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alphie06 Feb 11, 2008 7:11 PM

I own a Nikon D70 and next month I'm going to a mixed martial arts competition. They allow cameras, but no flash. I have very good seats, so I can hopefully get some good shots. Any tricks to capture good, crisp pictures?

JohnG Feb 12, 2008 1:48 PM

is it in a cage or a ring?

If it's in a cage, you can forget about getting any good shots of the action. You need to have the lens right up on the cage to do that. Even then, the cage makes MMA one of the toughest sports IMO to shoot.

If it's a ring, it's still gonna be tough because the ropes will be in the way a bit - especially for action on the ground. Striking you might be able to get a good shot - assuming you are close enough for the focal length of your len.

So, is it cage or ring?

How far away are your seats?

What lenses do you have available?

alphie06 Feb 12, 2008 9:31 PM

Hey there, thanks for the reply. :)

Well, the ring is unique, found ONLY in the World Combat League.

It's slightly raised to get a good shot of the action no matter where you are sitting. :-)

My seats are floor level, row 1, so as good as I can get them. Hehehe

I'll just be shooting with the kit lens that night, 18-70mm. The lens that I normally shoot sports with is a bit too large to carry into the venue.

JohnG Feb 13, 2008 7:21 AM

OK, that looks like a sweet setup.

Here's the challenge - you've got a lens with 5.6 aperture so AF may be very problematic. I would concentrate on ground fighting rather than striking since you don't need the AF speed for the ground fighting.

I would recommend shooting in RAW - you can get some screwy white balances with reflections off the mat. Set camera to ISO 1600, av mode and aperture wide open. I say AV because when they're on the matt you may find a different exposure than when they're upright because of the shadows created. Set metering to whatever gives the most weight to the ceter of the frame (not sure what Nikon refers to this as). Use a single focus point.

Pay attention to the exposures you're getting when they're on the matt - you'll likely have to use EC (there may be up to a 1 stop difference between upright fighters and on the mat because of shadows).

Faces are key. You're not going to be able to crop much at 1600 with the D70. So the action needs to be filling about 3/4 of the frame for you to end up with decent shots.

I have to say I'm jealous. I absolutely hate shooting through a cage.

Also, what lens do you normally shoot sports with? Just curious what you consider to be too large. Is it a 200-400 or a 300mm or 400mm 2.8 or just a 70-200?

Concentrate on action close to you. Action on the other side of the ring is too far away for 70mm to reach.

alphie06 Feb 13, 2008 9:33 AM

Thanks so much for the tips. :cool:

Unfortunately there is no ground fighting here. It's all stand up, for three minutes straight, no stalling. Once again, something unique only to the WCL. Just wish I could bring my other lens, but not sure how the security will react to me carrying it around.

The lens that I normally use is 30-700mm lens.

JohnG Feb 13, 2008 9:46 AM

alphie06 wrote:

The lens that I normally use is 30-700mm lens.

did you mean 70-300?

And, if it's all stand-up, the advice is to again stick to close action. Faces are what is interesting.

So focus should always be on the oponent whose face you see not the one whose face you dont (if you can see both then they're perpendicular to you and in the same focal plane so it doesn't matter). You'll want to use servo focsing and stay focused on the face - using one shot might not be fast enough. Your dof will be great enough that a little inacuracy in focus wont hurt too much.

alphie06 Feb 13, 2008 9:59 AM

Sorry I meant 70-300mm. :sad:

I know it's not THAT big of a lens, but security is usually pretty tight at these venues.

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