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Old Aug 17, 2006, 10:49 AM   #1
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I'm going to a pre-season football game tomorrow (with my new rebel xt).

What are the best settings for taking pictures of the the game? The game is at 8PM.

I'm assuming burst mode, AV (al servo), with a higher ISO?

Any advice appreciated.

BTW, which lense(s) are best for taking motion shots? I got this camera for its ability to get quality pictures for sporting events (and my very active kids).

thx,
V
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 11:21 AM   #2
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Which lenses you have? JohnG can provide more details but I think that you would need atleast ISO1600 at something like f2.8 for the night game, not to mention the focal length of say 300mm or more.

Best lenses for sporting events, canon 300 f2.8 and 400mm f2.8
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 11:27 AM   #3
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Hi Bobby,

Right now, I just have the kit lens.

I just replied to a long post regarding lenses. I'd like to get another lens. For todays game, I will use the kit lens.

thx for responding.
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 3:38 PM   #4
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kc571 wrote:
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I'm going to a pre-season football game tomorrow (with my new rebel xt).

What level of football? Pro? My advice is take photos of the stadium and crowd for atmosphere shots. Unless you have field level access you'll be too far away to get anything useful. Pros use a 400mm lens from the sidelines to shoot football. I've used a 200mm and 400mm from the sidelines and it's barely enough. A 200mm might give you enough reach from a college stadium which are generally closer to the field. But most pro stadiums have a lot of dead space between the field and the stans and even 400mm would be difficult to get a usable shot with any individual player detail (i.e. being able to see a face).

The good news is I've seen some wonderful shots of crowds and stadiums from people. I preach a lot about having the right tools for the job. But the point I should make more often is to push your existing tools to their limits. You have the kit lens so action shots from the stands aren't an option. So, get creative and take shots more suited to the kit lens. That way you end up with some pretty cool shots that are different rather than trying to pound the square peg (55mm lens) into a round hole (action 60-100 yards away).

That way you also don't need the high shutter speeds. If you can get 1/125 shutter speeds of crowd shots that should be plenty fast enough.

Have fun at the game!
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 9:43 PM   #5
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Hi John et al,

Fresh from Giant's Stadium, here are some of my "best" shots. Still a newbie with the camera, so please let me know what you think.

I tried to use the AV mode, in burst mode also. I didn't change the ISO. As you can see, I try to get the players as they walk by me.

http://kc571v.photosite.com/Album2/

I used the Rebel XT with the kit lens.

-Vinnie
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 10:57 PM   #6
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Vinnie,

The first shot of the stadium and the shot of the players stretching are both the best shots. Those are the type of shots you should be taking with this lens - not the others. As warned, the other shots are just to distant and too blurred. It's not a knock on you it's like trying to win the Indy 500 with a Ford Pinto - it's just the wrong piece of equipment for the job.
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 12:18 AM   #7
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Thx again for responding.

So, if I want to catch the players, coaches, etc, doing those things, what kind of lens (below 300ish (if any)would help? And, I hear you when you say one lens can't do everything, but like playing sports, I try to build an arsenal. I have to start somewhere.

-Vinnie
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 10:00 AM   #8
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kc571 wrote:
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Thx again for responding.

So, if I want to catch the players, coaches, etc, doing those things, what kind of lens (below 300ish (if any)would help?
-Vinnie
If your seats are where the first stadium shot would make them appear - in the end zone more than 30 rows up the answer is - no lens will help you get the shots you want at least not with usable detail. From those seats, if you had a 400mm lens you could get some usable shots inside the red zone. If you had the Sigma 70-300 in good daylight you'd be able to crop down enough where you could isolate a player but you'd be doing HEAVY cropping which means the image wouldn't be very sharp and you wouldn't have much detail.

Since you seem determined to try I would suggest that lens - it's not worth spending more $$$ on a more expensive lens that still wouldn't do the job.
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 10:48 AM   #9
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Good catch.

My seats for that game were row 29.

Follow up question. From what I think I'm learning, the more you zoom, the less light gets in the lens. This causes the camera to not focus quick enough, thus the problem with the 300mm 5.6 lenses.

So you'd want most of your shots to be without zooming, right? Unless there is a good amout of natural light, there is a chance that when you zoom, there may be a little blurryness.
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 12:35 PM   #10
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Not quite true regarding zooming. You have 2 problems though in this situation:

low light and distance.

You are correct to some degree in that the more you zoom the more you lose aperture - on consumer level zooms. That is why lenses like the Sigma 120-300 are so expensive because they maintain a 2.8 aperture all the way out to 300mm.

But, the more you crop an image the worse it ends up looking - you won't have as much detail. So, if you got right up to within 10 yards of the action then yes - leaving the lens at 70mm would get you the best shutter speeds. As a general rule your subject should fill up at least 1/3 the frame to get a half-way decent shot. If you want a very good shot the subject should fill 2/3 the frame IN CAMERA. So, in your situation - keeping a 70-300 unzoomed will get you better shutter speeds but still very poor photos because the action is too far away. Given the distance keep it zoomed in - by the time you zoom back far enough to hit f4 you'll be too far away for acceptable shots. So, at ISO 1600 and 5.6 I'm guessing you should get 1/125 in a pro stadium - so try to target stationary players - look for celebrations in the endzone and such. In other words don't waste energy on down field or high action shots wait until the players are in the endzone.

In general - whatever lens you use - you almost always want to frame as tight as possible. On your camera set ISO to 1600, aperture priority with widest aperture - that will give you the best possible shutter speeds. But as I keep trying to tell you don't expect good shots from your location - you're about 50 yards from the goal line and only a 400mm lens would give you good shots and that's only at the goal line - get out to the 10 yard line and forget it.
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