OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Discussions
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Dennis2958 Contributing Member • Posts: 526
OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

I went to the soccer field yesterday to try to get a feel for shooting sports.  In a sentence.. I felt like an ant at an anteater's convention.  I was all thumbs.  I tried many different settings including the motor drive.  I really didn't know what I was doing the the X Pro 1.  All this coming from a guy who use to shoot sports for a living.

Before I do this again I would love to hear from you sports shooters (all kinds) on exactly how you approach to shooting action in general.  Settings etc.  I welcome comments from all model Fuji X shooters.

I tried the 55-200mm with the digital viewfinder off but the zoom box didn't work like it did with the 18-55mm.  No zooming and no box.  What's this all about?

The focus delay really screwed me up too.

Meanwhile it's back to the D800 for sports for now.............. and to my deep depression about failing :-).

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Nikon D800
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Spud0 Regular Member • Posts: 278
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?
7

The trick is not to do it 

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ajamils1
ajamils1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,627
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

The trick is not to do it 

Exaxtly!! If you really want to do sports with Fuji your only hope is X-E2, which will increase your chances of getting a shot but don't expect a high rate of success.

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bowportes Senior Member • Posts: 2,802
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?
2

set shutter speed to at least 1/500th and aperture to at least f8. Let ISO rise if needed.

Use the electronic rather than the optical viewfinder with that lens.

Try zone focusing like in the old manual focus days.

It will be less than ideal, but with practice you can pull off some nice shots.

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dark13star
dark13star Senior Member • Posts: 1,469
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

Use the Nikon D800 on your gear list

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Dennis2958 OP Contributing Member • Posts: 526
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

bowportes wrote:

Use the electronic rather than the optical viewfinder with that lens.

Yes, the optical viewfinder was useless, especially with the 55-200mm.  I'll give your thoughts a try.  Your "old days" approach jiggled my brain on how we use to shoot sports.  Will give the XPro1 another try ...... but will have the D800 in the car to deal with any resulting frustration.

Thanks!

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Shawn67 Senior Member • Posts: 1,187
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

Along with Zone focusing when you are in MF mode you can use the AF button to activate focus. Very similar to the AF ON button on Nikon's. You can use that and try to predict action and to assist with zone focusing.

Don't try and focus with the shutter and don't bother with AF-C. With work you ca shoot some action with the XP1. However, it won't do it as well as your DSLR. When I am having fun I shoot with the XP1, when I want my best chance of getting the shot I use a D700.

Shawn

Dennis2958 OP Contributing Member • Posts: 526
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

Shawn67 wrote:

.......... you can use the AF button to activate focus.

Shawn

Thanks for the tip.  I wasn't aware of this feature.  I doubt seriously that I will shoot soccer again with the Fuji.  I am going to try it at the greyhound dog track in the near future.  The action is more predictive and I might get some good shots.  I am still learning my way with the XPro1.

dennis

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meagre offerings
meagre offerings Senior Member • Posts: 4,871
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

just forget the xp1 for fast moving sports, i have had mine for about a month and if i was intending to shoot sports i would not have sold my nikon

it would be quite similar to you owning a land rover and a ac cobra, and when it was of road playtime, you taking the ac.

it just dont make sense.

best

pc

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Joachim Gerstl
Joachim Gerstl Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

Shooting action with a Fuji X is like playing golf with a rope. It makes no sense.

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alexzn
alexzn Senior Member • Posts: 1,730
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?
1

Its not that you cannot do it...but...  First of all, if you have a D800 or whatever the whiz-bang Nikon SLR you have, it makes no sense to shoot sports with the X (be it a Pro1 or E2).  A pro-level DSLR will beat the pants off the X series camera shooting sports every time.

If you have to do it, do it the old way, pre-focus and then trust your reflexes.  You will get a lot less keepers, but the ones you get will be quite good.  If you need to get keepers reliably (i.e. its an impotent event, you are shooting on for a customer, etc) use a DSLR.

keith1101 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

af " S " will get  you a few keepers

57even Senior Member • Posts: 9,863
It's fine if you have good reflexes.

Dennis2958 wrote:

I went to the soccer field yesterday to try to get a feel for shooting sports. In a sentence.. I felt like an ant at an anteater's convention. I was all thumbs. I tried many different settings including the motor drive. I really didn't know what I was doing the the X Pro 1. All this coming from a guy who use to shoot sports for a living.

Before I do this again I would love to hear from you sports shooters (all kinds) on exactly how you approach to shooting action in general. Settings etc. I welcome comments from all model Fuji X shooters.

I tried the 55-200mm with the digital viewfinder off but the zoom box didn't work like it did with the 18-55mm. No zooming and no box. What's this all about?

The focus delay really screwed me up too.

Meanwhile it's back to the D800 for sports for now.............. and to my deep depression about failing :-).

The trick is not to pre-focus. Follow the action in the EVF with the focus point on the subject and then press the shutter all the way down to take the shot.

Just make sure you are using a high enough shutter speed (true for all action work). I have got a few fast moving cars, aircraft etc. this way. Of course if you want to resort to burst mode and machine gun tactics, use the Nikon.

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ljclark Senior Member • Posts: 2,407
Re: It's fine if you have good reflexes.

57even wrote:

The trick is not to pre-focus. Follow the action in the EVF with the focus point on the subject and then press the shutter all the way down to take the shot.

