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Archive 2013 · Lens, camera or both
  
 
captron945
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lens, camera or both


I own a Canon 40D. I have a Canon 85mm, 1.8, I am trying to shoot indoor gym volleyball.

I have read many threads on FM about the difficulty of shooting in a poorly lite gym and I am finding that out first hand.

A friend recommended the 85mm 1.8 which I bought and used this past weekend with some success. In MANUAL I set the 40D at high ISO, 3200, 1.8 and 800f. I got a few very good photos, for me, but not nearly as many as I would like. I think part of the blur problem is trying to "catch up" with the subject.

I saw and spoke with several others who had the Canon 70-200 2.8L, another with a Nikor 70-200 I think. NOT sure of their camera though. And they seem to be getting good shots from what I see online.

The question(s).

Should I spend my money on a 70-200 2.8L? Will that get better results? Why?

OR Should I spend my money on a 7D? Will that get better results? Why?

OR do I "need" to do both.

Thanks for your help.

ron,




Jan 29, 2013 at 03:58 PM
saneproduction
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lens, camera or both


The 70-200 will need more than twice the light of your 85 1.8. That means you only get less than half the shutter speed or have to more than double your ISO. You are on track with your current lens choice and settings. The advantage of the 7D in your situation is having much better autofocus tracking ability and slightly better ISO 3200 in addition to higher FPS. These things can help for sure, but I suspect that it is mainly that you need more practice. Save your money and wait for the next gen canon APS-C camera. All the current APS-C cameras are very old sensor tech and just not much better than your 40D. You will find that in shooting more your keeper rate will go up. If you ever find yourself focal length limited, consider adding the 135L also or shoot somewhere not so dark


Jan 29, 2013 at 04:11 PM
robbymack
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lens, camera or both


The 85 1.8 is a great little lens for the money however it's not terribly sharp wide open and dof is also thin wide open so you could simply have a problem with it being soft to begin with then trying to capture a moving subject with a tiny dof. Stop it down a little and try again. I'd try to keep the shutter speed around 1/500 but you could probably get away with 1/250, the keeper rate will probably be lower at 250 but you can increase dof which may help as well. 1/800 is great but you sacrificed dof at f1.8. Everything is a trade off.


Jan 29, 2013 at 05:03 PM
robbymack
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lens, camera or both


The 85 1.8 is a great little lens for the money however it's not terribly sharp wide open and dof is also thin wide open so you could simply have a problem with it being soft to begin with then trying to capture a moving subject with a tiny dof. Stop it down a little and try again. I'd try to keep the shutter speed around 1/500 but you could probably get away with 1/250, the keeper rate will probably be lower at 250 but you can increase dof which may help as well. 1/800 is great but you sacrificed dof at f1.8. Everything is a trade off.


Jan 29, 2013 at 05:03 PM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lens, camera or both


robbymack wrote:
The 85 1.8 is a great little lens for the money however it's not terribly sharp wide open and dof is also thin wide open so you could simply have a problem with it being soft to begin with then trying to capture a moving subject with a tiny dof. Stop it down a little and try again. I'd try to keep the shutter speed around 1/500 but you could probably get away with 1/250, the keeper rate will probably be lower at 250 but you can increase dof which may help as well. 1/800 is great but you sacrificed
...Show more


I totally disagree with this. First of all, the 85mm 1.8 is sharp wide open. It gets sharper as it's stopped down, but it's actually almost excellent wide open.
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/164-canon-ef-85mm-f18-usm-test-report--review?start=1

Second of all, the DOF at 20 feet is around 14 inches and at 30 feet is around 30 inches. That's enough to keep a subject in focus. If they get closer than 20 feet, you might have a problem at 1.8, but I doubt you'll be too much closer than this.
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

In my opinion, the main problem you're running into is that the 40D, while an excellent camera, is going to struggle with ISO 3200. I'd look at a 1dIII. This is similarly priced to a 7D but will give you pro autofocus and fairly nice ISO 3200. It's at least a stop better high ISO than the 40D.



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:45 PM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lens, camera or both


Everyone above is right on target.

1st - shoot another game but adjust exposure, use Av apreture priority mode or manual
- the 85 set at 1.8 has razor thin DOF, set it to 2.8, at 3200 ISO and you should get a bit fatter DOF to work with and a few more keepers.

2nd - If you are shooting multi-shot, not single shot mode, AF in dim light could be an issue
- the 7D has a more accurate option rich AF, 8 FPS and cleaner ISO 3200, 18 vs 10 MPs with a little bit more noise, but it will allow you to crop if needed. I'd rent one before buying tho, plus I'd wait on any 7D purchase. It's a 3yr old body and it's due for and upgrade...

3rd - The 135L is a killer sharp lens at f2, AF is really fast, but DOF is again razor thin.
- Stop it down a bit and DOF gets better, it will also get you a bit more reach.

I'd try stopping down your 85 to f2 or f2.8, shooting another event, maybe a practice session, before buying anything. You mentioned motion blur, this is more then often a technique issue. It takes time to anticipate the action and capture a keeper. Your best option is practice, practice, practice...anywhere, anytime...shoot daytime and indoor pickup games, and don't limit your subject matter, shoot everything you can.

I've a 40D and the 85, practice with it...a ton...you will get more keepers in time.
Good luck with your choice and enjoy shooting, your journey...
Jerry

The video below probably won't help a ton, but take a look. It's a well known web shooter with a huge Fro...that goes back to his 1st indoor Basket Ball shoot with his 1st film camera. He usually shoots with a Nikon D4, it proves to be quite the challenge, but points out that the gear isn't always the issue, the shooter's eye, ability to anticipate is the key. You just have to get out and shoot more...

