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dc7thchild Dec 14, 2006 2:28 PM

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I've had the 85 about 3 weeks now and it definitely acts differently than the 35-70 & 70-200 f2.8's. Mostly focus tracking can be lost with players moving toward and away directly. (I also find it odd using a fixed focal length after so much time with zooms :?) This first shot is the 8th in the series with #3 moving away. Sharpness on him lost some - #41 is sharper. ISO 1600, shutter priority 1/320, f2.5, no crop & slight noise reduction.

dc7thchild Dec 14, 2006 2:30 PM

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This shot was from the corner and is the 4th in the series. Better focus tracking for the Nikon D2H & 85 lens. 1/320 & f3

[email protected] Dec 14, 2006 8:43 PM

Maybe try ISO3200 if you have it, and shoot 1/500th.

F1.8 is pretty narrow depth of field.

Better to shoot at F2.8 or narrower.

Also, your framing is a little tight.

Shoot a little wider then crop after using software!

good luck, your off to a good start!

-- Terry

dc7thchild Dec 15, 2006 7:03 AM

Thanks, Terry! I'll see if I can put the advice to work. - Tom

JohnG Dec 15, 2006 7:28 AM


If you can, try to post some larger photos - it's difficult to tell anything about photos this small.

Yep, things get pretty interestingg when you get into wide apertures - when dof is only a few inches. The benefit, in the long run, is your technique will improve dramatically. But, these shots were all at pretty high f-stops - around the 2.8 that you're used to.

If you can post some larger images I'll better be able to tell what the positives and areas for improvement are.

Thanks for sharing.

JohnG Dec 15, 2006 7:35 AM

[email protected] wrote:

Maybe try ISO3200 if you have it, and shoot 1/500th.

F1.8 is pretty narrow depth of field.

Better to shoot at F2.8 or narrower.

-- Terry
Terry - welcome back. It's been a while!

I'm going to have to disagree on the advice to use 2.8 or narrower and ISO 3200. Yes, dof is shallow below 2.8, but shooting ISO 1600 and 2.0 will yield much better image quality in the long run. The key is to improve your focus and tracking technique. A sports shooter shouldn't use narrow apertures as a crutch - stop down a bit - as much as you can and still get the shutter speeds you need. 1/500 is great if you can get it. But 1/400 is a good target. The key being to make sure the image is exposed correctly in-camera - not underexposed. I find Canon for instance will underexpose by about 2/3 stops in low light situations (it's geared toward protecting the highlights so faces end up underexposed and colors a bit dull).

So, my advice on underexposures here is to open up the aperture - shoot at 2.0 - and work on technique. In my experience the image quality will be better in the long run and so will your technique.

Just a different take. Each personn is different and has a different style. This is just 2 different ways to try and fix the same problem, Tom. Give both a try and see what eventually works best for you.;)

[email protected] Dec 15, 2006 7:41 AM

Hi John G,

Yes, I've been on a hiatus but getting back into the groove!

So now we can argue about apertures!

I usually err on the side of a slightly narrower aperture (F2.8 or narrower) because I don't want to miss that shot of a lifetime because I blew the depth of field. lol.

Yes, your right, 1/400th would probably get you there.

The main thing is to experiment until you have settings your comfortable with and work well for you where very few shots are "blown" due to exposure problems, focus problems, etc.

Tom, you get lots of free advice here so you should be ready to rock and roll!

-- Terry

dc7thchild Dec 15, 2006 12:55 PM

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Thanks, JohnG, for the added advice. I really didn't think the aperature was a problem here as it was at f2.5. (Shutter prioty at 1/320 to allow the camera to vary aperature as light changed on the floor.) From prior events with the 85mm, I didn't like shooting at f1.8 due to the narrow dof: focus on the chest & when the player leans forward - face out of focus!

I do have operator error in tracking with my 70-200 f2.8 at times (can be heavy after an hour!) but I noticed the 85 did not lock focus and track well with the player coming directyl at me. Some tracking was lost with the player moving away.

Here are 100% crops of the 1st frame and the 8th frame of this sequence. For this posting, no noise reduction has been made. D2H, ISO 1600, 1/320, f2.5, shutter priority.

dc7thchild Dec 15, 2006 12:57 PM

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The 8th frame

DRGSin Dec 15, 2006 8:38 PM

If I may chime in here as a beginner... Ive been battlingthe same frustration for the last couple of months. I have tried shooting at 3200 because of the same reason, but found the noise, especially with my D1X, just too much to deal with. Because of my limited skills at noise reduction I took others' suggestions and shot at 1600, f/1.4-1.8and 1/320-400. I tossed out a BUNCH of out of focusshots that wouldve been awesome, but eventually my focusing issues began to resolve. I still throw out7-8 per 50 because of poor focusing but I feel that by toughing it out, it has helpedme become a better button clicker. My advice, just hang in there, it'll come around.

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