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Shutter Speed in High Action Sports Photography
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Nov 23, 2021 09:42:57   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
I had never shot an image at 1/3200 of a second in my life, before last evening. I did it for the first time last night and it improved my indoor soccer photography image quality and percentage of focused images, noticeably. Surprise! Surprise! (ISO 3200; Aperature F2.0; Shutter speed 1/3200 second; Focal length 135mm)

In preparation for the indoor soccer season to open on December 18, 2021 in Wichita, Kansas. I decided to take advantage of my home teams practice and attend with the intention of: (a) shooting from a lower angle to add drama (b) shooting from a high angle to add context and (c) trying new camera and lens settings in an attempt to get more images in tack sharp focus.

I set aside my usual worries about excessive "noise" and simply went for images that meet the requirements of the players and management I am shooting for. I would appreciate the many excellent sports photographers on UHH sharing their thoughts on tricks they have learned to get the right exposure; tack sharpness; on their high action sports images, that might benefit me. I thank you in advance. Shooter41


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Nov 23, 2021 09:44:50   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
Very nice. I remember the old mechanical SLRs, and nothing like that was possible.

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Nov 23, 2021 10:08:04   #
DirtFarmer Loc: Way too close to New York City
 
So what camera are you using?

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Nov 23, 2021 10:12:19   #
Tomfl101 Loc: Mount Airy, MD
 
Great image. My rule is: sharpness always trumps noise. In other words a little noise is always better than a little softness because of a slow shutter. Having said that, I think you could have gotten the same level of sharpness from this photo with a 1000-2000 speed and reduced noise by a stop. Although the ball may have shown a little movement at 1/1000, that could arguably add to the excitement of the shot. But who can argue- Great photo!

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Nov 23, 2021 10:58:32   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
Tomfl101 wrote:
Great image. My rule is: sharpness always trumps noise. In other words a little noise is always better than a little softness because of a slow shutter. Having said that, I think you could have gotten the same level of sharpness from this photo with a 1000-2000 speed and reduced noise by a stop. Although the ball may have shown a little movement at 1/1000, that could arguably add to the excitement of the shot. But who can argue- Great photo!


Dear Tomfl101...I have come to the same conclusion. Sharpness trumps noise. Thanks for your comments. Shooter41

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Nov 23, 2021 11:01:50   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
jerryc41 wrote:
Very nice. I remember the old mechanical SLRs, and nothing like that was possible.


Dear jerryc41...My Pentax I started shooting soccer with in 1980 didn't have a shutter speed anywhere close to 1/3200 second. The focus was manual and I started out shooting with a kit 50mm lens and black and white 400 ASA film. Our latest photographic technology is almost unbelievable. Thanks for your comments. Shooter41

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Nov 23, 2021 11:02:58   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
DirtFarmer wrote:
So what camera are you using?


Dear DirtFarmer...I was shooting a Sony A7R4. Shooter41

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Nov 23, 2021 12:11:33   #
DirtFarmer Loc: Way too close to New York City
 
Shooter41 wrote:
Dear DirtFarmer...I was shooting a Sony A7R4. Shooter41


Sounds good. Newer cameras get better at high ISO than older ones. I suspect the difference is signal processing more than improvements in sensor quantum efficiency.

I strongly recommend trying high and really high ISO levels. Of course there's noise, but current technology is getting better at noise mitigation in post. Do the experiment to see how high you can get.

I do not consider 3200 a really high ISO. When I was shooting indoor events (5 years ago) I would use 10,000 or 12,000 with occasional excursions to 25,000. Of course my images were used for newsletters and online so downsampling did a lot of the noise reduction. Outdoors my normal ISO is about 800. Gives me good shutter speeds.

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Nov 23, 2021 13:41:24   #
User ID
 
jerryc41 wrote:
Very nice. I remember the old mechanical SLRs, and nothing like that was possible.

A mEchanical SLR goes to 1/2000 which isn’t very different from 1/3200.

As to the ISO, 3200 is not problematic with current cameras. 1600 is “base line” for routine use (non geek use) and 3200 is just one stop more.

If continuing the practice and testing regime, test 12,800 and 25k ISO to find out where your particular camera gets too noisy. It will differ between raw and jpg.

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Nov 23, 2021 15:47:27   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
User ID wrote:
A mEchanical SLR goes to 1/2000 which isn’t very different from 1/3200.

As to the ISO, 3200 is not problematic with current cameras. 1600 is “base line” for routine use (non geek use) and 3200 is just one stop more.

If continuing the practice and testing regime, test 12,800 and 25k ISO to find out where your particular camera gets too noisy. It will differ between raw and jpg.


