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Old Sep 26, 2008, 10:26 PM   #1
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And I decided to move into the world of flash football. I have to say I really like the results. The red is a bit oversaturated (a tendancy of my camera in bright conditions) but that can be toned down. These were shot at ISO 1000, f4 and flash. The nice thing about using f4, flash and lower ISO is I could actually get away with cropping. Again C&C welcome:

1.



2.



3.



4.



5.



6.



7.



8.



9.



10.


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Old Sep 27, 2008, 3:34 PM   #2
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Wonderful shots John!, how did you set up the flash? was it above camera on a bracket or below on the monopod?. Never mind the redI love the saturation. #6 is my pick of a very good bunch!!
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 4:05 PM   #3
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Thanks Graham!

I had it mounted on the monopod below to get more distance. Out of about 130 flash shots only 2 had red-eye I think. I also used an external battery pack. I think the flash will be a regular part of my football shooting now. while the mkIII has excellent high ISO performance you still don't get as much detail on the faces. The flash really solves that - plus working at f4 allows for sharper results.

Thanks for looking!
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Old Sep 29, 2008, 2:56 PM   #4
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John,

These shots look great. The first looks a tad OOF. I like 2,3,5 and 8. Number 4 looks like that defender could have gotten himself kicked out of the game for holding the opponents helmet like that. Number 9 has a bit of clipping of the left hand/foot and number 10 would have been the best if the player had his head up making that catch/interception.

What is the recycle time of your flash set-up? I know flash power diminishes if you shoot in continuous mode, but have you tried that. Also, what lens did you use? I figure it is the sigma 120-300mm 2.8. Lastly, do you think you would venture to use a fresnel lens flash extender?

Mahalo,

Tom
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Old Sep 29, 2008, 4:19 PM   #5
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Thanks Tom.

On the first shot I used my website (smugmug) cropping tool to crop down on it and the results were a bit less than expected.

On #9 I agree but that's the way the shot ended up - it hasn't been cropped. Sometimes they just get that close :-)

I hear you about the reception. I have terrible luck with receptions - and this team currently relies on the run a lot. And 300mm is just too short to get cross-field shots unless it's entirely perpendicular to my position. So I have to have a pass along my sideline WITHOUT someone in the way. It's the type of thing I would sit on more if I had time to shoot more games - i.e. spend 1/2 a game just sitting on the receivers to get shots of them making a play. That's where having long glass and shooting from the endzone is good - from the middle of the field you can cover the entire width and get receivers anywhere. But I don't have a 400mm 2.8 so.

As for flash use in continuous shot - recharge was OK - the problem is you're going to miss a shot when that happens. Furthermore you can't to my knowledge force the flash to re-charge. So assuming the flash used 1/4 power (I wish I could see in EXIF how much it uses - THAT would be useful info) you would get 4 shots. Problem is - if you take a 3 shot burst the flash stays at 1/4 power. Then you take a 3 shot burst and shot 2 of the 3 is underexposed because the flash wasn't charged in time. Normally in football I take 3-4 shot bursts. But when using the flash I limited it to 2 as I didn't want to risk the flash overheating.

Yes it was my 120-300 2.8. But as for using an extender there is no need. 300mm is good for about 40 yards of coverage no more. At ISO 800, f4 the flash reach is somewhere about 46 yards. Since I used ISO 1000 that extends a bit. So the lens runs out of useful reach before the flash does. Even if I had a 400mm lens I would have just shot at 2.8 and the flash would reach the 50-60 yards 400mm can cover.

Thanks for looking and posting - all good feedback that I'm glad to get.
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Old Sep 29, 2008, 6:01 PM   #6
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John,

I figure that the resize for posting here can suffer a bit in what really isn't the end product on the your end.

I asked about continuous flash shooting out of curiousity. I am aware about how you can fry your flash and that one can miss shots as the flash may fire but not at the full intensity necessary to make that capture happen. Shooting higher iso does help the flash unit recycle faster and with the improved exposure using flash and that the iso performance of your MarkIII makes it not a real issue in image quality.

John, did you use go beyond 1/250th with your flash? Or did you just use Aperture Priority? I assume you shot manual and used high speed sync with your flash unit.

I find what you post here a standard to work toward. Your input and insight here and other forums is what makes it worth anyone's while to garner useful information and insightful critiques.

Hopefully, some reception shots are in the waiting for you to capture and share with us here. Some good hits from linebackers would be also something I would enjoy seeing taken by you.

Mahalo,

Tom
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Old Oct 1, 2008, 11:09 AM   #7
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Nice work with the flash and a darn good idea to place it below (lights up the players faces.) I have a night game this week on a field that will be using temporary lighting so I have a few questions:
1) What flash setup are you using (i.e. head and battery pack)
2) Can you post a picture of your setup? I would love to see how you attached it.
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Old Oct 1, 2008, 11:21 AM   #8
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I'm using 580exII with it's battery pack. I use a bogen clamp (B&H sells them) and off-shoe cord. The clamp and battery pack attach to the monopod. When I do this I have to switch from a kneeling to standing position to allow more distance between the flash and the camera. Also the flash is mounted upside down so there's more distance yet between them. Next time I put the rig togheter I'll take a snap of it but that won't be for a couple weeks likely :sad:
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Old Oct 1, 2008, 12:04 PM   #9
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JohnG wrote:
Quote:
I'm using 580exII with it's battery pack. I use a bogen clamp (B&H sells them) and off-shoe cord. The clamp and battery pack attach to the monopod. When I do this I have to switch from a kneeling to standing position to allow more distance between the flash and the camera. Also the flash is mounted upside down so there's more distance yet between them. Next time I put the rig togheter I'll take a snap of it but that won't be for a couple weeks likely :sad:
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately B&H is closed today for Rosh Hashanah. I'll have to stop in there tomorrow.

The good thing about living in Verona, NJ and working in the NYC is that I live 15 minutes from Mack Camera and Unique Photo and every day I walk within a block of B&H.

The bad thing is living and working so close to places where I like to spend money.
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Old Oct 1, 2008, 12:20 PM   #10
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Here is a link to another thread with pictures of a similar setup - rigged up using an 'l' bracket and hose clamp..

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=389984


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