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10-09-2007, 09:56 AM   #1
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Need Advice - Indoor Arena Hockey

I am going to a friend’s son's hockey game this weekend and I need some help. It is Bantam Double AA (13/14 year olds) so while it is not NHL speed they can skate pretty quickly. Of course I have been asked to bring my gear to take a few shots.

I thnk the arena is pretty well lit , however at ground level you have to contend with the thick , marked up plastic around the boards and up top you have the mesh. I am going to bring all my gear (list is in my sig) and see what happens.

So I am looking for some advice from anyone that has done this before or something similar. What kind of metering? ISO ? I don't have a lot of experience with pre-focus and panning. Depending on how close I can get I may be able to use the Tamron at f2.8 other than that I was planning on the Bigma (pending the results).

I guess what I am thinking is start with ISO 800 and the Bigma . Would a flash help? I don't really want to use a flash and blind some poor kid on a breakaway hahah.

Thanks in advance

10-09-2007, 01:52 PM   #2
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I guess there are some obvious questions:

any chance you can check out the arena before and do some test shots?

given the problems with the plastic and netting, any chance of being in the penalty box, or bench?

I would look out for the netting and plastic, as the AF might lock on to them and not the players. This is always an issue with shooting through something. Selecting the center focusing spot is a must.

You may also wish to set exposure manually by taking a couple of test shots and checking the histogram, the white ice can fool you (your camera) if you are not very careful.

The flash is an interesting idea, but I would not put much faith in it, due to the distance and relitively small maximun apature of the bigma.

You might wish a 1.4x or 2x TC and use your F2.8 lens, because this may be overall faster at most focal lengths than the bigma. (especially the 1.4x)

You might also want to go to ISO 1600 because arenas are not that bright, it is just the ice. I did some shots years ago and had trouble at 3200 ISO with B&W in a small arena.
10-09-2007, 02:16 PM   #3
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Thanks Lowell

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I guess there are some obvious questions:
any chance you can check out the arena before and do some test shots?.
Yes I plan to

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
given the problems with the plastic and netting, any chance of being in the penalty box, or bench? ?
Slim and none

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I would look out for the netting and plastic, as the AF might lock on to them and not the players. This is always an issue with shooting through something. Selecting the center focusing spot is a must.
Thanks for that tip

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You may also wish to set exposure manually by taking a couple of test shots and checking the histogram, the white ice can fool you (your camera) if you are not very careful.
Good Plan

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The flash is an interesting idea, but I would not put much faith in it, due to the distance and relitively small maximun apature of the bigma.
Flash might be ok for the warmups - not really sure I would use at game time

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You might wish a 1.4x or 2x TC and use your F2.8 lens, because this may be overall faster at most focal lengths than the bigma. (especially the 1.4x)
Not likley to get one of those before Satuday - although I could order a DA* 50-135 hahaa

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You might also want to go to ISO 1600 because arenas are not that bright, it is just the ice. I did some shots years ago and had trouble at 3200 ISO with B&W in a small arena.
The ISO I will have to check out. I have seen some shots taken with a Rebel and a consumer 70-300 that were pretty good so I will have to play and see what's up.
10-09-2007, 04:42 PM   #4
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Practice some manual focusing too. If it turns out auto is no good, you'll need it.
Not exactly knowing how well lit these ice hockey arenas are, I doubt the bigma will be fast enough, I would have thought 2.8 would be minimum speed, maybe even take a 50mm/1.4 if you have one. That shouldn't be too bad as I presume you are sideline. Maybe in the future you get a 1.4x and stick that on a 50/1.4, so at least you'll end up with a 70/2.0.

10-09-2007, 05:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Practice some manual focusing too. If it turns out auto is no good, you'll need it.
Not exactly knowing how well lit these ice hockey arenas are, I doubt the bigma will be fast enough, I would have thought 2.8 would be minimum speed, maybe even take a 50mm/1.4 if you have one. That shouldn't be too bad as I presume you are sideline. Maybe in the future you get a 1.4x and stick that on a 50/1.4, so at least you'll end up with a 70/2.0.
Yes I was pratcing funny you should mention that. HaHa - well in a perfect world yes I would have a 70-200 f2.8, 300 f2.8 and 600mm f4Primes The Bigma may be too slow but I am going to give it a go. I do have my Tamron 28-75 f2.8 not sure that will be long enough. I did see some shots at f4.5 that looked pretty resonable (at about 135mm) so at that lenght I am looking at f5.6 at best case a little slower but not too bad.

I will have to do with what I have looking forward to the challenge.

