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Old Aug 29, 2008, 11:53 PM   #1
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Thursday night I went with a friend who is a graduate of Baylor University in Waco, Texas to their home football opener vs. Wake Forest University from North Carolina. I took with me, my E510, 12-60 and 70-300 Digital Zuikos.

First step was getting through security. The printed security notice online at Baylor's websitesaid no "professional style" long lenses. At the gate, I was told 12 inches was the length limit. I could tell the poor girl had no idea what to think looking at the 70-300, but I never zoomed it to make things look even worse, even though I don't think that lens is even 12 inches long zoomed to 300mm. No matter...after a few seconds of thinking about it, I was "allowed" in, butat any other gate, things might have been different. If my main reason for owning a lens like this was to get into events like this or other professional-level sports on a recurring basis, for the most part it would be a waste of money owning something like the 50-200 f2.8-3.5 or larger...you'd rarely ever get it in anywhere.

The game started at 7pm. Over the first hour or so while there was still plenty of available light, combined with the stadium lightsI was able to maintain good enough shutter speeds for action,albeit already set to ISO 800. By the time the sun was completely down and the stadium lights had fully taken over, it was strictly ISO 1600 the rest of the evening, which was giving me shutter speeds of between 1/200 and 1/320 second..... decent enough, but for certain types pf action was around 1 stop or so too slow...could really have used the f3.5 speed at 200mm of the 50-200 Zuiko, but as I said...had I had it, it may have never made it into the stadium. There were one or two shots where I was saying to myself..."if I only had ONE more stop of speed"...but for the most part, I was still pleased with the overall files captured during the evening...


As far as the game itself is concerned, let's just say Baylor isn't exactly the center of the football world these days....but I did have a good time doing what I was doing..

Wide view of the stadium...as you can see, we got there early....with the 12-60..

My seat was here..

Some game action..

Part of the student section across the field..

These next two are OK, butthese type shots areprecisely where Iwould have liked having one more stop of speed..

Back to some more solidly steady shots..

Ah, to be 20 again...

Bottom line here is, the more solid ISO 1600 capture ability of the E510 and later models makes the useability of this lens at places like thisvery possible...indeed, in certain venues, this is probably, physically, the biggest piece of glass you'll be allowed to bring in.

A lot will depend on the lighting quality of the facility you are shooting in. Pro stadiums and areanas...if they allow you to bring something in at all, are a cinche for the 70-300. This particular stadium was marginal in terms of lighting quality. The two ends of the field were noticeably less well-lit than at mid-field, which meant I could not just set my exposure in manual mode and leave it there for the duration.

Once the stadium lights had taken completely over lighting the field, I also had to go to manual white balance selection as the auto setting was all over the place. I was shooting RAW and could therefore get it all right later, and did in one or two shots, but I prefer to get as much right as possible up front.

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Old Aug 30, 2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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Hi Greg,

Given your location in the stands relative to the field as well as the ever changing lighting conditions, I think the 70-300mm aquitted itself quite well. i couldn't help noticing the 2 photgos in one of the shots, bothsporting big ol' honking Canons lenses .

Pretty good work fora lens that costs around $320US. On the other hand, the Canons in your pics are probably around 6 grand apiece.


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Old Aug 30, 2008, 12:44 PM   #3
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zig-123 wrote:
Hi Greg,

On the other hand, the Canons in your pics are probably around 6 grand apiece.


Yes...and then there's the bodies, which would be, depending on the model, somewhere between $3,000 to &8,000.

I'm jealous Zig....have fun at that Red Sox game.
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 4:58 PM   #4
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Ah, to be 20 again.......and know what I know now...!!!

Nice series of shots Greg. Can't add anything to what you and the others have said but there's a couple there, that if you had another stop would crop down to publishable prints.

In the 4/3 photo mag an issue or so back a guy did an article entitled "E3 and the Sugar Bowl" It's quite interesting. Takes the E3 out of the box with the 50-200 Zuiko and shoots the sugar bowl and other pics on the way.

Issue#1 in here. Got lots of other Oly stuff as well.http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/magazine.php
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 9:10 PM   #5
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Really like that first shot. Would be cool to have the same shot with the stands full. As for the game shots, the last one came out pretty good. That would be a nice, light kit to get some snapshots like these from the stands. From a sports shot perspective there's just too much detail lost in these (except for the 1st shot) and the shutter speeds are way too slow to stop the action. But you'd be hard pressed to do anything better from the stands. As mentioned, it isn't like they'd let someone bring in a 600mm 4.0 lens to the stands :G

So, in the context of fan shots from the stands I think if you could go to a day game you could end up with some very usable shots.
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