Let the Games Begin: WC Athletics in Daegu, Korea

Posted on Aug 27, 2011 in 1D mrk IV, 1Dmrk4, 400mm, 800mm, Canon, Equipment, Photography, Sports | One Comment

Well, I hope my being a total idiot for the past couple of days has finally reached the end and I can more or less concentrate on work over here. I mean, how much can one person mess up: lost passport, frozen computer, unpaid accommodation, 25 kg of hand luggage (funny they should react to that… :-)), lost iPhone… Then again: look at the bright side: I DID get a new passport, I DID have a room waiting, now computers work flawlessly, and I even found the iPhone I lost in the MPC…

But: to Korea. First day has been very slow for Finland: Sandra Eriksson was the last in her heat in the 3000m steeplechase and Jere Bergius did not qualify for the pole vault. However, Olli-Pekka Karjalainen did a very decent job and he is throwing in the final on monday.

Arrangements for photographers are pretty good: we get to go behind the advertising boards (but we have to / should remain seated as not to obstruct the view for spectators). Field access is by application only ( 24 hours in advance) except for the major agencies: AP, APF, Reuters, Getty… and some major papers such as l’Equipe and Sports Illustrated. I.e. the usual deal.

I’ve noticed that majority of people do not realize that 99% of pictures are shot from outside the field of play, but that’s how it is. Thus the need for 400, 600 or 800mm lenses.

I got to test the new 400 2.8L  (third gen. model) tonight…. and boy, I am sold. I have always regarded the Canon 400mm as the best lens I’ve ever had (I’ve had three of them), and the new model is – if possible – even better. And lighter – much lighter i.e. about 1.5k less than the previous model. I shot the hammer qualifying and Usain Bolt (100m, first round) with that – with and without the 1.4x (mk3) – as well as using  the 800mm 5.6L. Both on 1D Mrk4’s. I’ve raved about the 800mm earlier – e.g. in Alpine World Championships this year I used it quite a lot, but it simply is a beautiful lens. I got my own couple of days prior to coming here – and it being a very serious investment I thought about it for a looooong time – but I presently I feel it was worth it.

The new 400mm performs beautifully – well, with that price tag (12.900 USD)  it’d better… but especially with the extender it just blew me away. So clean, so crisp… so beautiful, simply. But; as this is not a “real” lens test per se (for I’d have to show you 100% magnifications and comparisons to the older models for this to qualify as a serious test), but more like just field experiences from real life – so  enough of my babbling and let’s just see some images.

Finnish Jere Bergius in polevault (400mm 2.8L mk2)

Kai Phaffenbach (of Reuters) doing “art” with the new 8-15mm/ 4.0L Canon. I had the opportunity to test the same lens earlier this week in Helsinki, but I have not had the time to look at the images yet. What is interesting with this lens (well, if you are into VR, that is….) is the fact that the nodal does not change when you zoom in our out (at least I think so, but my testing was not totally idiotproof… and considering the idiot I’ve been lately… ;-)). But basically, when you got your NN MK3 or whatever head you are using calibrated, you are set. No need to adjust the z-coordinate, just the stops/clicks according to FOV of the focal length chosen.

Olli-Pekka Karjalainen of Finland qualifying in the hammer. No, this is not HDR, nor heavy photoshop. This is 800mm 5.6L fully open thru the double net of the hammer cage.

A happy man: Olli-Pekka Karjalainen after qualifying. 400mm 2.8L (mk3) wide open.

Maybe my favorite image of the day: Usain Bolt is totally amazing during the first round of 100m. Canon 400mm 2.8L (mk3) with the 1.4x (mk3); handheld and panned 1600th and f. 4.0 (i.e. wide open)

1 Comment

  1. Bjorn Paree
    September 20, 2011

    Sorry , was a crazy time here so I am late with reading my favourite blogs. What a great one to read. Fantastisch pictures and… if I win a million dollars I will buy that 400mm lens :-)

    Reply

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