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  1. #1
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    Opening Day and a Win for the Lady Eagles

    My daughter's softball team was very nervous going into Opening Day. Last year they were undefeated and dominated their league. This year, having lost their start pitcher, their senior catcher, their shortstop, and the coach... they weren't sure what to expect. They got down 3-0 in the first inning, and rallied back for a 6-4 victory over Rensselaer, a larger Class C school. So, they are quite happy.

    Here are a few shots from the game... nothing very exciting. I was using the 1DMk2N w/400L f/2.8 II. This was my "opening day" with this lens, and it was a little long for this field. You really can't back up with your "feet" on this field, but it will be very good for baseball. It was a good practice round for me... and taught me that I have a lot more practicing to do. The lighting was harsh... low sun, heavy shade on one side of the field, bright sun on the other. I shoot manual mostly, so that means remembering to change things when jumping to another spot on the field. Generally in this type of setting (bright sun), you try to expose for the face. This means you will lose some highlights - guaranteed - but its better to have a properly exposed face and lose a knee, than the other way around... or losing the face completely in the shadows. Baseball/softball is also a challenge because the hats put a heavy shadow over the face that is nearly impossible to avoid.

    Here are a few of my daughter... this is kind of a sequence (lacking a lot of ball on bat action) of what she does. She was the top stealer in the the league last year... actually bunted her way to that result. Here, she was ready to hit (I missed the actual hit because the 400 was a little long to get it... and my timing is about 9.5 months out of practice).



    Safely onto first base...



    Teasing the catcher and second baseman...



    And the succesful steal to second. It makes me cringe ever time these girls slide with shorts on. My daughter has really killed her knees on a few fields where the dirt has small stones mixed in. Not a classic slide here but it got the job done.



    And now playing first base.

    Mike - Been Converged?

  2. #2
    Registered User mrailing's Avatar
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    The DOF is great. As always, wonderful shots...

  3. #3
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrailing
    The DOF is great. As always, wonderful shots...
    Yep, the 400 2.8 does a good job with DOF. The last shot there it messed me up a little. The right foot of Steph is in focus, but because she's sideways, her left foot is not in focus... and her body is even a little out. That's always a challenge when you narrow down the DOF.

    I shot some pics at a play last night with the 400 2.8 and I was amazed that I was getting some blurring of the background behind the subjects. I'm surprised because I'm shooting all the way from the back of the auditorium, and the set is only 10' or so behind the actors. Haven't loaded them up yet, but I think they came out pretty good.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  4. #4
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    Once again--very nice! DOF? I'm not a photographer, but I likes the pics nonetheless.
    Motorola Q, WM5 -- Verizon Wireless, U.S.A.

  5. #5
    Registered User mrailing's Avatar
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    DOF - Depth of Field. Makes the background blurry while having your subject in focus... Makes it look like there is depth, compared to some photos having the subject and background in focus...

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    Ah, thanks.
    Motorola Q, WM5 -- Verizon Wireless, U.S.A.

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    So on that last picture it looks like the grass in front of her right foot is in focus. Would it have been possible to move the DOF so that it moved the in focus area more towards her left foot and the grass in front and behind her would be blurred? If the focus area was moved that way would it have reduced sharpness on her face and thus been undesirable?

  8. #8
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pod13
    So on that last picture it looks like the grass in front of her right foot is in focus. Would it have been possible to move the DOF so that it moved the in focus area more towards her left foot and the grass in front and behind her would be blurred? If the focus area was moved that way would it have reduced sharpness on her face and thus been undesirable?
    Yep... I did miss focus that a bit. This was actually the first time I used the 400 2.8 shooting sports. The lens is quite a beast to get used to. Even on a monopod, it is a handful. The lens, camera, and monopd weigh in at a little under 20 pounds. I think in this case I was just off my mark a little. I need to go back and look at the original to see where I had the center point at when I took it.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  9. #9
    Registered User spectrrr's Avatar
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    great exposure on those shots. Have you noticed a significant difference between the sensors on the 1D mk2 and the 20D in terms of dynamic range between lights and darks? Some of those exposures look far better than anything i've been able to achieve on softball under harsh lighting thus far.

  10. #10
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectrrr
    great exposure on those shots. Have you noticed a significant difference between the sensors on the 1D mk2 and the 20D in terms of dynamic range between lights and darks? Some of those exposures look far better than anything i've been able to achieve on softball under harsh lighting thus far.
    I haven't noticed a big difference. The 1DM2 and N seem to have a little more detail than the 20D... but hardly noticable. I haven't seen much of a difference in exposure, except that the 20D doesn't have 1/3 stop adjustments in ISO... not a big problem in this setting. The key, I think, is to shoot manual. I have found that trying to shoot aperature priority in this type of environment will lead to problems because you have light and dark uniform areas that will through the metering off. Take a couple of shots around the field and check the faces. Adjust from there. Then, which is always a problem with the fact that the game are late in the afternoon, you will start to have the exposure dropping off as the games go on and need to adjust. One mistake I think that can be made is to try and preserve all the highlights (looking at the histogram), when in reality you sometimes have to lose a little on the highlights to get well exposed faces.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  11. #11
    Registered User Robert K.'s Avatar
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    Very impressive captures Mike.
    Please visit my picture site: Robert-O-Rama :)

  12. #12
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    Thanks... their second game they won 32-4! I have some pics from it that I'll try to post. A few more interesting than these. I shot that one with the 200 1.8 and TC1.4... a little more managable for a softball field.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  13. #13
    Registered User Robert K.'s Avatar
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    32-4??? lol... I guess that means you can concentrate more on taking pictures and not worry about missing anything important in the game
    Please visit my picture site: Robert-O-Rama :)

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