Nighttime Football Settings

Discussion in 'Sports' started by alex_dannenbaum, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. I occassionally shoot sports, but until now have never had the occassion of shooting a nighttime football game under lights before. Due to my inexperience and possibly limitations of my equipment, my first attempt shots came out awfullly dark. I am looking for some advice on how to improve the outcome of these nitetime football shootings.
    I am using a Canon 50D with a EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens. (I know what you may be can't shoot nightime football with such a slow lens, you need at least a f2.8...right?). Well there is more...
    The photos I am shooting are for a website that displays small photos. Therefore, pixel density and noise are not a significant issue. I had shot the game with an ISO of 1600 and did not notice any noise. I have been told I can shoot in the lowest quality setting and with the higest ISO available (3200 or even 12800 (H2 ISO expansion). I was also advised to use Manual Mode with a setting of no less than 1/160 sec. and my widest apeture with the highest ISO available.
    Should this be adequate, or do you reccomend additional factors to consider?
  2. i suggest you use the highest iso possible (12800) in that body, and use AV mode and set it for wide open. you should be trying to get the fastest shutter possible. i find that 1/400 is minimum. of course, the best thing to do is invest in a 300 f2.8, you will love it and use it all the time for sports. sometimes flash will help, but it is a different look. good luck.
  3. Shoot RAW, you may need those higher ISO settings for that lens to get a fast enough shutter speed, but with a 2.8 70-200 I can go at 1600 ISO and get 250th of a second or higher which you need to stop action. Also try using a monopod. You may want to borrow/rent a 2.8 and compare results.
    Get the best exposure/shutter combo you can and then set to manual, that may also help offset the changing colors from the flood lights which can give varying results.
  4. here is an example of 12800 iso and 1/640 shutter. grainy but not too blurry. reads well in the paper.
  5. another example. in order to stop action at HS level, 1/400 is really a min. these are at 1/640 with alittle noise reduction.
  6. Since I shoot with an Olympus E3, high iso really isn't too much of an option.
    For HS with bad lighting, using either f2 or f2.8 lenses I can shoot at 1/320 at iso 1250 and the images come out no problem. Sometimes I will go to 1600.
    Also, HS football allows the use of flash, but I rarely do so.
  7. if you can go ISO of 6400 and aperture priority you should be able to do OK. I shot these setting for this example, albeit at f2.8. The shutter speed was 1/640
  8. Alex, I shoot a fair amount of youth football at night under the less-than-ideal lights of the local county parks. Because the lighting is essentially constant, shooting manual makes sense - pick settings that work and leave the camera there. I also make it a point to shoot RAW as I can usually pull out an extra stop of exposure in post-processing. The example below was shot @ 300 mm, ISO 6400, 1/400s @ f/2.8. Post-processing, including noise reduction was done using ACR. Good luck.
  9. I have been reading these posts on taking night sport shots and to clarify, I have an XSi with a max ISO of 1600. What can I get away with for a lens with this camera body without having to purchase say the 60D body? I want to be able to shoot night time FB and Soccer along with indoor gym sports like basketball, with cost being the issue.
  10. You need something that at least starts at f2.8 and has a focal length around 200mm (with the crop factor).
    Here are some at ISO 1250 on my Olympus E3 which is a stretch but then you slow down the shutter speed and it blurs the image. This was shot at 1/250 which is slow for sports, but I can manage at times.
  11. What do you mean by crop factor? I was looking at the Canon EF 200mm F.2,8 lens. will this work for what I am looking for? I would use this lens also for daytime sports.
    I would love the 70-200 lens, but that very expensive and heavy.
  12. Crop factor is how your camera will "crop" the photo compared to a standard 35mm camera.
    On olympus it is 2.0x. So a 200mm lens becomes a 400mm.
    On canon (depending on model) a 200mm lens becomes a 320mm, I think.
    I think the rebels have a 1.6x factor.
    Here is a link to how canon's crop factor is and it explains it better than I can.
  13. Just came across this lens. How does this compare with the 200mm lens for night time and indoor sporting events?
    Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L USM Lens
  14. Well, I just rented the new Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II lens. WOW, What a lens. I am relatively new to picture taking, but here are a couple of pictures. What do you think?
    Also I was asked to take pictures of the HS Varsity under the light and take pictures of the Seniors with parents. With these pictures, can I still use the 70-200 lens and should I use a flash with it?
  15. Also Have another question regarding this picture. I wanted the player to be clear, but instead the camera picked up the referee behind the play. What did I do wrong?
  16. Yes you can use that lens for the parents shots. I would use flash for that portion though for fill light. I always just have the camera focus point to the center one only. Chances are that your AF picked up on the ref first.
    Some Examples. I didn't use flash though.
    Senior Night
  17. what did you use for that game and what settings? great shots
  18. Chris,
    Me? If so, THANKS!
    for the seniors with parents it was my olympus 35-100mm f2 lens
    It was shot at iso 1000, 55mm(110mm equivalent) 1/320 sec.
    I get blur in some photos if I go down in shutter speed.
    Tonight I am shooting more, but using a teleconverter which makes the 100mm a 140mm lens and my max f stop will be f2.8 not f2. I probably will shoot at iso 2000 (yes Olympus can do this LOL, but there will be noise)
  19. Thanks again for the info. I only have an on board flash. Will this be ok?
  20. I wouldn't use the onboard flash.
    Use a monopod or something to stabilize the lens.
    Also, those were the settings I used for the portraits.
    Make sure they are all looking at you and focus on their face/ eyes. Don't move out of the way for anybody with a point and shoot, etc. You have to be a little aggressive.
    A few weeks ago someone gave me great advice: Tighter is Righter....the more you can fill the frame, the better the photo. I use matrix metering and single spot AF so I can control where the lens focuses. Also, while you watch the game you will notice tendencies. I will focus in an area and most of the time it's where the play is run to. Shoot in continuous mode. Also stay out of the coaches/ players area during the game and stay about two feet away from the sideline to allow the line judge to move up and down the field.
  21. THANK YOU!!! I don't have a monopod, but I should be able to hold it steady. I put on IS 2 on the lens. OK so if no flash, the pics I took the other night were the same field and I shot 400 f/2.8 ISO 1600. Where it's a portrait, I will reduce the shutter and see if I can decrease the ISO and close the aperture a bit. That might give a better DOF and better coloring. You think?
    Oh and should I leave the lens hood on for the pictures and the game??

Share This Page