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Thread: Sports Photography - Need Help!

  1. #21
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    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    In this case, even if you had a pro camera also useless. Cos I guess even with this setup, you also can't reach the F65 top shutter speed (I think is 1/2000).
    Pro cameras work in favour of sports photography due to their weight and damping effect on lens and shutter movement.
    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    As you never say which end of the lens you r using, I assume the worst case 300mm. At this end, u really need a triport with the weight of the lens and camera, holding and panning to wait of an action shot will tired your hands, and cos it to shake when you press the shutter. At 300mm even the slightest shake cos by pressing the shutter will blur the image, if your shutter speed is slow. Hence use a remote shutter release and mount your camera on triport.
    You are kidding right? I hope you are kidding because what you say is incorrect! At f5.6 on a reasonably bright day in a country like Singapore I'd expect to see around 1/750th at f5.6, and given the lightweight body and lens hand holding for tack sharp images is a doddle.

    The use of a monopod is all that is required here if support is deemed necessary.
    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    As the rule of thumb (read it some where), if your lens is at 300mm, your shutter speed need to be at least 1/300 sec in order to make a handheld shot. But since you are taking an action shots, I the shutter speed should be even faster!
    Your rule of thumb is correct here.
    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    I suggest that you try not to use the 300mm of the lens and get nearer to the field (but safety first ). Try to take shots on actions nearer to you. Take a wider picture of a group chasing/stacking a poor fellow rather the a zoomed picture of a hero himself running towards the pole.
    The reason to use 300mm is to produce subject isolation and to blur out the background to an extent that is impossible with shorter focal lengths such as 70mm at f4.5 - For sports such as tennis and football long lenses produce the compression required to make the players stand out. Otherwise use a wide angle lens up close, however this adds considerably to the danger.
    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    When taking a photograph in spot events, you need to pan your camera with the object you are taking b4, during and after you press the shutter release. This will show some action of movement in the pictures. (Ever wonder how picture of moving car where the background, road and even the wheels are blured due to their movement but the car body is yet so sharp)
    The use of panning only applies to motorsports and cycling, some equestrian events and some areas of skiing. As Jed has pointed out it is sometimes done in Athletics and track and field etc but normally only after the keepers have been shot.

    Following the action in the viewfinder is however a common practice, especially if you aren't familiar with the often intricate nuances of a sport and it's competitors.
    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    The lens you had is really too slow in focusing and taking shots of actions like this. But fast tele are too expensive, so I do suggest you buy a faster flim to compensate. The draw back is the photo developed using a fast flim will be grainy, hence can't enlarge the print. Also pray for a very bright sunny day.
    If the AF is too slow do it manually! Generations of sports photographers used manual focusing and many professionals including myself and Jed use manual focusing to capture high speed sports action. Unless sport is being played indoors or in attrocious lighting conditions outdoors (eg around sunset) then the worst case scenario is ISO 800 film such as Fuji Press and that film takes 11x14" enlargements extremely well. Fuji Superia 400 is excellent in the 400 ISO film speed range for almost grainless 8x10" prints.
    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    Acturally, I'm also learning, these tips are what I get from a very friendly sport photographer that I happen to meet in UK during my University Football match. He was carrying F90 with big a lens (can't remember what) & triport. And I was beside him with my F80 and 28-200. He told me to just take wide angle shots below 80mm cos anything above that will be blur with a 400 ISO film without triport. He even offer to help me take some pictures (with my F80 body but his setup) when I told my friend was in the field playing.
    Sounds like the alleged pro was either pulling your leg or didn't know what he was talking about.

    Now just for you, a couple of shots to show how it's done.

    1/750th second on 400 film, 800mm f8

    How to pan (cars etc) 100 ISO film

    Framing, correct aperture selection and action make a shot
    Last edited by Ian; 1st May 2002 at 03:51 AM.
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  2. #22
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    First I must thanks Jed and Ian for pointing out all the mistake that I had, lesson taken . Hope you guys don't mind me posting all this "crap" which hopefully didn't misled too much people.

    Acturally as I had said, I am a new and still at the stage of learning. But I also believe in sharing what I had learn from others or read up in books and Mags. What ever advice that people had given me if it sound logical I will take it and believe it is true and useful until someone else can show me it is wrong an give me a better reasoning, like what you guys did (and I like ). But only way that people can show me the right path provided I voice out what I know.

