basketball photography question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rweakins, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. rweakins macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2007
    I have just recently started doing basketball photography and am having trouble figuring out which focusing mode works best (ai focus, ai servo, one shot). I have a canon 50d and am usually using a 70-200 f4l. With the fast pace of the game I'm just wondering if anyone could give some insight to a good way get well focused action shots.
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    AI Servo was designed for fast action. One Shot is for mostly stationary subject or maximizing AF accuracy. AI Focus is the unreliable compromise between the two.

    use AI Servo and move AF solely to the AF On or * button. this separates focusing from shutter release, so you aren't forced to have the camera focus before you can make an exposure. helps when the action stops temporarily or if something steps in between you and your intended subject.
  3. stagi macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    I think the answer really depends on your style of shooting. I would just recommend practicing with each mode and see what you prefer. I think most sports shooters would prefer al servo since it tracks the subject but I have always preferred to shoot fast action with one shot and time the shot perfect. I have always done it this way and it has always worked.

    When I have tried using al servo before it isn't totally accurate so I always go back to one shot which works every time, you just have to know where the action is going to be and be quick.
  4. CPPhoto macrumors member

    May 23, 2007
    ive worked with NBA photographers:

    300mm 2.8 or F4 (if on strobes) for a farcourt camera (get a pistol grip to help stabilize)

    70-200 2.8 or F4 (if on strobes) for near court

    AI servo with back button focus

    Typically using the individual focus points is the best way to maintain focus

    using a 2.8 lens will allow for AF point expansion both horizontally AND vertically, which is key

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