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Old Mar 5, 2004, 8:46 AM   #11
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Norm, Henry, and Tomsch,

Thanks for your dialogue. I'm also new do the DigiReb. 2 of my favorite things to do are going to Notre Dame athletic events with my son and taking pictures of them. I owned a F717 for a little over a year. I got some good pics out of that camera (the BB pics were w/ the DigiReb) but wanted a little more. So, I got the 300D at Christmas and a Sigma 70-200 / 2.8 w/ a 2x TC. Just never know where you might end up in the stands, so I wanted some extra reach.

http://www.pbase.com/aaltenburger/irish_pics&page=all

To my point. I nearly made a mistake and got rid of my 300D out of frustration. It wasn't that the pics were terrible, I just thought they should be a bit better. As I'm sure you know, nothing makes you more disgruntled than going through your pics thinking you got something good but the shots didn't turn out. Every picture should be a keeper, right? Unrealistic expectations on my part, I know. I realize what needs to be done. I need to learn everything there is to know about that camera. There are no shortcuts. That being said, I need to find the time and be patient with my progression. Short of getting the magic lens next Christmas... I'll need to put some work in. Have a couple of other galleries I'd like you guys to look at and comment on.

http://www.pbase.com/aaltenburger/nd_hockey&page=all - These were taken with a cheap Canon 80-200 lens I was trying out before my Sigma arrived.

http://www.pbase.com/aaltenburger/no...ockey&page=all Most were taken with my Sigma behind the glass. The place was packed, so I couldn't move up with my wife and kids.

One last thought. That Sigma is a monster to take in to a packed arena. I'm not sure if that'll work out taking it to ND football games.
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 9:49 AM   #12
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aaltenburger

The Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 is an excellent lens even with a matched converter: http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/browse?id=17309

You just have to learn how to use the camera better...
http://www.naturephotographers.net/mg0600-1.html

... It's a monster because its a constant f/2.8 after all: Theses lenses are all in the same size and weight unless you want a smaller (or variable) aperture, their optical elements would have to be rather large by design to maintain the speed of the lens through out the entire focal range!
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 12:09 PM   #13
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Wow there is so much good information in this thread.

Personally I enjoy shooting soccer and since most of it is at night in 'not so well' lit fields, it is a constant struggle to get things just right (I am assuming, it has not happened yet).

Right now I use the 10D, 70-200 L 2.8 non IS. I set the shutter at 1/180 and then change the ISO to have enough light (1600 or 3200 usually). I also use only the center focus as I found that the camera loves to focus on the wrong person. Also shoot in RAW mode so I can make many of the decisions later. I don't worry about a blurred background because that is just about impossible to control with the size of the field and all, normally the action is too far away.

Use Photoshop CS to process the raw images and then when it is cropped and ajusted I use Neat Image to get rid of as much of the noise as possible.

Also I have a question, is using the 70-200 2.8 with a 2X any better than using the 100-400 IS 5.6L w/o TC?

Any other ideas for shooting soccer at night is MORE than welcome.
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 12:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Also I have a question, is using the 70-200 2.8 with a 2X any better than using the 100-400 IS 5.6L w/o TC?
Inserting a teleconverter in the middle of the lightpath can never be equal to a single lens. It's more for practical reason more than anything...
70-200 f/2.8 + 2x
100-400 IS 5.6L USM

Quote:
Right now I use the 10D, 70-200 L 2.8 non IS. I set the shutter at 1/180 and then change the ISO to have enough light (1600 or 3200 usually). I also use only the center focus as I found that the camera loves to focus on the wrong person. Also shoot in RAW mode so I can make many of the decisions later. I don't worry about a blurred background because that is just about impossible to control with the size of the field and all, normally the action is too far away.
You need more light PERIOD.
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...304&highlight=
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 6:17 PM   #15
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Nice first attempt--I have the same lens with the IS---makes a huge difference because I assume you are hand holding----Most of the shots had focus problems---I think this could be remedied by going up a bit on your shutter speed and perhaps using a monopod or some other support device. Keep working at it, you have a fine piece of glass there and it should really yield nice pictures as time goes on.
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 8:24 PM   #16
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aaltenburger, first of all I really like that 0208 Bball image. It looks very professional. And I love the way you seem to like to focus on the "action".

