Thom article and the 200-400mm

Started May 20, 2008 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,660
Re: Thom article and the 200-400mm

Mike Neary wrote:

What about the huge gap you're leaving between the 400 and the 70-200?

Well, perhaps I'm influenced by choice of camera and sport, but I don't feel like that's a "gap." Even more so in wildlife photography. Again, perhaps it's because I don't shoot soccer, but with most sports you're either in isolation mode or showing context mode. I'm perfectly comfortable without a zoom for isolation mode. True, the compositions I'm isolating are driven by my position and subject position with a fixed length lens, but I really don't feel like I need to be micro-managing isolation compositions with a zoom. Indeed, I find this actually counterproductive. What's much more productive is to use my left hand to override focus rather than zooming.

But for #3, if you need to frame a shot with your prime while moving
around changing position, you may still lose that moment.

Again, it may be the sports I cover, but generally the best sports photographers spend a lot of time anticipating (making their luck). With football, that's easy. If you watch me on the sidelines of a game, you'll see me (and others) moving well ahead of the action. On third and long, we're generally further down field than on 1st downs. Indeed, we position ourselves almost like off field defensive backs. Back when I used to direct and technical direct collegiate TV, I used to be giving those instructions via headset to the sideline camera people (yes, we had women). And that was as backup to the pre-game meetings where we talked about this and relying upon the experience of the camera folk. You not only have to know what the current down situation is, but what the tendencies of the team are. If you do, you find that you're in position with the right equipment more often than not (nice thing about TV, I could always count on that wide shot from up top of the stadium ; ).

Hmm, but if we get into the cropping game, aren't we massively
degrading IQ anyway?

My point with the D2h/1DII was that Canon users WEREN'T degrading image quality by cropping. That was the failure of the D2h to hold that market. Today, things are bit different. But it also depends upon what the final image is going to be used for. Newspaper? Heck, crop it down to 1mp if you have to ; ).

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)

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