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Old Feb 12, 2013, 2:36 PM   #11
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the main problem is how far will the OP be from the action
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 6:08 PM   #12
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If the OP can't get a proper exposure with a fast enough shutter speed, composition is immaterial.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:00 AM   #13
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You can't focus on one part of the issue and ignore the other part. The OPs situation of gymnastics from the stands has the problem of low light AND distance. Solving distance without solving low light and solving low light without solving for distance will end in the OP wasting money. As the OP has already stated, she realized she's not going to be able to solve her problem within her budget. That was a good decision.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 6:16 AM   #14
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She'll never be able to get results that are as good as yours, John. Few of us will. But she had the distance thing covered with her 75-300. It was the exposure thing that let her down. And once she conquers the exposure thing with a large aperture lens, maybe she can attack the distance thing with something other than focal length.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 8:00 AM   #15
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And once she conquers the exposure thing with a large aperture lens, maybe she can attack the distance thing with something other than focal length.
Tcav - gymnastics is very restrictive. It's exceedingly difficult to get floor access - most parents can't get that access. Shooting at high ISOs in bad light, you can't just crop a photo by 70% and get something very good when it involves humans moving. So, advising the OP to buy a lens first and then try to figure out how to get around that issue is bad advice, IMO. Who wants to spend hundreds of dollars and be frustrated because you followed advice that was poorly given? As I said in my earlier post, even if she could afford a 70-200 2.8 she'll still be constrained by distance/poor angles on some of the events because of where the event is in relation to where she is forced to sit.

Anyone who has attended a few gymnastics meets will know exactly what I'm talking about here. It's quite different than the horse shows you're used to shooting. It's quite different than say basketball or volleyball for that matter because of the restrictions and where the action is taking place relative to where you as a parent have to be.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 8:39 AM   #16
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Hi. My daugter does a lot of gymnastic. I purchase the Cannon EOS Rebl T3i because it came with an extra 75 - 300 mm lens (it was christmas offer). Turns out that as much as I try, I can not get sharp pictures with this camera. I have used the AF button on lens together with the auto/Easy mode (no flash as we are not allowed flash during competitions)...results....pictures are not sharp, but rather blurry and can not crop them as they loose image. I have also tried using the sports feature for movement and it turns out worse. The pictures turn out with a yellow tint and still same aweful quality. I am not savy at this matter but am thinking, maybe my best option is to go to a Maual setting ? I need help and advice on how what settings to select under the manual button and I can probably try focusing the subject with the lens after that. I just hate the light, the color of the pictures and everthing. I can send a sample of what they look like for advice if that is possible on this website. HELP !!! - Desperate Mom
I thought long and hard about your issue here and I think the best budget option would be to buy a Panasonic FZ200. Constant f2.8 will be fast enough and 24x optical zoom (600mm) will be long enough from the stands and image stabilization will keep it steady. At $419 from JR it is one of the "Hot Deals" it will probably be your best bet.

Not sure if you want to sell the T3i or keep it for everything else.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 9:29 AM   #17
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Not knowing the Panasonic FZ200 how is it at higher ISO's ?
On indoor gyms even at f/2.8 without flash the ISO can hit 3200 to 6400 or more to get the shutter speed fast enough to stop motion.
From what I've seen on the few p&S I've looked at they can't get anywhere near those ISO's.

My solution (not acceptable for the OP here because of excessive price) was a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8.


BTW: image stabilization will do nothing for motion blur due to shutter speed being to low to stop the action,
1/500 would be at the low end of my limits.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:56 AM   #18
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Not knowing the Panasonic FZ200 how is it at higher ISO's ?
On indoor gyms even at f/2.8 without flash the ISO can hit 3200 to 6400 or more to get the shutter speed fast enough to stop motion.
From what I've seen on the few p&S I've looked at they can't get anywhere near those ISO's.

My solution (not acceptable for the OP here because of excessive price) was a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8.


BTW: image stabilization will do nothing for motion blur due to shutter speed being to low to stop the action,
1/500 would be at the low end of my limits.
it seems pretty decent for sensor size, sure it's not as good as an APS-C or 4/3 sensor but it is better than most smaller sensor camera's here is the dpreview page for consult, ISO 3200 is barely usable and 6400 is out of the question, but the T3i isn't so good either ISO 3200 and above.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pana...ix-dmc-fz200/8

Anyways I hear ya about the motion blur from athlete action I was more talking about blur from hand movement.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:13 AM   #19
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Tcav - gymnastics is very restrictive. It's exceedingly difficult ... where you as a parent have to be.
I understand and appreciate everything you're saying.

What I'm saying is that she could try. She can't get close enough during her daughters competitions, but maybe she can get close enough at practices. Maybe she's got a flair for this kind of thing, and after experiencing some limited success without spending a boatload of money, she might choose to go whole hog.

Telling someone there's no hope is not the way to encourage them to do something they want to do. Granted, shooting gymnastics is like learning to swim by jumping into the deep end of the pool. But if that was the only way to learn to swim, there wouldn't be a lot of swimmers out there. And maybe she can get her feet wet while shooting some cheerleading.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:51 AM   #20
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Telling someone there's no hope is not the way to encourage them to do something they want to do.
This is where we differ. I prefer to give people all the information so they can make an informed decision. You would have her spend money on a piece of gear regardless of whether that gear will actually help her. As I said earlier - if it were basketball or volleyball things would be different.

In the end, the OP can decide which approach she would like to take - but at least she can't say "why didn't anyone tell me this $500 lens wasn't going to get me the shots I want".

This discussion reminds me of one I had on another board - a person was photographing at a UK basketball game from nosebleeds with an 85mm 1.8 lens. The results were as expected - not very good. They were unable to get closer to the action and lens restrictions prevented them from bringing a longer lens. So, even though they bought an expensive lens to shoot UK basketball they were dismayed the shots still were poor. It's tough to find out this info AFTER you spend the money. If someone points this out BEFORE hand and you ignore the advice - no harm.
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