(Updated May 16, 2017)
I became an accidental derby photographer starting, I think November 8, 2013 – shortly after the Peninsula Roller Girls followed me on Twitter. Three years later, I’ve upgraded my camera body once, and added a second Canon 7D Mark II, Peak Design straps, a monopod, and a new camera bag but the same main lens – I learned a few things.
I often to forget some of these, so reviewing them before the shoot, may be helpful. (In theory – I’m gonna update this post from time to time.)
I have two lenses:
– Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
– Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II
The ideal focal lengths will depend on how close you get to the ring. Standing basically the 10ft line, the 70-200mm (APS-C is effectively an 1.6x zoom, so this is 112mm – 320mm ) – is almost too long. The ideal, based on some histograms of actual shots, 50-200mm (or 80 – 320mm ). This is important to note, if one is going to upgrade from a crop-body to a full-frame. A full-frame camera will likely means a different set of lenses. Overlap between Body A and B is recommended.
The 17-40mm is useless for action. I use this for portraits and candidates walking around. I’ve rented Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II Lens and a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens. I’m gonna try and rent the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon next time. I’m going to look at the histogram of focal lengths of actual used/accepted images.
(May 16, 2017, Update) -I rented the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 and used it to shoot a May 13th Monterey vs Nor Cal. About half the set was shot with it. And the f/1.8 is just as amazing as it sounds – and without IS, it kept pace with the staple Canon EF 70-200 IS II f/2.8. HOWEVER, when using dual bodies, Sigma’s zoom is the inverse of the Canon lens. This was actually quite annoying, because of my finger memory – I kept zooming the Sigma in the wrong direction. So, this alone may rule out mixing Sigma and Canon lenses while shoot, and my rule out this lens all together.
- Focal Lengths: ~50-200mm (80-320mm effective)
- Maybe a little wider than 50mm, if sitting on the 10ft line, in the corner. If down the straightaway a little of another 6-10ft off the line, 50mm would be ok.
- Aperture: f/2.8 or better. Be careful for Depth of Field, Bokeh
- Shutter Speed: With IS, minimum is 1/Focal Length, so 1/250, 1/320 or 1/400
- ISO: on the 7Dmk2, I do auto, limited to 6400. Do be afraid of High ISO on newer bodies. Can go 1 stop higher, but gets grainy
- AI Servo, AF Case 3, 1/1/0; adjust focal points as needed.
- Metering: Center Weighted average
- Exposure Comp: -1EV to -2EV. underexposed for lower ISO and higher shutter. +2-2.5EV (-100 highlights, +70-100 shadows) in post makes acceptable results.
Framing the Shot
- This is Roller Derby. Get the stakes in the shots.
- however, close up of faces in action is important to mix in.
- Candidate, non-action shots are ok!
- Abstract object shots good too, skate wheels, helmets, pads, other gear
- Get NSO/SO photos too