    As for the case of the Sport photographer, I don't think he is trying pulling my leg. Cos what he said is quite true, most the shots that I took at 200mm ends were blured whereas those at wider angle are mostly alright. And those shots he took for me are zoomed (much more then 200mm) and clear mostly.
    Also the tripod that he use didn't seem to slow him down at all. From what I observe, he didn't seem lock the head of the tripod as can turn the camera anyway he wish by turning the camera itself. Seem to be just using it to counter the weight of the camera and lens against gravity. The other hand seem to be playing with the zoom or focus.

    Now I'm thinking, could I just turn the focus to manual and turn it to infinty? This could solve the problem of slow AF as it will be mostly focused at all time.

    As for saying pro camera is useless in this case, I am refering to the shutter speed. What I meant is if you need 1/300sec in F65, using the same setting, F100 will also required 1/300sec (hope I am right this time?)

    Here is some questions I had after reading your post:
    Originally posted by Ian
    Pro cameras work in favour of sports photography due to their weight and damping effect on lens and shutter movement.
    This I don't really understand, do u mean heaver camera is better in sports photography? If lighter, F65 or even F55 seem even lighter. And I thought that the damping effect on lens is on the lens itself? Like Vibration Reduction (VR) system?

    Originally posted by Ian
    At f5.6 on a reasonably bright day in a country like Singapore I'd expect to see around 1/750th at f5.6
    Rochkoh did mention somewhere that it is slighty cloudy on that day. Btw what type of film did you use? Cos I normally use 100 or 200 films for usual outdoor shooting but hardly seem to get a 1/750 sec.
    And lastly lan, I still can't get to see the pictures, is the links dead?
    Last edited by Trevor_Tan; 1st May 2002 at 09:26 PM.

  3. #23
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    Boy how i wish all threads at clubsnap would be like this...

    Problem surfaced; Suggestions provided; Counter-suggestions made; Explained reasonings; More suggestions; Shared experiences; Sample photographs.. Great learning potential..


    Firstly i must confess a coupla things. Had a chat with a friend this afternoon and realised a few mistakes i made.

    a) Film: EliteChrome 100. Certainly not the best suitable film, but that was what i had at that time so... To make matters worse i pushed it +0.5EV.

    b) My Sigma APO Macro 70-300 had one of those AF lock mechanisms. The ones where you can retain the focus even though the target's moving. Well, i used that at 300m. So there i was following the ball around, maxiumum zoom, without a tripod, +0.5EV, with AF lock on. Not very smart. But wait! There's more stupidity.. i followed the ball even while i was pressing the shutter. My camera was moving all the time in sync with the ball. aka. Handshake. *shaking my head*..



    Additional information:
    Aperture priority at f/5.6.


    But was that the cause of my blurred shots?


    Need more practice. hmmm.. Got a tennis competition coming up..
    Last edited by rochkoh; 1st May 2002 at 09:38 PM.

  4. #24
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    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    As for the case of the Sport photographer, I don't think he is trying pulling my leg. Cos what he said is quite true, most the shots that I took at 200mm ends were blured whereas those at wider angle are mostly alright. And those shots he took for me are zoomed (much more then 200mm) and clear mostly.

    Also the tripod that he use didn't seem to slow him down at all. From what I observe, he didn't seem lock the head of the tripod as can turn the camera anyway he wish by turning the camera itself. Seem to be just using it to counter the weight of the camera and lens against gravity. The other hand seem to be playing with the zoom or focus.
    A tripod won't slow you down provided you have good skills in using a ballhead or gimble head and indeed I use one with extremely long lenses (800mm-1200mm) when shooting some sports like cricket. However a monopod is a far better solution for sports as it's faster to use, more portable and far easier to move around with. Monopods are the #1 choice of those of us shooting sport professionally. The use of a cable release is a waste of time.

    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    Now I'm thinking, could I just turn the focus to manual and turn it to infinty? This could solve the problem of slow AF as it will be mostly focused at all time.
    If a lens has slow AF performance then using it manually is often quicker, the trick is to follow the action through the viewfinder and to keep the image constantly in focus. It's hard at first but once your used to it it's a breeze.

    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    As for saying pro camera is useless in this case, I am refering to the shutter speed. What I meant is if you need 1/300sec in F65, using the same setting, F100 will also required 1/300sec (hope I am right this time?)
    Thanks for clarifying this.

    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    Here is some questions I had after reading your post:

    This I don't really understand, do u mean heaver camera is better in sports photography? If lighter, F65 or even F55 seem even lighter. And I thought that the damping effect on lens is on the lens itself? Like Vibration Reduction (VR) system?
    Heavy pro bodies 'point' better than light bodies with long lenses. Pointing is the balance between lens and body.

