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View Full Version : 50-200 SWD + EC14, first use


michaelavis
17th November 2008, 07:03 PM
Got my new E-3, 50-200 SWD + EC14 combo out into a live situation for the first time this weekend for taking pictures of junior rugby. It was a gloomy day, but I was still surprised to be struggling to get a shutter speed over 1/200 (not fast enough for fast action) with ISO 800. The weight and balance didn't lend itself to as much freedom I'd enjoyed compared to the E520 + 70-300 I had and to be honest my arms and hands were quite tired after a couple of hours. To cap it off the results look the same IQ too!

With the benefit of hindsight, I should have jettisoned the EC14 in such conditions. It did rain and of course its not a problem with this kit so that was good and the faster continuous shooting, focussing and large viewfinder were all very welcome, but I am now in a slight trough of disillusionment. Hopefully I'll come out of it and come to love this combo as much as I thought I would, maybe try a monopod, but if anybody has made this same journey from the fleet of foot world of E5XX/70-300mm and found their way through it or have any other words of wisdom I'd love to hear about it :confused:

Ian
17th November 2008, 07:27 PM
Got my new E-3, 50-200 SWD + EC14 combo out into a live situation for the first time this weekend for taking pictures of junior rugby. It was a gloomy day, but I was still surprised to be struggling to get a shutter speed over 1/200 (not fast enough for fast action) with ISO 800. The weight and balance didn't lend itself to as much freedom I'd enjoyed compared to the E520 + 70-300 I had and to be honest my arms and hands were quite tired after a couple of hours. To cap it off the results look the same IQ too!

With the benefit of hindsight, I should have jettisoned the EC14 in such conditions. It did rain and of course its not a problem with this kit so that was good and the faster continuous shooting, focussing and large viewfinder were all very welcome, but I am now in a slight trough of disillusionment. Hopefully I'll come out of it and come to love this combo as much as I thought I would, maybe try a monopod, but if anybody has made this same journey from the fleet of foot world of E5XX/70-300mm and found their way through it or have any other words of wisdom I'd love to hear about it :confused:

Can we see some pix?

Did you try to shoot at full aperture?

Ian

theMusicMan
17th November 2008, 07:49 PM
As Ian requests, if you can show some images, even some comparison shots between the 70-300mm and the 50-200 + EC14, we can better advise.

Jim Ford
17th November 2008, 07:56 PM
I bought a 70-300mm for my E3, but not used it once I got the 50-200 SWD. The 70-300 is very good, but the 50-200 is in a different class altogether.

Jim

photo_owl
17th November 2008, 10:24 PM
I use this combination (well with the old lens) for this purpose mainly because it enables me to shoot from a single position on the field (at one end) and still get the media output quality I use for the club's website and local papers.

Couple of comments

1. don't be afraid of ISO 2000 and noiseware/nf
2. tripods are great - especially because you can leave that set up (and bring the other camera on your shoulder with the 14-54 or 12-60 on the front to bear easily.....)
3. and then there is the fx4 type flash extender.

an example of the flash (but still ISO 1600)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/3032322249_4e63f58f49.jpg

Once the light starts to go I switch to S mode, 1/320th and auto ISO - and once that's not enough it's M, 1/250th 'wide open' auto ISO and the ttl flash with fx4.....

but when the lights good you can get a balmy 1/1250th at iso 800 wide open and be very happy indeed!

michaelavis
18th November 2008, 02:12 AM
Really interesting replies, much better than going off to read my "Understanding Shutter Speed" book. I use S priority often, sometimes with ISO in Auto (max 800) I have been wary of going beydnd that. The aperture is wide when its gloomy light of course. To get the players (or ball) in sharp focus when they are running fast, jumping or diving seems to need at least 1/320, preferably 1/500 and that's what I couldnt get this weekend and I'd hoped the 50-200 would get me there with ISO at 800, even when gloomy light. Anyway, here are some of the pictures. The first four are with the E520/70-300 (that I miss already) and the second four with my new E-3/50-200+EC14 (that I'm still getting to know)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PB026880.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10165)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PB026875.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10164)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PB026819.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10163)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PB026815.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10162)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PB162749.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10176)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PB162652.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10175)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PB162649.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10174)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PB162590.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10173)

theMusicMan
18th November 2008, 07:51 AM
Hiya

These are not that bad are they...? could do with a small amount of contrast increase, increase the black content, and maybe some noise reduction, and they'd be well on the way.

As photo_owl suggests, don't be afraid of going up to ISO1600 or even ISO2000, because once you apply some form of noise reduction the IQ increases dramatically. If you use Lightroom you can use just the noise reduction within that, or even set it to batch process all the images with an action you have set up within Photoshop or any noise removal application.

I have the 70-300mm and find it an excellent lens, I also had the pleasure of using a borrowed 50-200mm lens over the last few weeks and it is a step up from the 70-300mm I must say. Persevere, it is obvious from your shots that you'll soon get there. :)

michaelavis
18th November 2008, 08:57 AM
Hiya

These are not that bad are they...? could do with a small amount of contrast increase, increase the black content, and maybe some noise reduction, and they'd be well on the way.

As photo_owl suggests, don't be afraid of going up to ISO1600 or even ISO2000, because once you apply some form of noise reduction the IQ increases dramatically. If you use Lightroom you can use just the noise reduction within that, or even set it to batch process all the images with an action you have set up within Photoshop or any noise removal application.

