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Hi guys, I've been doing sports photography for about 2 weeks now, shooting whole teams in three rows. I've noticed that at f8  there are still some  people who are coming out blurry on the far left usually the coaches. Im shooting with a Canon 5dmk ii an 24-70 at around 80mm. My shutter is around 120. theres always one person out of focus out of the whole group? Should I Bump up my Iso? or shoot wider with a 24-70? This has never happened to me. I'm considering getting an apsc sensor camera just for these group shots. Any Ideas what I'm doing wrong here. I'm faily new to group shots, I've always shot 1-3 people for years.  Thanks in advance guys.


  • sorry im shooting on the 70-200 mk11... I have a question.. .if there is not enough light will this cause blur?
  • CanonJayCanonJay Member
    edited April 2017
    Hi Siceyesic,

    Something is fishy here. Please don't take this the wrong way. I am assuming you made a typo. You are using a full frame camera so you are using a 24-70 lens. Your maximum focal length is 70mm. Regardless of that, You should have plenty of depth of field at F8 and should have enough shutter speed for decent subject movement with flash. 

    1. Are you focusing on the middle of second row?

    2. Most importantly Are you using flash? If so and the flash is not a major  contributor to the exposure then people fooling around and moving could cause subject blur. Even the coaches yelling at the players to sit still:) 

    3. Is it a problem with the lens itself? 

    4. Are you on a tripod or hand holding? 

    Just a few points to ponder and I hope thats helpful. 

  • Ok the 70-200 has stabilization so you should be good there handholding  (unless your on a tripod). I would say that the problem lies in the lighting. If your not using flash then that shutter speed is too slow to freeze any subject motion. If the light levels are low then that will definitely cause blur due to the slow shutter speed unless you are using flash. 

  • I am  using flash, actually 4 speedlights 2 for backdrop and 2 in front.. I have noticed that when I zoom in a bit more more people come in focus its at the 70-150mm range that one person is out of focus while the rest are in focus.. im going to check my lens for debri tonight.
  • Hi jay just say the top comment.. Yeah It's handheld.. I am using flash and Im focusing in the mid row dead center.

  • Interesting. Sounds like you are doing things right. If I understand your comment correctly, you are getting more people in focus at longer focal lengths than at the wider end?  That perplexes me as you should get better depth of field with the shorter focal lengths. What happens if you go to F9-&11? Still the same problem? The 70-200 in theory is a super sharp lens all the way through the focal lengths. The only thing is, like you said, there is problem with the lens that its getting blurry. Is the blur in the same spot with each shot do you know? Also, obviously check the front element. I once had a squished bug between my filter and the lens. Don't know how, but it took me a while to figure it out. lol. I thought it was a sensor spot but never thought to check the front. Funny story, but sometimes the most obvious eludes me;) 

  • rs_eosrs_eos Member
    edited April 2017
    The size of the field that is in focus at f/8 (or any particular aperture) will depend upon the focal length and distance to your subject.  Try visiting an online DOF calculator and input the values to see how the "width" of the field changes for your particular situation.

    As an example, let's look at 25mm, 50mm and 100mm on a full-frame camera. To keep your framing the same, at 50mm, you'd be twice as far as 25mm.  100mm twice as far as 50mm.

    For discussion sake, let's say a proper framing at 25mm is 4 feet.  With that setup, DOF is 4.65 feet.  For 50mm (now 8 feet away), DOF is 3.87 feet.  And for 100mm (now 16 feet away), DOF is 3.72 feet.

  • Ok, inspect my glass it looks good.. but I did notice that the lens mount was super loose ans somehow the screws were almost all the way out.. I believe this was creating a gap between the lens and the body. Also I noticed with the field calculator  I should be ok.  It's weird because one side of the picture was in focus while the other side was not. If I'm focusing on the center row  dead center.. should everything on each side equally should be in focus right (horizontally)? I relly believe it was the loose mount.. anyway I have shoots today  I should be able to tell if that fixed my problem. Thank you guys for your input.
  • That will do it. The lens is off axis and will produce blur in the opposite direction of the tilt or looseness per say. I think I have that right:) Either way, I am betting thats the problem. Good luck tomorrow. 

  • CanonJay- that was it..  it's a totally different lens now.. how long have I been shooting like this? lol... everything changed ... I'm so glad  it was that!!! I was already contemplating getting new gear... I was definitely baffled by what was causing this blur... it made me question DOF? 

    thanks guys for your help... it definitely led to me inspecting every possible solution and figuring out what the problem was
  • Glad to hear it worked out! Happy shooting!
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