    Damping refers in this case to allowing smoother tracking and less shutter bounce in particular. A camera body actually damps internal vibration when it's heavy. The mass of the body and lens also contributes to inertia which is very useful when panning for example.

    Currently VR is only fitted to one lens and while it works well enough in most conditions it's not necessary for sports photography if you have good camera handling techniques.

    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    Rochkoh did mention somewhere that it is slighty cloudy on that day. Btw what type of film did you use? Cos I normally use 100 or 200 films for usual outdoor shooting but hardly seem to get a 1/750 sec.
    I shoot for outdoor sports (daytime) 50, 100 or 400 ISO film. If it's twilight I'll use Fuji Press 800. I never use 200 ISO film as it's 1 stop speed gain over 100 ISO isn't worth the hassle.

    My prefered negative emulsions are Kodak Portra 160NC, Kodak Pro Image 100 (cheap and not bad) Fuji Superia Reala, Fuji Superia and Kodak Supra in 100/400 ISO and good old Kodak Gold 100.

    1/750th was in reference to 400 ISO at f5.6. I should have referenced a film speed but forgot to do so.

    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    And lastly lan, I still can't get to see the pictures, is the links dead?
    My ISP was having router problems this evening, all is fine now however and the pics are now viewable.
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  5. #25
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    Hi Trevor,

    Your reply impressed me more than you'd imagine. Not many people have the courage or integrity to admit when they might be wrong/have been misinformed. And end up digging themselves into bigger holes by the minute... While I don't pretend to know everything, this is one area where I think I'm qualified to spew advice on.

    But only way that people can show me the right path provided I voice out what I know.

    Well done, as I always say, with that attitude you can't go wrong.

    As for the case of the Sport photographer, I don't think he is trying pulling my leg.

    Okay, fair enough then. But there must be some explanation because as I've said as has Ian, what he's said (according to yourself), doesn't sound right at all. It's quite possible that something might have been lost in the interpretation and understanding.

    Cos what he said is quite true, most the shots that I took at 200mm ends were blured whereas those at wider angle are mostly alright. And those shots he took for me are zoomed (much more then 200mm) and clear mostly.

    Again, it's difficult to say anything without looking at the pictures first.

    Also the tripod that he use didn't seem to slow him down at all. From what I observe, he didn't seem lock the head of the tripod as can turn the camera anyway he wish by turning the camera itself. Seem to be just using it to counter the weight of the camera and lens against gravity.

    I have a tripod with a good ballhead too that allows very free movement (although as some people will know, I really do need to get it fixed...). But trust me on this one, even a monopod will slow you down when you really need to work and react fast. And as we've both pointed out, a 70-300/4-5.6 class zoom is so small and light as to really not require additional support to help with the weight.

    Now I'm thinking, could I just turn the focus to manual and turn it to infinty? This could solve the problem of slow AF as it will be mostly focused at all time.

    Unfortunately not. A lens only focuses at a specific point... while there doesn't appear to be a lot of difference on the lens barrel between, say, 20m and infinity, the players on a football pitch do not hit infinity and need accurate focusing. If anything, the DOF with a long lens is very shallow. With a 300mm lens, at f5.6, you will need to be within less than a meter either way of your subject.

    What I meant is if you need 1/300sec in F65, using the same setting, F100 will also required 1/300sec (hope I am right this time?)

    Yes, I understood this the first time around, and you are indeed right. What I was saying is that the reason to buy/use a pro camera to shoot sports is really not the high shutter speed. So the fact that because a cheap camera can hit 1/2000 which will not be used in sport, is not a reason not to get a pro camera.

    This I don't really understand, do u mean heaver camera is better in sports photography? If lighter, F65 or even F55 seem even lighter.

    Ian's right. It's easier to balance a camera, and hence point it at a subject, with a decent weight behind the lens. Professional cameras are well balanced up to about a 300/2.8 lens, any heavier and they too become "top heavy", but the lighter bodies start to lose out much earlier.

    And I thought that the damping effect on lens is on the lens itself? Like Vibration Reduction (VR) system?

    Different thing. We are talking about the ability of the camera, due to sheer mass, to physically dampen any minor vibrations. Personally, I wouldn't consider this a huge factor, but OTOH pro cameras tend to have better dampened mirrors, including intricate designs like counterweights, to reduce vibration from mirror slap.

    IS/VR doesn't come into the sports field really because the subjects will be moving much faster than the shutter speeds that IS/VR help with.

    Rochkoh did mention somewhere that it is slighty cloudy on that day. Btw what type of film did you use? Cos I normally use 100 or 200 films for usual outdoor shooting but hardly seem to get a 1/750 sec.

