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Old Aug 15, 2009, 10:04 PM   #1
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Default Football shots with new DA*200mm

Here are my first attempts with my new Pentax DA* 200mm at a football scrimmage (the first 2 are my son, throwing a block and making a tackle):

Last edited by jnanpentaxfan; Feb 11, 2010 at 11:35 AM.
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 8:57 AM   #2
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Glad to see you enjoying your new gear. It's great to be able to practice at srimmages - a lot less clutter of people on the sidelines.
Here are some thoughts for your next scrimmage / game:
shot 1: Nice isolation shot of your son. Is this a big crop? If so, I would suggest cropping less - you've lost a lot of detail. The focus also appears to be elsewhere - again if you cropped it would be easier to tell from the original.

shot 2: Nice timing, but Too far away. Your subject fills up too little of the frame. This is the tough part of shooting sports. With a 200mm lens, you really only have about 25 yards of coverage - not a whole lot. So you have to be right on the line of scrimmage shooting middle of the field toward you. To shoot from down field like this from that distance requires a 400mm lens. Given most of us aren't made of money - you need to position closer to line of scrimmage or be patient.

shot 3-4: These are tough to judge - in 3 it's tough to figure out who your subject is - too many players are in the frame and none appear to be in focus. Also, it looks like shutter speeds were way too slow as there's motion blur. Can't see your exif, but the best guess is your ISO was too low. ISO 400 in daylight is pretty common for sports. The K-7 has good noise control so crank up the ISO. In shot 4 - again, unsure who you're subject is. Is it the RB faking? Is it 82 running? It's a bit unclear.

shot 5: nice timing! The challenge with this shot is you have a lot of uninteresting dead space (filled with coaches) to the right. Shooting in portrait orientation would have helped with that. Was this shot cropped? Looks like again there's a lot of lost detail in the QB - and background is still not blurred enough. Given the framing it looks like this might have been cropped a bit. Which would indicate the action was too far away to get sharp details.

In summary, here would be my advice for your next outing:
1. Frame much tighter. Either by positioning yourself better or by shooting the action close enough.
2. Shoot portrait orientation - landscape leaves too many distracting elements in the frame. Back to the framing part, an easy way to judge whether action is close enough - in portrait orientation your subject (when we're talking about humans) should fill 2/3 of the vertical frame. If it doesn't then it's too far away.
3. Need faster shutter speeds. Crank that ISO - in bright light like this with a 2.8 lens, 1/1000 should be your minimun.
4. Use a single focus point - that way you guarantee your camera focuses on the player you want it to. And use continuous focus (not sure what the term is in Pentax) and track your subject for a second before taking the shot. That allows the camera to lock focus.

You've got a nice kit now. But as the photographer you'll need to make some fairly simple changes to get the best out of it. Good luck!
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 9:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Glad to see you enjoying your new gear. It's great to be able to practice at srimmages - a lot less clutter of people on the sidelines.
Here are some thoughts for your next scrimmage / game:
shot 1: Nice isolation shot of your son. Is this a big crop? If so, I would suggest cropping less - you've lost a lot of detail. The focus also appears to be elsewhere - again if you cropped it would be easier to tell from the original.
Excellent point. I think my problem was that I wasn't using single focus point and I was having problems with many of these shots (your suggestion is similar on many) getting the focus on the proper subject because I had chosen the wrong focus setting. This wasn't cropped, but I think the focus point was the issue.

[/QUOTE]shot 2: Nice timing, but Too far away. Your subject fills up too little of the frame. This is the tough part of shooting sports. With a 200mm lens, you really only have about 25 yards of coverage - not a whole lot. So you have to be right on the line of scrimmage shooting middle of the field toward you. To shoot from down field like this from that distance requires a 400mm lens. Given most of us aren't made of money - you need to position closer to line of scrimmage or be patient.[/QUOTE]

Yes, I agree, however, I did like this series of shots, fake, drop back, pass, catch, run tackle, which I wouldn't have been able to capture before the k7 and Da* 200mm lens combo, so even though this needs improvement, it showed me that the focus speed gives me a lot of possibilities for the future as I improve my skill (hopefully).

[/QUOTE]shot 3-4: These are tough to judge - in 3 it's tough to figure out who your subject is - too many players are in the frame and none appear to be in focus. Also, it looks like shutter speeds were way too slow as there's motion blur. Can't see your exif, but the best guess is your ISO was too low. ISO 400 in daylight is pretty common for sports. The K-7 has good noise control so crank up the ISO. In shot 4 - again, unsure who you're subject is. Is it the RB faking? Is it 82 running? It's a bit unclear.[/QUOTE]

yes, GREAT suggestion on the ISO, I was shooting ISO 200 and shutter 1/500, so I wasn't really getting the advantage of my gear. I will DEFINITELY make suggested adjustements.

[/QUOTE]shot 5: nice timing! The challenge with this shot is you have a lot of uninteresting dead space (filled with coaches) to the right. Shooting in portrait orientation would have helped with that. Was this shot cropped? Looks like again there's a lot of lost detail in the QB - and background is still not blurred enough. Given the framing it looks like this might have been cropped a bit. Which would indicate the action was too far away to get sharp details.

In summary, here would be my advice for your next outing:
1. Frame much tighter. Either by positioning yourself better or by shooting the action close enough.
2. Shoot portrait orientation - landscape leaves too many distracting elements in the frame. Back to the framing part, an easy way to judge whether action is close enough - in portrait orientation your subject (when we're talking about humans) should fill 2/3 of the vertical frame. If it doesn't then it's too far away.
3. Need faster shutter speeds. Crank that ISO - in bright light like this with a 2.8 lens, 1/1000 should be your minimun.
4. Use a single focus point - that way you guarantee your camera focuses on the player you want it to. And use continuous focus (not sure what the term is in Pentax) and track your subject for a second before taking the shot. That allows the camera to lock focus.

You've got a nice kit now. But as the photographer you'll need to make some fairly simple changes to get the best out of it. Good luck![/QUOTE]

Great advice, all of it, including the portrait mode. I did a few shots towards the end of the scrimmage in portrait mode and I like those much better, but I thought these hilighted the good and the bad of my shots all in the same pictures. I GREATLY appreciate the advice!!!!

Last edited by jnanpentaxfan; Aug 16, 2009 at 10:01 AM. Reason: spelling
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