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chris12 Dec 28, 2004 12:45 AM

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First day out with the 20D. Most of my history with a digi is a high end point and shoot.

I am into action photography and am trying to dial in problems with proper exposure in difficult lighting conditions. Most of the good snow is in north facing aspects so lots of shadows and bright backgrounds. I either have the athlete exposed correctly and the scenery under exposedor vice versa. I think in this shot (focal length was 17mm, F9, 1/200., ISOwas 400.

Also considering the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS.

Is the IS worth the upgrade for action shooting when shutter speeds are higher or will it help when I'm in the shade?.

this shot was hand held and I was so close to him with the 17-85 I had to pan him.



I just jumped in from the point and shoot category (Dimage 7i). I had decent success with that unit to an extent. I'm pretty much a rookie with manual modes but have some great shots.I shoot mainly winter scenes from climbing/skiing to Snowmobiling. Conditions for shooting are difficult, typically good snow is found in north facing aspects so I am in shadow's often with a bright background.

Now, I am considering the 70-200mm 2.8 IS but was wondering if I need the IS since I am shooting generally with higher shutter speeds. I felt with these 2 photos I was pushing it handheld.

1st shot is focal length 17mm,F9 1/200 and overexposed by about 1 stop. This shot the subject is ok but the rest is kind of washed out.

2nd shot was the same but was 1/320. This time the background is ok but the subject is under exposed.

How do I deal with these conditions and will the IS allow me slightly slower speeds for light or is that nonesense ?, Oh ISO was 400, I was thinking it could have been bumped up.
Total rookie be easy on me.

kex Dec 28, 2004 10:06 AM

I'm no expert but I think you won't get better results with an IS lense because it won't help when you want to take action shots at about 1/200 or less.
The IS can't freeze an action which the shutter speed itself couldn't.

I hope you understand what I mean.
You normally can take shots at about 1/100 or even 1/60 without seeing the hand shaking. So I guess the IS is just useful at lower shutter speeds like 1/30 or something like that.

On the other hand the aperature of 2.8 will be helpful because it causes faster shutter speed.

Or am I wrong?

Paul(UK) Dec 28, 2004 11:49 AM

Is it just me or is the second half of chris12's post, black text on black backgound?

I can see it when I highlight it.

PeterP Dec 28, 2004 12:43 PM

If I understand what you are trying to do:

:-)You need higher shutter speeds to freeze the action, here a higher ISO and a fast lens would help, IS would not be of any help in this case.

:-)Next digitals have a very narrow latitude, (even narrower than the old slide film that used to be only3-4 stops). So getting portions of a scene that are in brightly lit and portions that are dark in the same image is not easy. It can be done with the help of reflectors or fill flash. if the distance to the subject is great try a strobe with something like a better-beamer attached for long range illumination.

:-)Also your white balance seems to be on the bluish side.

If I misunderstood what you wanted to do, just ignore me, as most people:lol:

eric s Dec 28, 2004 3:41 PM

IS never hurts, but it probably won't help you enough in these cases to be worth it. Also realize that that is a big, heavy lens. Sure, it isn't huge like really long telephotos. But it isn't small like your 17-85. And you will have to ski with it.

Definitely check it out before buying it to really get a feel for its size.

Definitely just shoot for the skiier and try to fix the background later. It is much more important to get the human exposed right than the background. You are shooting in a very tricky situation.... expect to miss some. You'll have to depend on exposure compensation and the metering mode getting it right. And some prayer.

It should be said that I only saw one picture.

You will probably want to get a higher shutter speed than 1/200 because of the action. You might have to try a higher ISO... 800 isn't great, but its better than getting a blury shot.


chris12 Dec 28, 2004 7:25 PM

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Thanks for the tips,

I am leaning towards the 70-200mm f2.8 without the IS. I think the 2.8 will be the best feature for my situations.

I do need to play with the white balance!! among other features of the camera.

This next photo does have a higher shutter (1/320)(verses the 1/200 on the first shot)but the subject is under exposed. Would the higher ISO help with the higher speeds for correct exposure.

I think Ihave been generally lucky in the past and have some great shots, as I dive in deeper I see I have a long road to being consistant.



(PS, this skier is wearing darker clothing so tught to compare)

eric s Dec 28, 2004 8:29 PM

If you are willing to do more post processing on the computer, then I would suggest shooting in RAW mode. Then you can set the white balance when you convert the picture to an editable format. That would solve your white balance issues easily.

The f2.8 might would help with a higher shutter speed, but if you are able to shoot at f9 right now, you don't need it to get proper exposure. The only time a greater aperture will help with proper exposure is if you end up having to play tricks with exposure compensation to get any shutter speed at all. If that makes sense.


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