    Depends, when I can I shoot as slow speed as possible. When the sun's out ISO 100 is not a problem, and generations of photographers have shot Provia and now 100F to cover sports for the magazines. In typical English cloudcast I will hit EI800, and under floodlights, either 800 with a push, or a straight 1600.

  6. #26
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    Originally posted by rochkoh
    Boy how i wish all threads at clubsnap would be like this...
    Believe me, so do I...

    a) Film: EliteChrome 100. Certainly not the best suitable film, but that was what i had at that time so... To make matters worse i pushed it +0.5EV.

    I'm not altogether sure what your point is. In good light (i.e. any kind of sun), that film would have been fine... When you say you pushed 1/2 stop, you must mean underexposed 1/2 stop (or over?). Pushing refers to uprating a film's speed, which can only be done in full stops, and is processed accordingly in the lab after the fact.

    My camera was moving all the time in sync with the ball. aka. Handshake.

    Actually, this has to be done, you just need to obtain a fast enough shutter speed to compensate. Your rig has to follow the action.

    But was that the cause of my blurred shots?

    As before, really need to see your shots, unfortunately.

  7. #27

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    Cos what he said is quite true, most the shots that I took at 200mm ends were blured whereas those at wider angle are mostly alright. And those shots he took for me are zoomed (much more then 200mm) and clear mostly.
    If I may hazard a guess, could it be simply the handshake factor? Based on the reciprocal rule, a wider lens needs a much slower speed than a long telephoto to reduce handshake blur. So obviously a picture shot at, say, 1/100s would be sharper using an 80mm lens than a 200mm lens.

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    This topic is damn interesting to me as now I am opening up in flying birds/sports photography. Fortunately I use digital b4 feeling confident to shoot with film/slide. Okay experts here, I have a few questions to ask u:

    1. Which mode do u shoot most often, shutter prirority, manual, or aperture priority? Any preset value?
    2. Do u use AF or manual focus? If you use AF, how can you re-frame when you want to put your subject in a different position from where it is focused?
    3. When you are panning, do you pre-focus/pre-meter your subject?
    4. Do u shoot in one-shot mode or continous mode?
    5. How do u shoot if your subject is relatively dark while exposed under a much brighter background, e.g. sky?
    6. Do you ever shoot with a shutter speed higher than 1/1000 and, if yes, when.

    thx for your input

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    Originally posted by tomshen

    1. Which mode do u shoot most often, shutter prirority, manual, or aperture priority? Any preset value?
    Tom no preset values here, I use what ever is the most appropriate for the job at hand.
    Originally posted by tomshen

    2. Do u use AF or manual focus? If you use AF, how can you re-frame when you want to put your subject in a different position from where it is focused?
    I use both manual and AF lenses with the majority being manual focus. Recomposing is achieved by using the AF lock facility when I'm using AF lenses. Same applies to Exposure lock.
    Originally posted by tomshen

    3. When you are panning, do you pre-focus/pre-meter your subject?
    If I'm using manual lenses then I use hyperfocal focusing (prefocused) and I normally use manual control so in that regard yes I pre meter.
    When panning birds in flight I use Apertue priority mode or shutter priority mode depending on the speed and size of the bird in question.
    Originally posted by tomshen

    4. Do u shoot in one-shot mode or continous mode?
    I have a few more choices than that, eg: one shot, continious fast, cont. low etc. For wildlife (non fighting animals/birds) I use cont low as this mode on my Nikon F4s allows for continious refocusing with AF lenses as long as the shutter release is lightly depressed.
    Originally posted by tomshen

    5. How do u shoot if your subject is relatively dark while exposed under a much brighter background, e.g. sky?
    It depends on the subject distance and the effect i'm after. If it's within range of a flash then I'll use flash fill. If I want detail and depending on the darkness I may under expose by a stop or two. Otherwise I let matrix metering take care of the problem for me.
    Originally posted by tomshen

    6. Do you ever shoot with a shutter speed higher than 1/1000 and, if yes, when.
    As much as I can. I shoot a lot in full sun (sport is like that) and use fast glass so seeing 1/4000th at f2.8 in full sun with car racing for example isn't uncommon here in Summer on a cloudless day.
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  10. #30
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    thx Ian for yr info! A few more questions here.