I've learned a few things about shooting basketball from generous and knowledgeable individuals both here and in other forums and I'll pass on a few of what I consider to be the most worthwhile tips for me personally:

1. Increase DOF by stopping down the aperture in order to get the most out of the lens in sharpness and to ensure that all important subjects are as clear as possible. I have been mistakenly attempting to keep the aperture as open as possible in order to keep the light. However, it may be better to try to find the light another way if possible (e.g. flash, proximity to subjects, choosing the best lit area). One well-informed gentleman suggested that I leave the ISO low if possible and I'm inclined to agree with him. However, this is probably more a matter of taste and how much one can tolerate the graininess (and post-processing with Neat Image or other).

2. If I need more light then I might try slowing down my shutter speed and be more selective about exactly how I shoot a subject. I might try to shoot the player as they come "towards" me rather than "across" me; I might try to catch a player at that critical pause such as the top of a shot or immediately after when motion isn't so critical.

3. Use at least a monopod for everything; the more one uses it the better one will get at using it, and that's got to do something positive for sharpness.

I'm also planning to send my camera in for calibration testing in order to be absolutely sure that it is only "me" when I get soft focus and not the camera itself. I've done some testing in AF with my Rebel and I'm not absolutely convinced that it is only "me" that is causing some softness. However, I'm not convinced that it's the camera's fault either so I am faced with the question and the only way that I see personally to be able to put it to rest is to send the camera back to Canon for a month and let them check it out. If they find nothing wrong, then I'll fully focus on "me" or the lens setting, or the lens itself as being the reason for any softness that I don't wish to have.

I'll be doing this after our basketball championships at the end of the month.
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 10:33 PM   #17
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Normcar,

Thanks for the input. I cleared up some space on my Pbase account and uploaded the rest of my BB pics. Have a look. I just love doing this. Any/all input is welcome. I want to get better at this, so constructive criticism is welcome.

Doh! Wrong link. Now fixed.


http://www.pbase.com/aaltenburger/no...tball&page=all
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 11:03 PM   #18
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I'd love to have a look but the link says your gallery is empty, just so you know. :?
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 11:09 AM   #19
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Norm, that link is fixed. http://www.pbase.com/aaltenburger/no...tball&page=all

Also, have a couple of questions to throw out for everyone.

1. What type of monopod would any of you recommend? Looking for compactness.

2. I'm in bit of a quandry as far as lenses to shoot sports. As I mentioned, I've got a Sigma 70-200/2.8 with a 1.4x and 2.0x TC. From a practical standpoint, I just can't see lugging that lens into the stadium with me. I'm thinking something like the Tamron 28-300 XR might be a wiser choice. I know it's not nearly the lens as the Sigma, but I think it might be much easier to handle. Thoughts anyone?
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 7:08 PM   #20
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Monopods... I have a very inexpensive OPUS monopod with an option ball head (doesn't come with the monopod) that works fine with my 70-200 F4. I absolutely love the combination because it's very lightweight, I can shoot vertically with the ball-head, it balances wonderfully with monopod attached to camera and not lens. Of course, with the 2.8 that would be less possible (I'm not exactly sure how heavy the Sigma 2.8 is but I'm sure it's much heavier than the f4. I'd say your monopod construction should relate heavily on the lens/lenses you plan to use...heavier lenses requiring a more robust combination.

As for lenses, I'm extremely happy with my 100/f2 prime (especially with the 1.6 ratio) and I find that I have all the reach I need at one end of the court. However, if I plan to shoot the other end of the court as well "up tight" then of course I'll need a greater reach. I'd rather get a few excellent shots from one end of the court than many "average" shots from both ends. However, I find it very quick and easy to switch between the 70-200 F4 and the 100 F2 so that isn't really much of an issue with me.

If I were you I'd use whatever lense that you think will get the best photographs and I certainly wouldn't even consider sacrificing potential quality for an easier package to carry. If you are worried that officials may not allow you in with the larger lens, then that would be a different question. However, if not, then lug the giant in because it can do a better job.

Thanks for posting your photos. Have you considered increasing the shutter speed from 1/125 and opening your aperture a bit to compensate for the light. I know this probably sounds like I'm contradicting what I said above about a smaller aperture but if I need to sacrifice one in sports I'm personally going to make sure the "S" setting is enough. I think your shots are excellent but for that tiny bit of blur that might be reduced with a faster shutter. However I may not be considering other circumstances that may be obvious to others or yourself. I just noticed that you don't seem to be moving from that 1/125 shutter setting much.

Thanks again for sharing!
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