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AF & Shooting through the net

Discussion in 'Badminton Photography' started by Cheung, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Here's another photo showing the AF focus issue point. Unfortunately, it picked up the highest contrast area. AT the back of the court!!:rolleyes: So the moral of the picture is, aiming the AF point at the legs of the players on the margin of the shorts/skirt and the skin won;t always work!!!:eek:
     

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    #1 Cheung, Aug 30, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  2. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Here's another advantage of the 30D's AF that I picked up yesterday. If you have a high contrast area for AF behind the net, most times the AF focuses BEHIND the net, on to your subject. I know a guy who was using a 1D - he said he had to manual focus when shooting through the net because the 1D would always lock on to the net.
     
  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Some clarification. I spoke this person again, and he had used all point focussing on the 1D. When he switched to centre point focus, he found he could shoot through the net.

    For those Nikon D70 users, another friend showed me her pics (printed out on 6 x 4) using a D70 and 80-200/2.8 (not the VR version). I must say they turned out pretty good and better than the high noise ones from the D70 that I've seen posted on BF.
     
  4. storkbill

    storkbill Regular Member

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    [​IMG]

    I find focusing through the net too unreliable. For net shots, I currently focus on the shoes and hope for the best... the focus is not perfect, but usually still usable. I guess that's why jump smash is still one of my preferred shots... no net to block focus :)
     
  5. red00ecstrat

    red00ecstrat Regular Member

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    it's pretty much depending on players' shirt. it will be tough if the shirt is in single color without contrast.
     
  6. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    agree. for any single color shirt, it is almost guaranteed that the sensor will focus on the net, as a out-of-focus single color shirt looks exact the same as a in-focus one, so the best focus it will achieve is of the net.
     
  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I think it can still work so long as one realises the limitations. Like it was said before, need high contrast area behind the net for good results.
     
  8. red00ecstrat

    red00ecstrat Regular Member

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    comparing to last year hko. this year, i actually took more "through-the-net" shots. here are some more examples.
    hehe...thx kwun for giving me a chance to post more yanjiao's pictures.:p ah....thx to fedex as well!:D :D :D
     

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  9. red00ecstrat

    red00ecstrat Regular Member

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    one more example here. that's from the well known "walkout" incident!;) :D :p
     

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  10. red00ecstrat

    red00ecstrat Regular Member

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    as we said be4 achan. lighting of a gym and the shirt of players are two key factors which will affect the reliability the auto focus system. i m sorry but i gotta say. the situation u'd encountered is somehow inevitable!
    9 different focusing points aren't really helpful. coz rather than the one in the centre. all other points are less sensitive.
     
    #10 red00ecstrat, Sep 29, 2006
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  11. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    good point, the sponsor logo does provide some contrast to AF onto. that won't work for amateur players, unfortunately.

    love this photo!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. AChan

    AChan Regular Member

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    I will try to focus the part of body below the net next time. Hope with my new gear:p
     
  13. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    I am at a loss about the digital camera world (I have yet to venture into one) and I am a bit confused by focusing problems some of you seem to have, especially when using AF. The court has very good lighting to allow for adequate fast shuttle speeds and relatively large but appropriate apertures, to just use a setting with enough depth of field to ensure the subject is sharp but at the same time to blur or out out of focus the background. Pictures with out of focus background will be more 3-dimensional.
    With today's high-tec digital cameras, why are you chaps having focusing problems? Also don't you pre-view the actual taking-aperture depth of field first before taking the shot? This should give you "what you see is what you get". Why are most of you using auto focus in badminton photography?
     
  14. storkbill

    storkbill Regular Member

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    With more shirts with sponsor logos, i think shooting through the net will not be a problem. I think the "FEDEX" Logo is a good focusing point :) Anyway, whether the net interferes with AF also depends on other factors like

    (1) Distance of photographer to the net
    (2) Distance of the net to the player

    Previously i tried to resolve this by simply focusing on the shoes though I'll certainly try through the net again if the shirt has a prominent logo. I enclose some pics where I focused on the SHOES :)
     

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  15. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Many good points there.