    Originally posted by Ian
    Tom no preset values here, I use what ever is the most appropriate for the job at hand.
    *whatever*, hmm... %$#@!~^&%*

    Recomposing is achieved by using the AF lock facility when I'm using AF lenses. Same applies to Exposure lock.
    When I use moving AF (so-called AIservo in Canon system) to continously focus flying birds, I have to put my subject in a position according to the focusing point that I use. Sometimes it is not a good framing to me. How to solve this problem? I think with manual focusing this should not be a problem, but if i handhold camera the movement of rotating the focusing ring will add more camera shake IMO.

    When panning birds in flight I use Apertue priority mode or shutter priority mode depending on the speed and size of the bird in question.
    I tried shooting some flying birds with 280mm equivalent x1.6 DC multiplier and found it very difficult if birds move fast. My best bet is to capture the moment when birds land or take off. Those big and slow birds r quite easy to freeze but less challenging of course.

    It depends on the subject distance and the effect i'm after. If it's within range of a flash then I'll use flash fill. If I want detail and depending on the darkness I may under expose by a stop or two. Otherwise I let matrix metering take care of the problem for me.
    ya, but flash is useless if birds r far away. Guess adding some filter may be helpful.

    In Singapore do we have such a chance to shoot sports or car racing with *free*press pass? I want to try it just for fun, haha.

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    Originally posted by tomshen
    thx Ian for yr info! A few more questions here.

    When I use moving AF (so-called AIservo in Canon system) to continously focus flying birds, I have to put my subject in a position according to the focusing point that I use. Sometimes it is not a good framing to me. How to solve this problem? I think with manual focusing this should not be a problem, but if i handhold camera the movement of rotating the focusing ring will add more camera shake IMO.

    I tried shooting some flying birds with 280mm equivalent x1.6 DC multiplier and found it very difficult if birds move fast. My best bet is to capture the moment when birds land or take off. Those big and slow birds r quite easy to freeze but less challenging of course.

    ya, but flash is useless if birds r far away. Guess adding some filter may be helpful.

    In Singapore do we have such a chance to shoot sports or car racing with *free*press pass? I want to try it just for fun, haha.
    Tom, there's a magic thing in photography called practice and technology won't shield you from having to do it the hard way in some situations. Technology won't shield you from having to learn the basics either.

    A Metz 60CT4 with teleamplifier has a GN of about 120m, so it's got an effective range of 43m at f2.8 at 100 ISO! and that's before you even take in to account the range increases by using it as a fill flash.

    Filters don't do much for this particular problem in my opinion.

    Don't know about singapore and press passes, as I'm accredited with most of the major car racing clubs here in Western Australia so don't require a pass to start with. Just have to sign the indemnity when I get to the event and put my sexy orange vest on.
    Last edited by Ian; 2nd May 2002 at 07:51 PM.
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    thx again!

  13. #33
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    Thanks Jed & Lan for the advice. Now I got almost the whole picture all I need is to try it out.
    Acturally, I know that I have a problem with hand shake (too much chicken feets I guess ) when I take pictures, and quite slow in reaction. These make me missed lots of interesting shoots. Hence taking photos with things that move (sports, birds, etc.) that required instant reaction to capture great moments, and zoomed picture where tripod is not allowed (stage performance, concert) really turn me down. Hence I very much envy those who can do it.
    After that football match, I had never attemped another sport photography. Maybe I should pick up the gear and try again. Acturally re-inspired by the picture lan samples pictures, those are great.
    For me static, posed and landscape shots are better for me, will post next time in newbie sections for comments.
    Thanks again guys I really like this forum

  14. #34
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    Originally posted by tomshen
    This topic is damn interesting to me as now I am opening up in flying birds/sports photography. Fortunately I use digital b4 feeling confident to shoot with film/slide. Okay experts here, I have a few questions to ask u:

    1. Which mode do u shoot most often, shutter prirority, manual, or aperture priority? Any preset value?
    2. Do u use AF or manual focus? If you use AF, how can you re-frame when you want to put your subject in a different position from where it is focused?
    3. When you are panning, do you pre-focus/pre-meter your subject?
    4. Do u shoot in one-shot mode or continous mode?
    5. How do u shoot if your subject is relatively dark while exposed under a much brighter background, e.g. sky?
    6. Do you ever shoot with a shutter speed higher than 1/1000 and, if yes, when.

    thx for your input
    If you not only talking about birds and sports, this is my input. Else hee... just stop here and skip to next message. Also btw I'm not a expert, just wanted to see if anyone think I misuse certain functions.

    1. Why Auto or Programmed is not included? Me normally use auto and F80 had a flexi mode where after the camera take the reading, and if you change the shutter/aperture value, it will auto change the aperture/shutter value to maintain the correct exposure. But this way will be quite slow unless you r very used to it.

