Total Focus Misses at Hockey Game with D700

Started Jan 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
bob elkind
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Adding to joesiv's comments...
In reply to Joesiv, Jan 17, 2012

Joesiv wrote:
...

Up your ISO until you can get the right exposure.

You may be thinking... doesn't increasing ISO setting add noise to the photo? And you would be right. The faster shutter speed resulting from increasing ISO comes at the cost of added noise.

You should consider this: There are very good noise filters both in-camera and in post-processing software to clean up a noisy image, but there is no filter which can clean up the motion blurring which results from a shutter speed which is too slow. Noise can be fixed, motion blur cannot be fixed.

...Try to get the majority of the graph way up to the right side, this will be your ice. If you can get it so it rolls off just before going off the right side you're golden for exposure.

There is a tradeoff between maximum optimal exposure (also known as "expose to the right [of the histogram]" or " ETTR ") and shutter speed. By underexposing by as much as 1 full stop, you can halve the exposure time. This presumes that you will be post-processing your photos to boost (restore) levels. As you boost levels, you will also be boosting noise in the shadows.

Consider shooting in 14-bit RAW format, which makes available to you all of the low-noise performance and tonal resolution the D700 can deliver. A few test shots comparing shadows, where levels have been boosted, should convince you of the value of shooting RAW in light-challenged (or shutter-speed-challenged) venues.

In sum: It may help your sports/action image sharpness and image quality if you

  • increase shutter speed by increasing ISO or deliberately underexposing

  • use noise filter tools to offset increased noise due to higher ISO or underexposure

  • use RAW format to minimise shadow noise when adjusting shadow levels

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Bob Elkind

Family, mostly sports. Seriously, folks, I'm not that good. If I can do it, you can do it!
photo galleries at http://eteam.zenfolio.com
my relationship with my camera is strictly photonic

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