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EOS-1D X Mark II Noisy Nighttime Baseball Photos




Looking for some advice shooting baseball at night.  I have aCanon 1dx mark ii with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM lens.   Just looking for some tips on settings to reduce noise.   Been shooting SS 800-1200, f2.8 with auto ISO.  

Thanks in advance



Since you're already at the widest aperture, the only way to lower noise is to slow your shutter speed.

Do you know what focal lengths you typically are at?  If say they all hover around 135mm, you could purchase/rent the EF 135mm f/2 L.  Though no IS there, but at those shutter speeds, shouldn't be an issue.   Or rent the very expensive an heavy EF 200mm f/2 if you are typically at that focal length.   Still though, at only letting in twice the light, you'd only be able to halve the ISO value.  So giving up the versatility of the zoom with these primes may not be worth it.

Thus, I go back to lowering your shutter as much as possible to still be able to meet your needs of freezing the action.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers


As Ricky noted, you are already using one of the most popular all-around sports lenses with a very capable camera. 

It will be tough to go under 1/800 for baseball and even that is on the ragged edge for freezing player motion.

Are you having to crop a lot given your distance from the play?  That would be the big part of the noise problem.  I have fortunately stayed away from night baseball but when shooting day games I typically use a 400 f2.8 on one body and the 70-200 f2.8 on the other and with good lighting I will use a 1.4X with the 400 for shooting batters from the outfield fence area.  With the 70-200, you need to be very close to the action to avoid heavy cropping especially when shooting at high ISO.

I shoot a lot of HS football and the end zones are particularly dark on most of these fields.  In the first attached image, the ISO was pushed to 32,000 with the 70-200 @ f2.8, 1/1000 using a 1DX II but even reduced for forum size it still retains decent detail.  The second image is a more reasonable ISO 12,800 shot with the same camera and other exposure settings.  I also use a 1DX III with EF 400 f2.8 at most sports events and the third image is an ISO 25,600 file from it using the EF 400 f2.8 but realistically the high ISO noise performance is excellent with both the Mark II and Mark III bodies and the difference isn't that noticeable between those two generations; the performance of the 400 f2.8 prime is noticeably better with faster focus and extremely sharp images.  With the 1DX II shooting in RAW and processing with DPP with normal noise settings, you should be able to get very clean files through at least ISO 32,000 IF you don't have to do severe cropping.



EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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