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10-21-2021, 11:16 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Trouble with motion

I've been photographing the granddaughter's cross country meets this fall with acceptable results. Yesterday's effort resulted in disappointment. The day was totally overcast and I was shooting mostly in shaded areas, although snaps in open areas were equally troubling. Pentax K-50 with 18~135mm WR set on "action" mode, and using mono-pod. Aperture ranged from 4 to 5.6. Fastest shutter speed was 1/60. Samples below. First and second shots taken under same conditions. Advice please. Equipment or operator? Thank you

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10-21-2021, 11:37 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Second shot looks quite okay. Don't know how the action mode operates, but it chose shutter times way too long. It's not you or the camera that is responsible for the blur, it's the runners, and the monopod doesn't help with stabilizing them. I assume you wanted to freeze their motion rather than catching blurry people on the sensor?

My approach would have been TAv mode with open aperture and a way shorter shutter time (second shot at 1/160 s looks okay, perhaps cut that in half to 1/320 or even more), letting the camera choose the ISO, allowing it to go as high as it must, be that 1600, 3200 or even 6400
10-21-2021, 11:55 AM   #3
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On the first photo information shows shutter speed is 1/10 s. It is too big not only for running cheetah, but for running teens as well. Second shot shows 1/160s. I would advice to use TAv mode. That way you can select shutter and aperture and camera will increase ISO if needed.
10-21-2021, 11:56 AM   #4
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For something like that, for stopping the action, you might want to test using a shutter speed of 400, and if you see blur, just set it higher, for example to 500, 800 or 1000. You may want to retain the 5.6 f stop, but if you want more detail the higher number f stop might help, such as f8, f10, or f11.

As has been already mentioned, TAV mode may be very useful for this type shooting, due to the possibility of the conditions changing. In TAV mode, the user can adjust the shutter speed and F stop, while the camera will figure out the ISO automatically by itself.

10-21-2021, 12:16 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Yes you have a too slow shutter speed if you want to freeze the action. 1/10s is way too slow.

Solutions :

1. use a higher ISO

2. use a faster lens

3. wait for a sunny day

If you think the last answer is flippant, it really isn't...well just a bit . But the whole point about photography is it is all about the light. If there is not enough light with your current equipment and settings to give you the result you actually want....there is nothing you can do about it..

Last edited by pschlute; 10-21-2021 at 01:45 PM.
10-21-2021, 02:15 PM   #6
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When I had my K-50 (and I live in an often dark, cloudy subarctic maritime environment) I found it would operate well up to 1600ISO and fairly well at ISO 3200. ISO 6400 was about the absolute max for my taste. Even so, that means you should be able to get MUCH shorter exposures than your settings are giving you here. Easily better than 1/320 sec.

Last edited by jgnfld; 10-21-2021 at 04:24 PM.
10-21-2021, 02:31 PM   #7
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Shutter speed is too slow (even 1/60). I would use faster. Try setting to shutter priority.

10-21-2021, 02:44 PM   #8
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Yeah as mentioned here you want to put the camera into either Tv (shutter priority) and let the camera choose the ISO and Aperture, or TAv where you choose the shutter and aperture and let the camera adjust only the ISO. This will push the ISO up high but that's really your only option. You will have to experiment but you are likely looking at a shutter speed of around 1/500 or faster to freeze the runners. You may get away with 1/320 or 1/400 but you'll have to experiment.
10-21-2021, 02:57 PM   #9
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Honestly speaking I see this picture interesting as it is. The tree trunk on the right is sharp, so it is clear that blur image of running girls corresponds not to shaky hands of the cameraman but indeed to the speed. For me it looks like some act of teleportation from the sci-fi movie.
10-21-2021, 03:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Banskojoe Quote
I've been photographing the granddaughter's cross country meets this fall with acceptable results. Yesterday's effort resulted in disappointment. The day was totally overcast and I was shooting mostly in shaded areas, although snaps in open areas were equally troubling.
Looking at the data the shutter speeds are far lower than expected. Can you post complete images with full Exif data intact? Also maybe a couple from when it worked well?

