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Author Topic: Weird Banding on shots....  (Read 8039 times)

Z

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2012, 08:44:14 AM »
How about situations like this where a flash is inappropriate?  Any other work-arounds in post-production or other camera settings (white balance, metering options) that might reduce it?OR,  Is this just a function of the higher ISO sensitivity?  I shoot in gyms like this all the time (7D/1dIV) using 1/800-1/1000,  up to ISO 3200-6400 and have never seen it.  Have I been 'lucky' that my shutter speed and the frequency of the flickering just have not been in synch, or has my camera been unable to detect it at these lower ISOs?
There are lots of different kinds of fluorescent lighting, it's likely that you haven't come across this particular type. Dramatic banding as seen in the OP's photos tends to be seen with older lights. That being said, fluorescent lighting of any kind is the bane of white balance because it oscillates in colour temperature.  If you must shoot without flash, and you must shoot at fast shutter speeds you are eventually going to see something similar to OP's results.

EDIT: That being said, although it is difficult and time-consuming to correct in post, it isn't impossible. Here is a quick effort of mine using a magenta colour curves and gradient mask. Before (above) and after.

 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 08:52:57 AM by Z »

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2012, 08:44:14 AM »

AnselA

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2012, 09:01:52 AM »
There is no shame in deleting your own post.

markIVantony

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2012, 09:31:10 AM »
I shoot sports in gyms a lot during the winter months, and this type of problem is a constant frustration (though mine have been mostly white balance-type issues, not banding).  Some gyms are definitely worse than others!  I haven't found any practical way to counteract the light cycling.  Full manual, full auto, fixed white-balance, auto WB, etc doesn't help.  The end result is almost a doubling of the post-processing work required since every other pic has a different color cast.

K-amps

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2012, 09:57:00 AM »
I shoot sports in gyms a lot during the winter months, and this type of problem is a constant frustration (though mine have been mostly white balance-type issues, not banding).  Some gyms are definitely worse than others!  I haven't found any practical way to counteract the light cycling.  Full manual, full auto, fixed white-balance, auto WB, etc doesn't help.  The end result is almost a doubling of the post-processing work required since every other pic has a different color cast.

When I was shooting and had no idea what was going on, I thought I messed up some menu settings, so I tried video... that was so much worse, 3 yellow bands across the entire frame. Now that I know a bit more, I will play with shutter speeds and see if it goes away (although I lose the ability to freeze). Granted a flash may resolve this, but I'd rather not use one and startle the players .
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BK

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2012, 10:02:18 AM »
How about situations like this where a flash is inappropriate?  Any other work-arounds in post-production or other camera settings (white balance, metering options) that might reduce it?OR,  Is this just a function of the higher ISO sensitivity?  I shoot in gyms like this all the time (7D/1dIV) using 1/800-1/1000,  up to ISO 3200-6400 and have never seen it.  Have I been 'lucky' that my shutter speed and the frequency of the flickering just have not been in synch, or has my camera been unable to detect it at these lower ISOs?

Based on my understanding this is solely a function of shutter speed. It's similar to the rolling shutter phenomenon and this would probably not be an issue with an electronic shutter. Your mechanical shutter does not expose the entire sensor at once. One curtain opens and another closes behind it. With fast shutter speeds both of the curtains move simultaneously. So the sensor is exposed in "slivers."

A portion of the "slivers" being exposed are darker and have a green color shift because the fluorescent lights had cycled while the shutter was in motion.

The article on focal plane shutters at Wikipedia has a diagram showing the function of the shutter. Based on my understanding, the aperture and sensor sensitivity will have little if any effect on the banding.

Gyms can have a variety of lighting types and not just fluorescent which might explain why some people don't see this or don't see it as often.

I've shot basketball and volleyball in gyms and never had an issue. I only discovered this issue when shooting at my son's karate school. Shooting at 1/160 gets me a large number of keepers and I don't see anything at all at 1/125. Flash kills off the banding completely. Now if I could get the instructor to get rid of the bright blue and pink mats which makes getting reasonable skin tones almost impossible...

awinphoto

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2012, 10:06:39 AM »
For those who know more about this thing, please excuse my ignorance, I'm just curious... I vaguely remember when the 5d mark 2 first came out and it had the 30fps video people in europe and UK cried out loud because the fluctuations of the fluorescent lights in their area was such where it created problems with 30fps video and 24fps fixed that... In the USA, there wasn't issues because the voltage or something of that matter was different and was fine with 30 or 24 fps... Is this banding the same kinda thing where it wouldn't be as much of a problem because of the USA light power cycle/frequency/etc or is this problem universal in Europe and the USA? I haven't shot much in years in old gyms and such but the few times I have I cant recall having any issues but perhaps they had newer lighting?  Just curious on your thoughts. 
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triggermike

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2012, 10:18:54 AM »
Quote
Now that I know a bit more, I will play with shutter speeds and see if it goes away (although I lose the ability to freeze).

In the US frequencies are 60hz (cycles). In Europe and the Middle-east it is 50hz (cycles) - others from various countries can/should confirm. If you're in an area with 60hz, use shutterspeeds which are multiples of 60 (1/60, 1/120, etc.) For 50hz, naturally use multiples of 50 (or as close as you can.) So you can still use fast shutterspeeds - just use one that is a multiple of the frequency. This will alleviate banding, but it will not alleviate strange colors from frame to frame. This is a problem with many different types of Gymnasium lighting - not just fluorescent. Banding is difficult to manage in post, but color casts can be addressed using WB and/or hue adjustments.

