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10-31-2011, 05:25 AM   #16
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Although some of the pictures posted so far are very nice, none of them feature a subject moving towards the camera quickly at close range. Can anybody tell me whether it's possible to get such pictures, or am I beating my head against a wall when trying to take such pictures?

For example, is there a camera/lens combo that would autofocus quickly enough to capture a child running towards the camera from, say 20 feet away? My K-x certainly doesn't seem to be up to the task, even when using continuous autofocus and a fast lens like the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 HSM...would the K-5 do any better? Do the high end Nikons and Canon autofocus that quickly?

10-31-2011, 05:42 AM   #17
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In going over all the posts, there are a few things to point out.

If we are discussing football, and shooting from the sidelines, I think the best lens would be a 70-200F2.8 to allow flexibility and speed.

this would require movement up and down the sidelines, probably away from the benches, to get all the action.

High ISO will always be needed, because unless you are shooting stationary shots, you will want shutter speed. also consider turning SR off because it will blurr the image when panning.

WHile the K10D is not the best platform for this, you could shoot at perhaps ISO 400 with acceptable noise. My old *istD I would push to 800ISO, my K7 to perhasp 1600 ISO and my K5 who knows, I still have not shot enough with it yet to know where the upper limit is, but it is well above 1600.

As for shooting someone running before you 20 feet away, there is one other thing to consider here, is that your focal length is probably wrong, and you should have a 35-50mm lens tops. Remember the math

image size = subject size x focal length / distance.

if someone is (for kids football) 1.5 meters tall 6 meters away with a 50mm lens is 12.5mm high and almost fills the 16mm frame height of the ASP-C sensor when horizontal. A good 50 will focus pretty quick, but a big 70-200 won't.
10-31-2011, 06:41 AM   #18
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I was asked by a friend of mine who coaches youth league baseball games to shoot his team's games. I grabbed these with a cheapo Tamron model 23A 60-300 MF zoom on my K100D, zoomed out to it's long end:



A little vignetting caused by the lens hood on this one.




I've tried shooting with an AF zoom, and I actually prefer MF. Too much hunting around with an AF lens for stuff like this, at least in my experience.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
10-31-2011, 07:16 AM   #19
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Okay, here's an example from my daughters' ballet class last Saturday. I was sitting probably 20 feet away from the class, and was using my Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 HSM II set at 133mm. The girls were going around in a circle flapping their wings, and I was trying to get a picture of my daughters as they came around the circle facing toward me. The camera would focus, and fire, but between the time it focused and fired, focus was lost. You can see this in the following image, where her eyes/face are soft, but the wings are starting to come in focus (just FYI, she wasn't filling the frame quite as much as it appears, since I've cropped about 15-20 percent from the edges and top):



and here's a 100% crop showing the lost focus on the eyes:



Is this simply not a doable situation, or would a higher-end camera actually be able to get this type of shot?

And to demonstrate my earlier point that getting an action shot from a subject moving parallel to the camera is much easier, here's a shot taken just prior to the point when she came around the curve of the circle and started coming towards me. On this shot, focus was perfect. I've never had trouble getting these types of shots with the K-x.



And here's a 100% crop. The image would have been sharper with a faster shutter speed, but that would have required raising the ISO, which I didn't want to do. But I'm satisfied with the sharpness in this situation when focus is accurate.




Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 10-31-2011 at 07:34 AM.
10-31-2011, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #20
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edgar

I think there are a lot of different things going on here.

First of all, you shot at 1/160th with 135mm focal length, this is below the rule of thumb for hand held, slightly, but more importantly may not be enough to capture / freeze a moving subject. I also don't know if you had SR on or off.

Secondly you are wide open which may not be the sharpest for the lens. and is also the narrowest DOF.

lastly you may not have been focused on the face, I can't say for sure as you state this is a cropped image, but where was the focus point?

I appreciate this is a hard shot to capture, and is where perhaps a manual focus lens could actually do better with practice.

