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Old Feb 13, 2008, 11:46 PM   #1
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Hi
I just got a Rebel xti and am wanting to capture some pics of my kids playing hockey before the season is over. I will be using a canon 70-200 f2.8. (not IS). The rink is about average light for small town rinks. My kids are only 5 and 8 so won't be moving too terribly fast. What camera settings should I start with to give me a chance for a few decent shots?

Thank you very much for your help.

Carson
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 6:16 AM   #2
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Well there aren't any standard settings as every rink is different. Here is what I would suggest for your settings to see what you can get.

Use Av and set to f2.8 as this will allow as much light into the camera as possible, ISO 1600 as this again will allow the fastest shutter speed. As the ice is going to make the camera think it is a lot brighter there than it really is I would dial in +2/3 exposure compensation otherwise everything is going to be underexposed. Usually I would suggest shooting indoor sports (and even outdoor) with full manual as your lighting is pretty consistant, however that is going to take a bit more work and this should give you a start.

Oh3other things, set the focus to center point and AI Servo and put the shutter to continuous.

When shooting, track your children for a while with the shutter half depressed to allow the camera to get a lock so you have the best chance of in focus shots and fire of a burst of say 3 at a time.

Give that a bash and see how you get on.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 6:18 AM   #3
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Carson,

Here are some general settings to get started with. But you'll have to tweak them a bit. You'll also need to get some noise reduction software (noiseware, neatimage, noise ninja are all good products).
  1. Set focus mode to AI-Servo[/*]
  2. Set focus point to center point only[/*]
  3. Set ISO to 1600[/*]
  4. Set exposure mode to manual (M)[/*]
  5. Set aperture to 2.8[/*]
  6. Set shutter speed to 1/400[/*]
  7. Take some pratice shots of them on the ice - zoomed in tight. How do the faces look on the LCD? Too bright? Too Dark? Adjust your shutter speed up or down until the faces look about right - you do NOT want the faces dark.[/*]
  8. Set a custom WB. I've heard some people will use the ice itself for 'white' but I can't comment on that. Your manual will tell you how to set custom WB[/*]
  9. shoot jpeg large fine
[/*]
Now, here are some keys for success:
  1. Use portrait orientation - not landscape. your subjects are more vertical than horizontal so you'll get better framed shots if you shoot with portrait orientation. Before next season, invest in a battery grip so control of the shutter is more comfortable.[/*]
  2. FRAME TIGHTLY. You need to do this for focus accuracy and sharpness. Your shubject should fill at least 3/4 of the frame IN CAMERA. You'll be very nervous about framing so tight. You'll have to get over that nervousness. [/*]
  3. You'll also have the urge to shoot everything going on - resist the urge. Depending on your shooting location, 200mm isn't long enough to cover the entire rink. So wait until your subject is close enough to fill 3/4 of the frame.[/*]
  4. keep the focus point on an area of cntrast - that's how the focus system works - it has to detect contrast. Preferably the helmet/face area but you can use the uniform too - up by the chest though if possible (not waste since often the chest will extend over the waste with legs a bit behind - if you focus on the waste the face will be slightly OOF).[/*]
  5. acquire focus on your subject and track them for at least a second before taking the shot. Take 2-3 shot bursts. You'll find one of the three is usually sharper than the others. Eventually you'll get better at your technique and can take 1-2 shot bursts.
[/*]
Good luck and have fun!
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 8:51 AM   #4
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Hi
Thanks very much for the start. I will give it a try tonight.
Carson
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 10:27 PM   #5
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Hi
Thanks again for the tips. I tried setting my rebel xti to the settings Mark suggested and I think they gave me a good start. I also tried John's suggestion but wasn't as lucky (I might have messed something up - I'll try again). They look a bit overexposed - I should ______?

I shot using the RAW and picture setting as I read the RAW would allow me to adjust WB using software if needed. The WB looks Ok to me though - I left it on auto - what do you think? If they continue to look Ok is there any point in continuing to shoot in RAW?? - takes up a lot of space - but if it is worth it?? - The RAW does seem to look sharper than the jpg but is that because it is such a larger file??

I had heard other's taking hockey pics with much lower ISO - are they likely in nice bright arenas?


- Sorry - I tried to attach a couple of photos but they wouldn't take - I clicked "Choose File" clicked on the pic and then "Choose" but got nothing - Is this system Mac friendly?

Thanks again.
Carson[img][/img]
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 3:15 AM   #6
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Hi Carson,

I'm glad you got some usable shots last night.

As you are keen and seem pretty switched on (some people here really aren't LOL - no names), I would give the shooting in manual a try again. As John rightly said you are exposing for the faces so if they are too bright then you need to increase the shutter speed or if you are managing to get 1/500s or higher you can bring down the ISO to give a cleaner image.

As for some people shooting with lower ISO, there is a huge difference with the lighting of the rinks so John and I were being cautious to give you the best chance. Another thing that a lot of people do is shot with ISO too low as they think it is better to have a cleaner image but they are inadvertently under exposing and then have to do a lot of editing to bring it back which means they don't have the benefits they thought. Basically do what you need to get a right exposure out of the camera even if you are at higher ISO's as in the end the result is better.

If you want to post photos the easiest way unless you have somewhere else you have them hosted add one photo per post by clicking the browse..... button just below where you enter your post. Make sure the photos are not too large and then just do another reply with the 2nd photo etc. Check this link out with more info on doing this http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...amp;forum_id=2

Looking forward to seeing the shots.

Mark
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 8:45 AM   #7
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Hi

Thanks - I will need to do lots of experimenting I'm sure. I tried using the button just below where I post - I can see the file location but then when I do a preview or a send the it goes back to "no file chosen". I'll read the thread you attached and will try again.

Carson
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 8:50 AM   #8
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Here may be a photo if it works -
Carson

- guess not -
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 12:48 PM   #9
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Are your photos hosted somewhere on the web? If not, then it won't work. If so, you should be able to copy the specific url for the photo, click on the 'insert image' icon in your post toolbar, then paste the url for your photo. Its that simple.

All this buildup - I can't wait to see the pics now...

Jason




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Old Feb 15, 2008, 2:16 PM   #10
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Hi

I don't have any pics on the web - I thought these was a way to post them from my computer. I'm not overy crazy about putting pics of my kids on the web. Are there any photo sharring sites that are "secure".

Carson
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