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Old 10-12-2012, 03:02 PM   #91
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That's it exactly Chucker. My camera is a Sony Nex-7 and the primary lenses are a Tamron 18-200 3.5-6.3 that I use for walk-around and like for outdoor sports and a Sigma 30mm 2.8 prime that I love for indoor and somewhat for landscapes.

That 30mm is my "nifty-50" prime because the Nex-7 has an APS-C sensor, so the 30mm Sigma works out to 45mm equivalent for a full frame/film lens.

The reason I brought this up today was that my daughter is now in volleyball and the 18-200 I was using was not good with the horrible indoor light. Too noisy or too much blur with the slow lens. I ended up changing to the 30mm, which was barely ok but I had to crop a lot.

So, my thought is that an MF 200mm prime at 2.8 would help with the indoor volleyball but I was not sure how "I" would do with it. I now think the manual focus would be fine but I was also worried about the lack of stabilization with an older 200mm. However, after thinking about it, the shutter speed would be 1/800 or faster so that should take care of the shakiness (I think).

As far as the other lens I was thinking of getting, its a 10-18mm 2.8. I now think the lack of IS there is no problem as I can use a tripod or monopod and the MF will just be a new learning curve.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:06 PM   #92
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I should have asked a followup question. What would you recommend for a prime for indoor volleyball? 105, 180, or 200? I've been looking at all of these.

I could look for a 70-200 zoom in a 2.8, but then I'm looking at bigger bucks.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #93
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Scott

Sports is one area 'typically' that you might want the autofocus as you are up against a subject that is constantly moving. Not saying they can't be used, but your sucess rate will be low. You wil basically have to pre-focus and then wait until one of the girls jumps to that spot (of course it will be fine for capturing the serves). Having a 'faster' lens (large maximum aperture size for ex f2.8) will help you by allowing a lower ISO (reducing some noise) and/or maintaining a higher shutter speed (reducing blur). Sports are another scenario where a zoom can be handy as it allows you multiple framing options with a flick of a wrist. This is why it is difficult to say which length of fixed lens would be best - it will depend entirely on your position. The closer you are the less focal length you need. It's been a while since I shot a basketball game (I have never shot volleyball) and I used two lenses - when I was at the ends of the court I used my 28-70, focusing on the jumps in front of the net. When I was at the side of the court I mostly used the 80-200, but the 28-70 also. Pro sports photogs sometimes will use multiple cameras, each with different lenses (wide zoom, mid zoom and maybe a 300mm fixed) or they split up the job between a few shooters, each positioned according to the play and the lens they have. But for us regular shooters we generally have to make due with one camera, a couple zooms and a good pair of sneakers.
So while I am a big supporter of manual focus prime lenses court sports is one place the AF zooms rule. Obviously having a large aperture on your long zoom (f2.8) will help you deal with blur (faster shutter) and noise (lower ISO). On the wide angle zooms you do not need to worry as much about camera shake as it is usually easy to get a relatively fast shutter speed. Remember the rule of thumb for hand-held shutter speeds - keep the shutter speed 2 x the focal length for small sensor cameras or 1 x focal length for full sensor cameras. So for your Sony if you had a 200mm focal length (fixed or zoom) then you would want to keep your shutter speed at least 1/400sec (1/300 if you are very steady). This will provide enough speed to eliminate most camera shake and is also fast enough to freeze most of the action on the court.
VR or IS lenses will allow you to use a slower shutter speed and still eliminate camera shake, but you still need to maintain a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion of the players (VR/IS does nothing to eliminate subject movement).
Timing can help also should you need to use a slower speed - a player at the height of the spike jump is almost 'still' and does not need a real fast speed where as diving to get the ball will require a very fast speed. So it takes a lot of practice to get things just right.


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Old 10-25-2012, 01:58 PM   #94
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Driving on the shores of Green Bay the past Saturday and took a bunch of shots. Here's one and I have a question about composition. Should I use the rule of thirds for these types of shots and, if so, is it best to have the sunset in the top third (leaving a lot of water) or the bottom third (giving more clouds)?

Also, it got a little Lightroom love and I think I made the sky a bit too blue.


Thanks for looking.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:19 PM   #95
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You know, Scott, I have never understood how the rule of thirds is a better picture than what you have right there. If you show more water, then you loose some of the clouds. If you show more sky, it looks like there is nothing but blue above the clouds, and you would loose some reflection from the water. To me, that is a great photo. Serene comes to mind.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:29 PM   #96
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Nice photos in this thread! My primary gear up until recently was a Sony A500 DSLR. My favorite lens was either a 35mm 1.8 or 50mm 1.7 prime since my favorite subject was our boys. I have a 18-55 and 75-300 zoom as well.

I recently picked up two new cameras and they have really opened my eyes to what new tech can do. I have a m4/3 Olympus E-PM1 and just bought a Olympus XZ-1 P&S. The XZ-1 has a decent sized sensor and an amazingly bright lens - f1.8 at the wide end and still f2.5 at full zoom! I have only had it a day but it does really well indoors with the kids. The m4/3 PM1 also does very well with high ISO and Olympus jpegs look amazing. The colors and white balance are usually perfect with no PP needed.

Here is a quick shot with the PM1 taken this past Saturday morning from our site at Calhoun Falls State Park. This is a jpeg staight out of camera set on "vivid" to give the leaves more pop. Its almost too much, but I like it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:29 PM   #97
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Thanks Chap. It was serene for us. We had just finished a race and were driving back when we saw it. Sat on the grass, took a few pics and waited a few minutes. Then "poof" - it set.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:30 PM   #98
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Scott - I think that photo is great! Rule of Thirds is a guideline, not something that has to be done 100% of the time.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:33 PM   #99
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Nice fall picture you got there CHD Dad.

I like the four thirds Olympus. I use a Sony Nex-7 and am also amazed at what these smaller cameras can come up with nowadays.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:38 PM   #100
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Thanks Scott! I am tempted to sell off my A500, old A200 backup and lenses and invest completely in m4/3. I cant beat the size and so far the shots are great. The lenses are way more expensive though! No cheap primes in this format. The Oly 45 1.8 is $400 vs. $100 for a "nifty 50". You can get a Sigma 30mm 2.8 for $200 but that isnt quite a "fast" prime. The new 75mm 1.8 is $900!! Even the old, small pancake 20mm 1.7 which leaves a lot to be desired is $300. Compared to say "L" glass from Canon or some of the Carl Zeiss's for Sony it isnt bad but I cant afford those either!
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