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MinnesotaMuskie

2.8 Lense and Depth of Field

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I am looking at purchasing a Tamron zoom lense that is a full time 2.8. My goal with this lense is to get better indoor pics for my sons wrestling team.

I am using a Rebel Digital with a Tamron 70-300 and am getting good pics but many are out of focus.

Will this 2.8 lense increase my depth of field.

Or...would a Tamron 18-200 with 3.5-6.3 be a better more versitile lense???

I am pretty new...so keep it simple crazy.gif

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At f/2.8, your depth of field will be decreased, but will allow you a faster shutter speed which is what you want for sports photos. The shallow depth of field will make your subject stand out from the background better. If you are looking at the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens, I own it and am very happy with it. Tamron also has a 28-75mm f2.8 which is also a great lens and would give you a bit more reach for sports. As for being full-time f/2.8, they are not. You can still use any smaller aperture (larger f number) which will increase Depth of Field and reduce shutter speed. I have both a 30D and an original digital rebel. With the Rebel, you will find yourself using ISO 1600 at f/2.8 for indoor sports and it still may not stop action in a poorly lit gym. I often use ISO 3200 indoors with my 30D, but that is not available on the Rebel without installing 3rd party firmware.

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MM, you haven't said which full-time f2.8 Tamron zoom you were considering originally, so there's no way for me to compare it to the other lens you mentioned.

Your pictures almost certainly are blurry not because of a shallow depth of focus, but because the shutter speed is too slow to freeze the action. Or because that Tamron lens (which I've used before) is very slow to focus and the shutter may trip before the lens is fully focused.

An f2.8 lens will give you one to two stops faster at the shutter, and that can make all the difference. With the DRebel, if you're shooting at iso1600, you'll have a lot of grain and digital noise, so if at all possible, try iso800 with the f2.8 and see what shutter speeds you're getting. If your pics are still blurry, make sure your technique is rock solid and it's not your own hand shake that's blurring things. You can also try to limit yourself to moments that don't include a lot of fast movement.

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I own the Tamron 28-75/2.8 and use it almost every game I shoot. Focus speed is not bad on it, not up to 70-200/2.8 speed but it is very usable, especially for a $300 lens. As far as ISO..... in over 12,000 INDOOR sports shots in the last 90 days and countless different venues, I have only been in ONE venue that allowed me to drop my ISO below 1600. If I get ISO 1600 I'm glad, about half the time I'm at 3200 ISO. As WCS mentioned that will not be possible with the Rebel.

I believe I mentioned this in one of the other topics, shooting indoor sports successfully WILL require a minimum of a 2.8 lens, not a 3.5-6.3 unless you plan on using flash, strobes, or some other light system. You need a minimum of 1/320s to help reduce motion blur, 1/500s if you can get it. If you don't have much money to spend on a 2.8 lens, here are a few of the lower cost lenses I carry with me on every shoot;

1. Tamron 28-75/2.8 $300 Good all around lens, focus ok

2. Canon 50/1.8 $100 Very good quality, focus ok

3. Canon 85/1.8 $420 Excellent quality, excellent focus.

Here is a shot from the Tamron 28-75/2.8 from the other night. ISO 1600, f2.8, 1/320s manual mode.

125154825-O-1.jpg

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Well, I think this is the classic case of different photographers owning different equipment and both doing good work.

Dan has those great fast indoor sports lenses, and he's an excellent photographer, so it's no surprise his work is as good as it is.

I don't own top-grade indoor sports lenses. In other words, my fastest lens, though one of Canon's top lenses, only opens to f4 (the 17-40L). My other lens, the 100-400L image stabilizer, only opens to f4.5 at 100mm and f5.6 at 400mm.

And yet, I'm shooting a lot of basketball and volleyball and hockey, fast-moving indoor sports, at iso800 and iso1600 with the aid of my EX380 Canon flash, an older flash that lacks the muscle of the 430 or 550 or 580, but has helped produce excellent images.

