1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Soccer disappointment

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Otter, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. I haven't shot any sports since track & field last spring. I was happy with some of my shots then. I went to shoot a scrimmage varsity soccer game last night. Seems I've completely forgotten how to use my camera. :redface:

    It was 7 pm. Sun was setting. Jerseys are all white, the background is basically white, and the field is dark green. Not only that, but these girls wouldn't stop moving around really fast! :biggrin: I could hardly get any exposures set.

    I shot using my D200 and 300/f4 on a monopod. ISO was between 400 and 640 (hate going over 640 for fear of noise). SS's ranged from 1/350 (I know way too slow) to 1/1250. I used A priority mode at f4. I tried various metering modes (i.e. spot and cw). I also did a number of them in Manual. Also, I used a Whi-Bal card just for kicks to get an exposure setting.

    Also always use AF-C and single point. I always try to keep the focus square thingy on the face.

    Out of 385 images, these 3 are the only ones that aren't totally OOF and/or the exposure isn't way way off. These images are so bad I shouldn't share them, but if anybody wants to remind me how to shoot soccer, I'd appreciate it... :redface: Mike? Alex? Randy? Brooks? Anybody?

    I am really disappointed in these.

    EXIF should be attached.



    FWIW, I didn't do much with these PP'wise other than resize and save as jpg (I shoot RAW)
  2. niknd501


    May 13, 2006
    Joe - are you using the AF-ON button on your D200 or just using the shutter button for AF-C??

    I have switched to AF-ON and it works for me. I use my d200 for soccer. Also looks like maybe the lighting was a little low so that will throw your focus off also.

    Just a thought. Hang in there.
  3. Thanks Rod.

    Good point about the low light. Thinking about it now, the lens did have a hard time acquiring focus at times. I NEED that 2.8. Somebody please talk to my CFO... :smile:

    I don't understand about the AF-ON button. I use the shutter release.

  4. Joe, I think even the guys you mentioned would have a tough time nailing a lot of shots under the same circumstances using the same equipment. As you know, heavy sports action is always an issue with low light and f4. And as you've already pointed out, the D200 isn't exactly a high ISO king. I'm pretty sure I've read posts by some of your mentioned sports shooters about the 300 f4 really hunting in low light, so don't be so hard on yourself. Just look for the brightest spot on the field with as much light coming over your shoulder as possible, stake out your position and wait for the action to come to you. And you may even have to time your shots so you're shooting at the peak of the stopped action to minimize motion and allow the 300 f4 to focus. And that's a lot easier to say than to do. Good luck. I feel your pain.
  5. niknd501


    May 13, 2006

    On the back of your d200 upper right (next to wheel) there is a button that says AF-ON. You can use that to track your subject and it will focus on your subject continuously. I use this instead of the shutter release button. I think it helps.
  6. Thanks Keith and Rod.
    Rod, I may give the AF-ON technique tonight at another scrimmage game. I read up on it a bit in my Magic Lantern D200 book.

  7. Bear78


    Jul 26, 2008
    Is there an advantage to this? To me the only advantage would be less accidental shots by pushing the shutter button to far

    I use the AF-ON button to get the initial focus (on quarterback) but go right to the shutter button when the play is about to start.

    Do you use the WIDE setting on the D200?
    Custom Setting Menu, A3, Wide
    It helps with tracking.

    Here's my setting for HS Football:

    Single point
    CSM, A3 Wide
    CSM, A4 Center area
    CSM, A5 (AF Tracking) Norm

    (CSM = custom setting menu)
  8. Thanks Mike - I'll check the a3 CS
  9. Hi Joe, a couple of good threads here and here.

    Some like it, some don't...I'm a big user of it and a couple of episodes ago, the Image Doctors over at Nikonians discussed it in detail...

    Don't forget that you should turn your focus mode to "OFF", on the D300 it's CSM A5, forget what it is on the D200, probably pretty close if not identical.

    And, also, if you do go this way, then you still need to use the shutter button to activate VR.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  10. call me if you wanna talk
  11. A little better luck

    Hi guys.

    So I went to the second scrimmage game last night and had a little better luck.

    It occurred to me that with the white jerseys and white background the meter was under exposing trying to make the jerseys gray. I started using +3 and +7 EV and watching the histogram more closely as well as keeping an eye on shutter speeds. I also did a lot with manual exposure by spotting on faces. Seems to have helped. Although I didn't catch any good action, I think I did better with my exposures.

    The histogram confuses me though. All these shots are mostly a bunch of spike as opposed to the majority of the curve being to the left - which I read is what you want to try and get.

    Chris, I read all 15 pages(!) of the AF-ON thread. I just don't get it. I tried it for a good part of the game but couldn't see the benefit.

    Although nothing stellar, here are a couple samples. They look a lot better on my calibrated screen at home than on this pc at work. Hard telling what they look like to you.

    These aren't Randyrific, or MikeMacawsome or Alexicious, and I have a ways to go, but I got a little closer... :smile:

    I may take you up on that this weekend Randy. Thanks.

    #1 - 300.0mm 1/800 f/4.0 ISO 400 Exposure Bias: 0.33 White Balance: Auto Center Weight

    #2 - 300.0mm 1/800f/4.0 ISO 800 Exposure Bias: 0.67 White Balance: Manual Metering Mode: Spot Exposure: Manual

    #3 By this time it became way too dark for my trusty old D200. But I played around with high ISO just for kicks. :rolleyes:  It's pretty bad but with some PP could probably be usable for the local paper if needed. 300.0mm 1/1000 f/4.0 ISO equiv: 1250 White Balance: Auto Metering Mode: Spot
  12. make sure you are checking the focus point in PP to know how you did
    It's like target practice and you need to know your scores

    you seem to be changing metering alot, maybe try to stay with one for awhile (I liked matix on the d200) and concentrate on focus
  13. You're right Randy, I have been. Just trying to re-remember what I like doing and what works for me. For some reason I shy away from Matrix. But maybe I'll use that along with A mode and adjust using EV. I'll try that next time out.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.