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Messages - FTb-n

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Photography Technique / Re: Shooting in a Dark Skating Arena Advice
« on: October 15, 2014, 02:22:46 PM »
This question is right up my alley.  My daughter skates with a local club and now at the level where she earns solos in the annual ice show, she has her Axel and several doubles in her repertoire.   Shooting ice shows is the reason that I invested in my 70-200 f2.8L II.  It's also the reason why I upgraded from an XT to a 60D, then a 7D, and now a 5D3.  A 1Dx would be great, but frankly the 5D3 is filling my needs quite well.

Your T5i can handle this, but if you are going to rent, rent a 5D3.  With either body, your ISO will be between 1600 and 3200.  I will often go beyond.

Whether its your T5i or a rented 5D3, get to know the camera.  Know how to change settings and how navigate the menu before you get to the rink.  Be prepared to trouble-shoot an errant setting and to change a shooting mode in a hurry and in the dark.

Lightroom 5 is great for noise reduction.  You need more with the crop body than the with the 5D3.  Shoot RAW.

The key is to get lots of practice.  I assume that your rink is built for hockey.  The best vantage point is the players box.  It gets you at ice level and you avoid the plexiglass.  The 70-200 on the 5D3 has great range from this position.  I typically shoot in landscape.  With a crop body, things can get tight when the skater gets close forcing a vertical shot.  I use a monopod with a Manfrotto tilt head and quick release.  I use the collar on the lens and the tilt head on the monopod lets me tilt up or down.  The collar gives me the horizontal to vertical option.

Shutter speed will vary with the talent of the skater and the action on the ice.  1/200 minimum for younger skaters and spirals.  Pan with the skater when you shoot.  For rotational jumps, 1/500 is minimum.  When I shot with the 7D, I was at first afraid to go beyond 1600 and often lived with shutter speeds of 1/320-1/500.  Today, I typically shoot 1/500 to 1/1000.  A sharp noisy photo is better than a blurry clean one.  It's easier to clean up noise than blur.

With my 70-200, cropping a shot from the 5D3 is sharper and cleaner than one from my 7D.

With the 5D3, I shoot with high FPS setting, AI SERVO, spot focusing with 8 expansion points, AF Case 2 (yes, I prefer this over Case 5 which is for erratic movement), back-button focusing, spot or partial metering, manual mode, RAW, AWB, f2.8, shutter 1/500-1/1000, and ISO 2000-4000.

Regarding the IS on your lens, leave it on.  Above 1/500, it may not help, but it doesn't hurt and it will help if you must go lower.  Lately, I shoot a lot at 1/1000 with it on and off and cannot say that I've noticed a difference.  The biggest problem with turning it off is forgetting to turn it back on when you need it, like with a shot backstage.

Anticipation is key.  Shoot during practice so you know the routines and practice your timing.  Unless you use a 1Dx with 12 FPS, do NOT rely on spray and pray to get the shot.  Even with the 8 FPS of the 7D, burst mode is no substitute for timing.  Surprisingly, I am more likely to burst during a slow spiral than a fast jump.  With the spiral, I'm looking for background and little happens between frames.  With jumps, a lot can happen between frames at 8 FPS.  Split jumps are often the best to shoot because you can get some hang time at the peek of the jump.  I do often burst a couple frames when I try to get the apex of the jump (sometimes due to a heavy finger).  This is what you want to shoot.  For rotational jumps, get the take-off, try to  get the apex, than the the landing.  Single jumps are tough.  If the skater is facing you during the take-off and landing, they then face away from you during the apex of the jump.  Just about ever point in between these can be very unflattering.

The 7d and the 5D3 are great for tracking the skater.  Use AI Servo.  But understand how it works.  It keeps track of movement to predict where the subject will be when you trip the shutter.  Skater's change direction frequently and can through off the AI Servo.  This is a bigger problem for Rebel's than the 7D and 5D3.  To get around this, get in the habit of lifting your finger off the shutter briefly when the skater changes direction.  I assume that you are "riding" the shutter (or back focus button) to track the skater.  With AI Servo, ride it, that is, be sure to pre-focus for at least second before shooting.  This gives the chip more info to predict the focus when the shutter trips.

The other issue that you will run into with the 5Ti is it's buffer.  Even if you aren't bursting lots of shots, you can still shoot a bunch in a hurry and fill up that buffer.  The key here is to know the routine and don't fill the buffer getting the take-off to a jump.  Save a couple frames for the apex and landing.

Again, practice, practice, practice.  Practice to know figure skating so that you can see when a skater is getting ready for a jump and zoom so they don't jump out of the frame.  Watch for sit spins, skaters often go into a standing spin and out of your frame if you are too tight.  Practice timing spins.  Practice to learn the routines.  Practice to learn the limits of your camera.  If there's a dress rehearsal, this can be your best chance to get shots and to learn how the lighting will be.

