high school football

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by The Dave©, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. The Dave©

    The Dave© Guest

    Situational question:

    I was at a high school football game the other night. I had my trusty
    Canon 10D and 28-105mm f3.5-5.6 zoom lens. I considered my 100-300mm
    f5.6L, but decided against it. Anyway, as the evening wore on I was
    having a hard time getting sharp shots. In this case I was using the
    sports/action program, which I normally never do. I also had the ISO
    set to 100, which I think now I should've set to 400. I was also using
    a polarizer to reduce glare.

    Basically, the question is: What can I do to get sharper shots after
    the sun goes down and the lights are on? I don't have fast zoom
    lenses, as I normally do landscape and night photography, so my
    equipment leans toward that. I have thought of the following scenarios:

    - Set ISO to 400, continue using 28-105mm f3.5-5.6 zoom, with or
    without the polarizer.

    - Use my 50mm f1.8 II. I would need to move closer, I guess, but it's
    not a place where I can get too close. Would the increased sharpness
    from the faster shutter speed make up for cropping in Photoshop later?

    - Ideally, I'd like to use the 100-300mm f5.6L, to zoom in even closer,
    but it is slow. I do not have a monopod, but could use my tripod as a
    monopod. I've gotten fantastic action shots in bright daylight with it
    before. Maybe sans polarizer and set the ISO to either 400 or 800.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks.
    The Dave©, Aug 31, 2004
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  2. The Dave©

    Matt Clara Guest

    Sounds like you know what to do: Definitely ditch the polarizer, and push
    the ISO to 800, at least. Get/rent a faster lens, if at all possible. Try
    the tripod. If you're not running up and down the field, a good pan head
    would be ideal.
    Matt Clara, Sep 1, 2004
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  3. The Dave©

    PGG Guest

    Situational question:
    I'd be surprised if _any_ shots were sharp.
    No polarizer. You lose too much light. Besides, it is worthless in this

    Yes, higher ISO. Even 800.

    Use your tripod as is, or as a monopod.

    Doesn't your 10D display the shutter speed in the viewfinder? You need
    something faster than 1/125.
    PGG, Sep 1, 2004
  4. The Dave©

    The Dave© Guest

    In the JV game, when the sun with still bright, they were fine.
    I was hoping to reduce glare, and such. It did make the colors more
    pleasing, at least in the viewfinder, but I think you're right.
    It does, yes. I feel stupid about the ISO because I knew the shutter
    speeds were slow and it didn't even occur to me to bump up the ISO.
    The Dave©, Sep 1, 2004
  5. The Dave©

    The Dave© Guest

    The faster zoom lens would be hard, at the moment. I just got back
    from vacation and have a stricter than usual budget after seeing my
    cell phone bill (!!!). I will lose the polarizer and bump the ISO to
    800, though. How about using the 50mm f1.8 instead of the 28-105mm
    f3.5-5.6 zoom? I wouldn't get in as close, but it is a faster lens.
    The Dave©, Sep 1, 2004
  6. The Dave©

    Alan Browne Guest

    Definitely higher ISO (one of the great things about digital) and
    forget the polarizer ... good hood and INCLUDE some of the
    lights directly ... adds dynamic to a night game photo.

    Consider your 100-300 also. Not so bad, and keep it to under
    200mm if it is soft long.

    Speed (shutter, T) priority would be my selection rather than an
    auto setting.
    Dump the pol .. for that matter try 800 ISO.
    I think you'll do better with a higher ISO 400 - 800 and the
    100-300 (or the lens you're already using.

    As said, high ISO with relatively low noise increase is one of
    the great things about digital. Unlike film, the "grain" (pixel
    size) stays the same regardless of ISO setting. The noise is in
    the dynamic only.

    Alan Browne, Sep 1, 2004
  7. The Dave©

    Mark M Guest

    The polarizer is doing basically nothing in that setting, except that it's
    darkening your shots even further, which is forcing your already-slow (dark
    5.6) lens to be even darker...giving you even longer sutter speeds. This
    just won't work.

    Ditch the pol filter (useless), set the camera to 800, and forget using a
    It's just not practical, or particularly useful for a football game.
    Further...if you can't get a shutter speed fast enough to deal with the
    effects of camera-shake, then you're screwed anyway due to subject player
    motion...meaning a tripod won't help you. Further still...you need to be
    moving up and down the field as the game moves from region to region. A
    tripod will make this impossilble to do without real hassle. You've got to
    get that shutter speed up around 1/250th or they'll be quite blurry. Pick
    up a monopod if you want support.

    About 800 ISO: You will find that you are FAR more pleased with noisier
    shots (from higher ISO) than you will be with blurry, noiseless shots (due
    to lower ISO but insufficiently high shutter speeds). If you STILL can't
    get into the 1/250th or 1/350th range, bump it clear up to 1600 if you have
    to. Much better off doing that than to blur all your shots in the name of
    low noise.

    Remember...that at 800 or even 1600, that noise isn't bad at all unless
    you're blowing shots up.
    You don't indicate what will be done with the images (school paper?...4x6
    Mark M, Sep 1, 2004
  8. The Dave©

    Colin D Guest

    Agreed, no polarizer. A polarizer loses you more than half your ISO
    speed, so your effective speed was about 40. I would push your ISO to
    1600 as well. Based on my 300D (same sensor as your 10D) indoor
    performance at an effective 3,200 ISO (I shot 1 stop under at 1600 ISO
    using RAW, effectively 3200), you will get shots that aren't too noisy.
    My keeper shots cleaned up very well in Neat Image, but even without
    that they were less noisy than 800 ISO film. Run some trials at the
    higher ISOs and convince yourself.

