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Old Feb 5, 2004, 12:41 AM   #1
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Default First attempt at basketball with 70-200 "L" /f4

Okay, here's my first attempt with this lens which I got in the mail today. Suddenly when I received it I realized that it wasn't some magic wand. It was a lens and it couldn't think, decide, offer, or debate. I kept wanting a 2.8 as I struggled to get reasonable shots. Oh well... I'd welcome some suggestions:

http://www.brrd.ab.ca/nnorway/2004_P...bball_feb4.htm
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 12:46 AM   #2
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I think you got some pretty nice shots out of the batch. What ISO did you use and what f/stop and shutter speeds?
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 12:53 AM   #3
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My you are quick henry...

Unfortunately I was forced into ISO 800 or 1600, which created some grain. I didn't use a fast enough shutter for most of the shots, thus some blur that I wasn't very happy with. I experimented with some 1/200 and even some 1/125, which to me wasn't successful; of course my inspiration to go that low was the light problem...always the light problem.

I didn't change the F from 4, which I probably should have in some of these in order to increase the focal length. However, I'm beginning to think that if I ever expect to get what I "want" to get I will need to work with the lighting, not the lens. I will need to hang something from overhead. How much better would a 2.8 provide, do you think? That's a question I'd love to have answered. Did I make such a terrible mistake? Are a few f stops going to make that much difference, or need I look to the "light?"

I think I need a 2.8, period. What do you think? Some of my best shots came from a piddly little 50mm 1.8 a few weeks ago. Man, I keep forgetting the power of each f stop as related to light. Half is a whole lot!

I hate photography! If I didn't love it so much I'd quit
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 6:49 AM   #4
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Default BBall Shots

Well Norm, I looked at the shots several times with a critical eye. I don't think you are looking for an attaboy so I'll tell you what I see. Several of the shots are misfocused, the wall and detail behind the players show that is the case. The motion blur you have already addressed yourself. The white balance could use some work as the lighting has a yellow cast which makes some of the shots look unnatural. I've never tried BBall so I don't know what the lighting is like to deal with but I shoot a lot of pedawn flying goose shots and I understand your problem. In my case the light is poor but it is at least natural. You are going to have to do some adjustments to white balance to correct yours. I don't know your shooting style but I would use AI servo, focus on one player and lead them into the action even if you end up with surrounding motion blur the action and pan will atleast follow your subject and create a pleasing shot. I do understand your feelings and selfdoubt. I watched you in several threads talk yourself into this lens and now you are doubting your own hype! I have done this with every lens purchase that I have made. Each time I'm sure I've found the magic elixur only to open the package and find another inert camera bag anchor! It looks to me like yopu have the makings of a great camera lens package there, you just have to get comfortable with it, sort of like getting used to a wife. I'm not sure which is more difficult, or more valuable? No...my wife doesn't read this forum, I'm just out spoken ,not brave. Have a great time with your new lens Norm, I look forward to seeing the results of your labors.
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Old Feb 5, 2004, 8:57 PM   #5
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Tom

I'm glad you read me correctly, I'm not looking for comfort, just answers; your instruction is more valuable to me than anything else at this moment. I appreciate your input on the WB, which I fully agree with but the most valuable piece of constructive criticism that you offered was the "back wall" out-of-focus thing. I didn't even notice that until you pointed it out! That, in and of itself, mystifies me. What dolts we can be when taking a critical look at our own work.
I'm using single point AF when shooting bball so if I'm even slightly off then everything will go out of whack. One thing that strikes me, even with the 1.8, is that maximum focus seems to come by closing down aperture, so, even with the 50mm I need to close down to a 4 or more in order to get the best focus potential from the glass even in the best of situations (e.g. tripod, still subject, great light).
So, my question is this, as it was previously but nobody really answered it fully: is the difference between f4 and 2.8 "that" critical in low light situations? Would I be that much better off having a lens with a 2.8 potential over a 4, especially in the "L" area where the 4 remains the same throughout the zoom range? For instance, even with the 1.8 I find myself stopping down a few to bring out maximum potential.
Please ensure, if you plan to answer this, to choose your words carefully because what you say may indeed influence me one way or the other with this lens. If you're not sure, then say so please, and don't intimate otherwise.
That goes for anyone else who may care to jump into this little chat.

Again, thanks for not humoring me but offering me meat to deal with. I appreciate it!
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 12:07 AM   #6
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Default The truth so help me!

Norm, all I can do is tell you about what and how I shoot and What that has taught me. I know that when I got my camera I talked myself into aa Canon EOS 75-300 IS USM. I had read all the reviews and felt sure I now would hold the magic glass. I went out armed with this new lens and did allright at the zoo, I was reasonably happy untill I shot with a buddy who was using a anon 70-200 USM IS and a1.4 extender, his images just blew mine away.One morning I went to shoot the migrating geese which take flight at dawn[ bad bad light]. Well I'm not going to knock the 75-300 but I had one keeper out of eighty shots. I was just sick! I ordered the Sigma 70-200 f2.8, yup it was the answer, after a little practice I was shooting flying birds with a 70% success rate. I was once again riding the high times. Then I went shooting with my Buddy with that 70-200 L and guess what, He read some reviews and swapped it out for a 300 L f4 cause it was reported sharper by far than the zoom. WOW, how was I to keep up? I quit reading reviews cause my head was spinning. I did buy the Sigma 50-500, and before you ask, no, it is not a fast lens but when the light is right it puts me right on top of those geese. I know this for certain, there is no replacement for a fast lens unless its a faster lens. I know that I will be in the hunt untill they shovel dirt in my face. I also know of a guy who hasn't made the decision to go digital yet. He stands out there with me and laughs at me shooting geese freehand with that 50-500, with the extra batterys that totals seven pounds you know! I take 300 exposures and he stands beside his tripod and keeps measuring waiting for the light. He only get a few keepers a year but I know he is proud of them. I have allready forgotten most of mine on dusty CDs stored away. Who is having the most fun? My favorite camera was a Sony Mavica FD73, I carried it everywhere and photographed all that I saw. I took shots that were impossible cause I was too dumb to know they would not work. Not I have 50 pounds of gear alll of which I drag around in fear I'll need something in there hidden below the last lens that I thought held the magic cure! So Norm, adj the white bal, watch your focus points, learn to trust that lens, But most of all have FUN!
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 12:18 AM   #7
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In search of the holy grail meets the digital age. A delightful touch of reality there, Tom!
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 12:27 AM   #8
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If I was at home reading reviews I would not have been there to
capture this shot, Take photos ,enjoy life.
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 12:55 AM   #9
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Wonderful...but a bit too sharp (of course I'm just kidding; not used to seeing something tack sharp and completely in focus)

You da man!
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 8:54 PM   #10
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Tomsch...

I want to thank you, by the way, for your above words. I read them a second time and seemed to get much more out of them than the first reading. I especially appreciate your story about the friend on film who gets a few good shots per year and is having a wonderful time.

Of course you are absolutely on the money when you suggest that I learn to use what I have and quit struggling with what I don't have. That little lesson is as old as civilization itself but it's so difficult to focus on common sense.

I've decided to follow your wise advice and learn to use what I have, being a bit more like that pal of yours who meters and waits, enjoying the freshness and brilliance , I'm sure.

Anyway, Tom, thanks
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