Truly great OSS of the 55-210mm, good resolution @ max zoom & f6.3

Started Dec 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mel Snyder
OP Mel Snyder Veteran Member • Posts: 4,088
Re: Truly great OSS of the 55-210mm, good resolution @ max zoom & f6.3
1

cwood wrote:

CameraCarl wrote:

Nice photo. Makes me wonder if I really need the 18-105 to get low light images.... (as I'm debating in the thread I started and to which you responded...thanks)

A lot will depend on the kind of subjects, the kind of lighting those subjects will be in - and your comfort in shooting at low shutter speeds. Clearly good for action in daylight, not for indoor action unless well lit (e.g. professional ice hockey) or motor racing (all the track shots and many closeups on an overcast day) or immobile in low lighting

For indoor action, I know of no affordable AF zooms for the NEX-6. There's a tyranny of optical reality - fast telephoto lenses that can track action at all have very narrow DOF. Even if there were E mount lenses, an NEX or A7 isn't the right camera for action. But you can get that action with a fast, inexpensive 50mm manual prime.

Example: Pro basketball photographers don't usually focus anyway - they know from experience where players are likely to be on the court, and they know the best shots aren't basket shots (I can always spot an amateur basketball shooter - most/all of their shots are basket shots). They zone focus by focusing a manual lens on the spot on the floor where action is likely to occur, and like a Venus flytrap, wait for subjects to enter the zone. My keeper rate plunged, not increased when I got my first fast AF zoom for my Nikons; a basketball player shot from courtside is always smaller than the crowd behind him - a factor that explains much of the "backfocusing" baloney here on the forum.

I plan to visit some high school basketball games in my area with my NEX-6 and 85mm f1.2 Canon FD and 50mm f1.4/f2 lenses in January, and will post some examples of how a fast manual prime can capture even basketball action.

My kids play competitive ball. The only thing fast enough to use in the average gym is f2 or lower. I generally use a 50mm and get close. Trying to focus on the fly generally ends in sadness.

I agree completely. Most school gyms without TV-grade lighting really suck for available light.

If you can get court side, you can boost your keeper rate by standing about 3-5 feet toward the basket along the baseline, and shooting up court. Except for fast breaks, there's about a 3-5 foot zone where most players stop or slow down, coming right at you, or crossing into the paint.

Or use off-the-camera flash + a small trigger strobe on the camera, as I did in the old film era 50+ years ago:

Minolta Autocord on Tri-X

If the action is good enough, even straight on-camera flash can get winning results:

AF is so overrated.

Image above was titled "Sputnik?" and won the Grand Prize in the 1959 Kodak High School Photo Contest. Although $400 seems like a puny grand prize today, it paid for half a semester tuition at Lehigh University in those days - and "won" me 4 years of freelance work from the Bethlehem (PA) Globe Times newspaper...a summer internship at the Easton Express - and a clip book full of photo/newswriting features that landed me my first job upon graduation, with Burson-Marsteller PR agency.

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +12 more
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