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03-06-2018, 09:34 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Sports Photography

Hey everyone, Are there any sports photographers in this forum?

03-06-2018, 09:40 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mrgoodintention Quote
Hey everyone, Are there any sports photographers in this forum?
I shoot all kinds of things, including sports ... why?

03-06-2018, 09:54 AM   #3
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I shoot some sports a few times a year. Usually skiing and cycling for me. Sometimes trail running too.
I don't have much interest in the more mainstream spectator sports for the most part.
03-06-2018, 10:17 AM   #4
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Shoot my Nephews HS Football games, got some great hints from this forum. I was doing a lot of things wrong, just in the camera settings, I can't wait to try the tips I got from a recent thread.

It would be great to have an article for tips for shooting sports ands action.

03-06-2018, 10:54 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mrgoodintention Quote
Hey everyone, Are there any sports photographers in this forum?
In the current survey 216 users said they would be shooting sports.

If you make use of search functionality you might even be able to find loads and loads of images.
03-06-2018, 11:00 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Not the most active thread on forum, but worth a look:

Sports photography - single images - PentaxForums.com
03-06-2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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I have done some sports in my time, and still do. These days it is mostly field hockey and athletics, at high school level.

BTW, in retrospect the best lenses I have used for this genre are my SMC Pentax M 200mm f/4 and A 400mm f/5.6. It helps to have two bodies so you don't have to swop lenses in the fast changing environment. Manual focus is not a deal breaker, with a bit of practice. When feeling lazy I also use my autofocus Sigma 70-300mm but IQ is sadly not in the same league. I have also tried a K 200mm f/2.5 for sport but it is not easy to nail the focus.
03-06-2018, 11:57 AM   #8
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I coach and shoot Canadian football. Even the lethargic AF on the DA* 50-135 can capture decent shots from the sidelines.
Rams versus Warriors - Pentax User Photo Gallery
https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/images/74929/1_Warriors_Offence_small-9946.jpg

03-06-2018, 12:10 PM   #9
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Iv been trying to get into sports photography. I have the K-1 with a Tamron 70-200 lens. Any other lens you guys would recommend for sports photography (basketball, football)? Reason i ask is because i took photos at a college basketball game last weekend, i wasn’t impressed with the quality of the lens after reviewing my pictures once the game ended
03-06-2018, 12:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
BTW, in retrospect the best lenses I have used for this genre are my SMC Pentax M 200mm f/4 and A 400mm f/5.6. It helps to have two bodies so you don't have to swop lenses in the fast changing environment. Manual focus is not a deal breaker, with a bit of practice. When feeling lazy I also use my autofocus Sigma 70-300mm but IQ is sadly not in the same league. I have also tried a K 200mm f/2.5 for sport but it is not easy to nail the focus.
Wow, I like the shout out to the SMC-A 400mm f5,6, I wish I took this out more, but this is a very affordable telephoto lens and with the 1.4xl in good sun light as close as I can ever get to a Pentax 600mm :-) It was the first non kit lens I bought used 20 years ago.

I usually shoot my nephews games with a mono pod and my pride and joy, an FA 80-200 f2.8, its heavy but I have gotten lucky and gotten some amazing shots. With my new k3-ii and the back button Im really looking to getting shots that used to get away. I just have more ways to tailor the AF system to what I am shooting now.

My nephew will be in varsity this year and Ill need the f2.8 as his games will be nights games now. I do wonder if something like a 50-250 f4 would be better and more mobile.
03-06-2018, 12:56 PM   #11
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I used to shoot a ton of basketball back in the day on film (mostly on TMax 3200, pushed as high as 12,800 ASA).

I was shooting some friends playing football (soccer) last week at night on the K1 with an old SMC-A 200 f4. My focus percentage wasn’t as good as I’d like, but I was seriously impressed with the usability of the results at 25,600 ISO.

There was some noise, sure, and the dynamic range wasn’t ideal (I also blame the lights at the field). But the results were a pleasant surprise...

-Eric
03-06-2018, 01:53 PM   #12
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Catch in focus is incredible tool for shooting sports with manual lenses. Just set camera to high burst, keep shutter release pressed and follow target with focus as well as you can. If there is enough light for focus to lock properly and you manage to keep focus point on moving target, even my old K-30 nail the focus in every shot. K-5 seem to struggle with moving targets even in good light. Newer bodies should work much better in low light, but I haven't have chance to test it.
03-06-2018, 02:05 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mapguy Quote
Shoot my Nephews HS Football games, got some great hints from this forum. I was doing a lot of things wrong, just in the camera settings, I can't wait to try the tips I got from a recent thread.

It would be great to have an article for tips for shooting sports ands action.
you might want to look at these:

Guide to Camera and Autofocus Settings for Shooting Sports - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com

Resources | PentaxForums.com

there could be tips that are universal for using DSLR to capture action
03-06-2018, 03:26 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mrgoodintention Quote
Iv been trying to get into sports photography. I have the K-1 with a Tamron 70-200 lens. Any other lens you guys would recommend for sports photography (basketball, football)? Reason i ask is because i took photos at a college basketball game last weekend, i wasn’t impressed with the quality of the lens after reviewing my pictures once the game ended
Mate, welcome to the forums, as you have a K-1 and accompanying lenses the forums are a good resource for info on your kit and using it. If you've not done so already it's well worth going to the forum home page and drilling down into each category for a bit of an explore. Lots to see and search for, so enjoy your time here mate and please share some pics with us.

iheiramo linked to the sports thread that I share images in, it might be worth your while finding an example image of yours and post to that thread to show us what you're trying to capture and any problems you've experienced.

For now I can offer some ideas to help get your K-1 better set up.

