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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-24-2018

Suddenly blurry photos

I have been using the EOS Rebel T5 for the past two months taking volleyball photos. It was working fine and picture quality was coming out decent for an amateur photographer myself. Last night I was taking photos and all of a sudden every photo I took came out blurry. The ball was moving and no matter what I did I could not get it to focus, even in sports mode. Any tips on how I can fix this problem? We have our last game tomorrow and would like to get a few last good shots of the seniors. Thanks!!

VIP
Posts: 8,931
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Suddenly blurry photos

If it did not focus in Sports mode, then the lens is suspect.  Check the AF/MF switch on the lens.  There could be other causes, too.

 

You may have too slow of a shutter speed for shooting sports with a telephoto lens.  With a T5 you need a minimum shutter speed of 1/(2*FL),  which is one over twice the focal length.  With the standard EF-75-300mm kit lens, this means you need to use a minimum shutter speed of 1/500.  This is a rule of thumb for minimizing camera shake by the photographer.  

 

When shooting in Sports mode, the camera switches its’ default focusing mode and drive mode.  In Green [A], Automatic, Mode, the camera uses One Shot focusing mode and Single Shot drive mode.  In this mode, the camera beeps when it gets a focus lock.  The shutter button is disabled until the camera focuses.  This almost guarantees that all shots will be in focus.

 

When the camera is in Sports mode, the switches to AI Servo focusing mode and Continuous Shooting drive mode.  When the camera uses AI Servo it does not wait for the camera to lock focus before firing the shutter.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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VIP
Posts: 11,965
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Suddenly blurry photos

"It was working fine ..."

 

You need to find out what changed.  If all was well than suddenly it went south something changed. Make sense? Different gym?  Different lighting? Accidentally flipped a camera setting? Shooting from a different place? Dropped the camera or got it wet? Something changed.

I would reset the T5 first off.  Menu, Tools, Clear all settings.  Then get to the gym early and try some things. Using Sports mode tells and lets the T5 do what it wants to do. Not always the best idea. I would prefer you use Av set to the most open aperture of your lens if it is in the f4 or f5.6 range. This lets the T5 set the fastest SS it can. Choose a higher ISO like 1600 or even 3200. I think One Shot will work better for volleyball. That is the basic set-up I use to shoot the Corporate Challenge here locally. Use Raw file format.

 

Sometimes a blurred ball or hand indicates motion so that isn't a bad thing. You didn't mention what lens you are using. I have a fairly fast lens at f2.8. I think I was at f4 using Av.  SS in the 1/200 to 1/500 range selected by the camera. One shot.

 

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Sometimes not!

Location, location and location is the most key factor.  That's right, where you shoot from.  Being the photographer for this part of the CC I get to roam where I want. That is priceless.

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-24-2018

Re: Suddenly blurry photos

Yes, because they are high schools, they don't all have the best lighting so I try to position myself the best I can to catch that light. I use the lens that came with the camera, an efs 18-55 mm. Been trying to research lenses for a better zoom. Both the ball and the hand would blur on a hit and even a pass. Or standing about to serve. 

VIP
Posts: 11,965
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Suddenly blurry photos

I know HS gyms are notoriously poorly lighted. If you like the FL of the lens you have, think about selling it and buying the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.  It is way faster and is a constant f2.8 aperture.  That alone will make a world of better.

 

But I keep coming back to, you said what you have did work?  If that is so, then something changed.  You need to find that out. Do reset your T5.

 

The gym I shot the samples in was typical lighting.  I think I had Av at f4, SS set by my 1D Mk IV and ISO 3200. Just for giggles try those settings. Oh, and One Shot and Raw format.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
VIP
Posts: 8,931
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Suddenly blurry photos

A less costly lens that you could use is the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens. It lists for $125. The EF 50mm f/1.4mm costs twice as much, but gathers twice the light.

The EF 85mm f/1.8 USM costs a bit more, but it will give you more reach.
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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 717
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Suddenly blurry photos

Ernie provided great advice in his post and I would advise you to take heed of all of it.  And as he added at the end, location is critical so make sure to figure out ahead of time where you need to be and make sure to have permission to be where you need to be to get the great shots.

 

When you get that great location stay aware of your surroundings so that you don't in any way interfere with play or become a casualty.  For me, shooting soccer is pretty relaxed because nothing much crosses far past the lines besides an occasional errant ball or a player doing a slow slide but for football it is an entirely different environment and I have had to make some very rapid retreats.  I beilive that volleyball is fairly constrained within the area of play but always make sure of your surroundings so you have an exit in case things go wrong. When one of those balls leaves the field of play it has a lot of energy waiting to be dissipated and you don't want to be part of that equation.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
VIP
Posts: 11,965
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Suddenly blurry photos

" I beilive that volleyball is fairly constrained within the area of play but always make sure of your surroundings ..."

 

This is very important.  The ball can go anywhere and does, if you happen to be fortunate to be on the sidelines beware.

The Corporate Challenge is held in a gym that has four or five volleyball courts. It makes the photographers job more 'exciting' to say the least.

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