Thursday, July 12, 2007

f/4 and be there

Ah, the joys of working with outdated camera equipment in dire need of upgrading.

Today I grabbed one of our three "pool" 300 mm lenses on the way out the door to shoot the USTA Intersectional Tennis Thursday afternoon at Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club.

I like using at least a 300 mm lens to shoot tennis because it allows you to shoot tight for good moments and clean backgrounds. After arriving I find a good vantage point (in the shade) so that I could shoot two separate matches at the same time and put the lens on my camera, a D2H. The only problem was the lens would not focus. Sometimes the mount may be dirty, something sticks or the lens is not locked onto the camera. But today there was nothing. No autofocus and strangely enough it wouldn't even focus manually. After trying all of the above I went and tried the lens on my second body, still nothing.

My only option was to grab my 70-200 and put on a 1.4 teleconverter and do the best job possible.

After shooting enough for an online gallery of the event, I had a thought. I wanted to make an image of the racket hitting the ball, yeah, it would have been easier with a 300 and a teleconverter to sit at one end of the court and shoot directly over the net but all I had was the 200 mm. I positioned myself on the side of the court set the camera at 1/8000 of a second at f/4 and started shooting. Wow, I knew it would be challenging but let's just say the "miss" percentage was quite high.
In the end I shot 95 images and ended up only having 4 frames with both the full racket and ball.
The majority of the others were just the ball sitting in midair. The motor drive was no use, it came down to manual focus and timing.

It is also time to send the 300 mm to Nikon for repair.


Anonymous 7/13/2007 7:27 AM  

looks like 8000 wasnt fast enough...looks a little fuzzy still

Jim Hudelson 7/25/2007 11:30 AM  

yep, and I don't know that I have ever made a photo at 1/8000 of a second.

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