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Night time sports trouble and followed all previous tips!!!


Can any help!?!?! I am just an avid sports mom who loves taking photos... I really need to just suck it up and take classes!!!

But I search every website and forum every year we have night games.. and every year.. my pictures fail... Last night tried again,,, No luck.. We have a PLAYOFF game this Saturday in the evening... and I want to try to have options that are easy to figure. out... I usually take 400-600 team pics and then edit and share to the team.. I love it... some are good.. but no where near I want to be,, but better every year...


I have a EOS Rebel XT (I know I got I wishlist for Blackfriday & Xmas!!)

Lenses...55-250 .......  28-105.....18-55and a tamaron 70-300


I need some pics to come out as this is could be my sons last youth football game!!!!  please help... I try every setting I find and it just doesnt work


Smiley Happy

The kids were real troopers for sure.  You can see the rain droplets on the lens.  The XTi came though it with out a bruise.

The photo doesn't faithfully show or do justice to how dark and wet it was.

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

Although this isn't a football photo it does show the abilities of the XTi.  I was going to shoot FB that evening but the weather got so bad I didn't even leave the stands.  It was just rain as the left over from one of the hurricanes came through Kansas.  They played and finished the game!  But here is the little XTi doing its thing with an ef 24-105mm f4 lens. Dark, wet, cold pretty tough conditions. So, it can be done but you won't get every shot for sure.






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

@kvbarkley I just got in from being on the run all day I will upload the ones I attempted from Wednesday’s game tomorrow am!! Thank you!

Wow so obviously i have aged with the camera!! I bought this originally to take picture of my son as a baby!! And it grew with him... seems it has outgrown us too!! Lol.. i know it’s ancient and a lot have fancy models and lenses.. and I would love to be there one day too.. but I have budgets... and quarterbacks schools right now... but I think sometime of camera upgrade is needed... hopefully I can figure out something so get it to take some kind of pictures Saturday for me... and the few remaining games we make.. and hopefully I hit a jackpot black Friday sale 🤲

".. but I have budgets... and quarterbacks schools right now... but I think sometime of camera upgrade is needed..."


Everybody has the same issues. The moments and memories are now, however.  How important are they. If new is out oif the question, try the used market.  Upgrading the camera is the least expensive way to get you to better photos. One thing I warn you against, don't "settle" for lesser gear just because of cost.  That almost to always winds up costing you more.


Not happening try the suggestions I gave you.   Good luck.



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

I second Ernie's suggestion to consider used gear in order to get you to the equipment performance that you need at a cost that fits your budget.  You have to shop carefully but the value is definitely there.  Canon's own refurb shop is another price option lying in between new and used costs coupled with the confidence of buying from Canon.


And good luck to your son!  If you can get field (or at least high school track access), you can get some great shots of your son from beyond the uprights when they are in the red zone.  On many plays, the QB is the easiest position to photograph so you have that working in your favor.



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

Thanks Rodger yes I have the advantage of that as I am badged for the field for all games... So its just trial and error tonight..

I am afraid this situation requires an exposure triangle set of parameters that your current lens and camera just can't provide.  I don't think you will get any useful shots involving football action below 1/500 shutter speed but you could try to experiment with 1/250 to see.  The shots you posted have severe motion blur from a too slow shutter speed and there is nothing that can be done in post to clean that up.  Try going full manual mode setting the shutter to 1/500, the aperture to F4, and the ISO to max (3200) and with the Tamron lens don't "tele" past 100MM which is as far as you can go and get F4 aperture.  If one of your other lens provides a little more reach at F4 then use that one but I suspect the Tamron is the best choice given what you have now.  With your ISO set to 3200m see how under exposed that combination of parameters provides.  If two stops or less it should be somewhat usable and maybe three stops when shooting in RAW depending upon how the sensor responds in your camera.  It will have a lot of noise but noise is less destructive than blur.


Before the next game, find a similar light environment to the field and get your son to run some practice rollouts so you can experiment and see if those settings with your camera will provide usable photos.  They won't be perfect but they should get away from the worst of the motion blur.   For your son, you can shoot a few of him at a slower shutter speed (keep the aperture wide open with the lens only extended as far as it will go staying in the F4 range).  The QB is going to freeze briefly sometimes while reading the field and that is your chance to get a sharp photo of him without motion blur, of course you will also have to stay dead steady while tripping the shutter release.


I hope this helps.  Given that he is in the playoffs, have you considered renting a lens for a weekend from one of the rental companies?  It is a little expensive but some will credit the rental towards a purchase of the rented lens so this is another way to work your way into a good value after you rent and try it out.  I rented a 400 2.8 before I bought one, given the price of the 400 I wanted to make sure I was comfortable hand holding it before actually buying one.


Below is an example of capturing the QB frozen in position and if the lighting were bad you could get this shot at 1/160 if you hold the camera steady.  I shot this at the standard parameters I use for that field (1/640, F2.8, ISO 6400) however it is the worst illuminated football field I shoot on and on several of the fields 1/640 and F2.8 yield a 2000 ISO as the third leg of the triangle and you would be in good shape with 1/500 F4 on such a field.  I know that you want to shoot for the entire team but make sure to get some good photos of your son which you can do with a slower shutter speed that will put you more into the "sweet spot" for your camera and lens combination.





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

" Try going full manual mode setting the shutter to 1/500, the aperture to F4, and the ISO to max (3200) and with the Tamron lens don't "tele" past 100MM which is as far as you can go and get F4 aperture."


The OP has nothing that can do what you suggested.  There is no f4 at any reasonable FL and the XT tops out at ISO 1600.

This is mostly a condition caused by insufficient ISO range.  That is the only thing that is going to help. Even adding a f2.8 lens isn't going to help a lot. Pure and simple she needs a faster camera (greater ISO range). Then a f2.8 lens would be wonderful.


To the OP, your SS is just way, way to slow for what you are trying to shoot. One way or another you need more exposure.  The cheapest way forward is a new, to you, camera that has an extended ISO range.


"...useful shots involving football action below 1/500 shutter ..." Although good advice it isn't totally true. There are plays and some shots that you can get bu with a much slower SS.  That is the reason for knowing the game so you know where those spots are. Still the top most thing is location and second know your sport.  Even a top camera/lens combo won't do well if you don't do or know either of those. 

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