So. Lots of claims by me of sports being photographed with a combination of single shot AF without AF tracking and manual focus. How did I go when the rubber met the road?
Some basketball yesterday. The usual poor light and fast pace. The actual assignment was to document one of the referees involved, but in his down time, when the other referee was officiating, I grabbed some quick action shots.
All of the images were captured with an EM5 at ISO 1600-3200 and the 40-150 f2.8. All of the longer shots, including two dozen of the main subject (the referee) running down the court* were captured sharply with single shot AF on centre point only with timing and minimal hesitation (a second shot of a converging or receding will always be out of focus due to the lack of tracking), For the close action under the net, I used S-AF with a wider capture area of the middle nine points and the camera at waist level. Manual trap focus would have been better, but the lens was a little long (40=80mm) and the F2.8 aperture too shallow for zone focussing. Except for my miss cues, there were no AF fails. A wider lens like a 25mm would have been better, but I was not at the event for these shots. I missed the ball in the action a lot, but that was me out of practice, not the camera.
The mono conversion is my standard pre set, Mono 1 (I have 6 mono ones, all designed to create a remembered contrast look from my film era memory). The look is much like my memory of pushed TriX in Rodinal 1:50, but without the excessive grain. Not much noise reduction is used to allow a slight "grainy" look to come out and it is tight looking grain, as Rodinal would render it, but not at the expense of clarity.
*I can't show these as they belong to the client.