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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently purchased a 70-200mm f2.8 at Canons annual sale ..
....using the lens a lot capturing rehearsals and competitions
....my son the oldest triplet sax player
...my daughter in white the youngest triplet trumpet player
...my daughter the middle triplet flute player
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The beautiful Anna
....the middle triplet is pretty but then again my opinions are biased
....action shot
....poor stadium lighting was the reason I desired this f2.8 lens
.....the Thunderbolts marching band
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
....the flute section
....random competition shot, didn't realize in person that this is some kind of electronic instrument
...shot this with point and shoot Canon SX120
.....used the big Canon T3i and 70-200 f2.8 for this one
....random shot during competition
....just wanna take more shots - these competitions are fast moving with poor lighting - need more experience - I don't like the white balance sometimes
 

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What kind of shutter speed were you using? Were these all shot at f/2.8? Where was your ISO?

There are too many photos to give any real detailed feedback but, overall, these shots look very soft. I wouldn't expect that from the 70-200mm f/2.8L. With that lens, even the lower light stuff, you should be able to grab nice, sharp images...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Uh oh - I agree, too many pics...ummm, I was all over, sometimes with ISO at 3200. I'm away from detailed info at desk top....pretty sure I switched to jpeg mode - for ease of viewing....
 

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If you were shooting at an ISO of 3200, those photos should be so sharp that you start bleeding just looking at them.

What body are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yep , Canon rebel T3i...I did scroll through some those photos this afternoon, they look crisper at my desktop. . . I was frustrated with the slow editing converting time so I changed camera back to JPEG format. Admittingly file size is much smaller than the RAW file size. The PC is gonna need updated to be able to handle as many photos as I'm throwing at it - PC doesn't lock up using JPEG files..... Third, I uploaded all those photos to my personal Facebook page, then out of pure boredom while away from PC, I saved from Facebook to iPhone, So what I've shared here is photobucket pics that I've downloaded from Facebook .....I'm guessing too many "edit/saves"? - so I'm going to yet another marching band competition this weekend. I'm going to select raw mode on camera, gonna use 70-200mm f2.8 handheld. I'll see if I come up with shots worth sharing. . I really like the advice.
 

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Well, you did mention that. But the 70-200mm f/2.8L on any body shooting at ISO 3200 should get you sharper images than the performance photos here.

More concerning are the rehearsal shots; those taken in broad daylight. They're not sharp at all, and they should be. The 70-200mm f/2.8 is an amazing lens and, under those conditions, should be providing absolutely razor sharp images.

Where did you buy the lens? Did you buy it directly from Canon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
...I'm sorry Steve, I neglected to state it's a SIGMA 70-200 f2.8 lens, that u purchased at a Canon dealership during their annual sale. . I wanted the Canon version but couldn't work a good enough deal, the Sigma lens seemed more in my budget so I purchased it. . . Is there that much difference between the two lenses?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Ok - I've uploaded directly from PC to photobucket the exact same pic

details says I was in auto action mode, f5.6, ISO640, 1/1600,at 194mm focal length



here's that same facebook uploaded version




PC says this was shot in auto action mode f5.6 ISO1600, 1/2000, focal length 250mm


same shot through many different uploads




PC details that was shot in auto action f3.2, ISO100,, 1/1250,focal length 180mm


almost the same shot thru hokey uploading




I'm a trained toolmaker, I haven't taken any photography classes, I don't have the time or the money. Yet I love this photography
and all the advice I receive. Its frustrating because I'm impressed with some shots and not others, I want all my (90%) shots to be impressive.
It's frustrating because once again I'm out of time, have to get ready to report to my real job - 12hours of building tooling for orthopedic implants.

I'm looking forward to your response and more opportunities to apply your advice for this weekends Marching competition event.

I also want to find time to have your help evaluating some of the stadium lit photo's.

Thank You
 

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Well, this lens absolutely has some issues (which, in my experience, is unusual for Sigma lenses; I'm a big fan).