    2. Me use AF, I just lock the focus by slightly depress the shutter release. Manual if the camera can focus on the right object or it when hunting.

    3. While Panning I will use continous AF mode. But I never do much of panning. Heard it drain your batt quite badly doing that.

    4. Normally One shot mode. I only use continous mode a few times and only when flash is not required (acturally I don't know if the built-in flash can charge up in time for the next shots). During a graduation where the guys throw their hats off, during a friend R.O.M. where the couple kiss after ring exchange.

    5. Me normally just use the fill-in flash. But I guess u can't use in on bird, may scare them away (and other photographer shooting the bird will start cursing u). I'm guessing here: Will spot meter work here if we meter the bird? There is also a gradurate filter where half of the glass is tinted, maybe can be use to shade the sky so eventurally nothing will be overexposed when developed(hopefully).

    6. Never got a chance yet, can't reach that speed without under expose. BTW I never use any flims greater then 400 b4.

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    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan

    6. Never got a chance yet, can't reach that speed without under expose. BTW I never use any flims greater then 400 b4.
    Try ISO 400 film on a bright sunny day, and even f/8 can get you over 1/1000.

    Going by Sunny f/16 rule,
    f/16 @ 1/400
    f/11 @ 1/800
    f/8 @ 1/1600
    f/5.6 @ 1/3200

    Regards
    CK

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    Originally posted by tomshen
    I have a few questions to ask u:
    1. Which mode do u shoot most often, shutter prirority, manual, or aperture priority? Any preset value?

    It depends really, as Ian says. Under floodlighting I meter first and use manual, and stick to that reading, opening up 1/3 or 2/3 for situations in teh stadium where the floodlights aren't as bright (usually near the ends close to the crowd; the centre of the pitch is usually the best lit).

    I will use aperture priority when the game is half lit by sunlight and half in shade, usually with as low a filmspeed as I can get away with to still get a usable shot in the shade. I will shoot wide open for the shade shots, but crank the aperture up by 0.7 when the action shifts to the sun, and vice versa. This practice has caused me to lose the odd shot, but this is rare, and the quality gain from pushing the ISO limit is worth it.

    I rarely shoot in shutter priority because in the situation above for example, in the sunlight I could end up with exposures taken at f16 or something along those lines. There are rare instances where I want to use shutter priority, but it generally depends on the sport.

    2. Do u use AF or manual focus?

    Both. Depends on the sport. Rugby is equally well shot on both manual or autofocus. Personally, I prefer to be on AF for football. Cricket is a manual focus thing.

    If you use AF, how can you re-frame when you want to put your subject in a different position from where it is focused?

    As Ian said you have a focus lock button on your camera. With the longer lenses, from the 70-200/2.8 class lenses and up, the lenses also have focus lock buttons which are easier to access than the button on the camera. Alternatively, just grab the lens ring and turn it.

    3. When you are panning, do you pre-focus/pre-meter your subject?

    I don't treat panning any different from my other shots. So it depends on the conditions. See earlier answers.

    4. Do u shoot in one-shot mode or continous mode?

    Continuous, all the time. Even for non-sport, even with a film camera that shoots 8fps. With a digital that does 3fps you should certainly be in continuous all the time. My cameras never leave continuous no matter what I'm doing. The idea is you are then always ready for anything. You finger regulates the actual number of frames you fire. 3fps is very easy to control, and because it's also quite slow, you're really better off aiming to catch the specific moment than just blindly pressing and holding when something juicy happens.

    5. How do u shoot if your subject is relatively dark while exposed under a much brighter background, e.g. sky?

    Switch to manual, meter properly, use the metered setting. Generally in this situation the subject would be quite well lit; you should actually be able to trust an automatic mode more often than not. It should be fairly easy to gauge once you have a bit more experience.

    6. Do you ever shoot with a shutter speed higher than 1/1000 and, if yes, when.

    As above, and in Ian's post, in bright sunshine, shutter speed can fly off the scale. Sunny f16 translated to f2.8 is 1/3200 with ISO 100.

  17. #37
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    Originally posted by tomshen
    A few more questions here.
    When I use moving AF (so-called AIservo in Canon system) to continously focus flying birds, I have to put my subject in a position according to the focusing point that I use. Sometimes it is not a good framing to me.

    Isn't there a mode in the camera that will allow you to select all AF points? If you can, then do so, it will allow you to use all focus points to compose while in flight. To be honest, every sports photographer that I've talked to over here, and myself included, just use the single, central AF point. Be it the EOS 1D or the Nikon D1x. If you are shooting such that the bird is big enough in the frame, then the central AF sensor will nail the bird. If it's not big enough such that you need space to frame properly, leaving space to help the composition, then just shoot with the central sensor and crop later.

