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Old Aug 2, 2007, 4:24 PM   #1
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Hey guys. I bought this lens about 2 weeks ago. Could you guys/gals give me some comments good/bad welcome. Im a newbie, I can take it. :-D

The lens is a Sigma Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro IF Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS. I got it for $279 @ BHphoto. Its on a Canon 30D.
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 4:25 PM   #2
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slide 2


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Old Aug 2, 2007, 4:25 PM   #3
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slide 3, he was safe.
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 4:34 PM   #4
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basehit
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 4:35 PM   #5
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home run swing, this won the ballgame.3 run homer
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 5:40 PM   #6
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Hey, welcome to the sports forum. Thanks for starting a new post with this so we don't hijack the other thread!!

For a first time sports shooter, these aren't too bad. In fact, you're off to a good start. There are definitely some things that will improve your quality though.
  • If you want to shoot sports you need to get out of the pre-fab modes. No AUTO or SPORTS mode - they just don't cut it. Your pics got a little better when you switched to sports mode, but your shutter speeds were still too slow because sports mode only uses ISO 400. With a 5.6 aperture lens you often need faster shutter speeds than ISO 400 will give you.[/*]
  • The easiest way to start is in Aperrture Priority (AV) mode. [/*]
    • Set the camera to AV mode, [/*]
    • set themetering to PARTIAL METERING - you want to meter off your subject - not the whole image, [/*]
    • set focus mode to AI-Servo[/*]
    • Set camera to burst mode[/*]
    • Set aperture to widest value (5.6 in your case)[/*]
    • set ISO to 400 to start.[/*]
    • For baseball it's OK to use all focus points to start. In other sports you'll get better results with just center point but in baseball that isn't much of an issue.[/*]
    • Now, take some test shots of players. You want to check some things. First, you want to see if the FACES are exposed correctly. If it's sunny out and there are white uniforms you may have underexposed faces. Just look at your LCD to see. If they are, start dialing in Exposure Compensation until exposure of faces is right. +2/3 is fairly common[/*]
    • Once the exposure is correct, you want to see what shutter speeds you're getting. If you want to shoot batters, you want at least 1/2000. For other types of action, 1/1000 should be the goal, but 1/500 will do in a pinch. If you aren't getting fast enough shutter speeds then dial up the ISO until you hit 1600 or until you're getting fast enough shutter speeds. In poor light it's quite possible you won't be able to get fast enough speeds.
    [/*]
  • OK - now you've got the camera set up and it's time to take some pictures.[/*]
  • NUMBER 1 rule of sports photo composition: Frame TIGHT, crop TIGHTER. Your play at the plate shots aren't framed too loose but they could be tighter framed still. This assumes you haven't cropped the photos. If you cropped them then you definitely need to be framing tighter. The batter shots are framed way too looselyy. The catcher just isn't part of the action - so frame him out of the image. I see most of your shots were at around 220mm - you should be at 300mm until your subject no longer fits in the frame. Here's an example of what I mean (you want to be able to see the player's face):
[/*]

  • Shoot in the right orientation. 90% of your framing will be Portrait orientation unless you can really zoom in. The exception to the rule is plays at a bag like your first couple and some pitcher shots. Or, if you're tight enough on a batter. Otherwise, shooting landscape orientation leaves way too much dead space in the image.[/*]
  • Learn post processing - it's essential for mot photography but particularly sports photography. Unsharp Mask, cropping, Levels, Curves, Dodging, Noise Reduction are all essential parts of improving sports images. About 1% of sports photogs shoot great out-of-camera images. The rest of us need to process the images to get the most out of them.
[/*]
That should be good to get you going. There's more, but this is a good start.

If you're interested in sports shooting I definitely recommend you continue to seek feedback from other sports shooters - it's the best way to improve quickly. As any of the regulars in the sports forums will tell you - getting feedback from other sports shooters is the quickest way to get better. We've all had to learn so why not benefit from our experience?

Great start - looking forward to seeing more shots from you in the future.
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Old Aug 6, 2007, 2:31 AM   #7
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John is by far one of the best people on here for tips, so the only advice I can give is not to give up. Sports photography is not easy, but it's not impossible so keep the shots coming.

OT: Where in SC are you from?
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Old Aug 9, 2007, 11:26 PM   #8
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Thanks JohnGfor your advice. I may be going to a football game this weekend. Big change from the baseball game as it will be at night. Hopefully I will be able to get some good pics using your advice. I will post some of the pics. Do you have any advice for me for night settings?





I live in Spartanburg. Thanks, I will not give up, just keep taking many pics and keep playing with the settings. Its the only way to learn. :-)


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Old Aug 10, 2007, 4:33 AM   #9
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Shooting a Football game under the lights is going to be a really tough one. Your eye will look at everything and think yeah this is a good bright light, but your camera looks at it and goes "did you leave the lens cap on?". Most of us who have to shoot under the lights will be working with f2.8 lenses to allow as much light into the camera as possible. With your lens at the longer zoom ranges you are going to be working at f5.6 or even f6.3 which is over 2 stops darker. What does this mean in real terms? I expect to get 1/320th or 1/400th at f2.8 and ISO3200 under the lights however you are going to be down to 1/125that best down to 1/80th or so. Neither of which will make for sharp images.

If you have a good flash you might get somewhere if you are allowed to use flash, if not the only option is to keep the lens at the wide end and take atmospheric shots.

Good luck.
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