It seems that every year, spring sports season comes and goes with such an undecided vigor. Much like spring weather, one week it’ll be cold and dreary with only a single game to shoot, whereas the following week brings warm weather and a multitude of home games. This past weekend fit into the latter category, sporting generally warm temperatures with five games to photograph in four days (three on Saturday, one on Sunday, another on Tuesday). Needless to say, my shutter count—and eye fatigue—went up tremendously in a short amount of time.
I figure a good exercise to keep from over-saturating this post with too many photographs is to cull four of my best photographs from each game: 2 baseball, 1 softball, 1 tennis, 1 lacrosse. Let’s see what I dig up. All captured with the Sony NEX-7 and Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AI-s ED or Nikon 85mm f/1.4 AI-s. P.S. A good number of these are in the 2:1 crop ratio. Since this is how my images are sent in to my supervisor for displaying, I usually shoot with this in mind.
300mm, ISO 200, f/4, 1/2000
What a monster…
Many have called me a retro pioneer, others, a glutton for punishment. Either way you may feel about my choice on using manual-focus lenses for sports photography (and photography in general), the Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AI-s ED is highly capable of some stunning photographs, even on today’s digital cameras.
Lenses such as this in the “exotic” category have been hyped up enough on their own with their fast apertures and long focal lengths (and cost at the time of release), so instead let’s move onto the main review!
THE BIG ONE
And this is with the hood retracted…
Well, I’ve finally gotten around to taking an in-depth look at my favorite lens, the monstrous Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AI-s ED. This optic is not one to mess around with. Weighing in at over five and a half pounds, this 10+ inch chunk of metal and glass is NOT a walk-around lens (unless you are an odd body-building photographer). Just as how macro lenses are built to do particularly well up-close and wide-angle lenses do their best with landscapes, the 300mm f/2.8 is a special-purpose lens. If you have just now started following this site, I spent much of this past spring doing sports photography primarily with this 450mm field-of-view super telephoto . The fast (and useable) maximum aperture keeps ISOs down and shutter speeds high, freezing the action with less digital noise. And yes, sports photography with manual-focus equipment is even easier nowadays with great focus-assisting technologies. Other applications of this lens on APS-C could be tight head-shots and even a bit of close-up birding (good luck sneaking up on them). On m4/3, this lens would have a 600mm super telephoto field-of-view, great for birding and other wildlife.
In case you were interested (which you should be!), hop right on over to Steve Huff’s site, the article I have been working on for the past few weeks is up, ready, and roaring to go. See HERE. I have to thank Steve greatly for publishing this.
In other news, still busy with editing and printing baseball pictures. Tomorrow or Wednesday, I should have a set posted from a recent softball game, for everyones’ viewing pleasure.
As always, have a great one guys. Life is good.
Welcome to a new adventure I have embarked on, maintaining a photography blog! Keeping this post short and sweet, and leaving you all with a few of my best photographs I’ve taken so far. One thing I will go for here is quality well over quantity. If I don’t have a picture that blows me away personally, I won’t bother boring you with it. Photos posted here will all have to be cracker-jacks in my book! Just a small bit of background, I’m an upstart sports, event, and general freelance photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky who is hitting the ground running fast in photography. Will write more posts as photographs trickle in. Thanks for looking, and have a great week.
And of course, to be updated on future posts from my photo walks and sports events, make sure to follow me or add yourself to my e-mail list! New post going up tomorrow with a few other hand-picked favorites over the past month.