Now that my website has been around for a fairly long amount of time, it has started to become a worldwide resource for manual-focus lens reviews—specifically when used on today’s mirrorless cameras. Though I have slowed down recently, thanks to an overload of school-work which will surely last me until Christmas, my fairly good list of reviews still keeps many coming back to compare affordable and amazing legacy optics to slap onto their digital camera. One such reader has followed my lead on going back to manual focus for sports photography (albeit with a DSLR with those awful flapping mirror boxes!). I’m glad to see the results he’s getting, they remind me of the first time I took my Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 AT-X on a d300. At the time I had NO IDEA what I was doing (compared to now, anyway), but I remember the few shots I nailed focus on through that tiny viewfinder were like magic:
Until recently, I had been looking for a solution to indoor sports photography on a budget. Then I found your website. Your use of affordable Nikon manual lenses for sports photography inspired me to consider trying such lenses. Initially, I was somewhat reluctant because I shoot with a Nikon D7000, which as you know, does not have the much praised focus peaking technology for manual focus lenses. Still, your sports photos were so sharp, so I acquired my first manual lens, a Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Ai-S.
I’ve attached a few jpeg photos from a recent swim meet, straight out of the camera with only crop edits. All of these were shot at 1/500 sec iso1600, so the noise is definitely appreciable. In addition, the Nikon manual focus “dot” was not the easiest to use. Nevertheless, I was able to capture a few action shots in focus using various prefocusing strategies.
Using a manual focus lens for sports photography has injected a new challenge into my sports photography. I can honestly say that this is now my favorite lens for short-course (25 yard) swimming photography. I have already acquired the 180mm sibling of this lens, which I cannot wait to use for long-course (50 meter) swimming photography. Thank you so much for using your website to breath new life into manual focus lenses. It is a basic photographic skill that one can still enjoy and hone in this era of high tech photography.
Keep up the great website!
Here are three of his attached photos I found particularly great:
Through skill, luck, or a bit of both, Jason has got “the eye” needed for eye-popping sports photography—capturing the action and the emotions of the athletes is done well in these examples. I’m flattered to hear his story as a result of coming across my own sports photography experiences. Jason, I wish you well on your manual-focus sports photography endeavors, keep up the great work! Keep in mind that some cameras, *cough* NEX-7 *cough*, handle these old optics like a charm.
So, the question remains, have YOU been inspired by some of the happenings on this photography website? If so, I’d love to hear your story and see some of your work. Drop me a line at my email, I’ll get back to you real quick.