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7D mark ii help for indoor sports

Sportsmom727
Apprentice
I’m struggling to find the right settings for indoor sports. Looking for suggestions on settings. I have the 70-200 and 100-400 lens.
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Which 70-200 lens do you have?  If it is the f2.8 version, that is the lens you want for volleyball because unless the lighting is pro quality, you need a fast lens.  The 100-400 maximum aperture is too narrow, especially at the telephoto end, for anything less than an extremely well illuminated gym and you aren't going to find that at the HS level except in a very few large private schools.

 

I have shot a variety of sports and to me, volleyball is the most difficult to get good shots because you are combining poor indoor lighting with a very fast and largely unpredictable sport.

 

I shoot in manual mode with the aperture wide open and shutter speed of either 1/640 or 1/800 depending upon the level of available light.  I generally set ISO to auto because most gyms have a fair amount of light variance across the area in which volleyball is played but you can check exposure ahead of the match/during warmup and if the lighting is even then fix ISO at the proper level.

 

You want to always shoot in RAW, not JPG, so that you can do more cleanup in post.  Set AF to servo and I like to use a single point for volleyball which provides for faster focus acquisition even when using my 1DX series bodies.  Don't rely too much upon your camera's burst mode.  Volleyball is a timing sport to photograph and most of my better photos from volleyball are a single image capture rather than a burst.  I leave the bodies in high speed mode but typically I only trigger a single capture.

 

If the light level is low, you will have to either live with higher ISO and its somewhat increased noise and loss of detail OR drop the shutter speed lower which makes blur much more likely.  Noise can be addressed in post-process, blur is forever once captured so I gravitate towards faster shutter speed.  You will almost always want your lens wide open (lowest aperture number).  The exception is to quickly drop the shutter speed and decrease the aperture for more depth of field for a celebration shot where you want to capture a group.

 

This is from one of the better illuminated HS gyms in the area, on that part of the court with a f2.8 aperture and 1/640 shutter speed the camera selected ISO 5000 to complete the exposure triangle.  There is one really dark gym where I use 200 f2 and 85 f1.8 primes for volleyball but fortunately most aren't that dark.

 

And on edit:  while you are increasing your experience with Vball, one of the easier shots to nail is the serve so practice getting some good shots of the players serving.  The second photos is pretty typical of this easy capture.

 

Rodger

 

AQ9I7340.JPG

 

AS0I6255.jpg

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

View solution in original post

13 REPLIES 13

kvbarkley
VIP

Can you give us an example of what you are trying to do?

Sportsmom727
Apprentice
Currently shooting volleyball using the 100-400. Photos are very fuzzy and any movement is blurry. Can’t seem to get the settings right.

Which 70-200 lens do you have?  If it is the f2.8 version, that is the lens you want for volleyball because unless the lighting is pro quality, you need a fast lens.  The 100-400 maximum aperture is too narrow, especially at the telephoto end, for anything less than an extremely well illuminated gym and you aren't going to find that at the HS level except in a very few large private schools.

 

I have shot a variety of sports and to me, volleyball is the most difficult to get good shots because you are combining poor indoor lighting with a very fast and largely unpredictable sport.

 

I shoot in manual mode with the aperture wide open and shutter speed of either 1/640 or 1/800 depending upon the level of available light.  I generally set ISO to auto because most gyms have a fair amount of light variance across the area in which volleyball is played but you can check exposure ahead of the match/during warmup and if the lighting is even then fix ISO at the proper level.

 

You want to always shoot in RAW, not JPG, so that you can do more cleanup in post.  Set AF to servo and I like to use a single point for volleyball which provides for faster focus acquisition even when using my 1DX series bodies.  Don't rely too much upon your camera's burst mode.  Volleyball is a timing sport to photograph and most of my better photos from volleyball are a single image capture rather than a burst.  I leave the bodies in high speed mode but typically I only trigger a single capture.

 

If the light level is low, you will have to either live with higher ISO and its somewhat increased noise and loss of detail OR drop the shutter speed lower which makes blur much more likely.  Noise can be addressed in post-process, blur is forever once captured so I gravitate towards faster shutter speed.  You will almost always want your lens wide open (lowest aperture number).  The exception is to quickly drop the shutter speed and decrease the aperture for more depth of field for a celebration shot where you want to capture a group.

 

This is from one of the better illuminated HS gyms in the area, on that part of the court with a f2.8 aperture and 1/640 shutter speed the camera selected ISO 5000 to complete the exposure triangle.  There is one really dark gym where I use 200 f2 and 85 f1.8 primes for volleyball but fortunately most aren't that dark.

 

And on edit:  while you are increasing your experience with Vball, one of the easier shots to nail is the serve so practice getting some good shots of the players serving.  The second photos is pretty typical of this easy capture.

 

Rodger

 

AQ9I7340.JPG

 

AS0I6255.jpg

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Sportsmom727
Apprentice
I am taking notes and will try at tomorrow’s game. Thanks so much!

You are welcome and good luck, I hope that it helps!

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Sportsmom727
Apprentice
😊😊

"The 100-400 maximum aperture is too narrow, ..."

 

Besides, I can't see it as a good indoor volleyball lens at all. The most important part of shooting any sports is not the lens and is not the camera. It is where you shoot from and your knowledge of the sport you are trying to photograph. Not knowing your sport means you will always be out of position. And, if you have to shoot from the bleachers, you have a extended handicap.

 

When I shoot volleyball, something I never did before the Corporate Challenge in KC, I use my 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L. I am allowed wherever I want as long as I don't interfere with game play. Clear yourself with the referee first!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

BTW, next time, if we get back to some semblance of reality, I am going to add my Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens to the gig. It is the goto lens for basketball so I think it might be a good candidate for volleyball.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Ernie,

 

I agree that Sigma lens should be a great candidate for volleyball hitting the most needed focal range along with its critical wide constant aperture.  I promise soon I am going to find time to try one!  Life stays busy and in a moment of weakness I agree to teach a sports marketing course for UW before I realized Anna was transferring for her senior year.  Retirement is anything but dull.

 

Tonight I am happy to be back at Central Catholic's home field for senior night football.  They have excellent lighting for a high school field and it allows my usual two camera 1DX III with EF 400 f2.8 and 1DX II with EF 70-200 f2.8 to work very well.  Last week at a dimly illuminated field I was using three cameras with 200 f2 and 85 f1.8 primes on the second and third bodies because the field was so dark, particularly near the endzone.  The 1DX III with 400 f2.8 was at ISO 25,600 some of the time at 1/800 which is OK but higher ISO than I like. 

 

Although I keep the 1DX with 24-70 f2.8 handy as a third camera for wider angle shots on well lit fields (field goal attempts, group shots, etc.), it is really awkward trying to manage three bodies and lenses during a fast developing play so using a three prime setup isn't optimal for one person. 

 

If the 120-300 can grab focus as quickly as the Canon 70-200 and maintain servo lock during rapidly evolving plays, it would also be a great football lens.  I will try to arrange to rent one before this normal length season is over.  Tonight is senior night for football and cheer so I will have my hands full.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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