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Old Jan 13, 2009, 6:37 PM   #1
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Hello everyone! This is my first post and my first day to site. I need some help on what setting i should try to capture my daughter in her cheerleading competion. I would like to get some action shots during her running flips and while she is being thrown into the air. i have a Canon Rebel XTi along with a monopod and a tamron 18-270mm AF f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC. I am usually able to get pretty close but cant seem to eliminate any of the blur that make most of the photos useless. Should I move back, get closer or is this an equipment or a user issue? I am hoping that it is USER since I am still getting my feet wet in photography.



Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Have a great day everyone!
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 6:47 PM   #2
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I'm afraid it's an equipment limitation. Especially for the flips. The throws are less challenging because there isn't a lot of movement - not anywhere near compared to what the flips are. You need to get fast shutter speeds and 2 things are required to do that - High ISO value (the camera controls the ISO and your camera has a max value of 1600) and wide apertures (the lens controls aperture value and at your closest with the lens not zoomed at all you have an aperture of 3.5). Based upon most gyms I've shot in I would guess your shutter speeds are 1/160 or less given those two values. To capture a flip you need about 1/640. Throws you'll need at least 1/250.

My advice would be to buy a canon 85mm 1.8 lens. As long as you can get within 25 feet of her you can use that lens. The issue, of course, is the lens costs about $370. There's a cheaper 50mm 1.8 ($75) but you need to be within 15 feet for that lens to be effective. I would be surprised if you were within 15 feet but anything is possible.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 6:57 PM   #3
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i have been able to sneak up to the judges table so i dont think distance would be an issue. do you have any settings suggestions with what i have that i can test out? I forgot to mention that i do have the kit 18-55 lens as well but i doubt that will do any better. i have tried the "sports" mode as well as messing with options in MANUAL mode. my main problem has been blur on her extremities and (as you mentioned) the lighting just plain sucks in the gyms to go with a shutter speed of 1/250



i cant believe how fast you responded! great job and thaks again. I think i found a new home on this site!
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 6:58 PM   #4
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sorry, forgot to add. when i am outside shooting my son's football games, my shots are awesome! wish they could cheer outside.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 7:21 PM   #5
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podwats wrote:
Quote:
sorry, forgot to add. when i am outside shooting my son's football games, my shots are awesome! wish they could cheer outside.
she just needs to become a football cheerleader :G

There's really not much you can do with the equipment you have - it's just not up to the task. Sports mode won't work because it limits the ISO to 400.

The best you could do is the following:
  1. Set camera in AV mode[/*]
  2. Set aperture to 3.5[/*]
  3. Set focus mode to AI-Servo[/*]
  4. select all focus points to use (camera defaults to this)[/*]
  5. Set ISO to 1600
[/*]
The camera will now work like it does in sports mode except with ISO of 1600. But again I wouldn't expect shutter speeds better than 1/160 - too slow for many shots. That's the tough thing about action sports photography - it is very equipment intensive. A lot of fun, but it gets expensive to buy the equipment you need to get good results.
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 7:53 PM   #6
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a football cheerleader is definitely cheaper! I will try out the setting and let you know how it works out. i cant thank you enough. I dont think another lens in in my budget after the tamron. not right away, but i will keep your recommendation in mind
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Old Jan 22, 2009, 4:58 PM   #7
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A couple more suggestions;

If you can afford another lense the least expensive if you could get close would be the 50mm 1.8. This is a very inexpensive lense that will actually give you better shots than your Tamron. You could set you Tamron to 50mm and see if you could shoot from that distance. Thes lense can be had used for less than 100.00.

Another lense suggestion is the 24x70 2.8 which is a pretty expensive lense. Sigma makes almost the same lense which I believe has had good reviews.

Another thought is you must learn to shot if Av or Tv mode or Manuel mode. Set you ISO to at least 800 or as high as it will go and see what shutter speedsyour TAmron does in the light conditions you will be shooting in. Your camera may go as high as 1600, I can't remember.

Ultimatly you need a faster lense. Don't be afraid to invest in good glass. You will find that you will have a new go to lense and the Tammy will set in the closet.

Good luck and best wishes.


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