Soccer shots (pathetic attempt!! HELP NEEDED)

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I took the advice given to me today in the sports forum. My son had soccer practice tonight and I wanted to get some shots of him, trying out my new Tamron 70-200mm. Out of over 100 shots these 3 came out the best. And even these I don't think are that good. I shot using AF-C with AF/ON, AP, Dynamic/Dynamic Group, Matrix Metering.

I'm very frustrated. I'm SERIOUSLY considering returning this lens and getting the Nikon 70-300mm VR. My handholding techniques are horrible!!! I feel like I'm wasting my time with this. Is there a fix for this or am I totally hopeless?

Here are the images. My son is the lil guy.

345401801_7ns85-L.jpg
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SS 1/800
F3.5
ISO 100
Focal Length 200mm

345402140_KgpDR-L.jpg
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SS 1/640
F4.0
ISO200
Focal Length 165mm

345402134_GXkw4-L.jpg
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SS 1/640
F4.0
ISO 200
Focal Length 165mm
 
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T

topher04r1

Guest
Joe i'm going to be real honest here.... if you get the 70-300 your going to be more frustrated ......

There are few things here that i personally would change to get a bit better results

BUT

Before i can really help you i need to know what you dont like about your photos .... Be specific .... make a list of what you dont like or think isn't right and we (I) will help with each issue
 
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Joe i'm going to be real honest here.... if you get the 70-300 your going to be more frustrated ......

There are few things here that i personally would change to get a bit better results

BUT

Before i can really help you i need to know what you dont like about your photos .... Be specific .... make a list of what you dont like or think isn't right and we (I) will help with each issue

To me they really DON'T look as sharp as other images I see on here. When I look at them at 100% they seem Very soft and grainy to me. My inconsistencies with handholding techniques AND using a monopod **** me off.... ALOT!!
 
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Are you talking about these particular images, or others. These look OK to me anyhow - but they are not cropped tight enough to see really how sharp they truly are.

It's a bit confusing when you blame bad hand-held technique and then also say that you want to return the lens in the same thread ? Maybe the focus speed on the Tamron's not going to give you as fast a focus as Nikon AF-S or Sigma HSM, but, it ought to be OK.

To get the sort of shots you see guys like Mike Mac post that are crystal sharp there are a lot of factors - equipment, technique, opportunity, post processing skills, and most importantly years and 10's of thousands of shots of practice perfecting their craft. It does not happen magically Joe.

For these action shots though - shoot a higher ISO and get a SS of at least 1//800 for soccer and 1/1000 if you can manage. At 1/640s you will see motion blur in the ball and feet at least. At ISO200 and F/4 you have room to move with both these parameters to get higher S/S

Hope this helps
 
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Are you talking about these particular images, or others. These look OK to me anyhow - but they are not cropped tight enough to see really how sharp they truly are.

It's a bit confusing when you blame bad hand-held technique and then also say that you want to return the lens in the same thread ? Maybe the focus speed on the Tamron's not going to give you as fast a focus as Nikon AF-S or Sigma HSM, but, it ought to be OK.

To get the sort of shots you see guys like Mike Mac post that are crystal sharp there are a lot of factors - equipment, technique, opportunity, post processing skills, and most importantly years and 10's of thousands of shots of practice perfecting their craft. It does not happen magically Joe.

For these action shots though - shoot a higher ISO and get a SS of at least 1//800 for soccer and 1/1000 if you can manage. At 1/640s you will see motion blur in the ball and feet at least. At ISO200 and F/4 you have room to move with both these parameters to get higher S/S

Hope this helps

Thanx for the help Darren. I'm just venting my frustrations. I took over 100 shots tonight and these 3 were the best. The rest are OOF. It HAS to be my handholding techniques. What else could I be doing wrong? I undertand I need to get my SS up over 1/800. So at least for the next practice I can work on that. Is there anything else i need to do? I also tried using my monopod ( not tonight), and got even worse results.
 
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The most likely cause of OOF shots in sports (assuming that the shutter speed is high enough to freeze motion blur) is simply that the camera has not finished acquiring focus before pushing the button. That maybe you being impatient or it maybe the lens not acquiring or losing focus in that split second. Very hard to tell at this end. You can try a different lens, or, test your AF skills on different moving objects to test.
 
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I'm thinking it has to be me. I went throuh the same thing when I had the Sigma 70-200. I know it's something I REALLY have to practice to hone any kind of real skill.

Also when I try shooting soccer I'm not panning, I just try to look through the view finder and click the shutter. Kind of like I do when shooting something stationary. I'm not sure if this is the right approach.
 
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Joe, take a deep breath.

Better?

First of all, i think these 3 pics are outstanding. Great job!

A couple of things jump out at me right away though. ISO 100/200 and slower shutter speeds then necessary.

The reason your shots are blurry is not hand holding or lack of VR, it's because of motion. There are a few reasons for this possibly,

1) the players were moving too fast for the shutter speed
2) The players were moving too fast for the screw driven focus to keep up, which combined with the open aperture = very little room for error (shallow dof, a player could be out of the sweet spot in fractions of a second).

To fix number one, you need to bump up the ISO, i know that everyone knocks the D200 and it's noise, but i'm sure iso 400 is useable, and 800 is probably fine too... i hope. That will help get your shutter speed up...

To fix number 2, i would follow number 1 as well as stopping down to 5.6 to give you a bigger margin of error with DOF. Next time you shoot try these two things and see how yo do.

I had the privilage of using my friends sigma 70-200 macro II yesterday, it focused incredbly fast and accurate, and i found the colors it produced to my liking, but it dad lack a little overall sharpness.

