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Archive 2013 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball
  
 
Billphysics
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Rolette Here are a few at ISO 5000 using my 7D. Exif data is included on the shots. All of them have been cropped, but no NR was used.

I'm learning a whole lot from this set of posts. Maybe I just need to concentrate on shooting tighter and living with the noise.

Thank everyone,
Bill





#1

  Canon EOS 7D    EF85mm f/1.8 USM lens    85mm    f/2.8    1/400s    5000 ISO    0.0 EV  







#2

  Canon EOS 7D    EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens    70mm    f/2.8    1/400s    5000 ISO    0.0 EV  







#3

  Canon EOS 7D    EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens    70mm    f/2.8    1/400s    5000 ISO    0.0 EV  







#4

  Canon EOS 7D    EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens    70mm    f/2.8    1/400s    5000 ISO    0.0 EV  



Edited on Feb 06, 2013 at 08:13 PM · View previous versions



Feb 06, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Dick Snyder
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


When I was shooting college volleyball a few years ago, I used a 85 f1.8 on a Canon 1D IIn. Just slightly longer than I wanted but it work welled in terms of focusing speed. Also tried a 50mm f1.4 on the same body and saw a drop in responsiveness. When I was in a well lighted gym I found the 70-200mm f2.8 to work very well. Also used the 24-70mm f2.8 as my ünderbasket lens for basketball but never liked it for volleyball.


Feb 06, 2013 at 04:28 PM
rolette
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Billphysics wrote:
Rolette Here are a few at ISO 5000 using my 7D. Exif data is included on the shots. All of them have been cropped, but no NR was used.

I'm learning a whole lot from this set of posts. Maybe I just need to concentrate on shooting tighter and living with the noise.

Thank everyone,
Bill

Bill,

Can you resize these so they are max 800 pixels on the long side?

Thanks,
Jay



Feb 06, 2013 at 06:43 PM
OntheRez
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Bill,

Don't know if you're looking for critique - if not ignore the rest of this post. First the 4th pix definitely captures the critical instant of play. Nice. Overall I'm seeing a lot of either camera movement and/or slow shutter speed. SS = 1/400 is just not fast enough for VB. I consider 1/640 to be the minimum and even then I sometimes get blur. That ball can be moving really fast! In the 2nd shot with 14 setting there shouldn't be any fuzziness of the player's face and particularly the torso. When a player sets she/he moves very little. Also I notice that everything is shot with a FL=70. Can you change your vantage point or position so that you can fill the frame with a longer focal length thus reducing the need to crop? I don't know what your relationship is to the team and umpires so you may be limited in your vantage points.

So in brief, faster SS, different focal lengths, and stable shooting platform.

HTH

Robert

I'm close to a deadline. I'll dig out some of my VB pix and post later. As always the more you shoot the better you get, or at least I hope so



Feb 06, 2013 at 07:50 PM
OntheRez
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


rolette wrote:
Hi Robert,

No secret sauce here... I'm just using LR4. There was a big improvement in noise reduction between LR3 and LR4, so if you were using LR3, it's worth checking out LR4.

A couple of things that definitely make a difference:

1) You have to nail the exposure. If you underexpose and push in PP, it increases the noise dramatically.

2) Shoot tight in camera. If you are shooting wide (which is really tempting in volleyball) and then crop down significantly, the noise is a much bigger issue.

Unlike most of the folks over in the Sports Corner, I shoot RAW. It's not as
...Show more

Jay,

Mark me down as impressed! I've obviously underestimated the 1DIV's capacities. You've gotten some great action. I agree with your remarks on how hard the sport is to shoot and how quickly and unpredictably the background clutter can get out of hand. For whatever reason, the league I shoot in, at all schools has the bleachers on one side of the gym and the umpire/net judge's platform is always on the bleacher side. This makes shots of play at the net very difficult to do (that is without get ref butt in the frame .

As for your suggestions they are particularly cogent. I have a bugger of a time with proper exposure as I shoot in Tv mode and the home gym has at least 2 stops of variation in light across the playing surface. There are two major light pods out and no one seems to be fixing them. No money is given as a reason, but I don't see how this isn't a player safety issue. (I won't even start on the football field Still even with careful attention to histograms and the light meter I'm regularly at least a half stop dark. I think next year I'll experiment more with M and setting my own values. Like you I only shoot RAW. Can't fathom those that don't but if it works for them, good. I'm on LR 3. Time to ante up I guess.

