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Old Sep 3, 2016, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default Focusing issues in sports mode?

Hi,
I've been taking pictures of my sons soccer games for a few years now, but lately the camera?Lens? doesn't seem to be focusing on the action as much (he's 16 now, so maybe the action has gotten much faster LOL?)
Is there a way to set the focusing point of the camera (but still have it in Sports mode) so I will know what I am focusing on? Many times it focuses past the action and it's SO frustrating that I've missed a good shot. I'm following the ball, as usual and continually pressing the focus button halfway, so I'm not sure what's wrong now vs a year or so ago? I'm using a 75-300 lens with a Canon 60D

Also, anyone use a monopod while shooting action photography? A friend recommended it, but I find it awkward since the action moves around so much.
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Old Sep 4, 2016, 5:29 AM   #2
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Can you post some pictures?
-> Otherwise we don't what your issue is...


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Originally Posted by Clax View Post
Also, anyone use a monopod while shooting action photography? A friend recommended it, but I find it awkward since the action moves around so much.
A monopod is useful in supporting the weight of the camera/lens so your arms won't get tired; However, for sport you need to use a higher shutter speed for the camera to stop the actions, so it's not going to help the camera shake any (i.e. movement blur)

The 75-300 is quite light so you're adding more weight and make the whole set-up harder to handle!
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Old Sep 4, 2016, 12:42 PM   #3
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Thank you! For some reason I didn't even think about it adding to the weight LOL, but was just thinking I'd end up tripping over it more so than it adding stability- the action just moves around too much!

My issue is the camera seems to focus either right behind or right in front of what I wanted. The action/subject I wanted and in the center of my viewfinder has come out blurred on many occasions. I guess I also need to pan more.
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Old Sep 4, 2016, 5:00 PM   #4
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As for the monopod, I've used one for shooting HS football (among other things, like horse shows), and it should work well for you. It keeps the camera straight and level, and you pivot on the monopod instead of pivoting on your feet. It takes a little getting used to, and you need to get one tall enough that it will keep the camera at your eye level, but I found it beneficial. It was cumbersome for horse shows because I had to carry it from ring to ring to capture different rides, but it was fine when moving up and down the sidelines at a football game.

As for your focus issue, I'd also like to see some examples. The 75-300 isn't a particularly fast lens to focus. The 70-300 lenses are much faster. But I'd like to see some examples before I narrow down the problem to that.

What can happen is that there may not be a lot of contrast, especially if you're shooting late in the day or under overcast skies, so the camera focuses on whatever it can.

In addition, instead of using sports mode, I'd use M (Manual Exposure) mode. I'd set the aperture to f/5.6, select a fast shutter speed of about 1/250, and set the ISO to get a proper exposure of the empty field. If you use any form of automatic exposure, then dark colored uniforms will skew the exposure so faces will be overexposed, and light colored uniforms will skew the exposure so faces will be underexposed. Using M and consistent exposure settings will keep the faces properly exposed and the darker uniforms will be dark and the lighter uniforms will be light. (You may have to adjust those settings as conditions change, i.e. sunny to overcast, etc.)

You should also select AI Servo AF, select the AF point of automatic, and keep the shutter button pressed halfway once you have the center AF point on the ball. AI Servo AF will maintain the focus on the ball even if it drifts off the center AF point as long as it's still in the vicinity of another AF point. If it drifts out of the frame, release the shutter button and start over.
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Last edited by TCav; Sep 7, 2016 at 3:31 PM. Reason: Revised focus discussion
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