Also considering the light conditions F2.8 at 1/160 with ISO 800 is pretty low light.
10-31-2011, 07:51 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
First of all, you shot at 1/160th with 135mm focal length, this is below the rule of thumb for hand held, slightly, but more importantly may not be enough to capture / freeze a moving subject. I also don't know if you had SR on or off.
I just edited the post and added a second shot. And as you can see from the second shot, although 1/160 was probably pushing it, it was not the cause of most of the softness. And yes, SR was on.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Secondly you are wide open which may not be the sharpest for the lens. and is also the narrowest DOF.
This lens is very sharp at f/2.8, so that's not the problem. The narrower DOF, of course, makes it tough, but if you look at the second image with her outstretched arm pointing towards the camera, it appears that the DOF may not be quite as shallow as you would think.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
lastly you may not have been focused on the face, I can't say for sure as you state this is a cropped image, but where was the focus point?
Here is the full, uncropped image. As you can see, the face is pretty much in the middle of the frame. Slightly off-center, but her right eye is actually very close to the center. I don't see anything that would have tricked the autofocus, since her eyes and her hairline are the two most obvious high-contrast areas.



QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I appreciate this is a hard shot to capture, and is where perhaps a manual focus lens could actually do better with practice.
And that's something I can live with if that's the answer. I would primarily just like to know if this is pretty much an impossible situation with autofocus. Or if it would be possible on the K-5.

Thanks for all the help Lowell, and I've rep'd you for taking the time.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 10-31-2011 at 08:06 AM.
10-31-2011, 08:01 AM   #22
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And just to demonstrate how my Sigma 50-150mm does at f/2.8, here's a sample image of one of my nieces with a couple of 100% crops:





10-31-2011, 08:28 AM   #23
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a couple of things I notice, first is that the second post seems to be about 3 times closer, and is at 120 not 135mm, so you are not quite at the same FL., I don't have this lens to know how sharpness behaves vs focal length, and depending on where it is in the time line, I know that the longer sigmas, such as the 70-200 got softer at max focal length with each release from 2004 onward. I don't know if the 50-150 did the same, but I digress.

The second thing is the lower ISO helps a lot in sharpness. because the grain is greatly reduced. WHere exactly is your NR set in terms of ISO?

but I agree the softness is more likely doe to focus error. are you in AF-S or AF-C and are you keeping focus lock while following the subject.

10-31-2011, 08:38 AM   #24
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The picture of my neice is closer, but it is also cropped a little.

I'm not worried about the grainyness from high ISO and the motion blur from 1/160 sec. I just posted that picture to show that image quality holds up on the 50-150mm at f/2.8. But I know not to expect that kind of image quality from a moving subject at high ISO with poor lighting.

And just for the record, f/2.8 looks good at all focal lengths on my 50-150mm.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 10-31-2011 at 09:03 AM.
10-31-2011, 09:09 AM   #25
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Well pixelpeeping and shooting moving objects should be looked at different I think. It sometimes works out great and others you are less luckey. The first of you dancing child are just OOF, so that is a pitty. But making AF of a moving object towards you is more difficult for the AF-system then the other way aroiund when it is moving away from you.

Using MF for moving objects is far from easy, but I did it myself, so it is possible.
10-31-2011, 09:24 AM   #26
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Catch-in-focus is likely the best you can do for a subject running towards you. Any other focusing/confirmation method probably takes more time between confirmation and shutter actuation.

Or use manual preset focus and multiburst - one of the shots will be best.
10-31-2011, 09:26 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
The first of you dancing child are just OOF, so that is a pitty. But making AF of a moving object towards you is more difficult for the AF-system then the other way aroiund when it is moving away from you.
But as someone who owns a K-5 (as well as some very nice glass!), do you think that the K-5 would be able to handle this particular situation? Or is it just really asking too much of a camera?
10-31-2011, 10:11 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
Catch-in-focus is likely the best you can do for a subject running towards you. Any other focusing/confirmation method probably takes more time between confirmation and shutter actuation.
Can you use CIF with an AF lens? I've been using CIF with an old Pentax M 50mm 1.7, and it works great. I hold down the shutter button, and when focus is achieved the shutter is activated. But when I try to use and AF lens, the camera fires when I press down the shutter button, whether or not it is focused.
10-31-2011, 10:17 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Can you use CIF with an AF lens? I've been using CIF with an old Pentax M 50mm 1.7, and it works great. I hold down the shutter button, and when focus is achieved the shutter is activated. But when I try to use and AF lens, the camera fires when I press down the shutter button, whether or not it is focused.
Just put a bit of tape over the lowest pin on the lens mount. The camera then won't see the lens as AF.
10-31-2011, 10:40 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Can you use CIF with an AF lens? I've been using CIF with an old Pentax M 50mm 1.7, and it works great. I hold down the shutter button, and when focus is achieved the shutter is activated. But when I try to use and AF lens, the camera fires when I press down the shutter button, whether or not it is focused.
catch in focus is somewhat the same as AF-S because the shutter won't trip unless the image is in focus.
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