I synchronize my flash at 1/250 sec shutter speed, which is the fastest the camera allows, and I commonly get nice sharp images with the very slow (fast focusing but "slow" in aperture) 100-400. Quite often in decently lit gyms when shooting my 17-40, The flash hardly uses any power and serves completely as a fill, and I get an image with subjects as well as backgrounds evenly exposed.

I have used the lenses Dan has for indoor sports, and they are wonderful. If I shot more of it, I'd definitely have to spring for at least the 70-200 f2.8L IS, and I'd probably shell out the big bucks for Canon's 85mm f1.2. When professional quality is at stake for indoor sports, there's no comparison between lenses that open truly wide and slower lenses with a flash.

But using what I have, I've been able to do good work, and that's why I say to MM that it's possible to get nice pictures with what he's got, and he can hope to make getting nice pictures even easier when he upgrades lenses a bit. MM, I'd say get that f2.8 lens and have a blast with it, and experiment with flash and have a blast with that. Without top-line indoor lenses, you'll be throwing away more images (I do), but you'll get plenty of keepers, too.

Here's one from a couple weeks ago with the 20D, the 100-400L and the EX380. No big deal. No award winner. Just another base hit that went in the paper. Note that, though the subject is a bit more richly lit than the background, the exposure isn't too different front-to-back.

iso1600, 1/250 sec, f4.5, 120mm, washed through Noise Ninja to remove noise and grain, red-eye removed in photoshop

lekatz-drives.jpg

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Quote:

I believe I mentioned this in one of the other topics, shooting indoor sports successfully WILL require a minimum of a 2.8 lens, not a 3.5-6.3
unless you plan on using flash, strobes, or some other light system.
You need a minimum of 1/320s to help reduce motion blur, 1/500s if you can get it.


Steve I could not agree with you more which is why I said the bold quotes above. Maybe I was not clear enough with that, if shooting natural light no flash, etc. I stand by my statement of 2.8 or better. If you are planning on using supplemental light as Steve has demonstrated with a very nice example you can get by with slower lenses. My point is you will have to spend some money on something, faster glass, flash or other lights to get decent results, you have to pick your poisongrin.gif

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Quote:

I am using a Rebel Digital with a Tamron 70-300 and am getting good pics but many are out of focus.


i am a newbie also,but i didn't want to look past this part of your post. these other guys just wanna sell you lenses grin.gifgrin.gif. are you trying shots at 300mm? if you are indoors trying to get clear shots with the lens zoomed,your going to need a tripod for sure. are you using one? if you zoom in,your f/# will increase letting in less light requiring an even slower shutter speed to compensate. your shutter speed is already probably slow due to the poor lighting. pile all this together with some magnification [zoom], and you never will get a shot that is clear,you simply can't hold it still enough during the long shutter actuation. before you buy a lens,get a tripod and try it. wait till the wrestlers are locked up,and fire multiple shots with the motor drive,chances are a few will be clear. you said you are " getting good pics." thats what makes me think it is a technique issue,not your lens. if they [wrestlers] are in motion,they may still be blurred due to the slow shutter speed. i'm interested to see how you work it out.

i thought it was stupid at the time,but now i guess i am glad my kids' school spent $97,000 on lighting for the gym. thanks tax man!

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Quote:

these other guys just wanna sell you lenses
grin.gifgrin.gif
.


Mariner Magnum: I know you were joking and having a good time grin.gif, but I just want to make sure no one misunderstands what I mean. I don't care who buys what lens. It's nice to upgrade when the money's there, but the REASON to upgrade has to be there, too. I started out shooting sports three years ago with exactly the same DRebel and 70-300 Tamron that Minnesota Muskie is using now. I got some very nice indoor sports shots with that combo using the flash. I mentioned technique as a possible issue in an earlier post. I've never used a tripod for indoor sports, because the action moves so quickly. A monopod is a better option, and I still use those on occasion for the indoor sporting events. And, as I mentioned before, wrestling is the easiest of indoor sports to get dramatic photos from because of all those strained expressions without a lot of movement.

