X-T1 Low Light indoor action

Discussion in 'Coffee with Rico Pfirstinger, Fuji X-Pert' started by mack14, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. mack14

    mack14 New to FujiXspot

    9
    Apr 3, 2014
    Hi Rico...

    Last night I attempted to take stills of my daughters Tae Kwon Do belt test with a Fuji X-T1 and the 56mm. The setting was a room where I am approx. 20-40 feet away from my subject (wearing a white uniform) and the room is lit with fluorescent lighting. Lighting is less than optimal and there was no way I could use a flash. It was a very frustrating and exasperating evening as the Fuji could not focus and I missed most of the shots. In particular, when I attempted to use continuous autofocus it just would hunt and hunt trying to find the initial focus. Even after it found it, it seemed like there was enough lag as it updated that it would lose focus on the subject. I also found the EVF had just enough of a delay that it impeded my ability to take shots. I have a feeling I either don't have the camera setup correctly or it's just the wrong tool for the job.

    Any advice on how to set up the X-T1 focusing system for this type of shot would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    Since I wasn't there, I can't really comment on the actual shooting situation. Obviously, fluorescent lighting can be quite bad, as it's flickering with a certain frequency, so your exposure can become a lottery depending on your shutter speed. Usually, f/1.2 should be sufficient for bad lighting, but it seems like it was too bad in this case? White uniform is pretty bad, too, due to little contrast. AF needs contrast to work. And always use high-performance mode and an AF frame size that is as large as possible and as small as necessary.
     
  3. mack14

    mack14 New to FujiXspot

    9
    Apr 3, 2014
    I tried shooting at f/1.2 to keep the shutter speed fast enough to keep from getting motion blur. Yet, with such shallow depth of field it didn't yield very good results. I think in this situation I should manual mode in order to pick my exposure with a fast enough shutter, an aperture that won't be too shallow, and then an ISO to get it close. I think the tracking was the problem. One other thing I thought of was separating focus from the shutter button to the rear of the camera. This way I can get a focus point and shoot off a quick burst without the camera trying to re-meter and re-focus each time I press the shutter. I guess I'm not so concerned about shooting at the highest burst rate, I'm more concerned about getting a focus zone where the camera won't hunt and the EVF won't lag as it continually tries to meter exposure.
     
  4. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    I'd use AF-S, single shot and the autofocus trick (shutter mash) described in my books for such situations. I don't think AF-C and burst will yield many great results in such dire conditions. Even in good sunny light, I remember having a low hit rate when I shot two knights fighting at a ren fair, as their movement is hardly predictable.

    At my workshops, users get consistently good results with shutter mash at our moving subject trials, even when they use an older X-E1 or X-Pro1.

    The key is to wisely choose the optimal AF frame size and to keep it pefectly positioned over the face of the subject. Obviously, never ever even think of considering "focus and reframe". ;)

    EVF lag would only be an issue when the light is really very low. Normally, there's a lag of 0.005 seconds.
     
  5. mack14

    mack14 New to FujiXspot

    9
    Apr 3, 2014
    Thanks Rico.... I set the camera up for Release/Focus Priority and did some tests and I see how that might work. I clearly see what you mean by optimal AF frame size. If it's too small, there's not enough area to find anything with contrast. It would also seem to me that I need to adjust the aperture so that I can get sufficient depth of field because of the movement. Tae Kwon Do is difficult because the subject can zig in and out very quickly. But...no need to get every single shot... I just need to get a few keepers. So along with this technique, I'll try to determine exposure before the event starts and adjust the ISO sufficiently to allow me to shoot at a high enough shutter speed. To be safe, I am using the UHS-II memory cards. I'll be sure to practice this technique. Thank you.
     
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  6. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    Focus priority should be useful here, as then the camera won't take a shot unless it was able to lock focus. Of course, this doesn't ensure that the focus was locked at the right place, only some place.