Eric Festor , Jan 09, 2009; 11:39 a.m.
I shoot a lot of martial arts tournaments (mostly TQD). I shoot a Nikon D300 and use a 85mm 1.4 lens. I usually shoot aperature priority at 1.8 (I find 1.4 makes focusing harder, if I can go to 2.0 or a little higher thats preferred) and adjust the ISO to shoot around 1/600. I have the auto focus in continuous mode. I also set the noise reduction in the camera to high. Adjust the focus point in the camera so you can put it right on the persons head in the shot. I use the thumb tab alot on the camera to constantly move the focus point so its on the persons head/face. Out of focus face and the shot is no good...
Shooting wide open, you have to be extremely carefull on your autofocus and keep in mind the shallow depth of field. Usually when shooting a sparring match, I concentrate on one of the two particpants. At this DOF,its hard to get both in focus.
Just have fun when you shoot!