    I think compared to manual focus, AF can bring a lot more people into photography.

    Does a badminton court really have good lighting? To get a proper exposure at 1/250th-1/320th and f2.8, the ISO rating is at 800-1600. With film cameras, I don't think the situation is different. The shutter speed requirements and f stop are the same, and the ISO ratings needed for the film are still 800-1600.

    Digital cameras don't come with those focussing screens that manual cameras have. Maybe it's my astigmatism but I've always had a little difficulty with focussing on a small viewfinder unless having a lot of time.


    Sure, one can manually focus and predict the focus based on the players movements. This would definitely cope with the shooting throught the net problem. But as I said in a previous post, I don't have that sort of skill. I guess I could develop it but hey, that's what autofocus is there for.:) A purist may disagree but for me, AF means getting a higher proportion of photos in focus. All credit to the guys who do have that skill - I have a lot of respect for that skill. I have tried and found it was difficult.

    Digital cameras are hi tech. Totally agree. But there are different degrees of high tech. And this is reflected in the accuracy and reliability of AF systems of which the implications were beyond me until switching to an AF DLSR. Last year, I still had a manual focus film SLR:) Basically, the lower end DSLR do not have as good low light AF ability as the high end ones. And badminton is usually played indoors in low light conditions. In daylight, AF is much better because of brighter conditions.
     
    #15 Cheung, Oct 1, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006
  16. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    If I'm not mistaken, all those photos were timed on the 2nd shot of a rally. Is that correct?
     
  17. storkbill

    storkbill Regular Member

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    Polish pair, 1st pic i think she was waiting for service, the 2nd pic, I don't think the Taiwan player is in the correct posture for playing a return of serve so my guess is early part of the rally, where players were playing tight night shots at the start.

    1 of BCL I think was a return of serve, the other one a regular rally. But since all from memory, i could be wrong :)
     
    #17 storkbill, Oct 1, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006
  18. storkbill

    storkbill Regular Member

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    here's one of my reject shots to show the problem i had starting out in badminton photography.Even though it's technically problematic, i'm sure the subject matter will interest some :)

    The problem with Ogura/Shiota is that they don't jump smash much, they're not that tall, so i had to figure out how to focus on them. In this case, the AF locked onto the net which was why i didn't get a decent shot of the pair in action in 2005... but now, with all this info about shooting through net, i hope to do better....
     

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  19. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Pity the top of the net is in the way:)

    With that last shot locked on the net, that looks a difficult situation to get the player in focus.

    Here's a couple from Macau Open shooting through the net. AF servo, centre point focus only. 30D with 70-200L f/2.8. SHould be 1/500 at f/2.8 ISO 1600

    Didn't any PP except for resizing so no comments about straightening out the pic;)

    I think for the 2nd pic of the Korean it might be important to note his mostly black T shirt. Maybe I focussed on the flag first before pressing the shutter button.
     

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    #19 Cheung, Oct 1, 2006
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  20. red00ecstrat

    red00ecstrat Regular Member

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    IMOH, In any situation. There will be an appropriate setting but won't be an appropriate aperture. Indeed, what is appropriate and what isn't?;)

    Three factors there which will be able to achieve your goal. I think u guys have already known that but i m gonna list them here anyway. The first one is focal length of a lens. The second one is the aperture and finally is the focusing distance. Just pick the right one from above to suit your shooting situation.

    Design and limitation causes those problems.
    Persoinally, in sports photography. I will never preview the DOF. First of all. Shutter speed in this case is in top priority. So, in order to obtain the fastest possible shutter speed. Most likely, the aperture is fully opened! Secondly, for baddy shots within a normal shooting distance. The DOF difference is not noticable with telephoto lens even if u have stepped down 1 1/2-2 stops from the maximum!
    May be that is my delusion. In terms of depth of field. With a dslr, what i see will never be the same as what i get! The DOF of an image is always seems to be a bit shallower than what i see inside my view finder!
    Do u guys notice that?
     
    #20 red00ecstrat, Oct 1, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006

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