Figure skating is about the skating.  Full body shots are often best.  Save the closeups for ending poses.

I prefer to shoot in manual mode and pick an ISO that supports shutter speeds of 1/1000 when all spot lights are on the skater.  I then bump the shutter speed down when fewer spots are on the skater.  Chimp a lot so you know that your exposure is in the range.  You will get to the point where you know what shutter speed to use with 4 spots vs. 3 vs. 2 vs. 1.  I don't like auto exposure because the background and or the costumes are rarely 18% gray.

I must note that I have had a lot of good luck with 1/500.  It all depends upon the skills and speed of the skater.

Check out this link for more detail.  Scroll to the bottom for a complete write-up on shooting ice shows.  This was written after a show in 2012 that was shot with a 7D -- before any experience with the 5D3.


This link includes exhibition galleries.  Those after April 2013 were shot with the 5D3.  Sorry, don't have the 2013 or 2014 show photos posted here.  But, the 2012 show photos are.

Here is a gallery of shots from the 2012 show shot with the 7D.  Shutter speed range was typically 1/250-1/640 with ISO 1600-3200 -- maybe half at 1600 and half at 3200.


Hope this helps.

Landscape / Re: Hoya Polarisationsfilter for Landscapes.
« on: October 15, 2014, 10:37:45 AM »
HD!  I have Pro-1 and HD clear filters and the HD polarizer.  The HD are MUCH tougher and harder to break.  There are also much easier to clean.  Fingerprints wipe off very easily.  Within the Hoya line, I highly recommend the HD filters.

Another highly regarded filter to consider is B+W, but I  can't offer first-hand experience on these.

Dumb question.  How can manual mode with auto ISO still be manual mode?

There are three elements to exposure control -- aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.  With film bodies, the ISO (a.k.a. ASA) was fixed.  But, digital bodies introduce the ability to change ISO and offer auto ISO as a feature.  It does seem that the PASM (program, auto aperture, auto shutter, manual) mode settings are rather dated from the days of film and it is long overdue to add fifth mode with an auto ISO setting.

For what it's worth, the current Canon bodies offer two easy to use dials.  In manual mode, these can be set to two of the three exposure control elements.  I would like to see the integration of a third dial so that I can readily change all three without having to hold another button down while rotating the dial.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: How to differentiate crop vs. FF
« on: October 14, 2014, 09:37:36 AM »
Interesting thread so far.  My jump to FF wasn't that long ago.  I still use my 7D, but in comparison, the 5D3 images have more pop to them.  That's part of the key.  After getting the shot, it is easier to see the difference between FF and crop when comparing two similar photos side-by-side.  However, good crop bodies with good glass can produce great images that can be hard to discern from FF when there's no side-by-side comparison.

Every body has boundaries where getting the shot and image quality is challenged.  For me, the FF 5D3 was a better choice when I realized that I pushing my crop 7D beyond these boundaries.   That's the biggest difference.  If you live within the sweet spot of a crop body, the advantages of a FF body are minor.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: How to differentiate crop vs. FF
« on: October 13, 2014, 03:13:23 PM »
FF Advantaged:

- Better low light/high ISO performance
- Greater color depth
- Narrower DOF, which means better control of DOF
- Generally speaking, features in demand by pros more likely in FF (the 7D2 may buck the tide a bit on this)
- Sharper images given EF glass.  This one surprised me.  Check out the comparison of a 70-200 f2.8L II on a 1Ds Mk3 vs. a 60D
- Strengthens muscles if carried for 20 minutes every day.
- Simplifies one's bank account  ;)

Photography Technique / Getting the right exposure for outdoor sports
« on: October 12, 2014, 02:22:37 PM »
I mostly shoot indoor sports where lighting tends to be consistent and getting the correct exposure is fairly easy.  But, I occasionally shoot soccer and cross country where cloud cover can change the light quickly and players can sometimes be in the sun, sometimes in the shade.  I could use some tips for getting the correct exposure.

For cross country, the courses tend to serpentine around a field so I pick a spot at the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the finish line to get runners from our school.  Keeping the sun in front or to the side of the runner's face is a factor in selecting my vantage points.  My ability to hoof it from one spot to the next before the runners get there is another.

I'm using a 5D3, sometimes a 7D, with a 70-200 f2.8L II.   I've grown leery of Evaluative meter mode because it tends to overcompensate for the sky and it can change wildly.  I most often use spot or partial metering.  I have more comfort in manual mode.  Aperture or shutter priority modes seems to lead to wide swings in exposure.  Jersey colors are not always 18% gray and the meter can often be blown out by the background.