If i were you, I would look for a nice used sample of the Nikon 80-200 AFS. You get affordability, sharpness, contrast, speed and focusing power in an inexpensive package, just a few more bucks than you paid for the Tammy.

HOpe that helps :smile:
 
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Following the action is required. The best shots will be where you have focus acquired and track for a bit, at least 1/2s before firing - I am assuming you are using AF-C

Just practice I think is the best remedy.
 
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Joe,

You're too hard on yourself...these images look good. I think your shutter speed is too slow.

I shot this image a couple of days ago...my data:

F2.8 / 1/6400 sec / AP/ 200mm / (spot metering) / ISO 250

IMGL3860_JP.jpg
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I say raise that shutter speed.

Please excuse the image...it has not been pp'ed...straight out of the camera...not even a crop yet.

So what happened to the lens that you dropped? Did that get fixed?
 
T

topher04r1

Guest
alright.... i've given this some thought joe.... and here are some things that i think may help....

#1 use more Shutter speed (and a bigger f/stop to get it if need be im thinking f/3.5 or so) ... lets start at 1000th of a second.... until you dial in your handholding to where you like it this will make a slight body shake or tremor a non issue .... seriously... you could have an earthquake and still get a solid shot with that........

if your shots are still off your problem may be your camera body / lens combo struggleing to keep up with the players ..... screw drive lens(s) often times struggle as i'm sure you know ....
try as daren suggested and hold down the shutter button or af-on button and make SURE you have a good focus lock before you click that shutter....

#2 Please post up one of your "bad" shots joe that may actually let us help more....

#3 if you suspect your lens may be the culprit a REALLY good and simple solution is to check out a place like rentglass.com or one of the other lens rental sites.... get your hands on a 70-200 VR and re-test with the same settings...
 
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Joe,

You might also try single point AF. The Dynamic modes tend to bounce the AF sensors all over the place...do some of your shots have knees in focus and faces OOF?

My .02. Hope this helps.
 
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a lot of great advice here
1 thing....
it would be great to post-process the images before deciding
#2 i think will be fine
i am at work now... no pp software here

if you MAXIMIZE the "potential" of #2, i bet it will be nice
 
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a lot of great advice here
1 thing....
it would be great to post-process the images before deciding
#2 i think will be fine
i am at work now... no pp software here

if you MAXIMIZE the "potential" of #2, i bet it will be nice


So, Greg, is this why, when I go to the doctor, my appointment is at 9:30 and the doctor is to busy to see me until 10:45? NikonCafe? :biggrin:
 
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I'm looking at picking up this lens. I've seen a few reviews now. 2 being dpreview and UK's Professional Photography magazine. Both had said that at 2.8 and the ends of the range the IQ is equal if not better than the Canon and Nikkor. However, the dpreview mentioned focus in-accuracy. Try shooting something simple on a tripod, dpreview found 6 out of 10 shots oof.

However, the magazine said the focus was fast and accurate. Yet I've also seen several sources say that this lens is not screw driven. Can you tell us if it is or isn't screw driven?

I'd first test to see if the lens is focussing accurately, and try changing AF-C release priority to focus then you won't have any OOF images, but may miss a couple.
 
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The photo magazine lie. Believe nothing you read in them as far as reveiws go. I like the pretty picture's and the slick ad's. But the editorial content is tainted. So since you tasted the bad wine on OOF :frown:, Maby it's time to get some fast AIS glass and skip the AF. For the same money, you could get a used Nikkor 300 2.8 ED-IF AIS. Than grab a tripod and and wimberly head. It makes using heavy Nikkor's like 300 2.8 ED-IF simple to use. In my experience even the Mono pods are prone to camera shake. Photography is supposed to be fun. Letting the camera make bad focusing decisions isnt any fun. Your not going to be a Manual Focus God the first day. But trust me with some experience you will get the hang of it in no time. And Imagine the satisfaction of knowing you took the picture. Not some stupid machine.:smile:
If your going to stick with your gear you got, boost the shutter speed to at least 1000 of a second. And bump up the ISO.

Gregory
 
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So, Greg, is this why, when I go to the doctor, my appointment is at 9:30 and the doctor is to busy to see me until 10:45? NikonCafe? :biggrin:

LOL
that is funny
my office hours actually start at 0615...
end at 3:30
always been that way

to care for kids before parents have to get to work

long-time patients know how much photography means to me
they always show me their pictures and most check my smugmug site from time-to-time

ah....
i better go see someone now..... :tongue:.... :biggrin:
 
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I shoot a good bit of soccer, and I think the recommendation of a tripod, wimberly head and manual focus lens is a recipe for disaster for someone just beginning to shoot sports. I suppose it's possible, but you would have to have major photog skills to pull that off. I do think that using a monopod, even with a 70-200 is a good idea - it just quickly and inexpensively goes a long way toward eliminating possible problem of camera shake. It can limit you, but that can be a good thing, at least at first. Also, I think that shutter speeds of 640 are good enough to stop the action of the small soccer players like the young lad posted but maybe not good enough to completely freeze the ball with the bigger kids. But I didn't read that motion blur on the ball was the issue. I agree that the photos posted can be greatly improved in pp and also agree that we would be of more assistance looking at the bad shots because the shots posted were very acceptable shots.
 
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I LOVE the amount of help and advice I'm getting here. I thank you all IMMENSELY!!

I'm going to start a new thread with the shots I took of soccer that are OOF. I HOPE you guys can get me on the right track.
 
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I LOVE the amount of help and advice I'm getting here. I thank you all IMMENSELY!!

I'm going to start a new thread with the shits I took of soccer that are OOF. I HOPE you guys can get me on the right track.

Good idea buddy!
 

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