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ronin2307 Apr 14, 2010 8:26 PM

shooting MMA
 
hi,
this weekend I have 6 teammates having their amateur fights in a highschool gym setting. I would like to try to get some decent shots with the equipment i have, which is:
XSi - max ISO 1600
50mm 1.8 II
18-55mm kit lens
70-300 IS USM
metz 48 af-1 flash

I realize none of this is really good enough for really good sport photography, but given what i have, what can i try to do to get decent shots? I should be able to move around the gym to a decent extent and if i am not mistaken, the gym has typical elevated bleacher seating.
no matter how i look at it, action shots are not going to be really possible (cage will be in the way), and i dont think i will be able to get next to the cage to shoot through it

any tips on technical settings, possible interesting shot composition (action or not) will be greatly appreciated.
thx

shoturtle Apr 14, 2010 8:31 PM

The 50mm would be the best lens for the indoor with 1600iso. But I would bring the 70-300. At 70mm at 3.5 may be bright enough if the lighting is right with 1600iso just don't zoom. Also it will give you fast AF with the USM over the dc motor of the 50 in AI servo mode.

ronin2307 Apr 14, 2010 8:33 PM

i am taking everything with me. just wanted to know if there is any chance to get decent shots with what i got.

shoturtle Apr 14, 2010 8:35 PM

You may get some decent shot with the 50 1.8 if it is within range. I have used the 50mm 1.8 at clubs to shoot some swing dancing and it had gotten some good results. I was about 15 ft away form it. And the lighting was not great.

shoturtle Apr 14, 2010 8:38 PM

Also if you are using the flash I would put a diffuser on it. So it does not interfere with the fighters as much. And that will be fine with the ef 70-300 and should give you good results.

JohnG Apr 15, 2010 6:52 AM

MMA in a highschool gym huh? Is there a cage or are they just going to be on wrestling mats?

It's going to be a bit of a challenge. The 50mm is good for about 15 feet so you have to be right on top of the action - not shooting from the stands.

So, what is the setup - cage, ring or just mat? Where will you be allowed to shoot from?

ronin2307 Apr 15, 2010 7:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 1080138)
MMA in a highschool gym huh? Is there a cage or are they just going to be on wrestling mats?

It's going to be a bit of a challenge. The 50mm is good for about 15 feet so you have to be right on top of the action - not shooting from the stands.

So, what is the setup - cage, ring or just mat? Where will you be allowed to shoot from?

yes, as i am in the midwest and we are talking amateur circles. this particular event is unfortunately in a HS gym. This is probably the worst venue i have seen as far as that goes.

This is all going to be in the cage. I fought for this promoter before and he typically has a video guy essentially on top of the cage, but i dont believe he allows anybody on the floor level next to the cage (VIP seating). I will be able to get close for the intros, but thats about it.. I will be able to move around, but not close enough to the cage.

Like i said, i dont have a whole lot of hope, but i just threw this out here to see what others thought. Dont want to haul my gear if it is pointless.

thx

JohnG Apr 15, 2010 8:27 AM

If there is a cage there are only two options for photos during the fight:

1) shoot through the cage which requires you to be within inches of it (i.e. front lens element within an inch or two of the links). Sounds like you don't have that access, so this option is out

2) shoot over the cage - which means either on the platforms where the video is and again it sounds like you can't do that or from distance up in stands. Problem with the distance thing is you need an angle steep enough to get over the cage wall - not through it. Or especially if there is a walkway type structure some HS gyms will have - kind of a second floor if you will.

The 50mm will thus be useless to you. The 70-300 could get you some shots down into the cage but not of any real action because at ISO 1600 and f5.6 in a HS gym you're probably looking at 1/60 shutter speeds (most HS gyms I've shot in are within a stop of ISO 1600 1/500 f2.0. You're three stops below that at 5.6).

Now, amateur may allow the use of flash. You'll have to ask. You may have issues with the metz 48 being underpowered from those distances but if you're allowed then it's worth a try. The key is you can NOT shoot through the cage from beyond a few inches - just won't work and will look bad.

Realize though that shooting OVER the wall from distance will be tough - you'll lose 1/3-1/2 the cage because of the wall closest to you.

ronin2307 Apr 15, 2010 8:33 AM

thx for the info. i may take the gear anyway and hope for the best. i think i would rather have it with me and not use it than have a chance for some decent shots and not have the gear with me

ronin2307 Apr 18, 2010 12:34 AM

well, shooting MMA is INCREDIBLY difficult. I managed to get to the cage, yet, my lack of expertise and the right gear was painfully clear. Its midnight now so as soon as i get a chance to look through my "work", i will try to post some pics i got. Majority is garbage however. Definitely need to practice more and learn how to use flash properly. My respect goes out to the sport shooters.


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