My current technique is to try to get a bunch of test shots before the event with kids facing the sun and away from the sun so I know the range of shutter speeds to use.  F-stop is fixed at 2.8 and I pick an ISO that lets me pick a shutter speed between 1/1,000 and 1/4,000 -- ISO 400 often works.  While shooting, I'm watching the needle and the light on the runners.  I try to judge when the runner's face's appear shaded, then dial down the shutter speed to bump up the exposure.  Generally, I make sure that the needle is in the middle or to the right.  When I can, I glance at the LCD, but there often isn't time.  Sometimes the sun makes it difficult get a good read from the LCD.

My consistency needs help and I often get a bunch of shots that are over-exposed.  Lightroom fixes this, but I'd like to get better at nailing the exposure.  Listening to Scott Kelby talk about the 7D2, it fascinates me that pros typically shoot JPEGs to get their shots to their wire service with minimum delay.  This got me wondering how they nail the exposure since there's less room for error with JPEGs.  I most often shoot RAW.

So, for those shoot outdoor sports, how do you nail the exposure?  What meter modes do you like and do you trust Av, Tv, or Auto ISO?

Lighting / Re: Flash equipment for Portraits & Events
« on: October 12, 2014, 11:24:30 AM »
I use Yongnuo YN565-EX with YN622-C remotes for off camera work.  They work great in manual mode and with the remotes, I can control the output and zoom setting from the menu of my 5D3.

I also have a first generation Canon 430EX.  I don't use ETTL very often because my off camera work typically means a fixed distance between light source and subject.  I prefer more direct control over the output.  But, I have played with ETTL using both the YN565-EX and the Canon 430EX and I find that the Yongnuo has some consistency issues in ETTL.  The Canon flash, however, is very consistent in ETTL.

If ETTL is a must, I'd wait for reviews from others to see if the YN600EX-RT is any better than the YN565-EX.

Canon General / Re: How Soon We Forget!
« on: October 10, 2014, 02:56:44 AM »
Photography is a great hobby (or profession) for those of us who not only enjoy the art of capturing that moment in time, but also marvel at the technological advances and fine craftsmanship that went into the development of our tools.

For decades, the film-based Leica M-series was a marvel in design and craftsmanship.  So was the Hasselblad.  I still appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the Canon F1, FTb-n, and the Canonet GIII's -- and the little Rollie 35's with the collapsible lens.   I still think that old Argus C3 is unique marvel in its simplicity and tank-meets-Brownie design.  The big thing in my early career was to push-process ASA 400 Tri-X film to ASA 1,200.  Shooting at 1,200 was FAST and way cool.

But, now, with a 7D or a 5D3, I routinely shoot up to ISO 64,000.  Last week, I played with 12,800 at a high-school football game.  The results at these speeds still amaze me.  I remember when Ektachrome ASA 160 was "high speed film."  It is incredible that one can get a recognizable image at ISO 12,800, let alone a clean one.  Looking back a few decades, it is fascinating to review the evolution of the camera.   The progress in the past ten years absolutely amazes me.

Photography is the art of capturing a moment that can be studied, discussed, and enjoyed for a lifetime.  The  photograph lives to reveal the details of an instant in time.  For the photographer, it's not only the image and the story within that sparks great interest, but also the tale of getting the shot -- the hunt itself. 

It is fascinating to discuss the techniques we use to get that shot.  I find it equally fascinating to discuss the tools that we use.  We are witnessing an incredible evolution of the camera, there is much to share as we watch it evolve.  It is this variety that fascinates me about photography for it offers so many different fields of study that can shared in spirited discussion -- from the image, to the hunt, to the technology that drives the evolution of our tools -- it offers the spice that keeps the pages of this forum alive and kicking.

Reviews / Re: Scott Kelby 7D Mark II Real World
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:38:02 PM »
It was interesting to note Kelby's claim that he shoots JPEGs for sports -- then to complain about the 5D3's buffer.

I interpreted that as he has to shoot JPEGs because he can’t convert the RAW yet.

He did state that he shot both the game and the wedding in JPEG because he couldn't convert the RAW yet.  But, I thought he also said that he "always shoots in sports in JPEG".  I assumed he does this speed up his workflow and turnaround time to get his images to his client during half-time and after the game.

Reviews / Re: Scott Kelby 7D Mark II Real World
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:24:35 PM »
Not like i forgot, but watching this video reaffirmed to me the differences between pros and everyone else. Here Scott about losses it because he thought he lost his "lock" button. I have no idea what a lock button is,what it's for, do i even have one currently?

I do enjoy listening to the pros talk shop and often learn something when they do.  Today, I learned how to switch the RATE button (that I never used) to a LOCK button.  So, after watching this video and re-assigning my RATE button, I'll see if I can speed up my workflow by selecting images in-camera as Kelby does.

Workflow is how I was introduced to Kelby.  He blogged about his method during the Olympics and I found it quite helpful.