Photographing Like I was 13 again - 5 Min Portrait with FILM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvlRYDuSjn0



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:58 PM
PhilDrinkwater
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lens, camera or both


Work out first what the problem is and then find a solution. Don't try to solve the problem without knowing what it is..


Jan 29, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Deborah Kolt
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lens, camera or both


Your camera is set on AI Servo, right?

Your lens should work great for bball. My choice would be to upgrade your body. If your gyms are like most, I wouldn't go to the 70-200 unless you have a camera that handles at least ISO 6400 well. The 2.8 is just too limiting. With a few bright exceptions, school gyms are poorly lit, and even more poorly maintained. Bulbs burn out and no one notices or cares. Around here I find myself more and more shooting at ISO 12,800.

Have you tried talking to the other shooters? You can always strike up a conversation at half time about what body they are using. If they are receptive, they might offer you advice on settings. If not, you will at least get an idea of what their ISO capabilities are.

If you are still perfecting technique, a higher shutter speed will compensate for some operator error. So will greater DOF. That said, if shooting boys you should be able to lower the shutter speed to 1/640 and stop down a third. I'm guessing if you drop it lower than that, especially if they are playing run and gun, your keepers will diminish.



Jan 29, 2013 at 06:30 PM
jakita33
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lens, camera or both


The 85 1.8 is a keeper. My son just started playing basketball in his elementary school dungeon, I mean gym, and the 85 is my go to lens. It is very sharp wide open and focuses faster than any other lens I own. I also have the 70-200 2.8 non-is, and while its a great lens too, those 2 extra stops of light are a really big deal. with the 85 1.8 I am already bumping up to 3200 iso pretty frequently. I didn't have much luck with the 7d both in AF and noise. I would so as others suggest and find a used 1d III and go from there.


Jan 29, 2013 at 06:47 PM
 

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Paulthelefty
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lens, camera or both


Deborah Kolt wrote:
Your camera is set on AI Servo, right?


This. You did not say, and it is easy to forget with all the other stuff to think about. Lots of good advice above, too.

The 85 should be fine even at 1.8. Timing and flow of the game are critical to shooting volleyball well. Focus on the player; don't track the ball with your camera. I shoot with my right eye to the viewfinder, so I can kinda track the play with my left eye when shooting portrait and I position myself appropriately for that. I shoot with a 7d and 70-200 at 2.8 usually ISO 6400 to get shutters in the 500 to 640 range. I have used my 85, but it does limit flexibility.

If you want to run with the bog boys, upgrade. If you just want some good shots of your kids, try practicing a little and you should do fine with the equipment you have.

Paul




Jan 29, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Ed Swift
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Lens, camera or both


I'm interested to see how dark your gym is. I've started shooting ice hockey with a 40d and 70-200/4, iso 3200 approx 1/400 -1/500. I'd have thought you could get away with similar especially if you only stop down to about 2.8ish?


Jan 29, 2013 at 10:18 PM
jason.alabama
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Lens, camera or both


I had both the 40D and 85 f1.8, which I used at indoor basketball games. I think this is a very good set up for the intended use. Is there a difference in your keeper rate between stationary and moving subjects? I too suspect that it may be the focus setting. I would keep trying a few more times, and I suspect the issue will resolve itself.


Jan 29, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Michael White
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Lens, camera or both


I love my 70-200mmF2.8LIS and will not replace it until the MKIII is out and proved. I too shot events where good lighting isn't a priority. I think it starts with knowing the event and being able to guess what happening next. That way the camera isn't following the bouncing ball so to speak .. Then you need the equipment that will capture that point in time. If you think your equipment needs augmenting then rent or borrow what you think will fix the problem. It could be a lens or a different body , not likely in this case, or adding Speedlites to capture the action.several remote Speedlites or larger lights targeting several zones of the action can improve your chances of more keepers


Jan 30, 2013 at 09:47 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Lens, camera or both


Shutter speed. Shutter speed. Shutter speed. Shutter speed. Shutter speed.

Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus.

Lowest possible ISO.

A fine balance between noise reduction and sharpening.

Remember that indoors, especially at gyms, lighting sucks eggs.



Jan 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM
robbymack
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Lens, camera or both


jasonpatrick wrote:
I totally disagree with this. First of all, the 85mm 1.8 is sharp wide open. It gets sharper as it's stopped down, but it's actually almost excellent wide open.
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/164-canon-ef-85mm-f18-usm-test-report--review?start=1

Second of all, the DOF at 20 feet is around 14 inches and at 30 feet is around 30 inches. That's enough to keep a subject in focus. If they get closer than 20 feet, you might have a problem at 1.8, but I doubt you'll be too much closer than this.
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

In my opinion, the main problem you're running into is that the 40D, while an excellent camera, is going
...Show more

You must have the sharpest 85 1.8 on the planet. I only find it somewhat acceptable wide open, then again i do not generally shoot it wide open as the ugly purple fringing can rear its head in high contrast situations. Your solution, go buy more gear (and a 1d series tank at that). mine is use a better exposure that should give you more keepers. i like mine, its cheaper and doesnt require the op to go buy a camera that doubles as an anvil.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:19 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Lens, camera or both


what you should do is buy a 5d3 and stop worrying about AF tracking


Jan 30, 2013 at 03:24 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Lens, camera or both


i mean i sound like i'm being flippant about it, but that's really the solution. the 85 1.8 is a great lens. on a 5d3 it'll track a friggin' mosquito in moonlight.

i frequently shoot at f1.4-f2, ISO 6400, servo, and while it's not like shooting in sunlight, getting usable images is a non-issue.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:31 PM





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