maybe it will help explain my goals and expectations using some of my own photos as examples. I mean what I consider good might not be what you consider good.
so first, some indoor shots. this is where i'd really like to improve. In reviewing my pictures, i will concede that 55mm doesn't quite have the reach i'd like, however, I am ok cropping a bit, and I have plenty of evidence that suggests i'm not awesome at getting the perfect framing if I zoom in too tight. I still don't see anything lens-wise that feels like a better fit than the 17-50mm F2.8 from sigma. To get more reach than 50mm, i need to give up the constant aperture, or wide angle, and both of those things i think are more important for me.
*excuse the erased faces. I don't know the rules about posting students photos (especially from other schools), so better safe than sorry*. Full size versions available at the links provided
anyway, here's some shots that show a typical image. I would like to clean it up and stop the motion more. if i could also blur the background more, that'd be cool, but not necessary as that can be faked in photoshop
I would use a shot like the following as a coaching aid to talk about their positioning(it's bad, it's all bad, haha), so while i don't necessarily care about the quality of an image like this, i do want to be able to capture a wide shot like this as well.
again (i guess I forgot I did this until reviewing photos), I shoot a lot of images for coaching purposes so I like to get the whole court in the shot. If they can pull double duty, and be clean enough for a cropped picture to be passable for a blog or instagram post, even better.
The above image cropped. I'm ok with the level of detail here, but it really starts to show the noise. anything over iso800 will show this on my camera, by 3200 it's pretty bad.
Here's an example where on top of the above issues, i need that fast FPS because i miss the best part.
These two shots are consecutive, and you can see the ball is nearly out of frame, and then back out of frame. I'm missing a TON of action in the middle
Now if I look at some of the shots I got outdoors using the 55-250mm lens, they are much much nicer imo. I suspect I will never get the kind of background blur when using a 18-55mm from only a few feet off the court, but I'd at least like to be able to stop the motion more, and reduce the noise in the image. And of course, add some FPS so I have a better chance of getting that perfectly timed photo.
so anyway, these are all shots i'm happy with. I consider these 'good', and would be thrilled to get shots like this indoors from courtside. I did use the 55-250mm to shoot some badminton from the stands, and it gave me similar looking shots as far as the background blur, but obviously i'm still stuck with the high iso and slow shutter issues as with the 18-55mm.
Missed the framing slightly on this one, but I'm happy with the performance of the gear
It's a real pain trying to focus through the net. I had to focus, then switch to manual, to avoid it from jumping to the net.
Again my framing is a little off, and man do we ever need to talk about that technique... but i like the quality of this image
Generally happy again with the quality of this image, however with 3fps, it seems to be the perfect pace to catch runners is the same position of their stride every shot. If they have knee up on the first, they have knee up on the second, third, etc. So it really becomes luck as to whether I get them in an interesting or goofy looking part of their stride
I'm so mad about these two. I was playing with the shutter priority mode, and based off my results(which had been all indoors up to that point) i was shooting at 1/400s. I should have been well over 1/1000's (or is that under? whatever the faster one is...), but the real kicker is I didn't realize I left the picture adjustment on. It was super bright that day, i couldn't see anything on the lcd screen and I ended up shooting half the day like this, so all the pics look like they have some instagram filter on them.
I was shooting in this mode because it allowed me to select my focus point (sports mode is locked into the middle). I was struggling to stay locked onto the players, the camera was focusing on the trees in the background instead. I tried using the aperture priority setting, but it would slow down the shutter way more than increase the iso. So it wasn't great for shooting sports imo. I could probably work into the shutter priority mode, but i need some more experience to know how quick i can get away with. it's challenging with my lenses too, since i can use a faster exposure when i'm wide vs zoomed in.
but of course, the extra light, the extra zoom, none of it helps with the ol' fps issue. so that's still an area with plenty of room for improvement. The other thing, is the camera staying focused on the subject. Sometimes it's something I have to work around. If i have time to manually focus, that's one thing, trying to avoid high contrast objects in the background is another, but sometimes i really feel i have to blame the camera. In this series of shots i had good focus for 2 or 3 pics, then lost focus right at the 'perfect shot', and then it regained focus on the next shot. I was shooting through a net, but it doesn't appear that it focused on the net, it just went blurry.
hopefully this post doesn't chase away help. Not trying to prove anything(clearly most of the pics here have issues) but maybe shed some light on what my actual expectations are. I'm not selling anything, at best they'll end up as a 4x3 in the yearbook