Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
contadorfan
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Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
11 months ago

My husband is submitting an article for the local paper about his old guy's hockey team.  He wants me to take pictures of the team in action at the rink.

Unfortunately, I don't have great lenses for this kind of shooting: a Zeiss f3.5 16-80 mm, a Sony 55-200mm f4.5, a Minolta 50mm f1.7.  I do have a Sony hot shoe flash (h42), but the guys aren't going to like that going off in their faces! Oh, Sony a77.

Is there a way I can get reasonable action pictures? High ISO, of course, but my camera's high ISO is pretty noisy. Can I use the flash unobtrusively, do you think?

Could I try shooting video and extracting a picture from the video?

Any tips are appreciated.

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Ron Poelman
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Try the 55-200 at ISO 400
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

it wouldn't be too bad.
Shoot RAW so you can fiddle the noise reduction.
The key is the flash.
As these guys aren't playing for sheep stations,
you are unlikely to seriously upset a "game" by using it.
Most shots will be in profile or of small groups,
so it's not like you'll be blazing away at close range.
Get some practice in first, so you are comfortable
with the power levels.

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contadorfan
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Re: Try the 55-200 at ISO 400
In reply to Ron Poelman, 11 months ago

Ron Poelman wrote:

... it's not like you'll be blazing away at close range.

Good point.

I'm still learning the a77.  Does the high speed burst work with flash?

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Ron Poelman
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Can't help you there, I drive a @57...
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

but like I said, practice; nothing beats a little hands-on experimentation.
Stick it on and see if you can get a decent sequence of the cat snoring ?

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contadorfan
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Re: Can't help you there, I drive a @57...
In reply to Ron Poelman, 11 months ago

Ron Poelman wrote:

Practice...Stick it on and see if you can get a decent sequence of the cat snoring

Oh! I can do that!

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kpenner
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

If it's for a local newspaper the print quality will likely be quite poor so you shouldnt have to worry about noise all too much. In this case I would opt for more noise vs motion blur. Last year I did a few shots of some younger kids playing at f5.6 and I *think* ISO3200. This was at a small town rink with mediocre lighting. The shots weren't the best, but they would have been okay for print.

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Stflbn
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Re: Try the 55-200 at ISO 400
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

If you're shooting through the glass,   I wouldn't try using flash.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

Don't worry about the noise. Remember, while it may look noisy at 100% viewing, the image size the newspaper is going to be using for online and paper is relatively small. That small image is going to hide a lot of what you typically see in a full size image, and that includes both noise and detail.

To see this for yourself, think about how big of an image you usually see in a newspaper or online and print/resize a high ISO image of yours to match that. You'll quickly find out you have more headroom than you originally thought.

Even downsizing a 24MP image down to 6MP will be plenty big enough for the newspaper to use. It will be sized down even smaller for web use and the newspaper won't even show all the detail of a 6MP image.

Having said that, it will still be helpful to have good composition and lighting whenever possible regardless of using low or high ISOs.

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eastriding4310
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

Take all of your lenses to the ice rink and experiment.  You do not need to shoot everything all of the time.  Find a position close to the action that you want to take.  In low light the Minolta 50mm 1.7 has always served me well shooting ice shows on board ship.

The action will be VERY fast. Shoot 24mp and crop later.  Try to keep your shutter speed above 1000. If you don't freeze the action, the shots will be blurry, which is way worse than noise! Forget the flash.  I always use 3200 iso with my A77 for low light action.  Get a fast, large class 10 card.  I usually shoot over 1,000 shots in a half hour show.  You might shoot many more.

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Osssis
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

Hi,

You could also try panning as then you can use lower iso with lower shutter speed. You would also get great feel of movement if you get it right.

I also agree that high iso shouldn't be a problem for small prints. If you use 55-200 where it stays at 4.5 or use zeiss you should be ok. I am not sure how 55-200 behaves with different focal lengths. Try if 1/400s is enough to freeze the movement if you want sharp shots. More if preferable. You might get there with iso 3200 or 1600 depending on lightning

Ice hockey rink migth need something like 70 to 120mm and you would still get nice pictures from sideline near the goal. I am basing this on my little try with futsal where 85mm was decent.

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contadorfan
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

Went to the rink to check out the lighting.  This is ISO 5000, 1/750, f4.5.  What do you think? I denoised it before converting to jpg. No flash.

I'll try the 50mm and 3200 ISO, and try to shoot 1/1000.

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jydurocher
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Re: Try the 55-200 at ISO 400
In reply to Ron Poelman, 11 months ago

Ron Poelman wrote:

it wouldn't be too bad.
Shoot RAW so you can fiddle the noise reduction.
The key is the flash.
As these guys aren't playing for sheep stations,
you are unlikely to seriously upset a "game" by using it.
Most shots will be in profile or of small groups,
so it's not like you'll be blazing away at close range.
Get some practice in first, so you are comfortable
with the power levels.

