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Old Nov 24, 2011, 9:25 PM   #31
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Once again, ...
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Originally Posted by Greg-M View Post
I'm transitioning into daytime games at a Sports Academy gym with combination lighting ... and not a lot of skylights.
We don't know exactly what that means, but it sounds like there aren't a lot of skylights. If there aren't a lot of skylights, then skylights won't affect his exposre very much, will it?

I AGREE that if there are a lot of skylights, they will affect his exposure, but that is not the case here.
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Old Nov 24, 2011, 11:55 PM   #32
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Let me make it very simple for you.

Lots of skylights=more consistent natural light across the entire court=more consistent exposure=easier shoot.

Few skylights=more variation in light=random hot spots=less consistent exposure=more difficult shoot.

Night time in either of the situations above=no natural light=no hot spots at all=only dealing with artificial light=easier shoot.

I'm through beating this dead horse, if you don't get it by now, there is no hope.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 12:40 AM   #33
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JohnG, JimC & jdnan, thanks all for the helpful answers. I was wondering about the phto size limits and JimC answered that well. JohnG & jdnan, I want to get to the point where my pictures look like yours (they're awesome). Any additional tips or pointers would be greatly appreciated.

JohnG, I'm not sure I understand when you said "The 1.6 crop sensor does not allow you to accurately focus on objects further away with the 85mm lens so it really provides very little benefit for sports shooters." Does a 1.3 crop push out the maximum focusing distance for an 85mm lens? Or are you referring to the fact that a 1.3 crop would have more sensor surface and a larger image than a 1.6 crop?

I really appreciate the advice on used camera bodies as it makes sense and will help me avoid paying for potentially costly camera repairs on a used body. Just checking prices at amazon, it looks like a new 1D2 sells for $6K, a 1D3 for about $7K and a new 1D4 for $5K or so. Definitely a lot of money but sometimes you simply get what you pay for.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 7:53 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg-M View Post
JohnG, I'm not sure I understand when you said "The 1.6 crop sensor does not allow you to accurately focus on objects further away with the 85mm lens so it really provides very little benefit for sports shooters." Does a 1.3 crop push out the maximum focusing distance for an 85mm lens? Or are you referring to the fact that a 1.3 crop would have more sensor surface and a larger image than a 1.6 crop?
.
No - what I am speaking to is the myth that a 1.6 crop sensor gives you "more reach" than 1.3 or full frame. It doesn't - not for this type of subject. My 85mm lens focuses accurately for roughly the same distance on 1.6 crop sensor and 1.3 crop sensor. If anything, maybe a little further on 1.3 because of better focus system. Some people might try to tell you a 1.6 crop sensor is more beneficial for sports because of this misguided notion that the smaller sensor "crop factor" is the same thing as having a lens that is indeed a longer focal length. That's not true. In my experience, when you start to get towards "infinity" on a given lens' focus ring you start to incur more focus errors. Where you focus on the focus ring has nothing to do with sensor size. So, with an 85mm lens and cluttered background you're going to get about 25 feet of reach - whether you're using full frame, 1.3 or 1.6 sensor. Beyond that, if you take a photo of a player and then crop the photo so the player fills the frame you'll really start to see a degradation in quality fast.

So, if you do move to a 1.3 or full frame sensor, don't worry that you're "losing reach" for sports. You're not.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 8:21 AM   #35
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As far as used bodies, I think the point is that you just need to be selective. If you're going to buy a 1DIII, then that's definitely the way to go. I purchased my 1DIII on KEH.com right when the 1DIV had started to ship & the IDIII was discontinued, so I actually got a ridiculously good price for one that they had rated as E+. It was also outside the range of the recall serial numbers, however, there were a couple of other potential problems with cameras outside that range, so, just as a precaution, I contacted Canon USA, they paid for shipping to their repair facility, made the upgrades, validated the shutter count for me, which was at just under 5,000 actuations (camera rated for 300,000), paid to ship it back, and gave me a 6 month warranty. I shipped the camera to them on a Monday & had it back on that Saturday. That's service.

I also purchased my 1DIV used with about 6,000 actuations on it and it has been outstanding in every way.

