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I am, on a weekly basis, forced to shoot football at ISO 25600, f/2.8, with a SS around 1/400. I realize the SS is low (1/640 seems to be a better minimum), but even with the slower shutter speed my pix run from .5 to 1.5 stops under exposed. (Depends on whether or not the play occurs within the arc of one of the light standards.) I have a standard +1/3 EV and shoot RAW. Believe me when I say that the local lighting is absolutely the worst I've ever dealt with.
I've studied the 1DIV manual and experimented a lot. Canon's manual explanations are terse to the point of obscure
Biggest problem is AF selecting something contrasty in the background (often another player) and focusing on it rather than say the player my center point is on. I recognize some of this is idiot user though I don't know for sure how much.
I shoot almost exclusively with a 70-200 f/2.8L II. (Maybe 5% with a 24-70 f/2.8L.) My faster primes do not have the reach (longest is the 135mm) and frankly I can't see anyway to adapt to rapidly changing subject distance without a zoom.
My settings are as follows: Tv mode: 1/400, ISO 25600 (H1), f/2.8, AISERVO, high speed. I use spot metering and center point focus with back button activation. My C.FnIII settings are as follows: #2 AI Servo tracking: 1 click to left of center (have tried center without noticeable improvement), #4(1)continuous AF track, #5 focus search on, #8 AF expansion w/select pt (2)surrounding AF points. (Left/right better?).
C.FnII are all set to default, but I wonder if #4 autolighting optimizer (currently 0:standard) should be set to strong. The manual doesn't provide much information about this setting other than P. 81 noting that if this is set "The picture will be recorded with the brightness and contrast corrected if necessary."
Working inside (VB in dark gym) with fast primes and ISO 3200 - 6400 (lots of variation in the lighting), I still have the same problem but it doesn't seem to be as bad. This seems a bit odd as there is a lot more detail in the bleachers in a gym than the dark far side of the football field.
I'd appreciate hearing from any of you who shoot the 1DIV at its extremes. I always get usable (for the paper anyway) shots, but would love to get more of the "ones that got away."
(I put this question here because 1) It's a Canon issue and 2) the sports forum seems to discourage gear discussion.)
Oh - and suggesting I get a 200mm f/2.0 - well, I'm not sure my truck is worth that much