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Old Feb 7, 2010, 2:04 AM   #1
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Default NHL Hockey with the E30 and 70-300 Zuiko

They (security) didn't even blink and eye....I should have started taking the 70-300 earlier.

I sat in the endzone again, but this time it was row 2 of the endzone.

These are all in-camera JPEG's. I shot in shutter priority mode, setting the shutter to 1/640 second. I manually set the white balance and set the ISO to AUTO, making the auto range 200-2500. Depending on the area on the ice and how much of the crowd was included, ISO's ranged from 1000 to 2500. The noise filter was set to LOW.

I was very pleased with the resulting images. The E30 produces superior results at ISO 1600 and 2000 compared to the E620, and even ISO 2500 looks "good enough" for me.

These are all hyperlinks, so clicking on them takes you to my web page if you want to see larger versions and all the exposure details. Post processing consisted of straightening a few files I let go crooked in my haste to compose and shoot during some of the faster action, a little color correction, which still did not result in a perfect white balance on all the shots, and use of the Target Adjustment Tool in Adobe Camera RAW as needed.




The expressions in this shot are good, and with good reason. If you look at the stick #21 for the Stars in holding, you'll see the puck is zooming by, and these guys obviously all want to keep their teeth..



Pssst...hey....next time I slip into the offensive zone ahead of the puck, you just look the other way...





Nothing like going to a fight and a hockey game breaks out..





the puck heading into the net.



Shooting the puck into the zone.



Here it comes..



The TV guy, getting ready for a pre-game interview while the equipment guy checks out all the sticks..


Last edited by Greg Chappell; Feb 7, 2010 at 3:08 AM.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 4:21 AM   #2
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Hi Greg,

Judging from the number shots you posted in your SmugMug gallery, you were having fun. The other thing I noticed was no obstructed view from popping heads!
Using the 70-300mm lens does show how important light is and how much more light there is in a professional sports arena as compared to a high school gymnasium. I'm frankly surprised that you could get the shutter speed up to 1/640 sec..
I tried taking photos of a girl's basketball game in a high school gymnasium a couple of weeks ago using the 50-200mm and I couldn't get it to go faster than 1/160sec wide open with the ISO @ 2000

BTW, I agree, noise is not an issue in your shots IMO.

Zig

Last edited by zig-123; Feb 7, 2010 at 7:14 AM.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 6:40 AM   #3
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Hi, Greg

Great shots, especially #2 - if you hadn't told me the puck was there I wouldn't have noticed it.

Ted
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 9:51 AM   #4
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Hi Greg,

Judging from the number shots you posted in your SmugMug gallery, you were having fun. The other thing I noticed was no obstructed view from popping heads!
Using the 70-300mm lens does show how important light is and how much more light there is in a professional sports arena as compared to a high school gymnasium. I'm frankly surprised that you could get the shutter speed up to 1/640 sec..
I tried taking photos of a girl's basketball game in a high school gymnasium a couple of weeks ago using the 50-200mm and I couldn't get it to go faster than 1/160sec wide open with the ISO @ 2000

BTW, I agree, noise is not an issue in your shots IMO.

Zig
I have done the high school gymn-thing too, and it is a nightmare. You need an f2 lens and ISO 3200, at a minimum, to do anything in those places! Professional stadiums and television lighting are wonderful. I was pleasantly surpised a few times where the camera chose ISO's 1000 and 1250.

I knew from past experience at least 1/500 second was going to be possible at ISO 1600, but I wanted to see results at the higher settings to, so I upped the shutter speed one/third stop and used auto ISO, figuring certain shots might be less but I'd never know where to change it and I just wanted to concentrate on trying to keep up with the puck.

A couple of parameters I left off in the original post but that are important is, I also used +.7 exposure compensation to keep the brightness of the white ice and to try and render some sort of detail in those all-black Stars uniforms.....I hate those things, and that setting worked very well combined with multi-segment metering. I did suprisingly little raising of the high levels with the Targeted Adjustment Tool in ACR. I also used +1 sharpening and did no additional sharpening in post processing.

The improvement in the grain/noise signature in the E30 is stark compared to older models like the E1, where it's just flat ugly stuff. There's a very fine granular look to ISO 2500 I have no problem with at all, even at the original file size, and the X3Large size, one size down from 100%, looks really good, and that's bigger than I would ever print 99% of anything I shoot.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Feb 7, 2010 at 10:09 AM.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 10:13 AM   #5
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Nice pics!

That pretty much blows my plan to go shooting friends at a local rink. The light there is considerably poorer than at an NHL rink.

I have the E-620 and the 70-300... *sigh*

BTW, how much was the lens hunting for focus during the night?
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 10:59 AM   #6
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Nice pics!

That pretty much blows my plan to go shooting friends at a local rink. The light there is considerably poorer than at an NHL rink.

I have the E-620 and the 70-300... *sigh*

BTW, how much was the lens hunting for focus during the night?
Just once and it was because I got lazy in my tracking. I had the dynamic focusing set with the center diamond pattern so if the subject drifted off the center point the adjacent points would pick it up. Unfortunately, that is not an option with the E620.

What really throws the 70-300 off is if you are sitting in a seat where you have several rows in front of you and someone stands up 3-4 rows ahead and walks through your path as you are focusing on a player. Last night I was in row 2 and had a 7-8 year-old girl in the seat in front of me, so that was no issue!

With the jerky motions you get with the players movement, I stayed on single AF and was just feathering the release as I followed the action, and the E30 really snaps the 70-300 into focus with the small incremental changes you have when following movement like this.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 4:36 PM   #7
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So, is the pressing of the trigger half way still a valid way of taking pictures in the dSLR world?

I figured lenses would be fast enough that one wouldn't have to do that. Man, the pre-conceptions I had when I got my Oly! LOL
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 10:21 PM   #8
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So, is the pressing of the trigger half way still a valid way of taking pictures in the dSLR world?

I figured lenses would be fast enough that one wouldn't have to do that. Man, the pre-conceptions I had when I got my Oly! LOL
Ha! Continuous AF does work very well when you have one subject to track or all the subjects are going the same direction, like at the horse races where the E620 and the 70-300 tracked extremely well. It worked wonderfully with the E620 and 50-200+EC20 combination at the air show where there was one plane to track, but here, where multiple players are changing directions on a dime and wondering through the finder and the AF points at one time, often going in different directions, it can lock onto a subject or player you don't want it to lock onto.

No, half pressing didn't take any of those pictures, but it did keep my approximate focus in the general area where the action was going that I wanted to follow all the time.
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