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2012, 10:18:54 AM »

K-amps

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2012, 10:26:31 AM »
Excellent explanation BK, thanks.
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Blaze

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2012, 10:50:51 AM »
How about situations like this where a flash is inappropriate?  Any other work-arounds in post-production or other camera settings (white balance, metering options) that might reduce it?OR,  Is this just a function of the higher ISO sensitivity?  I shoot in gyms like this all the time (7D/1dIV) using 1/800-1/1000,  up to ISO 3200-6400 and have never seen it.  Have I been 'lucky' that my shutter speed and the frequency of the flickering just have not been in synch, or has my camera been unable to detect it at these lower ISOs?

Based on my understanding this is solely a function of shutter speed. It's similar to the rolling shutter phenomenon and this would probably not be an issue with an electronic shutter. Your mechanical shutter does not expose the entire sensor at once. One curtain opens and another closes behind it. With fast shutter speeds both of the curtains move simultaneously. So the sensor is exposed in "slivers."

A portion of the "slivers" being exposed are darker and have a green color shift because the fluorescent lights had cycled while the shutter was in motion.

The article on focal plane shutters at Wikipedia has a diagram showing the function of the shutter. Based on my understanding, the aperture and sensor sensitivity will have little if any effect on the banding.

Gyms can have a variety of lighting types and not just fluorescent which might explain why some people don't see this or don't see it as often.

I've shot basketball and volleyball in gyms and never had an issue. I only discovered this issue when shooting at my son's karate school. Shooting at 1/160 gets me a large number of keepers and I don't see anything at all at 1/125. Flash kills off the banding completely. Now if I could get the instructor to get rid of the bright blue and pink mats which makes getting reasonable skin tones almost impossible...

The banding in the OP's photos may be attributed to a rolling shutter type effect, but having an electronic shutter wouldn't completely solve the problem of shooting under flickering gym lights. I have many hundreds of photos I've shot under these sorts of lights where the brightness and WB vary across the frame perpendicularly to the direction of the shutter movement (and thus cannot be a rolling shutter effect). The lights don't all flicker exactly in sync, which means for fast shutter speeds you'll often see variations due to the lights being in different parts of their cycle from each other.

DeepShadows

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2012, 11:05:55 AM »
I was not aiming my frustrations directly at him, notice I said people making these claims... I was more annoyed at the title of the thread than anything. I know it was made to get posts and garner attention. I have seen several new posts with titles just like his on several forums and none have been the camera fault they claim in the title. I won't take back my words because I still stand behind them. Before making wild claims and accusations maybe ask in a more professional manner, even if you are not one. Or take some time to think about all the variables before instantly posting "sensationalist" titles to grab attention. FYI I have had this problem shooting weddings on 20D, 30D, 40D, 5D Mark II, and 1D Mark III as a result of shutter speed and changing areas of the church. Mostly during the getting ready stages and I have time to chimp and see the result to fix it. The white balance issue on the other hand is almost always present. New bulbs and not new ballasts fix that problem, where as the new electronic ballasts as has been said before fire the bulbs at a much higher frequency. This problem was solved because in industry what was known and still is as the "strobe effect" happened in dangerous situations. The lights would cycle at the same speed as rotating machinery making it appear as though it was not moving. Sorry to go off like that in your thread, but things came to a peak right after I had just read 3 other threads that made huge claims of the camera being at huge fault and they were not.

BK

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2012, 11:06:41 AM »
The banding in the OP's photos may be attributed to a rolling shutter type effect, but having an electronic shutter wouldn't completely solve the problem of shooting under flickering gym lights. I have many hundreds of photos I've shot under these sorts of lights where the brightness and WB vary across the frame perpendicularly to the direction of the shutter movement (and thus cannot be a rolling shutter effect). The lights don't all flicker exactly in sync, which means for fast shutter speeds you'll often see variations due to the lights being in different parts of their cycle from each other.
Blaze,
When you see this variation with the electronic shutter does it appear as bands or does it have a different appearance? Based on what you're saying it sounds like the portions of the picture that would have been illuminated by the lights in the down portion of their cycle would be darker.

I'm just trying to make sure I understand the phenomenon correctly. Thanks.

Jamesy

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2012, 11:16:27 AM »
I am by no means an expert in this area but I wonder of the latest LR4 version with its selective White Balance  tool would help with a picture like this?

I think this is a great discussion as I am not a sports shooter and have never encountered this phenomena before.

Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2012, 11:45:36 AM »
Quote
Now that I know a bit more, I will play with shutter speeds and see if it goes away (although I lose the ability to freeze).

In the US frequencies are 60hz (cycles). In Europe and the Middle-east it is 50hz (cycles) - others from various countries can/should confirm.

Where I happen to live in the middle east, it is indeed 50hz. As the first electricity station here was built under the British mandate for the area, I wouldn't be surprised if the frequency was selected to match that of Britain.

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2012, 11:45:36 AM »

Dylan777

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2012, 11:46:22 AM »
Thanks for sharing K-AMPS

I too will get my 5D III tomorrow...I was a bit worry reading your post, but then, others members have indicated the old gym light. I feel little better now ;)

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Macadameane

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2012, 12:18:40 PM »
I noticed a similar effect related to the 60Hz rate and the 59.94 fps rate of my 7D.  Because the rates are so close, you can see my clock updating the time in "slow motion"

Clock Electronics Slowed Down Small | Large

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Re: Weird Banding on shots....
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2012, 12:18:40 PM »