At 1/1600 of a second? 1/2000 of a second? Your images should be ridiculously sharp. Minor motion on your part, or on the part of the kids you were shooting, would be a non-factor. 1/1600 of a second is unbelievably fast. I don't even shoot that fast when shooting auto racing, and I get some really sharp images. Here's a photo I took at Daytona in January. Pretty sure my ISO was at about 400, and shutter speed was probably in the 1/250 range. The important thing to keep in mind is that I'm panning along with a car that's travelling around 160 mph:



Could that be sharper? Yeah, probably. But it's still pretty good considering both my camera and the car were moving.

The basic rule of thumb is this: If you're shooting with your lens zoomed to 200mm, you want your shutter speed to be a minimum of 1/200 if you're using a full-frame body (I shoot with a 5D). If you're shooting on a 1.6X crop body, which I believe your camera is, you want a shutter speed of at least 1/320 (200 x 1.6). You're far exceeding that, and your images are pretty soft all around. I have to believe it's an issue with the lens and/or camera body, because I just don't think you can move fast enough to cause motion blur at 1/2000 and, let's be honest, that kid with the baritone sax probably ain't all too nimble with that thing around his neck.

The only other thing I can think of is that you're shooting wide open at f/2.8. It wouldn't be unheard of to get soft images if you're shooting wide open, and it can be an issue even with Canon's L-Series lenses. Try stopping down to f/5.6 and going to Av mode. If your ISO is high, you should still get a more than fast enough shutter speed.

I'd be real interested in seeing those results...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I can't wait to apply your suggestions - We have the half time show at Friday nights game and another all day Saturday Marching competition.

until then I wanted to share another photo,
T3i f2.8 1/250 ISO160 focal length = 200mm




I have edited the above pic to max sharpness and tone curve assist, added a tad saturation
with the Canon editor software that came with the Camera, but it doesn't look near as crisp
as it does when I view it with the Canon software.......??? I don't understand??



I edited saturation and contrast in this third edition with "windows live photo"
the sharpness button on this editor is terrible and not even worth sharing its results
thus I didn't use sharpness editor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
and I agree - the sharpness has gone away in all three examples. .
They look great viewing with the Canon "Digital Photo Professional" software, yet look pathetic elsewhere.

geeze do I have alot to discover. . . there has to be something I'm doing wrong during the editing/saving process?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I shot this unedited example last weekend at a competition
f2.8 1/1250 ISO100 focal length 180mm (Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lens)



as it became dark outside and the stadium lights were on I switched to "AV" mode
and continued shooting letting the camera automatically choose ISO and have shots like these
f2.8 1/200 ISO2000 focal length 147mm
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
went to rehearsal early tonight to experiment with the Sigma f2.8 lens
and I've removed to filter off the lens - lost 90% of the work due to excessive glare,
dunno if the sun was just wrong? or cuz I'd removed filter?

Anyway I did get several good shots. I'm going to upload to here to see if
any quality is lost - This is my flute player daughter Amber

Canon T3i in "auto mode" f2.8 1/1000 ISO800 157mm focal length
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
the above photo is slightly crisper when I view it at my PC. .
I forgot to mention was shot in RAW, then sharpened to max,
no color editing at all, just sharpened image, then converted and saved to JPEG
 

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Honestly, that last photo, of your daughter with the flute, looks to be the sharpest one you've posted thus far. While I rarely use it, sometimes "Auto" just works.

And, as a reminder, remember that when you zoom that 70-200mm all the way in, you're not really looking at 200mm, you're looking at the equivilant of 320mm, given the crop factor (1.6) of the body you're using.

When shooting under the stadium lights, instead of going to Av mode, try Tv mode. Zoom that lens all the way in and put it on a shutter speed of, say, 1/400 or 1/500 and go nuts. I think what you'll find is that, while the images may appear somewhat underexposed on the LCD screen (easily brightened with whatever software you're using), they'll be a lot sharper than what you're getting.

In fact, try shooting groups of photos with different settings. Shoot 50 pictures in Av mode, and the same in Tv and Auto. Switch to Manual and shoot some there. Just do it in such a way that you can easily identify which photos were shot under which settings. This approach can help narrow down where the issues might be and help you avoid them...
 
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