Advice on camera settings

Discussion in 'Sports' started by alanrusso, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Hi - I shot my first basketball game yesterday (outdoors) at work, and while I was really happy with the composition, I was disappointed to see that the shots were all a bit soft. This was exacerbated when I converted from RAW to JPEG to share with the guys on the team. I was using a Canon 5D, Tv priority 1/500. ISO 500. The lens was a 70-200mm f/2.8L. The apertures were in the 4-5.6 range, with a polarized filter to cut down on the sun's glare. What settings would you typically use to get tack-sharp action photos with acceptable depth of field? I'd like the aperture to be narrow enough so that the the 2-3 players relevant to the action will all be sharp, not just the ball or the one player I focused on. How high would you go on ISO when shooting outdoors as to not have too much grain? Thanks for the advice! Alan
  2. Alan - An example photo might help but here's what I would do... ISO no higher than 400. Autofocus center point / continuous server mode. Shutter speed 1/500 aperture 5.6 What program are you using to covert to JPEG? Dave
  3. William

    William Moderator Staff Member

    >>> I was disappointed to see that the shots were all a bit soft photographer reaction time / inappropriate AF procedure 2. Slight subject movements (1/500 might just be too slow) 3. Underexposure / inappropriate AE 4. Too shallow DoF / FL too long 5. Camera jitter (yes, I read Tv = 1/500) 6. OoF on near shots only / AF selection at 3m to infinity 7. Inferior PF 8. Combination of any or all. Please reconfirm the lens is: EF 70 to 200F2.8L USM (i.e. not IS version) A few image examples might help comments. >>> What settings would you typically use to get tack-sharp action photos with acceptable depth of field? 500sec in most instances for BBall, but being outside I think I would most likely use 1/640 or even 1/800 The DoF when working this lens is greatly dependent upon the SD (Subject Distance) and the Focal length. I know that previous statement is obvious: what I am meaning is the awareness of this fact is very important. I have mental `go` and `no go` areas etched into my brain, as I use exactly this lens, usually at F2.8 or F3.5, for swimming events. This is why I am, without image evidence, I am leaning towards a DoF and or an Auto Focus issue which is bothering you: rather than the lens being `soft` or something else. Just for clarification, and as an example: From my rules which I commit to memory: At 200mm I need to work at 20 to 25 ft for the Half Shot on a 5D (Vertical Framed Image) My `rules` tell me I have DoF @ F2.8 = 6 inches, and then add 3 inches for each stop, thus: F2.8 = 6 F4.0 = 9 F5.6 = 12 F 8.0 = 15 At F8 it is probably more DoF, especially at 25 ft, but I hardly use F8, and at F2.8 @ 20ft I have probably less DoF: understand these are my rules` and are my shooting `guide` only, from using a 200mm on a film SLR covering sports. The point is you can see there is not much to play with at F4: and this fact, combined with a little AF issue could just be the causes of your concerns. WW
  4. William/David, Thank you for your responses. I am using Photoshop Elements 6.0 to do my conversions. The lens is a 70-200 f/2.8L with IS, which was on in mode 1 (X & Y stablization). Attached are 2 images which are examples of what I'm experiencing. The first is converted to max quality JPEG, resized to allow for posting here. It's a shot I like taken from about 20-25 feet away as one of the guys muscles though for a lay up. The second is a crop of his face and part of his hand with the image at 100% magnification. Here is where you can see what I mean by soft. When I take portraits or architecture or landscape photos, the images are tack sharp at 100%, and prints are very satisfying. Obviously - movement is negligible, and I often use a tripod. While it may not be possible to get exactly that same quality of image, I've seen lots sharper than what I took! Image 1: Image 2: Your advice is appreciated! Alan

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