The sports that I shoot are middle-school to high-school level and I typically shoot 400-600 images a game.  This depends heavily on the talent on the court.  Older kids tend to be faster and give me more opportunities, so I shoot more.  I tend to depend on timing more than spray and pray.  Part of this is old school habit from film.   But, I learned quickly with my 7D that burst mode can give a lot of images that you're going to cull later.  So, I try to time the shots and selectively burst, in part, to simplify the culling process.  I also think that my success rate of capturing those moments are better with timing than spraying.  Granted, with 12 FPS of the 1Dx, the spray method is may be more successful.

Kelby is used to 12 FPS with the 1Dx and seems to like using it.  Plus, he's burning out a 7DII battery after only one game.  I can't imagine the number of images that he must go through.

I do have to take issue with Kelby's assertion that the 5D3 isn't a sports body.  It is limited to 6 FPS.  But, the AF is clearly sports oriented.   Most of us not shooting professional sports can find the 6 FPS quite suitable.  It all depends upon the sport, the level of play, and one's dependency upon burst mode.

Reviews / Re: Scott Kelby 7D Mark II Real World
« on: October 08, 2014, 09:08:25 PM »
No grip.  I haven't tried one and can't say that I wouldn't like it, but I love that my 5D3's are more compact, lighter, and easier to carry than with the added bulk and weight of the grip.  If I shot extensively in vertical, I can see the benefit, but I find the standard grip quite comfortable in both directions.  No grip was a good move.  Let the customer decide if grip needs to be added.

One note about Kelby's review.  Those ISO 16,000 images did look great without any added noise reduction.  But, how much of this is the sensor and how much is the DIGIC 6 and its in-camera RAW conversion with in-camera noise reduction?  This is where I wish we could have seen the RAW images.

It was interesting to note Kelby's claim that he shoots JPEGs for sports -- then to complain about the 5D3's buffer.  I use my 5D3's primarily for sports and it only buffers if I burst in RAW.  Just now, I tested a 54 frame burst in JPEG with no hesitation whatsoever.  (I know, a minor nit.)

Lighting / Re: What 3rd party flash?
« on: October 07, 2014, 07:28:58 PM »
For ETTL, I prefer a Canon flash.  For manual, I prefer Yongnuo.

While I occasionally use the flash on camera with a Roundflash ring light, the vast majority of my need is off camera.  I've used Yongnuo YN460-II manual flash for several years with no problems. 

Recently, I started using the YN565EX-II with YN622-C remote triggers.  The YN565EX-II has ETTL, but I don't use it.  I prefer to manually control the power level.  This flash has almost twice the power of the YN460-II and with the YN622-C triggers, you can fully control the power level and zoom setting from your camera's menu (at least with the 5D3).  This is VERY handy.

For what it's worth, I don't like shooting with a flash at full power.  It can shorten its life in a hurry.  So, I often at less than 1/2 power, many times with two speedlites per umbrella.  It's not necessary for small groups, but it enables the use of lower power levels, which means much faster recycle times.

Regarding ETTL, my first generation Canon 430EX is very good.  But, the YN565EX-II is inconsistent in ETTL.  I can't speak for the Pixel flash, but I would hesitate to expect reliable ETTL from third party speedlites.  They have to reverse engineer the Canon ETTL software and I wouldn't expect the same results as with Canon speedlights.

EOS Bodies / Re: Upgrade Path Advice...
« on: October 06, 2014, 07:05:18 PM »
have a 40d, shoot predictable sports, already have nice glass
want a 6D for best image quality/$
7Dii is best sports shooter in my budget
which one to buy?

5Diii :)


EOS Bodies / Re: Which Camera Are You Looking Forward Too?
« on: October 03, 2014, 09:35:31 AM »
I thought it was odd to look forward to a camera that may soon be discontinued.  Then, after I voted, looked at the date of the post.  But, it is interesting to revisit this thread. 

FF wasn't anywhere near my ballpark back then.  I did upgrade from the XT to the 60D with a 18-135 zoom and thought this was the last camera for me for some time.  A few months later, a friend loaned me a 70-200 f2.8 Mark 1 for an ice show and everything changed since then.  I got hooked on the potential that this lens, and its successor, offered for low light performance.  Not long after, FF became vary appealing.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 80D????
« on: October 01, 2014, 11:15:41 PM »
Fall 2017 at the earliest.

My guess is that the next crop bodies will be an SL2 and a T6i with improved movie AF and WiFi (and maybe NFC).    The T6 will follow with WiFi, not sure about movie AF.

It would be nice to see a compact, sharp EF-S 18-200 IS STM.  The SL1 is a tempting body for traveling light, but once you start putting full size zooms on it, the total package isn't significantly smaller that a T-body with the same lens.

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