I have the 70-300mm and find it an excellent lens, I also had the pleasure of using a borrowed 50-200mm lens over the last few weeks and it is a step up from the 70-300mm I must say. Persevere, it is obvious from your shots that you'll soon get there. :)

I have Photoshop Elements 6 which I am a very basic user of, just a bt of croping and auto fix really. I have thought about Lightroom as a friend has showed it to me and it looks a fantastic piece of software. Looking at Elements, it would seem that it can address the noise issue when using RAW files. Is this the case generally? i.e. all software noise reduction software uses RAW files. Again, I'm a bit limited there as I have only used LSF Jpeg.

theMusicMan
18th November 2008, 09:29 AM
Hi Michael

Noise reduction can be applied to RAW images, or indeed JPG images. Your E-3 will allow you to shoot in RAW, JPG or both! There is a Noise Reduction setting on the E-3 too - are you aware of this, it is on p74 of the E-3 manual.

Photoshop Elements does have some good noise reduction filters, which (if this is the same as Photoshop CS3) can be found on the filter>noise menu.

Do you shoot in RAW or jpg? if you shoot in RAW this allows you additional control in your post processing to undertake many more adjustments to the image that are not available in jpg images.

As for Lightroom - well, I simply cannot recommend it enough. I have used it for some time now and quite simply, I couldn't be without it. The latest version (2.1) has significantly improved functionality and features, the noise reduction and sharpening being two of the better improvements. I use Photoshop CS3 a lot less now that this latest version is available. What you can do though, is to set an action in Photoshop - say to sharpen an image - save that action in the actions folder (d'oh), then apparently (as I haven't used this in batch mode, only individual 'Edit In' mode), you can use this action as a preset for all your currently selected images in Lightroom without having to launch photoshop and apply it to them individually.

The other significant advantage of Lightroom of course is that it is an excellent catalogue tool, and allows you to sort, order, find and lable all your images very easily indeed.

I also use Lightrooms 'export' function to upload all the images I want uploaded to my online Zenfolio gallery. Once I have completed all of the post processing I wish to apply to an image or multiple images, I select Export and then choose my 'Zenfolio' plugin, and voila... all the selected images get uploaded to my online gallery. As simple as that really... OK, it takes a little setting up to fully automate Lightroom to ones specific taste, but it is very customisable, user friendly, and heck of an app!

Shout if you need assistance on anything.

photo_owl
18th November 2008, 09:47 AM
it's the Noise Filter you want (rather than noise reduction...but John knew what he meant!). When shooting jpeg and with high ISO just push that up to standard. In fact for rugby I often shoot LSF jpeg in vivid mode and the NF on high for instant results and I am as happy with this as I am with any ooc output - it does the job! You can make your own call on using SAT as well - again it works for the sort of media output I want but you can do better with a raw file and a bit of time. raw also helps when there are floodlights to have to factor in to the colour ;o(

on shutter speed I agree, as already indicated, 1/320th is the workable minimum for 'freezing' action shots - but is not fast enough to get them all crisp. Once I have enough for 1/1250th I start to back off the ISO and occassionally even close the aperture a bit as well. Unfortunately by the time you have enough light for 1/1250th, iso 200 and f8 you just know 'the shadows are going to get you'! Bright and overcast is your friend.

one final 'tip' - if the shutter speeds are falling and you have swithched to a tripod (or even mono pod) then make sure you use IS2 or those wonderful panning action moments will get screwed up. Generally I use IS2 at rugby even hand held.

michaelavis
18th November 2008, 10:09 AM
Thanks so much John. I've got a pretty good grasp of the E-3 settings, having studiously studied the wozniak and other articles, its the software side I have only scratched the surface off. I will look much much further into that. Like I say I have Elements and at first look Lightroom would be fantastic, but what I need to do is work out if full blown Photoshop is the right way to go too. Looks to me as if the integration between Lightroom and CS4 is really useful, whereas there is little if any integration between Lightroom and Elements and that would be annoying. The Adobe and other websites have a wealth of information, I'll dive into it and then see if I can justify the cost! Thanks again for the advise, I already feel better about the new kit :)

michaelavis
18th November 2008, 10:20 AM
it's the Noise Filter you want (rather than noise reduction...but John knew what he meant!). When shooting jpeg and with high ISO just push that up to standard. In fact for rugby I often shoot LSF jpeg in vivid mode and the NF on high for instant results and I am as happy with this as I am with any ooc output - it does the job! You can make your own call on using SAT as well - again it works for the sort of media output I want but you can do better with a raw file and a bit of time. raw also helps when there are floodlights to have to factor in to the colour ;o(

on shutter speed I agree, as already indicated, 1/320th is the workable minimum for 'freezing' action shots - but is not fast enough to get them all crisp. Once I have enough for 1/1250th I start to back off the ISO and occassionally even close the aperture a bit as well. Unfortunately by the time you have enough light for 1/1250th, iso 200 and f8 you just know 'the shadows are going to get you'! Bright and overcast is your friend.

one final 'tip' - if the shutter speeds are falling and you have swithched to a tripod (or even mono pod) then make sure you use IS2 or those wonderful panning action moments will get screwed up. Generally I use IS2 at rugby even hand held.

Brilliant, I've erred on the side of caution with ISO, noise filtering and picture styles and kept them at <800, low and natural respectively. I will definitely be braver now and will defintely experiment as I will with the IS settings too. I love this hobby! *yes

Imageryone
11th December 2008, 04:14 PM
Very interesting Q and A session, and it has helped me with a similar problem, so thanks a lot.*chr