I find that in a series I'll fairly regularly get a shot or two with a dramatically narrowed aperture. Can't work out what is happening. I sent it to Irvine asking that this be specifically looked at. They claimed no major problem but "standard adjustments were done." Things are better but the problem still persists.

Thanks for the examples, gives me a lot to experiment with next year. (Down here in AZ we're full into SB, BB Track, etc. Nothing inside till next fall.)

Robert



Feb 06, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Billphysics
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Thanks rolette--Photos are now resized.

On the Rez--Criticism is welcomed.

These were taken at a select volleyball tournament from either right behind the ref or right behind the scoring table. The courts are frequently usually very close together and I can't get more that 6ft from the playing surface. Every once in awhile we will be somewhere that has bleachers that are accessible and I definitely go up far a different angle. I usually shoot hitters from the end of the court and prefocus about 2 ft behind the net.

I was using my 70-200 2.8 for these and couldn't get the SS up without increasing the ISO. I also used the 85 1.8 and 135 2.0 at 2.8 because I thought the extra DOF might help me keep things in focus. So now I need to decide if I need to buy another camera (1D IV) or if I can clean up higher ISOs from my 7Ds. These gyms are about as bright as any I ever find.




Feb 06, 2013 at 09:05 PM
rolette
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Billphysics wrote:
Thanks rolette--Photos are now resized.

Bill,

If you are willing to send me the original straight-from-the-camera file on #2, I'll run it through the same processing I typically use on my shots. Post processing isn't my strong suite, but it should answer the question of what you can get from the 7D at these higher ISOs.

The other shots you posted all appear to have camera shake, so PP'ing them won't help much.

My email is xxxxxxx@gmail.com if you want to take me up on the offer.

Jay

Edit: removed email to avoid the spam crawlers...


Edited on Feb 08, 2013 at 01:45 AM · View previous versions



Feb 07, 2013 at 01:42 AM
rolette
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


OntheRez wrote:
Jay,

Mark me down as impressed! I've obviously underestimated the 1DIV's capacities. You've gotten some great action.

Thanks The 1D4 really is a fantastic camera.

I find that in a series I'll fairly regularly get a shot or two with a dramatically narrowed aperture. Can't work out what is happening. I sent it to Irvine asking that this be specifically looked at. They claimed no major problem but "standard adjustments were done." Things are better but the problem still persists.
What metering mode are you using? Do you have metering linked to the active AF point?

For all that I ask about those, I'd still probably shoot in M. You are already shooting in RAW, so try setting your exposure for the darker spots on the court and recover the highlights in PP.

Jay



Feb 07, 2013 at 01:56 AM
 

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rolette
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Here's the file with my typical quick processing for volleyball photos:







I tried to match your original crop reasonably closely. Couple of things that would help your end result quite a bit:

1) Definitely shoot tighter. With this crop, you are throwing away more than 2/3's of your pixels. The shot was taken at 70mm on your 70-200, so you've got the focal range available.

It is (much) harder to shoot volleyball really tight, but the results are worth it once you figure it out.

2) Try to keep your horizon square in camera as much as possible. Minor angle tweaks are pretty normal, but you lose a lot of pixels straightening this shot even if you didn't want to crop in as far.

FWIW, I think if you work on shooting tighter, I think ISO 6400 on your 7D should get results that are quite usable. Even with a fairly heavy crop on this one, I think the results here are decent with minimal editing on my part. Is there noise visible? Yes, but not unusable IMO.

Not sure how useful this is to you, but was an interesting experiment

Jay



Feb 07, 2013 at 03:02 AM
Billphysics
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


These comments are very useful for me. Would you please tell me your "quick processing" method. I'd like to try it out. The results you got were very good considering what you had to begin working on.

This tread has been very good for me even if I stay with the equipment I currently own. I have a number of shooting and PP things to think about doing differently next weekend.



