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10-10-2007, 02:36 PM   #16
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The biggest single piece of advice I can give you is to properly white balance before you shoot. Even if you shoot RAW, it helps getting a good starting point and it makes the shots on the LCD easier to review. Arenas are usually well lit with relatively even light, so you may find your flash to be less than useful. (Pros who shoot for hockey cards have remotely-fired strobes buried in the rafters.)

Arena lights are notoriously wonky when it comes to colour-balance, so spend a few minutes to get it right. The best solution is an Expodisc aimed at the ceiling, but barring that, I have had the best results custom white balancing off the white boards.

Do NOT try to white balance off the ice. It may look white to your eyes but it is not even close. (Notice in the nicely done shots posted above, that the boards and white sweaters are bang on but the ice can look anything from pinkish to blueish.)

10-10-2007, 03:57 PM   #17
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already mentioned by others: set your exposure manually & don't trust the meter - everywhere else that's not the subject is basically white, so it will fool the meter big time.

I'd suggest to make sure to try a few panning shots while skaters are going through the middle or across the blue line with the puck - being as slow as it is, the Bigma might be a great choice for this - it might make for some very cool shots.
10-11-2007, 06:37 AM   #18
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Wow thanks for all the advice but I need more

I went to the rink last night - the lighting is not bad actually and I think I will be able to use the Bigma is the good news. The bad news is there is indeed glass all around the arena and the netting goes around the entire rink as well (save for the benches and penalty box). I tried a few through the netting and that will not work. The glass is pretty clean in places and some shots came out quite nice so that will be my only vantage point I think (find some clean , unmarked glass).

I tired a few panning shots but was unable to get the skater in focus. I did get the nice blur background on the boards. I am using center metering. I would focus on the player and then 'pan' however the player was not usually in focus (one or two were , but like in golf for me a great short iron shot is more luck than skill ) So what is the secret to panning? I will do some more searches - might not get another chance to get out to the rink before Saturday , oh well - good thing I am an amateur haha.

Really thanks for the replies
10-11-2007, 06:57 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Wow thanks for all the advice but I need more

I went to the rink last night - the lighting is not bad actually and I think I will be able to use the Bigma is the good news. The bad news is there is indeed glass all around the arena and the netting goes around the entire rink as well (save for the benches and penalty box). I tried a few through the netting and that will not work. The glass is pretty clean in places and some shots came out quite nice so that will be my only vantage point I think (find some clean , unmarked glass).
Maybe pick your spot now and clean it yourself
QuoteQuote:

I tired a few panning shots but was unable to get the skater in focus. I did get the nice blur background on the boards. I am using center metering. I would focus on the player and then 'pan' however the player was not usually in focus (one or two were , but like in golf for me a great short iron shot is more luck than skill ) So what is the secret to panning? I will do some more searches - might not get another chance to get out to the rink before Saturday , oh well - good thing I am an amateur haha.

Really thanks for the replies
To keep the player in focus while panning, you will need to set the autofocus to "C" for continuous, as it will need to track the changing focus. I don't know about predictive focus on the camera, not much of an issue is made about this now, but when I bought my PZ-1 it was a big deal. The camera should realize focus distance is changing.

Also can you confirm the autofocus is set to the center spot as well as the metering, and not to either auto or select? this will insure you don't have the camera doing something weird.

10-11-2007, 07:43 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Maybe pick your spot now and clean it yourself


To keep the player in focus while panning, you will need to set the autofocus to "C" for continuous, as it will need to track the changing focus. I don't know about predictive focus on the camera, not much of an issue is made about this now, but when I bought my PZ-1 it was a big deal. The camera should realize focus distance is changing.

Also can you confirm the autofocus is set to the center spot as well as the metering, and not to either auto or select? this will insure you don't have the camera doing something weird.

Will do thanks Lowell (haha I am like someone's sig here which button to I press to take good pictures!) I do remember a discussion on Continous vs Signle focus - seems most went with AS (Air shows and such) ayway I got 60 minutes ,3 periods and about 8gb to give it a go.
10-11-2007, 04:44 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
So what is the secret to panning?
Practice - I thought I'd told you that?
10-11-2007, 06:44 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Practice - I thought I'd told you that?
I have tried !! But my Dog is getting tired of being tied to a rope and slapped on the ass
10-14-2007, 06:43 AM   #23
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Just to come full circle

Saturday Night has come and gone and maybe this will help others. Of course it all depends on the arena, lighting and vantage point.

