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Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series

  
 
Fivesense
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


I've been asked to shoot a high school boys soccer game in two days. I have a general idea on what settings to use, but I'd be grateful for any seasoned sports shooters to offer their suggestions based on my following gear for the game.

I'll be using the Nikon Z6II and Z 70-200 f/2.8 (this will be my first "serious" outing with this combo and I'm still working on optimizing the AF modes). For soccer, is the 70-200 "enough" lens? I will have on field, sideline access and I expect the lighting will be plenty sufficient to shoot fast at mid-apertures like f/5.6, etc...

I will likely bring my F-mount Tamzooka 150-600mm too, as I've used it to shoot baseball in the past. It's the first generation, and while not great, it's ok in good outdoor conditions f/8-f/11 or so. I also have an F-mount Tamron 70-300 which has always been a good producer for me. But overall, I've got to imagine the Z 70-200 is going to producer a "crisper" image, provided I'm solid on my settings and technique...?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions, particularly regarding Z series AF modes.

Edited on Sep 26, 2022 at 08:04 AM · View previous versions



Sep 20, 2022 at 02:41 PM
kreegerk
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


Fivesense wrote:
... For soccer, is the 70-200 "enough" lens? I will have on field, sideline access and I expect the lighting will be plenty sufficient to shoot fast at mid-apertures like f/5.6, etc...


The lens answer depends on where you plan to stand. The image quality of the Z 70-200 F2.8 works very well no matter what subject you point it at. I use a Z9 for soccer, same lens as you, but also with the Z TC 1.4 when there is plenty of light. I have longer options for lenses, the 300 or 400mm focal length works well in any sport, IMO.

You might want to review this Peter Reid Miller video on shooting soccer, if you haven't seen it yet, it's pretty insightful about soccer and should give you some insight give you some ideas about focal lengths for soccer.

https://youtu.be/7KHUt9I4qJ8

Don't overlook the fact that heat vapor waves rising up from the field will cause you issues when it's sunny, and the longer the lens the more it can hinder you.



Sep 20, 2022 at 04:53 PM
arjen_m
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


A 70 200 F2.8 will work well provided the action is close enough.

One example would be attacking players coming towards you (when you are positioned
between the corner flag and the goal).

Getting good soccer shots is kind of an art in the sense that it takes practice.
Shooting multiple games will certainly help.

Good luck,

Arjen



Sep 20, 2022 at 08:26 PM
Fivesense
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


arjen_m wrote:
A 70 200 F2.8 will work well provided the action is close enough.

One example would be attacking players coming towards you (when you are positioned
between the corner flag and the goal).

Getting good soccer shots is kind of an art in the sense that it takes practice.
Shooting multiple games will certainly help.

Good luck,

Arjen


Thank you. This will be my first soccer game, so I will focus on getting close and hitting the action. I'm most concerned about the Z6II focus modes so that will be hit and miss too.



Sep 20, 2022 at 08:28 PM
carl_g
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


Donít use the auto area mode. I have found the wide area small gets decent results with a z6. For some reason I donít have good luck with the dynamic mode for soccer. Try them out and see what works best for you. Good luck.


Sep 20, 2022 at 11:12 PM
JRobertson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


Fivesense wrote:
Thank you. This will be my first soccer game, so I will focus on getting close and hitting the action. I'm most concerned about the Z6II focus modes so that will be hit and miss too.


It's a solid concern, their AF is notoriously intermittent. I'd stick to center/expanded 4 point. Don't use their EYE/Tracking, etc. it's terrible. The 150-600 should be plenty for 90% of the game is great light. Set your fstop to 6.3 (I believe it's a 5-6.3 or something, right?) so it's maintained through out. If the light is good, and I mean GOOD (like sunlight) then jack your shutter speed up to whatever you can get away with. Set your ISO to auto. For example, 1/3200 f6.3 (auto iso)ISO 400 is perfect. Turn off IS. Solid spots to shoot are listed above (between flag and box on goal line, etc.).



Sep 21, 2022 at 11:17 AM
carl_g
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


JRobertson wrote:
It's a solid concern, their AF is notoriously intermittent. I'd stick to center/expanded 4 point. Don't use their EYE/Tracking, etc. it's terrible.


Yeah I have this love hate relationship going on with my z6. It is great for stuff that doesn't move much. I still pack it eveyrtime I go to a game but I use it for things like these. I threw in one from yesterday of my son's game just because I keep trying to use it.. once and a while I can get it to work on moving things

1.

NIKON Z 6 - NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, f/8 (1/640) ISO 100

2.

NIKON Z 6 - NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, f/4 (1/800) ISO 500

3.

NIKON Z 6 - NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, f/8 (1/500) ISO 100

4.

NIKON Z 6 - NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, f/4 (1/1000) ISO 500

5.