Setting up the camera correctly is easy to do and will make a huge difference to giving yourself a chance of success. You have an AF lens I'm not familiar with using myself but getting the most out of the AF should assist in reducing the impact a slow focusing lens can have. For example, I've shot motocross and surfing with the DA*300/4. It's a brilliant lens but the SDM motor is quite slow. By setting up the AF to make best use of the K-1's AF capabilities and knowing where to have the lens pointed to for an approaching rider can be the difference between me capturing a decent image or getting yet another miss.

So, AF; I suggest you remain on spot or SEL as this takes advantage of the centre AF array and will give you the best results. I usually leave my camera on SEL and MAY adjust the AF point left or right one position depending on the approaching subjects. 90% of the time though I leave it in the centre as with 36 mega pickles a bit of trimming is achievable is a centered composition looks pants.

One of the best camera set ups you can do for sport is to switch to back button focusing. This can be done via Button Customization in Camera menu 5. Set it to AF1 and get used to using your thumb on the AF button on the back of the camera to focus with. This setting disables the half button press on the shutter anytime you're using the AF button. It is a simple change but makes a lot of difference when you can depress the AF button and track your subject before pressing the shutter. No more hover finger to manage AF.

AF-S or AF-C is an obvious question to ask. Try both. For some sports AF-S can yield better results as you can focus on one player and holding the AF button and re-pressing it when your subject is clear of other players between you and them can potentially allow you to get a good capture without the AF starting to track another player. This is sport dependent and other settings you combine with AF-S/AF-C may dictate which is the better to use at the time.

You also need to set up the phase detection AF, this can be done in Camera menu 1. Here you can set focus priority which will require the AF to lock on before you can shoot or whether it will just fire when the shutter is pressed. There's an auto setting as well. Setting this up is important and there's several aspects to this whether you're shooting in AF-S or AF-C. A bit of trial and error is needed to mate your circumstances in which you're shooting as the lens, lighting, sports etc are all going to influence what is the best approach here. For AF-S I have focus priority, though at times I switch this if I have a good spot and no obstructions etc.1st frame action in AF-C is set to auto, ditto for Action in AF-C. Hold AF status is set to low. Again, these settings are as the camera sits in front of me, the last sport I shot was surfing and I've been shooting with manual lenses since then.

Metering is normally left on centre weighted though tricky light conditions like you find at night might need spot so the metering is solely on the subject. Do a quick check when you're setting up then you can probably leave this unless you see something wrong when chimping.

Depending on what I'm shooting I'll tend to be in single shot or Continuous High. There are three speeds for Continuous Shooting again trying each will give you a good idea of what works for you. Having said this you also need to manage the rather limited buffer of the K-1. Once it's full you have to sit and wait and you can't shoot no matter how good the action is. To aid this shoot to one card with no copies to a second card and turn off any auto image settings. I shoot DNG RAW BTW and whilst jpeg capture is faster and makes better use of the buffer I prefer shooting RAW and work within the limits of the camera.

Drive mode should primarily be Shutter priority though again variations of light might best be managed differently in which case I'd recommend TAv mode. This way you can set your aperture say to f5.6 and your shutter speed to freeze the action which typically means >1/500s and maybe around 1/1000s or higher. If you're shooting in TAv this will mean the ISO will float to match the scene so keep an eye on how the camera is metering for the scene and either adjust the method of metering or dial in some exposure adjustment. I'd recommend doing some tests on where your preference for ISO noise sits. This is different for each person, and as my tolerance is fairly low I have my camera Auto ISO (camera menu 1) set for a max of ISO6400. If I bounce off that I'll check other settings like aperture and metering before pushing higher, but that's just my preference.

Another lens? How deep are your pockets? I'd suggest the HD D-FA 150-450. I shoot with this, the extra reach is very handy for sports and if you can stop down a wee bit it's plenty sharp. It's hard to shoot it accurately when wide open at 450mm but some ISO will let you stop down and get good results at the longer range. If that's too much money, or too much weight as it's a heavy lens, then ask some people around here how the DA* 60-250 goes with sport. That lens is a 'crop lens' but apparently it's easy to remove a baffle and have it shooting FF. As it uses an SDM motor it's likely to be a bit slow in tracking but it's the only other lens coming to mind unless you wanted to swap the Tamron for the Pentax D-FA* 70-200. To start with I'd just try setting up the camera and working with what you have as it maybe all you need to do the job once you've got the camera set up correctly.

Well enough talking kit. The best thing after setting up your gear is to learn to read the sports you're trying to capture. This will provide the best results even with a simple point and shoot camera. Where you're located and how you read the game will allow you to work out what's likely to happen, especially with the tactics of a game. If you can get ahead of what's likely to happen in the next play you can set up facing where the action is about to go and be onto it sharply (pun intended). To help in reading what's going to happen keep your head directly above the camera's viewfinder when some action is about to occur look through the viewfinder with the lens zoomed out a bit. So with the 70-200 you might be at a 100mm field of view to see the area you anticipate the action will unfold as this will allow you to see more of what's going on around the game and when the ball comes into view you zoom in and release the shutter once you're locked on. This approach will also allow you to track the action if it goes in a new direction.

Okay so the disclaimer: I'm no expert but the above should help you get more out of what you have and consider other kit options should you need them. Oh, I forgot to mention, I like to use a monopod, it helps stabilise the lens whilst allowing action to be tracked. Hopefully you'll hear from others on the topic, with luck they won't be novel writers like me.

Tas
03-06-2018, 03:53 PM   #15
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Thanks, thats was very interesting!

I was going to ask what memory card setting gets you the most shots :-)

Greats tuff, can't wait until its warm enough outside to want to try those settings out.
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