Sideline Photographers

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by loves_guitar, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. loves_guitar

    loves_guitar TPF Noob!

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    Hey masses,

    I'm an avid football fan, and becoming an avid photographer. While watching football this weekend (Go Seahawks!) I saw all these sideline photographers with lenses that ventured on competeing with the CN Tower based on length! They are HUGE!
    What I'm wondering about is where does a guy get one of those lenses and how much do one of those puppies cost?
    It would be awesome being a sideline photographer. Anyone here ever done that? What kind of lenses are they using.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Here are some good 'side line' lenses...and prices in CDN (The Camera Store)

    Canon EF 600MM F4L IS USM $9,519.95
    Canon EF 500mm F4L IS USM $6,799.95
    Canon EF 400mm F2.8L IS U.S.M $8,579.95
    Canon EF 300mm F2.8L IS USM $4,969.95

    Canon EF Extender 1.4X II $389.95
    Canon Extender EF 2x II $419.95

    It's my guess that most of those side line photographers aren't using their own lenses, unless they are freelance. The lenses are probably property of what ever newspaper or publication that the photographer works for...although I could be mistaken.
     
  3. loves_guitar

    loves_guitar TPF Noob!

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    So they are all prime lenses?
    $10,000 on one lens. WOW!

    On a side note, from a fellow Canadian, is The Camera Store a good online place for the Canadian photographer, or would you still use B&H Photo for online stuff? Basically a lot of words to say, is there a good Canadian photography webstore that you use?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've been contemplating all different options for purchasing equipment lately. The best prices are usually B&H and Adorama...especially with the CDN dollar doing so well lately. However, with shipping and brokerage...the savings are not that great. Then you have to take into account the manufacturer's warranty. If you buy from the US...then your gear is not covered fro service by Canon/Nikon etc. in Canada. Although, I think B&H and Adorama have warranties of their own.

    In Edmonton, there is really only one major camera store...McBain Camera. Their prices are pretty high...but they will price match anything that is in a store in Canada. So what most people in Edmonton do...is to find the best price in Canada...then get McBain to match that price.

    Calgary has quite a few big camera stores. The Camera Store, Vistek, Robinson's.

    Out East, there is Henry's...but I don't' think their prices are all that great. Also from Ontario is the internet only store Camera Canada which does seem to have OK prices.

    I'm sure you know the local Vancouver stores better than I do. There were a couple on Robson...mostly used stuff. And I remember seeing one in Metro mall I think, looked like a small outlet of a bigger chain store :scratch:

    London Drugs usually has a pretty good photo section.

    For me, I think it's best to buy locally. There is no shipping and McBain will match Canadian prices. Alberta does not have PST, so that's not an issue. You could save PST by buying from Alberta/Ontario...but then you have to pay shipping. Some item are still a lot cheaper in the US...and for those...it is probably better to order them. I prefer to receive items that are shipped with the US Postal Service. Or if shipping UPS or FedEx...use their air service. If you get anything UPS/FedEx ground...you will get stuck with extra brokerage fees. If you order from Canada or the US...you will still get stuck paying the GST.

    So to sum up...I like to buy local (with price match)...but I will check to see if I can get it a lot cheaper from B&H/Adorama (figure in the shipping). If the difference is less than $20 to $50...I'll get it locally anyway.
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just remember you gotta start somewhere try to get a freelance job with one of your local papers. I know around me there are many different high schools and several weekly newspapers so as long as you have the equipment and a book to show them it is possible to start there. I was sent to a Steeler game for a weekly newspaper I worked for at the time (many years ago before digital) I rented a 300mm f4 I was looking for the length but instantly realized f4 was not enough also all the "sideline" guys there really looked down on me with my lens not that that really matters but realize what you are getting into. I think the best place for you to start for you would be a the Nikor 70-200 2.8vr lens very sharp very fast and I would recommend going out and shooting as many high school/college sports events that you can. Ask around you may know someone who can get you a field pass (a necessity for most larger high school games) and shoot shoot shoot. If you want to become a pro "sideline shooter" you really need to get alot of experience just don't be afraid to start small (events not equipment).
     
  6. loves_guitar

    loves_guitar TPF Noob!

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    I would love to do sporting events! Anyone else have done or are doing this that can give an asipiring sideline photographer some advice?
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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  8. loves_guitar

    loves_guitar TPF Noob!

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    I just threw up in my mouth. $90k?
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I found an image of my old sideline lens. I don't own it any longer. I made this image of it to sell it on Ebay about 7 years. It is an ED Nikkor AF 500mm F4. The thing that looks like a bucket next to it is the lens hood. Yes, the suitcase was part of the system. It made really sharp images wide open at f4 if you picked windless days and could carry around a heavy enough tripod to keep it steady. Not a really practical lens but it was there when needed.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think the main issue is to be prepared to shoot quite a lot because, since you are shooting action, you simply can't always tell when to shoot to catch things as you intend. I always tried to anticipate the peak of action so that I could be ready for it.

    I posted a shot of my old 500 Nikkor above. The shot below of the baseball pitcher was made with a 300mm f 2.8 lens from right next to the dugout. The lens was mounted on a monopod. I made at least 8 exposures in order to catch the pitcher in this manner. He has finished the windup, he has stretched and cocked his arm to pitch but hasn't released the ball. In this position the pitcher is almost motionless. That's what you want to try to capture if you can. Quarterbacks do the same thing when they go to pass a football and receivers do it as they leap to make a catch. You can usually see the point coming.

    Other than that, it is just regular old photography but with long lenses that are hard to control, point and expose properly with high shutter speeds.

    [​IMG]
     

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