    I tried shooting some flying birds with 280mm equivalent x1.6 DC multiplier and found it very difficult if birds move fast.

    Well all this comes with practice, and to a lesser extent some dexterity. Using my cameras as much as I have over the last year or so to shoot sports and birds in flight, it's got to the stage where now when I raise a short-ish lens (400mm and under), I am almost always pointed at the subject that I want to be pointed at. This just comes from familiarity with your equipment.

    ya, but flash is useless if birds r far away. Guess adding some filter may be helpful.

    Ian's pointed out that you can get decent range with a flash. I personally do not own one that's really enough for birds, so good luck on that one. A flash extender might be useful.

    In Singapore do we have such a chance to shoot sports or car racing with *free*press pass? I want to try it just for fun, haha.

    Erm, you never really pay for a press pass, you either get accreditation or you don't. Which you won't, just to try. Your solution is to go to events that don't require you to have accreditation to shoot. I believe YS just finished shooting a car park rally at Kallang, and I don't believe he needed accreditation to do so.

    In fact, I am not aware of many events in Singapore that do need proper accreditation although I may well be wrong, as I've never really shot sport in Singapore. I believe the recent Singapore Sevens was a brilliant opportunity to shoot top class sport, and since my guess is it was played at the Padang, I think it would have been fine. I know several of the players from the winning England team, two of them play for Newcastle of course and both of them have turned out for the full England team.

  18. #38
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    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan
    Now I got almost the whole picture all I need is to try it out.
    Actually, not quite. As we've both been saying, hand shake does not come into the equation when shooting sport, and with fast moving wildlife. You are never shooting below 1/500 so you can freeze subject motion, in which case handshake is no longer an issue. Everyone over here shoots their short lens (300mm at its longest) hand held, including myself, and I've had about a dozen front pages now with shots taken with that lens, some with a converter to get up to 400mm, all hand held, some of those half page broadsheet size. Those lenses are at least twice as heavy as a consumer zoom to 300mm.

    quite slow in reaction.

    As in the post above, this can be improved with practice and experience.

    zoomed picture where tripod is not allowed (stage performance, concert) really turn me down.

    Well the other issue is getting a faster lens. Using a consumer zoom can be 2 stops slower than a professional class zoom, and 4 stops slower than a fast prime lens. The latter doesn't necessarily cost all that much, and can be the difference between 1/30, and 1/500. A world of difference.

  19. #39
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    Originally posted by Trevor_Tan
    1. Why Auto or Programmed is not included? Me normally use auto and F80 had a flexi mode where after the camera take the reading, and if you change the shutter/aperture value, it will auto change the aperture/shutter value to maintain the correct exposure. But this way will be quite slow unless you r very used to it.

    In theory I don't see what's wrong with this. Does the program shift reset itself after you take a shot? As in, do you have to shift it everytime you take a new shot?

    If it does then that's why a lot of us use AP, but as I don't even know, it's really because we've all just stuck to what we're comfortable with. The thing is, in practice, you are usually shooting the same subject and hence you will want to maintain either your shutter speed or your aperture. So if you, say want to use f2.8 and stay at f2.8 with AP priority you can set it there and leave it there. Whereas in bright sunlight, program would choose something like f8 @ 1/400 instead of f2.8 @ 1/3200, which is what you really want. And if every shot you need to shift it down (if it resets) it would be a great pain. But if it doesn't reset then I don't see what's wrong.

    2. Me use AF, I just lock the focus by slightly depress the shutter release. Manual if the camera can focus on the right object or it when hunting.

    I think Tom was referring to sports/wildlife where you need to be on continuous AF.

    3. While Panning I will use continous AF mode. But I never do much of panning. Heard it drain your batt quite badly doing that.

    Should do, no reason why it drains batteries.

    I only use continous mode a few times and only when flash is not required (acturally I don't know if the built-in flash can charge up in time for the next shots).

    As in my earlier reply, you should always be in continuous and use your finger to regulate the bursts. The flash might or might not be able to get more than one burst off, it depends a lot on how powerful your first burst was. And working the flash too hard can cause the capacitor to overload, but it's not a major problem; I suspect, no offence intended at all, that I push my flash a lot harder than you do, and it's not an issue. At any rate, if you leave your camera on continuous with the flash mounted, as above you can just regulate with your finder again, and IF that once in a lifetime shot happens you're ready to fire a burst with or without flash. A slightly poor shot without flash is better than no shot.

