respective place? haha.. Seriously, i just encounted this the past two days when i had shot quite number of indoor before. and the blur subject and sharp background happened in quite a number of shot until at a point that i was really fustrated. haha..I'm using a Canon 40D
    alternatively you could just push your apeture to f8, and then you'll have a greater DOF, which would mean that your subject AND background will be sharp. but i suggest just using 1 focus point as octarine said.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    Quote Originally Posted by vonlichenstein View Post
    alternatively you could just push your apeture to f8, and then you'll have a greater DOF, which would mean that your subject AND background will be sharp. but i suggest just using 1 focus point as octarine said.
    i really don't think f8 is such a good idea even with high ISO (unless you got a D3 or something). light is as a premium as TS is shooting indoors, so every stop of light is valuable, especially if the shutter speed has to remain high enough to freeze motion.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    my 2 cents

    learned abit more on indoor photography recently and some trial and error.

    since you are shooting indoor sport your shutter spd should be fast like 1/200 or faster to freeze the action/moment.

    the aperture wise you should use smaller aperture to give a wider range of DOF for sharper image. but as we all know smaller aperture = less light = slower shutter spd/higher ISO to compensate, but in your case u need the spd also, so u have to pump your ISO.

    a little trick u can try, find out your lens' focusing distance range and position yourself at outside that range (example: my nikon 70-300mm lens min focusing distance is 1.5m and goes up to 10m and beyond, so i would position myself more than 10m away and set my focusing to infinite and lock it there, everything that is more than 10m away from me should look sharp in my picture now) this way your camera AF system will not hunt and focus on wrong area, making your background sharp and subject blur the small aperture will help to make your image sharp
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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    This only works if your DOF is deep enough so that +/-1m won't make any difference. But with f/2.8, 300mm and 10m distance you'll have a DOF of 12cm! That's too thin for your approach. Your idea works fine for all kind of wide angle lenses since you use hyperfocal distance and DOF in combination. But this won't work here with long focal ranges.
    From the DOF calculation you can see that it might be useful not to use the maximum focal length but rather crop the picture later. By this you'll get a deeper DOF.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help needed on indoor sports photography!! THANKS!

    must also consider if you're trying to 'freeze' or capture the motion. for sports event sometimes some blur is welcome as it gives it a sense of motion
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