Dear User IDJA... My next time I photograph the team at practice, I think I will try shooting at aperature F4.0 instead of F2.0 to see if getting a littler wider depth of field pushes me beyond the acceptable limit on noise.. I could set my camera on ISO 6400; shutter at 1/3200 second and see what percentage of my shots are in focus compared to the depth of field at F2.0 on 11-22-21. (After several experiments, I should be able to come up with the very best combination of shutter speed; ISO and aperature on this specific camera to stop action and still get the widest depth of field, with an acceptable amount of "noise" for this particular gig. Shooter41

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Nov 24, 2021 06:56:11   #
billnikon Loc: Pennsylvania/Ohio/Florida/Maui/Oregon/Vermont
 
Shooter41 wrote:
I had never shot an image at 1/3200 of a second in my life, before last evening. I did it for the first time last night and it improved my indoor soccer photography image quality and percentage of focused images, noticeably. Surprise! Surprise! (ISO 3200; Aperature F2.0; Shutter speed 1/3200 second; Focal length 135mm)

In preparation for the indoor soccer season to open on December 18, 2021 in Wichita, Kansas. I decided to take advantage of my home teams practice and attend with the intention of: (a) shooting from a lower angle to add drama (b) shooting from a high angle to add context and (c) trying new camera and lens settings in an attempt to get more images in tack sharp focus.

I set aside my usual worries about excessive "noise" and simply went for images that meet the requirements of the players and management I am shooting for. I would appreciate the many excellent sports photographers on UHH sharing their thoughts on tricks they have learned to get the right exposure; tack sharpness; on their high action sports images, that might benefit me. I thank you in advance. Shooter41
I had never shot an image at 1/3200 of a second in... (show quote)


To get the wing tips solid in birds in flight, you need 1/4000 sec.

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Nov 24, 2021 07:22:50   #
ELNikkor
 
I get a lot of keepers for all sports at 1/500th, (but no slower). 1/3200 sec seems like overkill, do you really get a lot of motion blur at 1/1000th?.

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Nov 24, 2021 08:36:30   #
davidrb Loc: Hangar i13
 
Shooter41 wrote:
I had never shot an image at 1/3200 of a second in my life, before last evening. I did it for the first time last night and it improved my indoor soccer photography image quality and percentage of focused images, noticeably. Surprise! Surprise! (ISO 3200; Aperature F2.0; Shutter speed 1/3200 second; Focal length 135mm)

In preparation for the indoor soccer season to open on December 18, 2021 in Wichita, Kansas. I decided to take advantage of my home teams practice and attend with the intention of: (a) shooting from a lower angle to add drama (b) shooting from a high angle to add context and (c) trying new camera and lens settings in an attempt to get more images in tack sharp focus.

I set aside my usual worries about excessive "noise" and simply went for images that meet the requirements of the players and management I am shooting for. I would appreciate the many excellent sports photographers on UHH sharing their thoughts on tricks they have learned to get the right exposure; tack sharpness; on their high action sports images, that might benefit me. I thank you in advance. Shooter41
I had never shot an image at 1/3200 of a second in... (show quote)


Should we assume you were shooting in an automatic mode of some type? I can accept your shutter speed and your ISO but why the f/2? Your depth of field at the distance isn't very deep. Your image does not suffer from softness. Looks as though you have caught on to some of the "tricks" you sought. Very nice photograph, good composition and exposure. 135mm offers great opportunities in doors, don't you think?

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Nov 24, 2021 08:52:47   #
david vt Loc: Vermont
 
Hi Shooter41

First, really good shot. Nice composition. Nice and tight (though from this device I don’t know if that was SOOC or cropped). Focus was spot on. That you had and used f2 contributed nicely to the shot, and brings even more attention to you spot-on focus given the extremely shallow DOF

Agree with the comments that 3200 SS may be more than you need, and you may be able get away with less. If you were to gain back a stop, you could then decide if you wanted to use it to lower ISO or got to a higher f stop for slightly more DOF. It also depends on how your image will be used. If shrunk down for online publication might give a different answer than a blown up print

If you can get to another practice, you might do a controlled experiment with all 3 combinations (your current and the two above), compare the results, and see what YOU like best for what you want to accomplish

Keep shooting, and I (we) look forward to hearing more from your journey

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Nov 24, 2021 10:55:03   #
Dan5000 Loc: New Hampshire
 
This was shot at 1250 sec f5.56 and Iso 3200. on an older canon7d (I realize this is outdoors}
There is some noise, but it is often necessary to bump up the iso to get the shot.

Dan



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