I stood at about the Goal Line on one end of the Ice , always shooting through the glass. I was using Center metering, ISO 800 and 1600. I used Auto Focus as well tried some manual. I used AFS as well as AFC - overall I got 15 or 20 good shots , very low percentage but hey it is digitial so the 100 others can go to recyle bin next time I may try some burst mode as the action is close or a I can see a hit about to happen.

I found the Bigma was indeed too slow to keep up with the action, through the glass. Where it did well was taking shots of face off's or slower play at the other end of the ice
ISO 800 1/250 f6.7 430mm


Or bench shots of the kids
ISO 800 1/60 f6.7 500mm


or pre-focus on a spot on the ice and wait for the action to come there.
ISO 800 1/160 f5.6 190mm


When the action was in the end I was at , I rarely went over 150mm. I think DA* 50-135 with the HSM would be perfect for taking action shots in one end.

When trying to pan you do not have much time to capture a lone skater as they either tend to moving towards more players , or if the have the puck other players tend to gravitate towards them. Then those damn referee's keep getting in the way !

Auto Focus was diffifuclt with all the movement of players (and the glass did not help). Generally though I was impressed that most times it did focus within a resonable amount of time.

Manual focus was not much better. Albiet I am pretty new at this and perhaps more experience and pratice I would have had more success.

Zoom is difficult as when the players are skaing towards you or suddenly turn towards you.

I used the Tamron 28-75 in the third period and although a little short soooooooooo much better

Getting Dumped
ISO 800 1/200 f4.5 75mm


Save ( My favorite of the evening)
ISO 800 1/200 f4.5 75mm


Hello
ISO 800 1/200 f4 75mm


Overall it it was fun evening capped off with a trip to Joey Tomatoe's for some munchies and a few pops - there are worse ways to spend a Saturday for sure. Thanks for all the feedback , it did help.

Edit: And Roy that Monopod I bought off of you was invaluable for the Bigma


Last edited by daacon; 10-14-2007 at 06:55 AM.
10-14-2007, 04:19 PM   #24
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Well done. The perspex doesn't look as though it's too bad to shoot through. I see another shooter in that last one doing the same. I think 20 or so is a reasonable number of keepers.
10-15-2007, 06:39 AM   #25
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Tanks Arpe - the glass was better than expected but there are few shots where the reflections come in, and once in a while the autofocus or manual had issues. I was pleased with the results. I would seriously consider a 70-200 f2.8 Sigma or DA* 60-250 f4 / DA* 50-135 f2.8 if I were doing this for the whole season. As the kids play all over - each rink has its nuisances - this one happened to have 6 foot glass all over, but the lighting was bright so that certainly helped. I have a new appreciation of some of those shots I see in the sports pages and online now mind you most of them are using lens that cost about what my car is worth
10-15-2007, 08:30 AM   #26
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Daacon, Well done and I bet you will get even better shots after a few more attempts. But 20-30 good shots is very good under the conditions. I watched this thread with interest but have no experience myself to offer. I want to give this a try here with our Major Jr team. On another forum a thread was posted regarding his experiences trying to capture this subject. He was using the DA*50-135 and a couple of other lenses. Maybe it will offer you some ideas for next time.

Pentax Forum: K10D -High ISO and Wide Open 50-135 SDM- - photo.net
10-15-2007, 12:44 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Daacon, Well done and I bet you will get even better shots after a few more attempts. But 20-30 good shots is very good under the conditions. I watched this thread with interest but have no experience myself to offer. I want to give this a try here with our Major Jr team. On another forum a thread was posted regarding his experiences trying to capture this subject. He was using the DA*50-135 and a couple of other lenses. Maybe it will offer you some ideas for next time.

Pentax Forum: K10D -High ISO and Wide Open 50-135 SDM- - photo.net
Thanks Peter - I never thought about making the ISO in 1/3 increments that might help - those pictures are very good in my opinion. He is right, I think hockey is one the hardest sports to photograph with the lighting conditions, obstructions, speed, quick movements and direction changes. I was thinking about using the 12 - 24 behind the net - he is also right it would be great to have two bodies to lessen the lens switching. (This is why I did not use the 12-24) - I also should have moved around more.

I would love to try a DA* 50-135 . If the freaking lens was not $1.2k here I might have one already (in the US much cheaper) - My kids sports days are by in large gone (College for one and the other gave up football and is in grade 11 maybe next year) and hockey was not one of them strangely enough! They enjoyed Football, Lacrosse, Basketball, Soccer , Softball over the years man I wish I had an DLSR in those days.
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