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airbrushjohn Mar 24, 2007 3:14 PM

1 Attachment(s)
i am posting this picture as an example.

the question i have is about focus, for this picture

and many others i have taken, they come out with the

main point out of focus, and the background in focus. i have been using

the spot metering to for the point of focus but i still get quite a few

like this. maybe i just don't understand metering, but i thought when you

use spot metering it focuses on that point. any help will be greatly appreciated!

i know i missed the ball, the boy just headed it. but i need help with the focus part.

thank you, john

airbrushjohn Mar 24, 2007 3:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
here is one a little better, but i get quite a few

like the first one!

zig-123 Mar 24, 2007 4:13 PM

I don't if you've already tried this but, you may want to switch to shutter priority mode and then shoot at a speed of 1/640. This should be fast enough to stop the motion and get a sharper image of the subject.

airbrushjohn Mar 24, 2007 4:22 PM

no i haven't tried shutter priority,

i have tried aperture and for these pics

i use the sport mode. but i will try it next time,

will that help the focus point?

zig-123 Mar 24, 2007 4:30 PM

I believe so. I think the blur in the photo is due to the shutter speednot beingfast enough to "stop" the action .

BTW, if you shoot indoors, you probably wont have enough light to get a decent shot at this speed. Try adjusting the ISO to 200 or even 400.

Good Luck!!!

airbrushjohn Mar 24, 2007 4:34 PM

thanks, yes i know about indoors

i have been shooting my olders son's

roller and ice hockey games, and my little guy's

night time soccer practice! you really need a fast lens!

but fast oly lenses are out of my money range

right now!

Mark1616 Mar 24, 2007 5:03 PM

John, it looks like you are mistaking two terms one being focus point and the other metering. If you spot meter it won't change where the camera tires to focus it just means that it will sort out the exposure from the centre of the frame. I'm guessing that you have multi focus points selected which means the camera is trying to decide where you should be focusing. This is not helpful with most sports as you often have many players getting in the way and confusing the camera. I've just checked out an online copy of the manual ( )and on page 69 it shows how you can select the centre point to ensure the camera is using this.

Also you want to select Continuous AF (on page 72 of the manual) as this will mean that while you half depress the shutter the camera is continually focusing to give the best result. If you are in Single AF then it will focus and then stay at that focal distance.

I would shoot in Aperture Priority not Shutter priority so you can ensure that you have the lens wide open all the time (for example I shoot with f2.8 lenses so always want to shoot at f2.8 or might want to stop down to 3.2 or 3.5 to get sharper results but don't worry about that for now), buy doing this the camera will then select shutter speed and is the aperture is open as far as possible then you are going to get the fasted shutter speed for the conditions. If you say set 1/640th in shutter priority and the light went too low then all shots would be under exposed. One thing to remember is when shooting in Aperture Priority to keep an eye on the shutter speed and increase the ISO if you are not getting what you want. I like to be over 1/800th if possible but a little lower is OK. You will sometimes get problems when shooting in either aperture or shutter priority is that with teams in dark kits or light kits then with the dark the camera will try to over expose everything to make up for this and with the light it will try to under expose. The way around this is to shoot in manual however if the light changes then you will need to keep making adjustments. I have to be honest I always use Av for outside as in the UK things are always changing, however indoors it is always manual.

What lenses do you have by the way?

Well there you go that should give you something to work through. Let me know how it goes.

You might get a reply from JohnG as well as he is another sports specialist.


Edit - after looking at the maual more it seems you only have 3 focus points and they are on the center line horizontally so no matter what you did with the settings in the first shot posted you would not have got the player in focus. I also noticed you were in sport mode so the camera will probably set itself to continuous focus so work a little on technique practising tracking players as they run and you will get better results. The longer the lens you use the smoother you will need to be. I hand hold my 70-200mm f2.8 with or without teleconverter but when going to the 120-300mm f2.8 I use a monopod due to the extra weight and after about 10-15 mins it gets tiring so can't do a whole game. Also the extra stability is really useful when tracking players meaning it is easier to keep your subject in the centre of the frame.

airbrushjohn Mar 24, 2007 5:25 PM

thank you so much mark!!

i have been trying to learn and i do remember glancing over the

the part about the multifocus info, but have just nelected or actually forgot!

hahahahaha thank you so much, thats exactly the problem!

i only have the kit lenses 14-45mm 3.5-5.6

and the 40-150mm 3.5-4.5

i am saving to get the 35-100 f2 as i usually shoot indoor

roller hockey, and some night time soccer, although the

50-200mm f2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens.

may be a better choice but at 200mm i will be back at 3.5.

but it is half the price of the 35-100mm f2.

and agin thank you so much for the help! john

Mark1616 Mar 24, 2007 5:38 PM

You're welcome.

Before you buy any new lenses I would ask yourself where do I want my shooting to go, which is exactly what I did about 5 months ago when I switched from Konica Minolta to Canon. I was shooting a lot of sports but the lenses just weren't there. Going with Canon (or Nikon) meant that there is a good selection of lenses available from both the camera manufacturer and also Sigma which I now have 4 lenses and one teleconverter from (10-20mm, 17-70mm, 70-200mm f2.8 and 120-300mm f2.8). The other 2 lenses I use are the Canon 50mm f1.8 and Canon 85mm f1.8. Sigma's current line up of 4/3 lenses is good but nothing in the zoom category of f2.8, however if these come out then you will have loads of better priced options.

I'm not saying you should change but before you spend $3000 on a lens look at what you could get with a system change and what it will give you long term. However if I was looking for fast glass with zoom indoors the Olympus is currently the best option as no one else has 35-100mm f2 (70-200mm equivalent for those not sure).

JohnG Mar 24, 2007 6:44 PM

The only thing I would add to Mark's great advice is: be patient and wait for the action to get closer. On the first shot, you're just too far away to get good focus. You really want your subject to fill 2/3 of the frame - especially critical with fewer focus points to work with. I know with soccer it can be tough to resist the urge to capture everything. But if you can wait till your subject is filling 2/3 of the frame you'll really see a huge improvement in the focus.

Also, when using continuous focus, make sure you track the subject for a second before you fire the shot - give the camera a chance to get a good focus and make your first shot count.

Best of luck!

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