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Night time sports shots still getting motion blur EOS t6i


Hi All, 

I am using an EOS T6i, with a Tamron f2.8 70-200mm lens at night with lens hood. Shooting AV, AI Servo, burst shots, center weighted, ISO between 800-6400 (significant light depending on where I am on the field) and I am getting a significant amount of motion blur, usually at the feet, on the ball or on the stick. What am I doing wrong, everything seems to be just out of focus?







What is your shutter speed?  You will probably need 1/800, or faster.  I suggest shooting M mode, with ISO Auto.  You can set an upper limit on what ISO the camera will use in ISO Auto mode, BTW.


Do not expect NatGeo quality photos out that camera when shooting at night on a portly lit athletic field.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

I was all prepared to say "no no no its the lens not communicating with the camera" or some other stuff, but I moved over to manual and changed up the shutter speed and it worked great - still having issues with entire frames being out of focus but I have a feeling that is more of a me issue than a camera issue 🙂



Thank you

Those out of focus frames are the ones you delete during post processing 🙂 


On a serious note, I have tried a lot of different setups with my 1DX series and for me best results are using a single focus point and keeping it on what I want in focus, servo focus mode of course for action.  Not sure about the t6i setup, but with a lot of the EOS line, the most precise focusing points are in the center of the AF array and with a fast lens those high accuracy points will be active and functional.  Try some different setups and see what works best for you.



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


I shoot sports with manually set F stop  and shutter speed with ISO set to auto.  I try not to go below 1/800 with soccer, football works pretty well at 1/640 or faster although I have dropped to 1/500 for some really lousy field lighting conditions.  But I would rather let ISO climb than have motion blur because to me blur is far worse than noise.


The football photos were shot at 1/640 and 1/500 respectively and the soccer photo at 1/800 which pushed the ISO up to 6,400 with a strange combination of stadium lighting and filtered sunset through a very ominous looking bank of storm clouds.  The last photo was captured at a field where two of the lighting standards went out mid game and I had been shooting at 1/1000 before the problem.  Before I dropped the shutter speed to compensate, that leaping catch was shot at 1/1000 F2.8 with my 1DX Mark II and the ISO went up to 40,000 which lost a lot of detail but at least the player had a photo of the best catch he made that season.  I shot the rest of that game at 1/500 to keep the ISO in check although with my new 1DX III I will let the ISO go higher when needed.









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

I switched to manual as both you and the other responder suggested and it worked great!

Luckily the lighting package at the stadium I normally shoot at is phenomenal - HID with crazy lumen outputs and they did not skimp on quantity or placement... can cause an issue with being too intense at times depending on the angle and position I am shooting from.


Thank you for your suggestions!

"I switched to manual as both you and the other responder suggested and it worked great!"


I would go for Av mode over full manual.  Av is one of my most favorite settings.  It allows the camera to set the fastest SS it can for a properly exposed picture.  I agree with Rodge to use higher ISOs to achieve a reasonable SS.  You may find that all shots do not require a super fast shutter.  Some or even most do but not all.


BTW, it is bogus you can't get great shots with your T6i and Tamron lens.  Both are very capable.

Set Av but remember it can be changed if need be.  Your DOF at open apertures can be pretty shallow. ALso, I would use One shot, at least until you start to get a lot of keepers.  Ai-servo doesn't care if the shot is in focus, One shot does. WHile on the topic of focus, you can be the problem and not the camera or SS.  Yes, if you don't use good shooting techniques you won't get Nat-Geo quality shots, ... ever!  Not even with the best gear in the world.

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

"I shoot sports ....................


Yes, you do!  Again very nice, Rodger.

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

Thank you Ernie!  I enjoy the challenge (at least most of the time) 🙂



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