    5. Me normally just use the fill-in flash. But I guess u can't use in on bird, may scare them away (and other photographer shooting the bird will start cursing u).

    Common misconception held about flash and animals, babies, etc. Flash is no much different to lightning and doesn't overly disturb creatures. It certainly does them no harm unless you're blasting them from stupid distances like under a meter. Of course if you're shooting truly wild animals then it's something that might cause them to take flight, but then so will the sound of the shutter, mirror, and any other sudden movements. Furthermore, usually unless you do something really stupid, a spooking is a gradual thing. Unless you've caught the animal completely unawares (which is not very likely at all), it is aware of your presence and won't take to flight unless you do something fairly threatening. Alternatively, as is more usually the case, it will be the result of a build up of your threat factor as you encroach upon its comfort zone, in which case a flash could be the straw that breaks the camels back. However this should again never happen as it's easily identifiable when an animal starts feeling uncomfortable, and in which case you shouldn't be doing anything while you wait for it to calm down; not ever firing the shutter, with or without flash.

    I'm guessing here: Will spot meter work here if we meter the bird?

    No, unless the bird is mid grey. Go find a good theory book on exposure. It's a bit long (yes, even longer than this, it is possible...) to explain that as well...

    There is also a gradurate filter where half of the glass is tinted, maybe can be use to shade the sky so eventurally nothing will be overexposed when developed(hopefully).

    Well yes, but not if the horizon isn't relatively uniform.

    6. Never got a chance yet, can't reach that speed without under expose. BTW I never use any flims greater then 400 b4.

    As CK has already pointed out, it's easy to hit high shutter speeds with ISO 400 film, and I've also given you the illustration with slower film like ISO 100.

  20. #40
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    Thanks for the input.

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Jed
    In theory I don't see what's wrong with this. Does the program shift reset itself after you take a shot? As in, do you have to shift it everytime you take a new shot?

    No it don't reset every time. I have to set it back to normal or change to another setting.

    If it does then that's why a lot of us use AP, but as I don't even know, it's really because we've all just stuck to what we're comfortable with. The thing is, in practice, you are usually shooting the same subject and hence you will want to maintain either your shutter speed or your aperture. So if you, say want to use f2.8 and stay at f2.8 with AP priority you can set it there and leave it there. Whereas in bright sunlight, program would choose something like f8 @ 1/400 instead of f2.8 @ 1/3200, which is what you really want. And if every shot you need to shift it down (if it resets) it would be a great pain. But if it doesn't reset then I don't see what's wrong.

    I guess for you guys the relationship between shutter & aperture is very easy to calculate and know what value to choose and still get it correctly exposed. For me, I still can't grap hold of it hence i find it easy to use flexi as I am not allowed to choose shutter speed that the aperture can't compensate (or the other way round) to maintain the correct exposure. Result is each photo still turn out correct exposed and I still can play with different shutter/aperture value. Eg. Taking a picture of waterfall, if I want to have the fast shutter to freeze the water movement, I after metered I can turn to the highest shutter speed which this metered value allowed and maybe next shot I want the longest shutter speed to have the silkly water look, then I just change to the lowest the metered value can give. In mode like shutter prirority, manual, or aperture priority, there is a high chance for me to over or under exposed a picture as I don't really know how to choose the correct value.
    I just find it good for begainner as you can a correct exposure picture and still can know the effect on how shutter and aperture value affect the pictures.

    Should do, no reason why it drains batteries.
    Maybe the electrical power require for the gear, motor (or what ever) to keep turning the lens in focus.

    As in my earlier reply, you should always be in continuous and use your finger to regulate the bursts. The flash might or might not be able to get more than one burst off, it depends a lot on how powerful your first burst was. And working the flash too hard can cause the capacitor to overload, but it's not a major problem; I suspect, no offence intended at all, that I push my flash a lot harder than you do, and it's not an issue. At any rate, if you leave your camera on continuous with the flash mounted, as above you can just regulate with your finder again, and IF that once in a lifetime shot happens you're ready to fire a burst with or without flash. A slightly poor shot without flash is better than no shot.
    Err, correct me if I'm wrong, so u are saying that if the flash is not ready, the camera will still take the shot. And will flash again when the flash is charged? I don't use flash is that I though that with flash the camera will always wait for the flash to re-charge b4 taking another shots, and by the time it rechange action gone liao (or at least miss few action in between). Now I got the right picture will use flash next time.

    The rest I got the point liao, thanks

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