Last edited by daacon; 10-09-2007 at 06:07 PM.
10-09-2007, 08:23 PM   #6
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It may be real basic, but make sure you bring something to ajust your white balance...

I made the mistake of forgetting about that last time I took pics in an arena and left it on auto white... woah what a nightmare those pics were!!! The colour balance shifted wierdly from pic to pic... colours looked like a bad acid trip... That looked real odd with bright lights, white ice and white boards.

Pat
10-09-2007, 08:36 PM   #7
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And shoot RAW so you don't have to worry about WB, and have a bit more latitude in PP.
10-10-2007, 02:30 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
And shoot RAW so you don't have to worry about WB, and have a bit more latitude in PP.
Ahhh thats an even better idea!

Though I know that when I shoot at a soccer or hockey game, action can be unpredictable and speed between shots is sometimes of the essence and waiting for a large raw to write to SD can be a pain.

Pat

10-10-2007, 03:36 AM   #9
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Ice Hockey is difficult .... there's a guy on our car forums that shoots ice hockey matches regularly ... and he still finds it a real challenge ... although not a Pentax user ... he is a good photog and shares his hints and tips ... will see what he says about his technique.
10-10-2007, 03:40 AM   #10
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Here's a few of his pics:



10-10-2007, 05:03 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
It may be real basic, but make sure you bring something to ajust your white balance...

I made the mistake of forgetting about that last time I took pics in an arena and left it on auto white... woah what a nightmare those pics were!!! The colour balance shifted wierdly from pic to pic... colours looked like a bad acid trip... That looked real odd with bright lights, white ice and white boards.

Pat
Yeah I shoot raw +jpeg most of the time as I have mucked up WB many a time. With the white ICE you are correct though something I will think about. Thanks Pat.

QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
And shoot RAW so you don't have to worry about WB, and have a bit more latitude in PP.
Thanks Specialk - one of the first lessons I learned

QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
Ice Hockey is difficult .... there's a guy on our car forums that shoots ice hockey matches regularly ... and he still finds it a real challenge ... although not a Pentax user ... he is a good photog and shares his hints and tips ... will see what he says about his technique.
Thanks Simon any tips would be appreciated. And those pics you posted are awesome! It reinforces the "I went to the fights and a hockey game broke out " view I wonder were those shot through the glass, through a photographers hole in the glass, from above in the stands or over the boards where there is no glass. However they were shot I would be happy with those!

I did get a monopod yesterday (Thanks Roy !) so that should help somewhat with stability for Bigma Shots. I am planning to stay stationary for a series of shots (move as much as can for different views) . I will try center metering, manual pre focus, autofocus , panning and burst mode. I paln to use the Bigma , my 28-75 and possibly the 12-24 for some shots.

Surely in 3 periods I can squeeze off a few good shots haha. Also 'mom' will have her Laptop there so during intermissions we can download each periods shots and get a good idea of where I need to improve.

Thanks for all the tips and keep ‘em coming
10-10-2007, 07:09 AM   #12
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A couple of additional things to consider and looking at the other photos, they look like they were taken at ice level, inside or under the netting that can be seen at the ends.

Depending on ISO, your lens speed, and available light, there may be no advantage in image quality to shooting raw, AND with the K10D you can shoot continually at max jpeg resolution and 3+ frames per second (this might be a big advantage in action shots). Pregame shots you can treat differently and you have implied you might use a flash for those, so go ahead and shoot them in RAW if you wish,

For white balance adjustment, the K10D has a feature that is really neat. Take a photo, hit the Fn button and select white balance, you can adjust it interactively, i.e. when you change it, the balance in the image displayed changes also. getting the white balance correct, or more importantly as you want it since perfect balance might leave the images a little cold (no pun intended) is a snap. This is not really explained in the manuals
10-10-2007, 10:07 AM   #13
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From what I remember he was down at Ice level ... he also gets his images published in one of the magazines for Ice Hockey out here (albeit not a very popular sport though in Australia).
10-10-2007, 10:32 AM   #14
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Also if your arenas are anything like the ones here, they got glass all around + netting at the ends. Glass isn't usually very clean (and is often scratched) so shooting thru is not an option.

You may want to ask the coach if you can sit on the players bench as there is no glass there. Makes for better "ice level" pics.

Just a thought

Pat
10-10-2007, 10:33 AM   #15
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If you're going to be shooting behind the glass (plastic), the flash is going to ruin the shots, unless your pressed right up to the glass.

I know my local ice rink has an announcer's box that's elevated. you could easily have a command over the entire rink from there. But then your stuck with the same perspective the whole time.

I like the idea of the penalty box or the bench. watch out for flying pucks though!
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