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Old September 5th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #1
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What focus set do the cameramen use on the nba games?

Hola chicos, i wnated to know ho do the cameraguys act,talking about focus, when they are sitting on they knees and they are shooting from the line under the basket.How can the focus the action?I guessnot in auto mode right?
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Old September 5th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #2
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No pro camerman uses autofocus - especially as many pro cameras with real lenses don't even have such a thing. Following focus is just another skill people develop.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #3
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I know...I was just asking myself cause it's very difficult from the position(under the basket) to follow the players up and down on the court!Don't u think?
It's pretty easier to focus from the long side of the court...isn't it?
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Old September 5th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Marcus Martell View Post
I know...I was just asking myself cause it's very difficult from the position(under the basket) to follow the players up and down on the court!Don't u think?
It's pretty easier to focus from the long side of the court...isn't it?
These cameras when tripod mounted usually have a remote focus control at the rear, often on a second pan bar. Yes it's easier to follow from the side, but pulling focus at sports effects is what these guys are skilled at, they usually have years of experience. They also have good viewfinders that you can set the peaking on, so they can see the edge on the focused image.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #5
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I talked to a guy who worked for NFL Films for a number of years. To practice pulling focus, he said, he took an old 16mm film camera, a football, a tall tree, and some rope. He would tie the football to the tree and throw it while pulling focus with the camera. He said doing that for hours helped him keep the action in focus when it came to the real thing.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #6
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ed...............damnnnnnn
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Old September 5th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
No pro camerman uses autofocus - especially as many pro cameras with real lenses don't even have such a thing. Following focus is just another skill people develop.
Not really true anymore.

Canon introduces DIGISUPER 100AF, 86AF auto-focus lenses

These lenses were announced more than two years ago; this line of lenses seems to be the standard in nearly every US sporting venue.
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It's pretty easier to focus from the long side of the court...isn't it?
Yes, which is why this is where the cameras normally are.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:46 PM   #8
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the guys I know that do or did NBA games, if they were under the basket which by the way can be a dangerous place to be, are focused to about the free throw line and tpyically use a lens with shuttle shot. Hit the button and it zooms to a set point either way and they keep the zoom within a range that the Dof can handle the zoom. There is very little if any time to be playing with focus. The guys on the sidelines have a bit more time to handle the focus. For the long shots it another camera.

I've done some Robocam work with another member of DVi for NASCAR and I never really played with focus. Set for the near end of the track and the DoF took care of the rest as the cars came towards me and I widened the shot to keep them in frame. During a commerical or yellow flag you would check the focus at the long and shotr end but when the green is out and you're live on the air, ain't the time to be doing that. Everything is more or less preset BEFORE the event.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #9
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Yes, which is why this is where the cameras normally are.
Ease of focus has absolutely zero to do with cameras along the long side of a playing field.

It provides the best vantage point to see the action, as most sports go side to side. And they still need to do follow-focus just like everyone else. You are expected to go from a wide shot to a tight shot anywhere on the field and be in perfect focus at the end of the move.

A true pro never uses auto-anything on a camera.

edit: I'll add that often camera ops use tape hash marks on the focus control, so they can quickly get focus on certain areas within their responsibility. Myself, I enjoy the distance indicator on my HMC-150, really helps.
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