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Old Oct 9, 2006, 4:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Just received the Canon 85mm 1.8 lens, any tips on using this lens?

I have the Canon Digital XT, I mainly want to use this lens for volleyball and

basketball. Do I shoot on manual mode with it? I'm not sure on the lens about

turning the dial on it, if that makes sense. Do I have to focus each picture

everytime I take one? Please help.


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Old Oct 9, 2006, 11:50 PM   #2
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Set it to auto focus (on side of lens) using the AF/MF switch. Set your focus points. I like center single point. I also like single shot mode, the beep will let you know that the camera thinks it's got focus on something. Try to anticipate the action so that you catch the players ingraceful or powerful poses.
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Old Oct 10, 2006, 9:20 AM   #3
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There isn't anything special to know about using this lens to shoot sports except for limited DOF. There's a lot of things you need to do in order to shoot successful sports. The only new wrinkle with using this lens is if you've never used a lens with this wide of an aperture before.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You don't have much margin for focus error. So, first off, don't open all the way up to 1.8 unless you have to. You'll want shutter speeds around 1/400 or faster. If you can get those shutter speeds at 2.2 then stop there.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"By the way, I also prefer to use the center point only - although I use Servo mode. One-shot could work well in many instances if you're shooting from the floor since most player movement is vertical so they won't change focal planes very often.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Also, you need to be relatively close - standing right behind the net judge I can reach the far corners with this lens, but not any further (i.e. if I wasn't 3' off the net the corners would be too far away). So, don't expect to reach 50' away with the lens.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"And, as already mentioned - in general for this sport (regardless of lens) you need to predict action and not react to it. You won't have much success trying to react to the ball, acquire your target and lock on at the last second. You need to anticipate the action. This is also why I like to use Servo mode as I prefer to lock focus on a player's face rather than the net - so if a player is moving forward for a dig I can track and keep focus on their face. IMO, I'd rather have the face in focus and the ball or neta little OOF than the other way around.
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