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Old Oct 11, 2004, 5:55 AM   #11
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Sorry, I didn't mean to start an argument.
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Old Oct 11, 2004, 11:44 AM   #12
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Bongloard -

As you can see now by the other answers, it's pretty much about how much light you can get in and how fast !!

That's what all the talk is about on other threads.

You are up against a VERY tough situation. Someone suggested a 50mm f1.8 lens. That is a good choice for a couple of reasons. It is not the most rugged lens because of the plastic construction, however,most importantly it is FAST and is a very sharp lens. The cost is reasonable also.

Punch up your ISO to 1600 (granted you will get more noise) but you will get a stop or two more. You can clean it up some in post processing.

The lighting coloris a nightmare. If you try to add your internal (built in) flash, you create more problems to an already tough situation.

I would get as close to one of the strongest light sources and stay there. Get as close as you can to the action. If you get the 50mm lens (above) you will do your zooming with your feet as it is a prime lens.

Sometimes the competitors will do there stuff in front of where the cameras are. Everybody likes to "showoff".

Remember its all about Light !!

Good luck and please come back with your experiences - we want to know how it went.

Good luck and Good shooting.
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Old Oct 11, 2004, 8:05 PM   #13
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Just to echo, lens and white balance. Can you elaborate on the settings you used?
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Old Oct 12, 2004, 12:39 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for their replies!!

I have alot of learning to do, but I have to say that the best way I learn is to get my hands in there and play. Im not going to learn anything by sitting on the couch taking photos of the coffee table.

The shoot went pretty bad as i expected, but I had tons of fun playing around with my camera. I tried using the sport mode, but it was still VERY blurry, so i went with the "P" mode and shot at a high ISO. I got maybe 2 photos out of the 70 I took that are semi good.... but It was a good experience either way!

Do I need a different lens if i want to speed up my shutter? or will an external flash work?

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Old Oct 12, 2004, 3:14 PM   #15
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BongLoard wrote:
Quote:
The shoot went pretty bad as i expected, but I had tons of fun playing around with my camera. I tried using the sport mode, but it was still VERY blurry, so i went with the "P" mode and shot at a high ISO. I got maybe 2 photos out of the 70 I took that are semi good.... but It was a good experience either way!
Yes... looking at the Digital Rebel Manual, it doesn't look like you can choose the ISO speed in Sports Mode (and that appears to be the only mode that AI Servo works in).

There is a firmware hack to give you AI Servo in other modes with your model.But, this would probably void your warranty. So, install it at your own risk.

If you shot in Aperture Priority (Av Mode) and selected the Largest Aperture (represented by the smallest f/stop number), this would probably do the same thing as Sports Mode (without the AI Servo). Shooting in P mode the way you did should select thelargest aperture in lower light anyway, so it really wouldn't make much difference in those conditions.

Quote:
Do I need a different lens if i want to speed up my shutter? or will an external flash work?
As I suggested in my first post in this thread, I'd spend $75.00 for the 50mm f/1.8 (about what most reputable online vendors are selling it for). It will let you shoot at shutter speeds from 4 to 10 times as fast as the kit lens for the same lighting and ISO speed.

If you were at full zoom with the kit lens (55mm, which is a 35mm equivalent focal length of 88mm), the largest aperture you'd have would be f/5.6. The 50mm f/1.8 lens would give you a 35mm equivalent focal length of 80mm (close to what you'd have with the kit lens at full zoom), allowing shutter speeds 10 times as fast for the same lighting conditions and ISO speed (f/1.8 is tens times as bright as f/5.6).

Even if you do get an external flash, I'd suggest buying this lens. It's a very sharp lens from all accounts, and would be useful in conditions where a flash is not practical.

If you go with an external flash -- Yes, you can freeze the action with it. But, don't expect it to be simple to use, either. For one thing, if you let in too much light; then you'll still get some motion blur from ambient light exposure. If you sync at a faster shutter speed (or stop down the aperture) to make sure that ambient light is not contributing to the exposure enough to see any motion blur from light other than the flash; then, you'll get darker backgrounds.

This is because in order to keep from overexposing your subject, the flash won't be able to illuminate the background behind it, if you use exposure settings that keep out enough ambient light to prevent seeing any subject movement from ambient light exposure.

So, you'll still need to practice to get the desired photos either way. You may also want to check the Canon SLR forum for user feedback using various flashes (Canon 550EX versus Sigma 550DG Super, etc.). BTW, Canon has a new model coming out now, the 580EX.

I don't want to alienate any Canon users. However, I will tell you that based on forum posts I've seen, the Digital Rebel's flash exposure accuracy (using either internal or external flashes in E-TTL mode) leaves a lot to be desired.So, for best results, you'll probably want to use the Auto Mode on a flash. Users more familiar with the "quirks" of E-TTL should be able give you better advise in this area.

If it were me, I'd spend the $75.00 on the 50mm f/1.8 either way, and I think you'd get better results without the flash if you can get the shutter speeds fast enough without one (without the skaters being annoyed and distracted by the flash).

I am not skilled inshooting low light sports. So, many other users could probably give you better advise. But, that's the way I'd try it (fast lens, no flash);if I could get the shutter speeds fast enough without the flash.

Otherwise, I'd probably do the opposite (stop down the apertureand sync at the fastest shutter speed the camera supported to keep out some of the ambient light, and use a powerful external flash).

On the downside, you'd have a relatively shallow depth of field going with a brighter lens, so focus will be more critical -- especially at closer distances to a skater.

The photo you posted had the EXIF stripped out of it by whatever editor you used for downsizing it. Can you give us the exposure information (focal length, aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed) for awell exposed photo with the flash off? That would give us a better idea what you'd be able to get with a different lens.

Is this something you want to do on a regular basis (same type of skating, same location and lighting)?

Also, would you like me to move this thread down to the Canon SLR forum, where you'll probably find users that know a lot more than me about shooting in these conditions, that would also be familiar with your camera?
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Old Oct 12, 2004, 8:16 PM   #16
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Jim,

Thanks so much for all the advice.. I am definately looking into getting a new lens for my camera, but $ isnt something that's falling out of my pockets right now, so i'll have to make sure and research it, and save up for the right one.

I will upload the origional photo from my rebel when I get home from work tonight so you can see the RAW data.

Oh and yea, this is something i plan on doing QUITE often is photographing skateboarding and skiing.. not nessecarily in underground parkades, but moving subjects will definately be a big part of my work.

Although Ive got quite a few really good shots when im shooting at an outdoor event, so I don't think that's so much of a worry.
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