The slower a person's gear, the more work it takes to get nice photos of indoor sports. But even slow gear produces good work if the photographer has a good eye, a good sense of timing, patience and good technique.

Muskie, there's a way to hack the DRebel to spoof it into iso3200, but I can't remember the Web site that talks about it. Try googling Digital Rebel and iso 3200 and see what you get. It's been a few years since I looked at that. I wouldn't recommend it, anyway. That sensor will produce a ton of grain and digital noise at 3200.

And my general message to people who like to take pictures tends to remain the same: Learn to use your equipment to the best of its capabilites, refine your technique until it's rock solid, and upgrade if you have the money and the need, not just because the Joneses are upgrading.

Dan's using top-level Canon indoor sports glass. I'm a step down from that. Minnesota Muskie's a step down from what I'm using. Photographers at all three levels will produce very nice images, it's just that, the lower you go in equipment quality, the more hurdles you have to overcome.

Dan, we're cool. grin.gif

One of the things I was responding to was your statement: "You need a minimum of 1/320s to help reduce motion blur . . . " No big deal. I've just had different experience than that with indoor sports, largely because I've been stuck with slower lenses and have had to make do with what I had.

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Man...you guys are my heros...I just got home from shooting another match. Out of 218 pics...I discarded 30-35. Some for quality and some for content.

The colors you two have in shots is incredible. I really think the 2.8 lense would open more doors for me...my biggest concern is that I need to get quality pics for the kids...I am trying to rush my learning curve due to that.

Once again...those two pics are great!!!

THANK YOU>>>THANK YOU>>>THAK YOU for taking the time to help me on this.

I will keep practicing!!!

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The short answer is lens design. Canon has "USM" or "Ultra Sonic Motor" focusing motors in the more expensive lenses. They focus faster and quieter than the non USM counterparts.

Typically a lens that allows more light in will focus faster than a lens with a smaller aperture, but this not a hard fast rule. The 85/1.8 at $400 focuses faster than the $1500 85/1.2 L. Probably the fastest focusing lens in the Canon line is the 300/2.8 IS L ($3800).

The other big factor is the camera itself. The Rebel uses I believe a 7-point AF system, the 20D/30D a 9-point AF System, and the top of the heap 1D's at 45-point AF.

Put the camera and lens together and you have lenses that focus at different speeds on different cameras. grin.gif

If you only discarded 30 or 40 shots out of 200 or so you are progressing right along. Practice really does make a difference in your success. Understanding your sport helps also. Keep at it and show us a few photos of your work.

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I agree completely with Dan here. There is variability, but the USM is a fast focusing lens series, and I've shot all the Canon bodies now, and it's true that the higher you go, the faster the camera is able to focus the lens.

I also agree that if you only threw out that small percentage of shots you're already doing a lot right. grin.gif

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This photography thing is cutting into my hunting & fishing budget confused.gif

DBL...your basketball pic was taken with no flash?

So if I am understanding the advice correctly...a 2.8 either 28-75 or 70-200 lense @ 1600 ISO may help me get sharper images?

To bad there is not a 28-200...sometimes I find myseld crowded @ 70.

Once again...when I say I discarded that number...my standards may be lower. I have very few that have the sharpness and the vivid colors that you all have achieved.

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MM, the reason an f2.8 lens will get you sharper images is because it allows you faster shutter speed to freeze the action. So, yes, it should help a lot.

That's different from the lens being inherently sharp, which depends on the quality of the glass. Most manufacturers who put the money into making zooms that open to f2.8 will use good glass, and there are those here who have used the Tamron lens you're planning to buy and can comment on its sharpness. If you're looking at one of Canon's 70-200 f2.8 lenses, know that they are Canon's sharpest zooms.

