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300sectionjr

9/16/2007 Game vs. Capitals

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Mojo, what lens and settings did you use?

I just bought a new Canon 200mm/f2.8L and this was essentially its maiden voyage. It was mounted on my Canon 30D body and my setup was (in Canonese) AI Servo autofocus, 5 fps drive speed, manual exposure of f2.8 at 1/400th second and I was using custom white balance (which basically means I took a shot of the ice exposed to what I guessed to be 18% gray and used it to set the white balance). That also is why the shots I took outside during intermission came out so ... interesting. I forgot to change the exposure settings when I went out so I was still shooting with my indoor setup.

Since the lens is a fixed focal length telephoto it's inherently sharper than a zoom (even the very nice 70-200mm/f2.8 MattDoc has). It also has the low-dispersion glass (hence the "L" designation) which keeps things sharper from corner to corner. I was also using the hard-shell hood which helps by shading out a lot of stray ambient light that could affect the exposure I'm trying to get. The body was set up to shoot large format JPEGs with the highest resolution possible (don't ask me to remember the dpi 'cause I don't).

All of this is essentially the same as what I did with my old 75-300/f4.0-5.6 except that that lens didn't have the "L" glass and since I only had half as much aperture I really couldn't shoot faster than about 1/250 sec. (though I did manage to get away with 1/300th). So I had to do a bit more tweaking in Photoshop to get the finished product. With this lens I did almost no adjustments to the final images. All I did was tweak the input levels a little, crop and save. And compress for the web, but that was a bandwidth/file size concern not an image quality concern.

Overall I suppose I could have been happier with the results, but not much! Especially when you consider that at under $700 that lens is a deal. If I wanted to try jumping up to the 300mm/f2.8 I'd also be jumping up around the $3000 price range. Just to put it in perspective.

MattDoc's 70-200mm/f2.8L is nearly as sharp (in fact it's almost impossible to see the difference with the naked eye) and if you can ignore the $250-$300 price jump, the flexibilty of a zoom is nice to have. I debated getting that one, but ultimately decided that for applications where I needed a wider (and shorter) lens I could just use one of my other lenses. I got this one pretty much specifically for shooting what you see here. Hockey. It's probably the most difficult sport there is to photograph -- for a lot of reasons. But having the right gear helps a lot!

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Your pictures are marvolous =D

And I'm in some of your pictures which is awesome. I was lucky enough to be sitting directly behind the goal for the entire game.

Were you sitting with Brian? 'Cos he's the one I recognized.

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Your pictures are marvolous =D

And I'm in some of your pictures which is awesome. I was lucky enough to be sitting directly behind the goal for the entire game.

You got some pretty good stuff yourself! Very impressive actually. And I liked the "art" shot of the next with the goalie in the background out of focus. Very neat concept.

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