Trail Marathon, FSU/UF Swim Meet, Focus Issues, and Pushing ISOs

I shot almost 1150 images at the 2015 Swam Trail Marathon (and half, and 6.5) this morning. However, as I have been for the last several weeks and months, I struggled with a bunch of shots that were soft – missed focus! Ugh. But where I thought there was a problem with lenses, or my camera, I believe I have finally discovered the reason for the missed focus: apparently my camera does not focus in between shots during a continuous burst, even in AF-C. This is a slight disappointment, however, it is a relief. This, and the and shutter speeds that are not fast enough to counter camera shake are the primary reasons for soft photos. You learn something new every day. With this knowledge, I hope to be able to present my readers and followers with more, and better, pictures.

At the swim meet, I encountered my old enemy – low light and action! I don’t really like pushing my ISO over 2000 for any shot I might have to crop, and 2500 for uncropped shots. Black and white can be useable with 3200 and 4000 on my camera. In the indoor pool at the meet, I found shooting raw at 1/500s, wide open on my 80-200 f/2.8 AF-s, and ISO 1600 to be reasonable for freezing swims. While I was shooting college night time soccer, I found 1/400-1/500, f/2.8, and ISO 2000 or 2500 is reasonable. For some reason (I think it is the fact that there was less colored noise in the soccer games) the higher ISO is more acceptable there. In the one high school game I shot, I found I needed to be at 3200 to maintain 1/400, but could drop to 2500 if I also dropped to 1/320.

Speaking of which – RAW! While it depletes my buffer quicker, it takes up more room, and more importantly, slows down processing speeds on the computer, I think I am sold – the usefulness in post processing is really nice, especially the white balance. Now that I know that burst mode is essentially a no-go when/if I want sharp shots (always, lol), I feel like I will be shooting RAW even more, and I might even begin to forgo the accompanying JPEGs too!

Swamp run:

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Swim meet:

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Note – the first/only time I’ve yet to shoot RAW was at the swim meet.

Note – I only shot RAW at the swim meet today.

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