NIKON Z 6 - AF-S VR Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED, f/2.8 (1/2000) ISO 360




Sep 21, 2022 at 02:41 PM
JRobertson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


carl_g wrote:
Yeah I have this love hate relationship going on with my z6. It is great for stuff that doesn't move much. I still pack it eveyrtime I go to a game but I use it for things like these. I threw in one from yesterday of my son's game just because I keep trying to use it.. once and a while I can get it to work on moving things


In full disclosure I don't shoot Nikon, but the group I belong too there's a number that do and they all bit** about the Z6/Z7 (I and II) AF issues. I will say that, when it does hit, I've always loved Nikon's tones and they are sharp. The keeper rate seems to be the biggest issue.



Sep 22, 2022 at 08:02 AM
 


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carl_g
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series




JRobertson wrote:
In full disclosure I don't shoot Nikon, but the group I belong too there's a number that do and they all bit** about the Z6/Z7 (I and II) AF issues. I will say that, when it does hit, I've always loved Nikon's tones and they are sharp. The keeper rate seems to be the biggest issue.

Yep my experience also.👍



Sep 22, 2022 at 04:44 PM
jake14mw
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


Well, how did it go?


Sep 23, 2022 at 10:25 AM
Fivesense
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


jake14mw wrote:
Well, how did it go?


Thank you for asking!

Overall, it went well. I ended up using three different cameras and 4 different lenses. Having no experience shooting soccer, I brought the kitchen sink to both learn my new gear, and try to deliver something decent for the kids and parents.

I started with my D750 and Tamron 150-600. The early lighting of the game allowed me to shoot at f/8, auto ISO, and 1600-2000 SS. The images are good (not great) but certainly enough for the end need. I shot on a monopod, moved around a bit, and was pleased with this old standby combo.

But given this was my first real test for the Z6II and Z 70-200, I was eager to try it out. I perceive the IQ to be better than the 150-600 obviously, but 70-200 focal length is only about 30% effective for shooting soccer (the field is just too big for 200mm to cover). In the gallery below, you'll note how much I had to crop to get storytelling perspectives, but for screen viewing, I think the results are ok. I did notice some interesting underexposing and vignetting with the 70-200, but that was easily fixed in post, and probably at least partly due to my lack of experience with the combo.

I also shot the Tamron 70-300 F mount on the Z6II; the results were again ok. Ok in the sense that they did the job and few non-photographers would even see a difference.

I used my Fuji X-T4 and 16-55 for candid portraiture. I could have used the 50-140 for the game, but didn't want to take away from testing my Z6II.

SO... I was relatively well prepared to use the Z focus modes (after watching

). Iíve read about a lot of Z shooters being really frustrated with their missed focus rates with the Z vs. DSLR. I see that for sure. The focus modes for action are not consistently accurate, but they improve with understanding of each mode and better fundamentals.

I used the Wide-S box yesterday. Dynamic area was not nearly as accurate, which I didnít expect based on the comments in the video above. The auto area tracking was also not great, but I didnít test it much because I whiffed with it in early attempts and didn't want to miss shots while experimenting. Quite frankly, I miss the intuitive AF modes from previous bodies I've used.

Generally speaking, I need to temper my expectations. I donít think the current Z cameras (other than the 9) are instant classics like some of the DSLR and even other mirrorless I've shot previously. But for non-sports, they seem excellent. And there's no question I still have a lot to learn about how to best use the Z series to capitalize on what it can do for sports and other action. There are plenty of people doing great things with the Z series with regard to action.

Yesterday made me consider returning the Z6II, because it feels like it should be a better AF camera. I'd like to see firmware improvements rather than another body update at this early stage. Too much to ask? But after curating the gallery, I'm sure the issue is simply that I need more practice. I've got a girls volleyball match coming up soon where the 70-200 should be plenty sufficient, but where the indoor gym lighting will require that I push the ISO quite a bit.

Sorry for the narrative. I feel a bit like I've got a hangover; I'm critical of my work, I'm not totally enthralled with the AF of the Z6II, and overall have a tiny bit of buyers remorse. But I know that could dissipate quickly when I get my head clear.



soccer gallery

I should note that I neglected to shoot wide open (f/1.8) toward sunset... I would like to have seen the subject isolation during the golden hour...



Sep 23, 2022 at 10:37 PM
schlotz
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


Not bad for the first time shooting soccer. Soccer is one of the harder sports to shoot given the nature of the game as action can move in any direction at any time. Using a body with superb AF capabilities is definitely an advantage. Regarding the gallery: first thing I would point out is you need to shoot while sitting on your butt or knees.


Sep 25, 2022 at 07:33 AM
Fivesense
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


first thing I would point out is you need to shoot while sitting on your butt or knees.

Thank you- great suggestion!



Sep 25, 2022 at 11:17 AM
jake14mw
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series


The title of the thread is Girls High School soccer. The link is to a boys game. Just making sure you linked the right thing. Thanks for sharing.



Sep 26, 2022 at 07:50 AM
Fivesense
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Boys high school soccer- request for settings on Nikon Z series



jake14mw wrote:
The title of the thread is Girls High School soccer. The link is to a boys game. Just making sure you linked the right thing. Thanks for sharing.


Yes, thank you. When I originally posted, i was told it would be a girls match. I neglected to correct the title of the thread at that time.

Corrected now.



Sep 26, 2022 at 08:04 AM







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