For football (proper UK


For football (proper UK football, where play is generally continuous) manual focus is pretty critical, as play often runs side to side. From the position mentioned, I tend to focus just a bit further away than the touchline, rather than further, as depth of field on the more wide angle settings is enough to keep it sharp, but let you do a fast zoom in to a throw in, for example. However, following focus is pretty important when you have to work with narrower angles. I tend to use 50fps, but do not like the look of the faster shutter speeds, and rarely go over 50, because of the strange stuttering the image starts to have that makes play look slower. 


If you are just starting out, then focus won't be a huge problem and you can probably just tweak your manual focus points because I doubt that you will spend much time zoomed in anyway, because following the ball is so difficult – so although you could be zoomed in on a distant player, full frame, the minute he kicks the ball, you will lose it and have to zoom out to find it! Single camera, it's probably best to remain wider, track the ball and focus won't be so bad. My cameras don't have autoficus anyway, but the distance between subject and background will mean autofocus will hunt like mad. I use JVC 200 & 700 series cameras, and focus isn't usually a big issue. Tracking the ball is far harder. Maintaining subject height in frame means constant zooming, so zooming and focusing at the same time is a practice skill. Very often you lose focus and it's a guess as to if you need to focus forwards or back – I use the background – if it's also soft, you've focused to far forwards, and need to focus back, if the background is sharp and subject softer, then you need to focus fowards. There are usually clues in the image.

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