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Thread: Taekwondo Tournaments

  1. #1

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    Taekwondo Tournaments

    I'm wondering if anybody could offer any tips for sports photography. I find it so difficult to get decent shots of my son's fights. There is often poor lighting, poor angles and a lot of high speed movement. This is an example taken at the Canadian Junior Nationals 2011. My son is in blue.

    Taekwondo Tournaments
    1/125s, f/5.6, iso2800, 105mm on Nikon D3100

    Thanks
    Diane
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 12th February 2012 at 12:55 PM. Reason: add EXIF data

  2. #2

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    Re: Taekwondo Tournaments

    Hi
    I don't see anything wrong with this shot.To stop the movement You must have a camera with decent noise at 3200 ASA,many shots per second to catch the decisive moment,a lot of memory, a zoom with 200mm focal lens and f/2.8.To know the place before the event could be an advantage.

  3. #3
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Taekwondo Tournaments

    So just checking your settings: f/5.6, 105mm, 1/125s, ISO 2800.

    From what I understand your D3100 will go up to ISO 3200 as standard without reverting to its "High" ISO range so it looks like you're almost at the envelope of using your ISO to increase your light. 1/125s is going to be too slow to freeze the action in a taekwondo fight - but you already know that I'm guessing.

    I think you have two options - get a faster lens as Radu suggested or use your flash.... preferably a speed light which has a bit of range that can freeze the action for you.

    If you can afford a telephoto zoom with a an aperture of f/2.8 across the range, you should be able to shoot at 1/500s given the lighting conditions being the same. However these are expensive - not sure where you are but in Australia I'd be looking at close to $1000 as a minimum for a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens - and as high as $3000. Alternatively, if you can get away with using a 50mm prime lens, significantly cheaper at around $250 for the 50mm AF-S f/1.8 G lens in the Nikon line up, you should be able to shoot at 1/1250s or thereabouts I think, which should definitely freeze the action. You'll lose the zoom, but given a lot of the tournaments are in a confined space you might be able to get away with a 50mm and just crop tighter if you need to.

  4. #4
    WJT's Avatar
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    Re: Taekwondo Tournaments

    Its almost fast enough, but if you increase the ISO to 3200 and shot at 1/250 it will be sharp enough, and agreed rapid fire should get the best possible picture. Also a flash if possible will add sharpness if your shooting at 1/125.

  5. #5

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    Re: Taekwondo Tournaments

    Thank you all this is very helpful, my approach has been to set on auto and rapid fire away so the discussion on settings is very helpful. I am in the process of looking for a telephoto lens right at the moment I am able to borrow a 70-300 mm AF-S but after this discussion I'm not sure it has the range needed. The lens I purchased with the camera is 18-105 mm and again does not have the range. Mal I'm in Ontario, Canada not Australia (a Country I would love to visit again).

    Thanks again I appreciate the advice.
    Diane

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Taekwondo Tournaments

    Hi Diane,

    You don't say whether this is a significant crop of the shot;
    if it is, that would suggest a longer focal length would be helpful.

    Looking at EXIF image size of 2545 x 2973 pixels, compared to your D3100's 3072 x 4608 pixels maximum, seems to confirm this.

    In an ideal world, it might have been better to see their feet too, I think, not sure if that's an option - but I know that in trying to keep a focus point on the face, what happens 'down there' is often left to chance.

    A 70 - 200mm f2.8 is the ideal zoom range.
    Cropping from a 50mm f/1.8 might also be an option but use of wide apertures in sports is a double edged sword - yes, it allows higher shutter speeds avoiding subject movement blur, but can risk focus/DoF issues especially, if focus wasn't spot on.

    The 70-300mm would probably still be a little too slow, but might be worth a try, I expect it is f/5.6 at 300mm, so might be a little wider (f/5 to f/5.3 between 100 and 200mm).

    If you're into macro as well, you could always treat yourself to a 105mm f2.8 macro lens (funds permitting), since that would give you two stops improvement on f/5.6 in aperture, be a little longer, not as unusably fast as f/1.4 - f/1.8 may well prove. The downside is the Nikon I have isn't light in weight and of course being a prime, if the action gets too close for full length shots, you're restricted to close ups.

    I'd love a 70-200mm f/2.8, but due to price and other needs, it is about third on my 'lens wants' list, not least because I have two lenses that already cover that range. So, if you can afford one and have nothing longer than 105mm yourself already, it might be a better way to go.

    I'm rambling, I'll stop, cheers,

  7. #7

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    Re: Taekwondo Tournaments

    Thanks Dave keep rambling from this discussion I am learning so much. I'm flipping back and forth between Henry's camera site pricing the lenses mentioned and I will probably be saving a good long time to be able to carry these. I can probably look into renting while I'm on my learning curve. I have much research to do to find out what lenses will serve me best basically main interests taekwondo shots, wildlife including my dog, landscapes and I do want to try my hand at macros especially insects and interesting fungus.

    Diane

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