I am trying to improve my sports photography and I am hoping that the expert opinions which abound on this sight can provide me some pointers. I am shooting with a canon 7D, Tamron 70-200 2.8vc, Settings SERVO and AF POINT EXPANSION, custom white balance.
The Arena lighting is.....terrible and my shots are not as sharp as I would hope as I frequently have to adjust to ISO 2000. I also posses a 6D which is able to handle those higher ISO levels but trades off the frame rate.
ISO 2000 is the max(imo) for the 7D so if you're shooting with a 70-200 at ISO 2000, f2.8, and 1/500 and it's still too dark, then you have no choice but to switch to the 6D and shoot at ISO 3200 or 4000. (with hockey you should ideally expose to the right anyway 1/4 to 1/2 stop to see under their helmets a little bit better)
"shooting to the right" is important in hockey, check your histogram.
for hockey, 1/500 is a bare minimum when lighting is terrible. 1/640 is ok/fine, 1/800 or above is ideal.