    Colin D.
    Colin D, Sep 1, 2004
  9. The Dave©

    Matt Clara Guest

    The players would be dots on a field with stands and everything else...use
    the long zoom, keep the short zoom handy for backup.
    Matt Clara, Sep 1, 2004
  10. I have had similar problems, so just hired a fast 2.8 lens

    You can shoot ISO800, and your shutter will need to be around 1/500th to
    reduce motion blur. What you can do is shoot RAW, and underexpose images by
    ..5 to 1 full stop - this will get you faster shutter speed, and you can try
    change the exposure afterwards, if shooting in a format that will allow

    Be also wary of lens flare from lights - you'll need a decent lens hood.

    Good Luck!

    Surfworx Photography, Sep 1, 2004
  11. The Dave©

    columbotrek Guest

    I was on my High School newspaper. Before digital cameras. Before auto
    anything. My longest lens was 58mm f/1.4. I used Tri-X iso 400. I had
    a field pass and so could shoot from the side lines at least. It was
    always a trade off between DOF and shutter speed. Being good at
    predicting the action is key. It allowed me to prefocus and anticipate
    exposures so all I had to do was frame and shoot. Then I enlarged the
    image and cropped until I got what I needed. Often that meant blowing
    up an image to 11 X 14 size or even bigger and copping out a 4 X 5.
    Grain for sure but my work was good enough to get published each week in
    the school newspaper. Not saying a lot I know. But the the publisher
    got through half toning the image, the grain didn't matter so much. If I
    had to use slow glass and iso 100 film plus a polarizer I would have
    been SOL. I don't think that I could have seen well enough to focus the
    camera. Today with what you say you have to work with, I would run the
    ISO up very high, ditch the filters, and most likely use the 100-300
    lens. Getting images with less grain or noise is why we buy fast glass.
    No fast glass can mean less desireable pictures. Fact of life. I
    don't recall ever wishing for wide angle at the foot ball game. Most
    important, have fun.
    columbotrek, Sep 1, 2004
  12. The Dave©

    Skip M Guest

    Well, you lost 2 stops, or in that neighborhood, with the polarizer, so ISO
    400 would be the minimum, and more like 800. In fact, 800 under the lights
    would be about as low as you should go, WITHOUT the pola filter.
    The 50 f1.8 isn't really a good option for sports, unless you're trying to
    get the entire width of the field from the 50 yard line to the goal line in
    one shot. The 100-300 would be a much better choice, but, at 300, you
    definitely need a 'pod of some sort. If you're going to do this more than
    once, get an inexpensive monopod and ball head.
    Skip M, Sep 1, 2004
  13. The Dave©

    The Dave© Guest

    Surprisingly, this has been the area of digital that I have the hardest
    time with... remembering that ISO can be changed at any time and
    without all the adverse affects of higher ISO film.
    The Dave©, Sep 1, 2004
  14. The Dave©

    The Dave© Guest

    I was thinking of using the tripod as a monopod, but I'd really rather
    go handheld on this one.
    I have thought prints as large as 8x10 if something comes out good.
    The Dave©, Sep 1, 2004
  15. The Dave©

    Mark M Guest

    Even at that size, you will do fairly well with the somewhat noisy (though
    amazingly clean for the ISO) shots. Remember... If you go with lower ISO,
    NONE of your shots will come out worth anything because their movements will
    blur every shot (save for the boring ones before each play begins).

    I have a 1600 ISO shot from my 10D framed and in my office, and it looks
    very nice--with a "grain" reminiscent of film.
    Mark M, Sep 1, 2004
  16. The Dave©

    Mark M Guest

    I agree with what you say here, though I can imagine frustration being
    limited to a 58mm lens for football! My, but those players must have looked
    Mark M, Sep 1, 2004
  17. The Dave©

    Jerry L. Guest

    Easy...ditch the digital thing for night football images.

    You need something in a f2.8 (or f2) lens, a 135mm to 200mm lens, a
    decent flash unit, and ISO 800 film for results that may be good,
    depending if you are on the sidelines or not.
    = = =
    Jerry L., Sep 1, 2004
  18. The Dave©

    Mark M Guest

    My apologies to Jerry L., but...
    --This is poor advice from clear inexperience.
    You already have a superb DSLR and don't need to "ditch digtal" at all.
    In fact, you're in far better shape than you would be with film in this
    No Jerry...Flash won't help. Speed and range make it mostly useless,
    AND...coaches do NOT like flashes going off in their receiver's eyes right
    next to the sideline.
    You don't have to buy another lens....
    And... film offers you no advantage for the concerns you posted.

    You've got what you need for decent pictures.
    If you follow my other post (and some other good advice here), you'll do
    pretty well with what you've already got.
    Mark M, Sep 1, 2004
  19. The Dave©

    Colin D Guest

    No chance. A camera with the performance of a Canon 10D or 300D set at
    1600 ISO can blow away 800 ISO film in a walk. Flash units at a
    football match?? You are joking, aren't you?

    Colin D.
    Colin D, Sep 1, 2004
  20. The Dave©

    Alan Browne Guest

    The key word there is "all", it is still a bit noisy, just
    nowhere as bad as 100 -> 800 in film.

    Alan Browne, Sep 1, 2004
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