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Old Mar 20, 2008, 4:08 PM   #1
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I have been trying to get some decent results at ice hockey for a while now. The ones are the best ones ive gotten so far. And i think ive succesfully frozen the action. All photos were taked with the Nikon d80 and my 50mm1.8, 1/500, f2.2, iso 1000. AS per usual any and all C&C is welcome.












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Old Mar 21, 2008, 10:00 AM   #2
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stoneage,

The biggest issue with these is the framing. The net is really too far away from the goaltender to make including both interesting. By doing so, the background becomes a huge distraction and your subject (the goaltender) is filling up a small portion of the frame. In addition, on shots 1&2 you're behind him. FACES make shots interesting.

Also, 50mm really isn't long enough for the shots. Even with wide shots like this, the sharpness isn't there. A 50mm lens is best used for shots of people out to about 15 feet and that's it. sharpness just isn't there from further away.

So, you've gotten the necessary shutter speeds to freeze the puck, which is good. But you need tighter framing and reach the 50mm isn't capable of giving you.

Shot 1 would work if you were in front of him and the shot was framed tightly around him and the puck. It's the best timed shot in the group but framed too loosely.

The key word here being 'framed'. Notice I didn't say 'cropped'. At low light, high ISO sports you can't crop heavily. You need your subject filling 2/3 - 3/4 of the frame to begin with.

So, really two parts to getting better shots:

1: your positioning and framing - tighter on the action and show faces. If you can't make out facial details it wasn't framed tight enough.

2: you'll need a better lens for the job. The 50mm is too short to frame tight enough in-camera to get sharp shots.
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Old Mar 25, 2008, 1:33 PM   #3
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To be honest hockey is not my thing. But here is a link to some galleries of a fellow sports shooter that does a lot of it. This should give you some concrete examples of what I'm talking about regarding framing and getting faces:
http://www.winger.smugmug.com/Sports


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Old Mar 28, 2008, 11:20 AM   #4
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JohnG,

Thanks for your help. I can completely understand why the framing is off. As well as why the shots would be much better if faces we included.

I also undertand that the lens i was using is not meant for the subject matter i am shooting. Unfortunately its the best ive got for now. A lens i am considering spending my tax return on is the two-ring version of the nikon 80-200 2.8 or the non VR nikon 70-200 2.8. Do you have any experience with these lenses.Or is there any reason you would suggest against this lense? I would most likely alsouse this lense for the soccer games i attend.



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Old Mar 28, 2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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StoneAge wrote:
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A lens i am considering spending my tax return on is the two-ring version of the nikon 80-200 2.8 or the non VR nikon 70-200 2.8. Do you have any experience with these lenses.Or is there any reason you would suggest against this lense? I would most likely alsouse this lense for the soccer games i attend.
Unfortunately I dont have experience with them as I shoot Canon. IQ wise, the 80-200 is supposed to be very good. The question you want answered is how does the AF stack up against the 70-200 (the vr isn't very relevant for sports so if the af were as good I would opt for the less expensive 80-200).

Now, having said that - if you're talking outdoor soccer then 200mm is really very short. If it's a full size field it's too short. Ideally you would want 400mm or more but 300mm can do. This of course assumes you're on the field and not in the stands or behind a fence. If you're behind the fence then 400mm is a minimum - 600 would be better.

if games are day time and you're not interested in hockey anymore then I would suggest the sigma 100-300 f4 ($1000) as an excellent choice for soccer. You can even use a 1.4x TC on it. But of course that lens won't be bright enough for the hockey.

But be aware, the working range of a 200mm lens is about 25 yards give or take. That's woefully inadequate for soccer even from on the field. So you could end up spending a lot of money on the VR and still get a lot of poor results because it just isn't long enough.
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