Feb 07, 2013 at 04:54 AM
rolette
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


All that I did on this was done in LR4. It's pretty much the same process I use on all of my volleyball photos once I've made my picks:

1 - Sharpen using the LR preset "Sharpen - Faces". If you were working in Photoshop, this is the wrong place in the workflow to sharpen, but in LR, it really doesn't matter. The engine will do things in the "proper" order for you under the covers.

2 - Adjust Clarity +30. Do this to taste. For girls athletics, +30 is a nice balance of mid-tone contrast without making the girls look too masculine. Probably not the best description, but for guys, I'll go a little heavier on clarity.

3 - Enable lens profile corrections

4 - Noise reduction. Baseline for me with "typical" ISO 6400 - 8000 conditions for volleyball is to set Luminance around 20. For this particular image, I bumped it to 22. You could easily increase it to reduce the noise further, but I'd rather have some noise than for skin to look plastic. Very much a salt-to-taste choice here.

When editing multiple images, this is where I'd sync those common settings across the rest of my images.

5 - Crop and straighten the image. I usually do this for all images before continuing to the next step.

6 - Adjust white balance. This one is the hardest for me personally. Not hard to click the buttons you have available, but hard to get to look right and consistent across the set. Like step (5), I do this one for all images before moving on.

7 - Adjust the exposure. This normally involves twiddling up to 5 of the available settings for me:

7a - Adjust the Exposure control as needed. I generally try to make sure the histogram goes up close to clipping highlights, but watch the overall image for what looks good to you. Ideally, you nailed the exposure in camera and don't need much here. If you miss it by more than half a stop, things can get ugly quick at these high ISO values!

On your image, I did +0.10 Exposure. It could have used a little more, but with the heavy crop, I was trying to avoid adding more noise.

If you don't already have clipping warnings enabled, hit 'J' to enable them now.

7b - Pull down Whites and Highlights until you don't have much/any of the red "your highlights are blown" warnings.

-6 Whites on your image.

7c - Adjust Blacks until you have only a few of the blue clipping warnings. If you don't have any, then push the blacks darker! You actually want some of the warnings in this case. This and Clarity adjustments are why the version I edited for you look more "rich" and less flat.

-13 Blacks on your image.

7d - Adjust Shadows to taste. I usually don't have to adjust this for volleyball photos unless I've blown the exposure and the histogram is stacked up on the left badly.

No change here on your image.

8 - Depending on the type of lighting I had in the gym, sometimes (but not normally) I'll make a Vibrance adjustment, but it wasn't needed on your image.

And that's pretty much it. It gets pretty mechanical after a while and you can blast through images quickly.

Again, I'm NOT particularly good at post processing. The wildlife shooters around here probably cringe when they read how primitive my workflow is. Lots of the guys in the Sports Corner can get significantly more out of an image than what I do. Actually, I've wanted to get one of the better ones to take one of my RAW images and do the same thing I did here... Edit it like they normally would and let me see how far off I am from what I could be doing.

Regards,
Jay



Feb 07, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Billphysics
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Jay Thanks for taking the time to go through your process in detail and yes I can see a difference. I'm going to go back and try it on some of my other images.

Thanks again to all of the people who have taken time to "chime in" on this thread. I've learned a lot.

Bill



Feb 07, 2013 at 02:46 PM
ComicDom1
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Billphysics wrote:
I'm shooting select girl's volleyball with two 7Ds. I've tried the 85 1.8 and it works fine, but is too long for shots from close to the net. I'm looking for something that is wider. I've been using my 17-55 2.8 and I'm looking for a lens that is preferably faster f-stop wise as well as focusing.

Thanks for any ideas


Believe it or not the 50 1.8 or plastic fantastic will focus fast and cover your shots close to the net.

Jason



Feb 26, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Billphysics
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Thanks Jason, I'll give it a try.

Bill



Feb 26, 2013 at 04:43 PM
trueimage
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Wider than 85 1.8 + fast enough focus for volleyball


Paul Mo wrote:
35 f1.4 or 50 1.4 - take your pick.


these. The 50/1.8 and the 50/1.2L are way too slow. Not sure about sigma. The 35L is quite fast but might be too wide.



Feb 26, 2013 at 05:51 PM
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