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Night Skiing Photography?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Santa Brought us a Canon Digital Rebel XT and a Promaster  70-300 lens!

Cool set up but I coach a ski team and our races are almost all at 4:30-6:30 under artifiical lights.

I would ideally like to shoot rapid fire frames of my racers.

The "Sport" mode produces very blurry images. 

ANy thoughts on manual settings that might produce sharper rapid fire images under difficult lighting?

post #2 of 7
post #3 of 7
sorry that lens is just not going to work. If you want real legitimate shots you are going to need something like a 70-200 with a 2.8 apperture. If you are willing to spend a little extra energy positioning yourself and can settle for shots that are a little loose you can get a 85/ 1.8 for about 350. the 85 is very fast focusing and a great light gatherer. Its just not very high magnification. The 70-200 will set you back 1200-1800 depending if you want image stabilization. Don't try any other budget lens than the 85 or you'll be wasting your money.
  BTW the sport mode is just about worthless. Learn what AV and TV are and how they are used.
post #4 of 7
I'd tend to agree with pdx. If my memory serves me well, the Rebel XT is the 350D - launched in 2005, 8MP, max ISO 1600.
Go for the 85mm f1.8 lens, using AV (Aperture Value) set the ISO to 800, and the aperture to 1.8. If the shutter speed you are getting is faster than 1/500th, then close the aperture to f2.8 or 3.5 (this gives you a better chance of getting a sharp photo). If the shutter speed is below 1/100th, you'll struggle to get a sharp shot (in fact, probably much below 1/250th)

Switch the focus to centre point and AI Servo, then track the skier in the middle of the frame before, during and after shooting.
Make sure you are using good memory cards - I'd reccomend Sandisk Extreme III or IV, particularly if you are going to shoot in burst mode (i.e. "rapid fire") so that the card can be written to quickly. Also, make sure you are shooting Large images.

The following shot was taken indoors (so probably brighter than you'll get in the artificial lights) with a 5D MkII and 70-200 f2.8IS

Exposure: 1/160
Aperture: f/5.0
Focal Length: 200 mm
ISO Speed:

...the skier wasn't going fast, but it's still nowhere near as sharp as I'd like.
post #5 of 7
WTF !? Indoors?
post #6 of 7
personally I'd keep it a little wider open regardless. Like a f2 or f2.2 you'll get some soft shots but, the good ones will be , well good...   Go ahead and max the ISO if needed get a  low vantage point and get just below the apex of a turn or adjacent to a gate where they are coming right at you.  I wouldn't use the center point, the selection where it looks like all points are chosen is the one most likely to accurately track movement.  Oh and most important , pay attention to your backgrounds , keep em clean and uncluttered if not move.
post #7 of 7
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