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| p.1 #17 · Soccer- First post in Sports. Constructive criticism appreciated. |
Bark Imaging wrote:
....Lock the ap at the best your lens has...
Since this has shaped up to be something of an instructional thread, I have to disagree with this suggestion from Bark, which he also has posted elsewhere, that you should lock in at your widest aperture. Light permitting, what you're shooting should dictate the aperture range you choose to work with. If you're shooting a single player, like your first shot of your daughter, lock in focus on her eyes and f/2.8 will give you a beautiful shot. But take a look at your fifth shot (last in the first post) and you can see that the focal plane at f/3.5 is not sufficiently deep to allow for both players' faces to be sharply focused. Maybe this isn't what you want, but with a sport like soccer where the best action has two or three players battling for the ball, there will be many times when they will not all occupy the same narrow focal plane provided by your widest aperture. Some semblance of sharpness across all the players will require stopping down. At 30 feet, your Nikon D3 with 300 lens gives you 6 inches of DOF at f/2.8. At f/4.5, you're up to about 9.5 inches. f/5 gives you just about 11 inches. Here's a shot at f/5 with a 300 + 1.4 so 560mm at about 30 yards, which gave me just under a foot of DOF. Focus is on the player in the middle, and I doubt the defenders would be acceptably sharp at f/2.8. (Well, technically, f/4 would have been my widest possible aperture with the extender, but you get my point.) I'm a guy who for many years held fast to idea that my widest aperture is my best aperture, but more experienced and better shooters than I (hope they'll chime in here) have convinced me, or should I say their images have, to think more about this. (Also note in the shot below that the background is more than sufficiently OOF to highlight the subjects of the shot. This is more a function of the distance between subject and background than the specific aperture.)