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Sports settings ?

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by antsplan, May 22, 2007.

  1. Hi which is best for sports ? AF-A or AF-C ? or indeed manual ?

    Also, single AF area, Dynamic area or Auto ? I have a few issues, one of which i have identified from reading on here is that my shutter is not fast enough, the other problem is areas of the subject appearing soft, I wonder if the settings I mention above are not correct in my camera ?

    Please see shots below, in which I can see some motion blur (I assume due to slow shutter speed,) but they also dont appear to be anywhere near as sharp on the subject like the others I see on here. Its actually kinda embarrassing to post these given the shots that you guys are producing, but there is only one way I'll learn............

    Anyone any ideas ? I def think I'll switch to ISO Auto and min 1/800 - 1/1000as suggested in the sticky.

    F7.1, 1/320, ISO100

    F8, 1/400, ISO160

    F7.1, 1/500, ISO160

    Any assistance/tips, greatly appreciated.
  2. I am by no means experienced, but have struggled with this myself.

    I prefer full manual, including ISO, but be aware of changing lighting conditions. AF-C, single AF area. Sport will pretty much set minimum shutter speed, aperature and ISO get traded off from there. Biggest challenge was in XC track. Running in and out of heavily wooded area overwhelmed my ability to keep up {pun intended}. Sports mode worked so much better for the drastically changing conditions.

    On your specific shot, they are great captures! On the first pic, almost looks like the camera focused on his knee or thigh. Baseball is going to require faster shutter then I'm using for track. One thing I've learned that is very important, if you're going into high ISO territory, it's critical to nail the exposure.
  3. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I certainly don't have all of the answers, but I sure would like to help. Here's what I recommend that you try:

    Aperture Priority Mode
    Aperture set to between wide open to f/8 (all dependant on what you are shooting)
    AF-C focusing
    ISO dependant on your ambient lighting and also to maintain fast shutter speeds
    WB dependant on your skies
    Matrix metering, but center-weighted should also be considered
    Dynamic focusing

    I am usually not in favor of automatic settings, so I seldom use those options. Sometimes, auto-WB is helpful when clouds and sun continually change the ambient lighting.

    Here's something that I shot through the chain-link backstop...

  4. Why A and not M?

    Why dynamic focusing?
  5. Gents, many thanks for the replies, lots to consider there. I will respond fully to each point tomorrow as its now late here - 00:25.

    I did do some shooting tonight at a local football (soccer) match, and left ISO at Auto, the light was going and just about everything came in at ISO 1600, OMG, they look real real bad, I wont be using ISO auto again - LOL
  6. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Well... aperture priority allows the shooter to control the depth of field with the camera fulfilling the shutter speed requirements. Since one never knows where the action will take place, shooting in manual mode would require us to find the action, acquire focus, then adjust the settings to get the proper exposure....and correctly adjust any EV correction. At almost 53 years of age, I'm just not that quick any longer.

    I find dynamic focusing to be the smoothest for shooting sports. I pick the recicle that I want to acquire focus with, then blast away.
  7. ok, I misunderstood what you meant by dynamic focus. I was thinking the camera automatically picking the focus point, and continuous focus

    Dave told me you like aperature, and I tried it Monday, but the lens and my camera were not playing nice together. I've tended to go full manual, because it's inevitable a glare will force the shutter up, or an apparent shadow will force the shutter down, ruining a shot.
  8. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    I tried shooting a triathlon a couple of weekends ago and used Aperture mode. What a disaster. When I was looking at shutter speeds prior to shooting, it choose speeds up around 1/1000 to 1/2000. Definitely fast enough to catch the action, so I thought.

    Imagine how I felt when I looked at a number of blurry photos later and discovered shutter speeds at 1/80. I wanted to rely partially upon automatic settings because I wanted my attention on the action.

    Triathlons start at first light, and conditions changed as I moved to different parts of the course. We also had a lot of haze from wildfires in the state, too.

    My lesson is that you shoot manual. I can save a slightly over or under-exposed image, but there's not much I can do with blurry. I may try going with shutter priority as another test, but I'm generally not pleased with the results that way. I think it's just important for me to get comfortable with manual exposure to capture images the way I want them.
  9. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I absolutely agree, each shooter has to be comfortable with their gear and how they set the exposure settings. I have learned plenty about sports action photography since joining the Cafe and I would never have been as successful without the input of a few of the members who shoot sports. I used to shoot in manual mode, then I opted for shutter priority....now, I only shoot sports in aperture priority. I shoot wide open when I want to blur my backgrounds, but stop down a bit if the play that I am trying to capture has more than one player and at different depths in the play. When I set up to shoot a game, I take a shot and view the histogram and highlights to see where I am, then I tweak my settings. My D2H bodies always seem to expose better with a bit of negative EV and that in itself helps me maintain my whites. Shooting in manual mode is wonderful if I were shooting in the same direction at something that had minimal movement, but these baseballs seem to fly all over the place and the lighting changes drastically. There just isn't enough time to tweak the settings on the fly....and acquire focus fast enough to get the shot.

    There is probably no right or wrong when it comes to how we set up our gear for our type of photography...I'm just glad that a few of the regulars here were generous enough to help me do better at my passion.:smile:
  10. Haibane


    Aug 14, 2006
    Smyrna, Georgia
    My opinions slightly differ than some. I like shooting my iso manual. Full sunlight usually about ISO 200. Cloudy up to 800. Night 1600-3200. I like to shoot in manual or shutter. I like to shoot minimum at 1/500th shutter speed.
  11. testy5


    May 22, 2006
    I m wondering why F7.1 or F8 for this kind of picture?? I would go at least to F/4 or less no ?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2007
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