You can get some excellent camera's and very good deals, you just need to be careful. John's point about the MIIn I think boils down to just sheer age and the fact that if you're buying one used, it's probably either been shot close to it's max by a sports shooter, or been owned by 3 or 4 different individuals and who knows how it's been used. I would recommend going with a good condition 1DMIII or later, but still be wary. It's very difficult to know shutter count without it being verified by Canon. A good example of a good type of used III to buy would by like my IDIII. I keep it as a backup camera and know that it has about 23,000 actuations because I kept count after sending it to Canon for service. When I sell it, it probably will still have less than 30,000 actuations and be a very good used camera for the next owner. You can find those cameras out there for +/- 2,000, you just need to be patient & know what you're looking for. A 7d is also a very capable sports camera and I've seen shooters capture outstanding images using that body, so there are a lot of reasonably priced alternatives to spending $4K.
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Old Nov 29, 2011, 1:41 PM   #36
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Thanks JohnG for that clarification. It helps. Have you had an opportunity to shoot sports with a FF camera also? If so, I would be very interested in your opinion on the improvements in light gathering, etc. that you found between the 2 systems. Is there a substantial improvement by jumping from a 1.3 frame to a full frame camera? If not, that helps a lot in deciding.

I noticed that your pictures have a much more pleasant daylight glow (I think the technical term is warmer) to them than the one I posted. Is there anything you could recommend to help achieve more of that type of look?

Jdnan, Thanks for the website and further advice on used cameras. Using your experience on buying a used older model when a newer model is released, I can imagine that there will be a few deals to be had on 1D4's when the 1DX is released.

I like the idea of being able to save some $$ by buying a used camera. I don't know how long my daughter will be playing volleyball (kids do change their minds about sports) so I am trying to determine a next level camera that will enable me to get some good shots and not look back and think that I should have moved up to the next level camera to get better shots. Also, I would love to get your opinion on whether or not I would see a substantial improvement in light gathering/IQ by going from a 1D series (1.3 frame camera) to a full frame camera.

Thanks a lot to both of you for your time and expertise. The part about skylights potentially creating a hotspot is also useful to know.
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Old Nov 30, 2011, 7:07 AM   #37
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Greg - with regards to sports shooting, there are no blanket statements that one sensor size automatically makes a camera better than another. Since I am a Canon user, my hands-on experience is limited to that system for shooting sports. Canon has 2 full-frame models currently: 1DsIII and 5DII. The 1x has not been released. The 5dII does have better high ISO performance than the 1dIII I use. However, the focus system in that camera is not as good as the focus system in either the 1d or the 7d. Most sports shooters that have the option for 1d (III or IV) seem to select it to shoot sports over the 5d - the better focus system giving it the edge vs. the 5d's high ISO gain.
I have not shot the 1ds - it's price tag made that a non starter. While it shares the focus system with the 1d series, the frame rate is lower. In short, until the 1dx, Canon kept their full-frame cameras designed for non sports work. Nikon was the first company to have full-frame cameras designed to meet the needs of all shooters with their D3(and D3s) and D700.

Pro Sports togs that were either Nikon or switched from Canon to Nikon to use the D3s have been, as far as I can tell, universal in their praise. The D3s had the best high ISO performance AND the best focus system. Those of us that remain in the Canon camp have generally stayed in the 1d (non S) camp. Some photographers use the 5dII because of high ISO performance - but often as a choice over the 7d - not over the 1d which they can't afford. I can't recall a sports tog that owns both 5dII and 1dIII or 1dIV and chooses the 5dII to shoot their sports. Doesn't mean one doesn't exist - I just don't remember hearing it.

So, the 1dx will carry a $6000+ price tag. Are you really going to be considering that as an option? If not, I would recommend 1dIII as the least expensive option - 1dIV if you can afford it is the best option. After those, the 7d is still a better sports camera than the 5dII because of the focus system IMO. But, it's still a trade-off. You have to be comfortable with the 7d's ISO 3200-6400 performance.
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Old Dec 5, 2011, 12:42 AM   #38
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Thanks John and jdnan. It is a tough choice. Like many amateur photographers, I don't have the cash to drop on a new 1DX, etc. I am still learning the ropes on photographing a difficult sport and have wondered about the IQ benefits of stepping up to the next level camera. When I bought my T2, I went back and forth between buying a 7D or T2. I eventually chose the T2 because it seemed to give me a lot of the 7D's capabilities at about half the price. Your (and jdnan's) advice on buying a used 1D3 (or 1D4 if I can afford it) is especially helpful because it makes it a lot more likely that I can get up to the next step camera. It's especially helpful to learn about the focusing systems and why that limitation makes the 5D's essentially not designed for sports. I know it's a lot of questions but your advice helps a lot in making the best choice within my budget and photography challenges. Thanks again.
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