I do know from my own use of it that the Tamron 70-300 isn't an especially sharp lens. It's just OK.

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MM, The 3rd Party firmware is available on the internet. Just as Steve suggested, it can be risky. I have it installed on my Rebel with no ill effects. I have used the ISO 3200 and it is indeed grainy. Noise Ninja helps a bunch. What the firmware attempts to do is unlock all the features found in the 10D that are built into the Rebel. I used it more for the addition of mirror lock-up. If you are interested in more info, please email me at tlwolter at gmail (Contact Us Please). Any firmware upgrade can be risky, but when it is not supported by the manufacturer, you should probably consider Canon support no longer available if something goes wrong. I knew I was upgrading to a 30D. If something went wrong with the firmware, I would have purchased the 30D a little sooner than I did.

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Oh, and I meant to say earlier that firmware is just the camera manufacturers' new fancy word for software. It's the software that runs your camera (like Windows or OS runs your PC or Mac), and, of course, your digital camera is really nothing but a computer that records images.

Like computer operating system software, the company will upgrade the firmware from time to time, especially as problems with the camera/firmware are found. The firmware for the original DRebel probably hasn't been upgraded since the XT and XTi came out. You can check your firmware version on the back of the camera in the menu. And you can log onto the Canon Web site to see if they have a later version for your camera, which you can then download for free and install.

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Quote:

This photography thing is cutting into my hunting & fishing budget
confused.gif

DBL...your basketball pic was taken with no flash?

So if I am understanding the advice correctly...a 2.8 either 28-75 or 70-200 lense @ 1600 ISO may help me get sharper images?

To bad there is not a 28-200...sometimes I find myseld crowded @ 70.

Once again...when I say I discarded that number...my standards may be lower. I have very few that have the sharpness and the vivid colors that you all have achieved.


Tell me about it killing my hunting fishing budget!

Yes that is a no flash shot, in fact I don't use a flash at all for my shots, it's not practical for ME. I shoot at to high a volume of shots to make a flash viable. If you are only shooting a match or game as Steve has shown the flash can work well for you.

You are beginning to put all the pieces together, not easy I know. The 2.8 will give you a better opportunity, with existing light, to get a high enough shutter speed to freeze the action. I don't know what is giving you the quality issues with your shots because I have not seen one. If you could post a shot with the settings used to take it and we might be able to guide you along and help you address what you want to achieve with your photos.

I shoot almost all of my indoor shots with the 70-200/2.8 because it works so well at getting a variety of shots. Yes the 70 end can be close at times, I just move further away to get the type of shot I want. The 28-75/2.8 is a nice length because I seldom need wider but the 75 works well for many types of shots.

Every sports photographer in the country would love to have one lens do it all for them, but don't expect that to happen anytime in the future. All of this just because you wanted to take a few pictures of the kids grin.gif

Remember these shots spent some time in post processing to get these results. That is the other dirty little secret to digital photography, if you want the most from your shots, you will spend some time in front of a computer.

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Coming from a lurker on this post, I want to thank Dan and Steve again for laying it out for us newbies. It really helps to have the various options exposed here (NPI). I have the Tamron 28/75 f2.8 and like it for its versatility and sharpness. You can also use it as a "macro" (not a true macro, but takes some very nice close-ups). Do a web review search for this lens and you will find some fine reviews. I have used it indoors with moderate success...Dan's basketball photo without flash is much better than I have acheived...yet. cool.gif

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Ditto to that...The time they have put into giving me a free education is much appreciated. I got into this photo thing so all the kids on my sons wrestling team would ahve pics...now I am hooked.

Pictures are so important...tonight the Coach of our Wrestling Team earned his 500th career victory...I got pics of him and the team, him and his long time asst, him and his wife, and him and his daughter.

That is why i do it...so Steve & Dan...without your help, I woudl not have gotten these...THANK YOU!!!!

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Glad to have helped. Sounds like some memories were photographed this evening and really...that is what this is all about. smile.gif

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