how best to focus when shooting basketball

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by sadiecat, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. sadiecat

    sadiecat New to Mu-43

    3
    Jan 25, 2016
    Ronda Woolgar
    I have an OMD EM 10 and I am having issues when shooting my sons indoor basketball . As I need fast shutter speeds I have wide apertures ( either 1.8 or 2.8 ) , but this requires my focusing to be fast and spot on . Which method of focusing would other users recommend ?
     
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Try presetting with manual focus. Start by setting focus a little closer than the hoop nearest to you but with the hoop still in focus/just within the DOF range, then experiment to see how this setting works at various places on the court. Change to other focus distances or not as your needs change. Odds are that the motion blur will be enough that getting exact focus will be irrelevant.

    If you want to get fussier, read about hyperfocal distance (Hyperfocal distance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
     
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  3. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Indoor sports are challenging. I shoot on L and shoot in short bursts. That helps improve the number of shots in focus.

    It also helps to pre focus as much as you can. That will reduce the amount of travel the focusing mechanism requires for a shot.

    Last, I find basketball easiest to shoot from under the basket or nearby. That way the action comes to you and you can pre-plan your shots a little better. It's also nice that since basketball centers on the net, you'll get plenty of face shots and are close enough that many of the f1.2 through 1.8 lenses are long enough. Even the 75,1.8 is a little short for across the court.

    Probably use S-AF in L mode. C-AF is just weak, but try a few shots. One good thing about basketball is that there is a lot of activity and chances to shoot.

    My two cents. I'm not an expert.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  4. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I never try to focus when shooting basketball. It is already hard enough to shoot the ball with one hand while holding the camera with the other. Not sure how I would manage focusing as well.

    ;)
     
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  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    FWIW my suggestion to focus on the hoop and see what other parts of the court would also be in focus was based on the assumption that you would be somewhere along the sidelines. Then your zone of sharp focus is an arc that intersects the hoop and various areas of the court as you pan towards the hoop further away. Ideally you would be in the middle and both hoops would be in focus with one setting. That would probably make mid-court action, at least that on your side of the court, needing another preset.

    Depending on the lens, you might be able to put some masking tape on the focus ring and mark two or three pre-planned focus settings for quick changes.
     
  6. sadiecat

    sadiecat New to Mu-43

    3
    Jan 25, 2016
    Ronda Woolgar
    Thanks so much ... by L mode ... do you mean a Jpeg and not RAW shots ? ( I currently shoot in RAW )
     
  7. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    By L I mean the L drive mode that shoots 6fps bursts.
     
  8. sadiecat

    sadiecat New to Mu-43

    3
    Jan 25, 2016
    Ronda Woolgar
    OKAY ... thanks .. Understand now !
     
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  9. Prahasaurus

    Prahasaurus Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Jan 30, 2016
    Prague, Czech Republic
    I've been underwhelmed by the 4/3 performance shooting indoor sports with fair to poor lighting. I had planned to use my OMD EM-5 to shoot my son playing hockey. I even bought a telephoto lens specifically for this purpose. I leaned that the low lighting found in most hockey rinks in the Czech Republic makes it very difficult to take quality pics.

    I think the DSLR still rules here. I have resorted to taking shots of him as he comes off the ice, where I can be up close and personal and use my wonderful Olympus 45mm 1.8. I'm going to sell the telephoto lens I bought for hockey.
     
  10. ttomino1980

    ttomino1980 Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Apr 19, 2014
    Slovakia
    Try use lcd screen and feature with tap instant focus/shot. You can have than also Nice low angle framing. And try to vary single & burst to see which brings more keepers. But i still believe for sport either em1 or then dslr
     
  11. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta