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Old Sep 11, 2009, 8:17 AM   #1
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Default Shooting Hockey Under Lights

Tomorrow night is the Grand Final for my local Hockey comp and its being played under lights.

Usually I try and set it 1 or 2 stops + to compensate for the light but I really wanna get some keepers because they are a must for the magazine. Im just wondering what others would set their cameras up as. My settings so far will be as follows...

AV Setting
f4 (lense is an f4 - 5.6)
ISO 800 or 1600 (1600 gives me REALLY bad grain)
AWB
L photo size
Central focusing
AI Servo

Any other suggestions?

Im using a Canon 20D with 70-300mm f4-5.6 lense
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 8:26 AM   #2
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Sorry to say you are not going to get anything worth keeping with the setup mentioned when shooting under the lights.

Setting the lens to f4 will only be available at the 70mm setting so as soon as you zoom it will drop to f4.5, f5 and then f5.6 from about 180 or 200mm.

Generally under lights to get usable shutter speeds you need ISO 3200 and f2.8. This is 3 stops brighter than you are thinking of with ISO800 and f4. Now you should be OK if you get a proper exposure when using ISO3200 and use some noise reduction software. However this is still one stop down as you have f4 as a maximum so probably you are only looking at 1/160s or 1/200s at best. Then as soon as you start zooming you will get worse and worse shutter speeds.

Now, I would check if flash photography is allowed then if you have a good external flash you might be able to get something usable.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 8:40 AM   #3
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Going on from that, under the lights you want to normally shoot manual, your problem is that the lens isn't fixed maximum aperture so that goes out of the window if you zoom. AV will cause problems different coloured shirts etc but you have no choice currently.

I honestly don't think you are going to get anything magazine standard under the circumstances.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 8:43 AM   #4
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I'm with Mark. The 70-300 isn't going to get you magazine quality shots under lights. If it's that important of an event my suggestion is to rent a 70-200 2.8 or 135mm 2.0 lens (preferably the 135). You'll likely have to shoot ISO 3200 @ f2.8 to get faces exposed properly unless it's a very well lit arena.
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Old Sep 12, 2009, 2:03 AM   #5
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Bugger
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 8:17 AM   #6
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I've started to shoot hockey this season and it sure is a challenge. I'm using a D2H with 80-200/F2.8, custom WB, manual mode, iso at 1600 or higher which results in huge noise, shutter at 1/250-not so many good shots (blurry) up to 1/500 which gives me better success rate, exposure comp at around +2. Any helpful tips would be helpful. Thanks!

example photos here www.thezoompro.fotki.com

Louis
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 8:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louisdelapena View Post
I've started to shoot hockey this season and it sure is a challenge. I'm using a D2H with 80-200/F2.8, custom WB, manual mode, iso at 1600 or higher which results in huge noise, shutter at 1/250-not so many good shots (blurry) up to 1/500 which gives me better success rate, exposure comp at around +2. Any helpful tips would be helpful. Thanks!

example photos here www.thezoompro.fotki.com

Louis
It looks like you have a lot of underexposed photos and as you mention exposure compensation I would guess you are using aperture priority.

When shooting indoors or under the lights you want to be on manual exposure. When you are sorting exposure you want to expose for skin tones.

Next it seems you have missed focus quite a bit. Only use centre point for focus and have it on continuous. Practise panning smoothly with the players, this will help with blur and also allow the camera to lock focus.
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 9:42 AM   #8
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Thanks Mark!

I'm actually shootiong in manual mode. So how should I deal with exposure comp? I do have continuous mode selected, not sure about if I'm using centre focus. I'll need to check on that.
Thanks!

Louis
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 10:23 AM   #9
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Exposure comp doesn't do anything in manual mode, you compensate by adjusting aperture or shutter speed. As you are probably wide open you would just need to slow the shutter down or boost the ISO.
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 10:48 AM   #10
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Thanks Mark!! I''l set exp. comp to 0. I do shoot wide open, so I'll play with the ISO or shutter, probably try higher IS0 1600 or 3200. One more question for you if you aren't tired of me by now. I should be using center weighted metering, yes? What AF area mode do you recommend? Dynamic, group dynamic, or dynamic with closet subj. priority.

thanks for your knowledge!

louis
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