Just make sure you are using a high enough shutter speed (true for all action work). I have got a few fast moving cars, aircraft etc. this way. Of course if you want to resort to burst mode and machine gun tactics, use the Nikon.

I don't believe it would fair or accurate to assign the Nikon DSLR to the "burst and machine gun" category.  I've shot a lot of soccer, both pro and semi-pro -- where the action is pretty fast.  To get good quality shots I shoot a pair of D300s with lenses at between f/2.8 and f/3.5, aperture priority, with the ISO usually 800 or higher.  I adjust ISO to keep the shutter speed as high as possible.  I rarely burst and never machine gun, preferring to catch singles at peak action.

Most of the X-Pr01 sports shots I've seen here are good enough for family, or good enough for Facebook.  But few have shown me anything that I couldn't have shot 40 years ago with a Nikon F and a manual focus 200.

Using the ways of the ancients, as described by others, is the way I would go if I was forced to shoot sports the with the X-Pro1.  I'm very pleased with my X-Pro1, but I also let it do what it does best.

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57even Senior Member • Posts: 9,863
Re: It's fine if you have good reflexes.

ljclark wrote:

57even wrote:

The trick is not to pre-focus. Follow the action in the EVF with the focus point on the subject and then press the shutter all the way down to take the shot.

Just make sure you are using a high enough shutter speed (true for all action work). I have got a few fast moving cars, aircraft etc. this way. Of course if you want to resort to burst mode and machine gun tactics, use the Nikon.

I don't believe it would fair or accurate to assign the Nikon DSLR to the "burst and machine gun" category. I've shot a lot of soccer, both pro and semi-pro -- where the action is pretty fast. To get good quality shots I shoot a pair of D300s with lenses at between f/2.8 and f/3.5, aperture priority, with the ISO usually 800 or higher. I adjust ISO to keep the shutter speed as high as possible. I rarely burst and never machine gun, preferring to catch singles at peak action.

If you are a pro then it matters. Frankly, most people buy gear for something they MAY want to do occasionally.

Most of the X-Pr01 sports shots I've seen here are good enough for family, or good enough for Facebook. But few have shown me anything that I couldn't have shot 40 years ago with a Nikon F and a manual focus 200.

Indeed, and some great action photography happened back then. But I think it's far easier even so (exposure preview, OIS, etc. all make it much more straight forward even shooting in manual).

Using the ways of the ancients, as described by others, is the way I would go if I was forced to shoot sports the with the X-Pro1. I'm very pleased with my X-Pro1, but I also let it do what it does best.

But unless you are a pro, or shoot action all the time, you can make the best out of the Xpro-1 for the occasional sports shot. Having a dedicated sports camera is fine, but what if you don't have it with you at the time?

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Birddogman
Birddogman Senior Member • Posts: 2,087
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

My primary photographic subject is upland bird hunting.  Super-athletic dogs and wild upland birds can be very fast moving subjects.  Also, one important part of the action - the retrieve - involves a dog running at full tilt directly toward the photographer.

I have a nice set of Canon DSLR gear that makes capturing such images easy, but I cannot carry such equipment and still manage the dogs, gun, cover many miles of rough cover, etc.  The XP-1 represents a compromise for me between portability on one hand and capability on the other.  IQ is, as you have no doubt discovered, excellent.

I've yet to find the ideal field camera, so I try to work around a given camera's weaknesses.  The Fuji's weak point is focus tracking speed.

It's not a perfect solution, but my workaround is to jack up the ISO higher than would normally be used in good light outdoors.  That allows me to have both a relatively small aperture for a large DOF, which gives some leeway on precise focus and a high enough shutter speed to stop the action.  The Fuji's performance and higher than normal ISO is very good, so the pics have little noise, etc.  I also use a 3 fps drive speed to allow the camera time to focus between frames and the C setting in the focus mode lever.  I still lose plenty of action pics, but I get some, too:

To deal with distracting, sharply focused background from the relatively small aperture, I use the Orton Effect in PP.   You can see that in the above pic.

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asspirin
asspirin New Member • Posts: 9
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

Action (high speed). No any secrets )

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Aspirin

radon8 Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

This past summer I shot part of the tour de france.  I was with two friends.  One had a Canon MkII and the other a D800.  I used manual focus, wide aperture and shutter speed of 900-1000 with the evf and the camera showed me what my zone of focus was by 'highlighting' it.  I knew that anything that fell within that zone would be in focus.  Got some pretty good shots.  My friend with the D800 let the camera choose the focus point (big mistake). I never saw any photos from the Canon (and I assume I would have if any were useable).

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biza43 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,570
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

I have had some success shooting voleyball with the XE1 and the Zeiss 50 f2 ZM. Mind you, this is my daughters team playing, not professional stuff...

Anyway, all I do is to set the camera to shutter priority and autoiso, and anticipate the action. it helps a lot that the lens a fantastic "feel" for manual focus.

It's just a different mindset to using a DSLR.

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Imagefoundry Regular Member • Posts: 269
Re: OK, so what's the trick to shooting sports/action with X Pro 1?

I don't have 55-200lens, but I've tried to shoot an event with a 60mm lens and Xpro1. Had the camera on manual focus, aperture priority, F8, iso on Auto 3200, electronic viewfinder rather than OVF... it was not as trouble-free as shooting with DSLR but manageable.

I'd prefocus using AF-L on something at a similar distance and just keep clicking in motor-drive mode. Got enough good shots to consider this a success, but it was not pain-free, thats for sure.

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