QuoteOriginally posted by Banskojoe Quote
Pentax K-50 with 18~135mm WR set on "action" [Pentax calls it “Moving object”] mode, and using mono-pod. Aperture ranged from 4 to 5.6. Fastest shutter speed was 1/60. [1/160?] Samples below. First and second shots taken under same conditions. Advice please. Equipment or operator? Thank you
Normally that SCN mode is reliable. I’m really surprised by those iso and shutter speed numbers. I haven’t shot the k-50 in a long time since I sold mine years ago. I can’t recall if you have any control over iso or other factors in that mode… my recollection is hazy but I think you don’t - is that right?

For grins, set the camera to manual mode, at 18mm and set it to maximum aperture (f3.5) and a full 1 second shutter speed @ iso 100. Take the camera and point it so you can see inside the lens. Take a shot of yourself. Did the aperture stay wide open or close down?
10-21-2021, 03:20 PM   #11
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Deep shade should be about EV11 which translates to settings of 1/250th @f5.6 ISO400. With a +0.7 EV boost shutter speed would drop to about 1/160th. So your settings look a bit odd for daytime shots. What time of day were these taken?
10-21-2021, 03:59 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ehrwien Quote
Second shot looks quite okay. Don't know how the action mode operates, but it chose shutter times way too long. It's not you or the camera that is responsible for the blur, it's the runners, and the monopod doesn't help with stabilizing them. I assume you wanted to freeze their motion rather than catching blurry people on the sensor?

My approach would have been TAv mode with open aperture and a way shorter shutter time (second shot at 1/160 s looks okay, perhaps cut that in half to 1/320 or even more), letting the camera choose the ISO, allowing it to go as high as it must, be that 1600, 3200 or even 6400
Thank you everyone. I have happily concluded my gear is sound, and I have strategies to address the operator operations. In answer to your questions. . . . . .
1. Yes, I wanted to freeze action.
2. Sport mode (I just discovered) does not override manually set ISO.
3. Snaps were taken late afternoon 5:30 to 6:30 PM
4. Yes, the aperture stayed open for the full second.

Thanks again!
10-21-2021, 04:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Banskojoe Quote
Thank you everyone. I have happily concluded my gear is sound, and I have strategies to address the operator operations. In answer to your questions. . . . . .
1. Yes, I wanted to freeze action.
2. Sport mode (I just discovered) does not override manually set ISO.
3. Snaps were taken late afternoon 5:30 to 6:30 PM
4. Yes, the aperture stayed open for the full second.

Thanks again!
Ahhh! Manual iso is still in effect? I had no idea. Well that makes things clearer. The light sucked it seems. Iso 3200 which is about the max I liked shooting my k-50 is only 3 stops more light. The 1/160 shot would jump to 1/1280 @3200 but the 1/10 shot would probably have remained remain a problem at 1/80.
10-21-2021, 07:45 PM - 1 Like   #14
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This is not a mechanical problem. As others mentioned, your shutter speeds are way too low.
Go to a park, set the camera so that it is in shutter speed priority, that way only the iso and aperture change.
Try changing the speed from 1/30,then take additional ones at 1/60, and keep going higher until about 1/500. Take photos of people running, kids in a playground, anything moving. Then look at the photos and learn what shutter speed means.

Then the next lesson is to learn how to “pan” with the camera. Try it with cars on the street.

Hope that helps.
10-22-2021, 12:02 AM   #15
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K-50 is not greatest camera ever for action shooting, but with human sized object that close it is ok. With daylight you can easily push ISO up to 6400 or even 12800 if needed so do not need to be afraid of using autoISO. It is in dark where high ISO sucks on K-50. On K-50 you can use autoISO on M, so use this or TAv and set top ISO on 6400.
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