If you're press, close to the rink, the ref will ask you ONCE not to use flash. TWICE you will shoot the arena: OUTSIDE.

And stop being obsessed by noise, as others have pointed out, a newspaper prints with a 110 screen generally, if CMYK you must also take into account so many variables that the resolution seems lower.

I shoot hockey with a A77 and a Tamron 18-270 and the photos comes really well on newsprint, would look so-so on coated paper and awfull printed on photo stock. And 10 to 12 fps is a life saver. Look at most pro sport photogs on a newspaper print page, any sports, and almost none would pass the pixels peepers reviews. Then they make money doing it... PP spend money trying to buy next year's camera today at last year prices...

Don't forget the advice of panning with the action.

You will be stuck with a sheet of scratched 3/4" plexiglass between you and the action by the way.

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jydurocher
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

You don't need 1/750, 1/250 will do fine and with Novice class kids you can get by with 1/125. Anything less than Junior AA is slow motion hockey.

Junior AAA is sometime faster than pro, especially when scouts are present. These kids are pre-novice or novice, you'll take more pictures of falls than skating.

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contadorfan
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to jydurocher, 11 months ago

jydurocher wrote:

You don't need 1/750, 1/250 will do fine and with Novice class kids you can get by with 1/125. Anything less than Junior AA is slow motion hockey.

Junior AAA is sometime faster than pro, especially when scouts are present. These kids are pre-novice or novice, you'll take more pictures of falls than skating.

That's a good point too.  And since I'll be shooting a bunch of guys who've had hip replacements, the action is not going to be lightning fast.  No refs, so don't have to worry about one tossing me out of the rink!

I've got a class 10 SDHC card.

Thanks for all the tips, everybody.  This is going to be very interesting.

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BrewLab
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

Don't know if this will help or not, but I shoot boxing in pretty dimly lit gyms, where the action is very fast, with my A77. I use a 35 f/1.8, but same difference. Here's a link to a couple of my posts with the exif attached. All were shot in RAW and processed in LR4.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3548418?page=1

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3525181

Hope it helps...good luck!!

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contadorfan
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to BrewLab, 11 months ago

BrewLab wrote:

Don't know if this will help or not, but I shoot boxing in pretty dimly lit gyms, where the action is very fast, with my A77. I use a 35 f/1.8, but same difference. Here's a link to a couple of my posts with the exif attached. All were shot in RAW and processed in LR4.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3548418?page=1

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3525181

Hope it helps...good luck!!

That does help, BrewLab, thanks!  I'll definitely try the Minolta 50 f1.7, then, for close shots.  Enjoyed your pictures, btw.

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icycool123
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

would it be possible for you to rent a 70-200 f2.8 for a day?

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tbcass
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Hockey pictures, No Flash, A65, Tamron 70-300 USD
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

contadorfan wrote:

My husband is submitting an article for the local paper about his old guy's hockey team. He wants me to take pictures of the team in action at the rink.

Unfortunately, I don't have great lenses for this kind of shooting: a Zeiss f3.5 16-80 mm, a Sony 55-200mm f4.5, a Minolta 50mm f1.7. I do have a Sony hot shoe flash (h42), but the guys aren't going to like that going off in their faces! Oh, Sony a77.

Is there a way I can get reasonable action pictures? High ISO, of course, but my camera's high ISO is pretty noisy. Can I use the flash unobtrusively, do you think?

Could I try shooting video and extracting a picture from the video?

Any tips are appreciated.

Here's some hockey shots with an A65 and a Tamron 70-300 USD.

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Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

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jydurocher
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to contadorfan, 11 months ago

contadorfan wrote:

jydurocher wrote:

You don't need 1/750, 1/250 will do fine and with Novice class kids you can get by with 1/125. Anything less than Junior AA is slow motion hockey.

Junior AAA is sometime faster than pro, especially when scouts are present. These kids are pre-novice or novice, you'll take more pictures of falls than skating.

That's a good point too. And since I'll be shooting a bunch of guys who've had hip replacements, the action is not going to be lightning fast. No refs, so don't have to worry about one tossing me out of the rink!

I've got a class 10 SDHC card.

Thanks for all the tips, everybody. This is going to be very interesting.

Flash rules in Ontario

http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/page/ohl-photo-policy

Flash (as in real one) have been a no-no in most sports for a couple of decades.

Have fun

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contadorfan
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Re: Help! Hockey pictures, wrong equipment
In reply to tbcass, 11 months ago

tbcass wrote:

... A65 and a Tamron 70-300 USD.

Wow! And you didn't need sky high ISOs or super fast glass.  Very nice.

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