NFL – Beyond Sharp



NFL #2. Toronto. December, 2008

Panasonic G1 with 45-200mm lens
400mm equivalent. 1/15 sec f/8 @ ISO 200

As photographers we are obsessed with sharpness; shar lenses, high res sensors, and exacting technique to reduce vibration. That’s fine. I biuy into this as do almost all photographers. But sometimes it pays to break the rules.

I recently attended an NFL (National Footbal League) game for the first time. The last time I’m been to a game was in a my college days, alongtime ago. Frankly, I found it a bit of a bore. It’s been said that American style football is a game designed for television, and the pundits are right. You see so much more on TV that you can from the stands, even from good seats, which we had. Also the commentary and instant replays fill in the time between plays, making a slow game seem to move along.


NFL #1. Toronto. December, 2008

Panasonic G1 with 45-200mm lens
400mm equivalent. 1/15 sec f/8 @ ISO 200

I checked the rules before going to the stadium and found that cameras were allowed in ths stands, but no lenses longer than 6 inches in length. This made the Panasonic G1 with its 45-200mm lens (90-400mm equivalent) an ideal tool. I also wasn’t bonking the head of the person sitting in front of me with a 400mm, which I otherwise would have been.

The question now would be – how to do something different, something somewhat original. There’s no way that shooting from the stands I would be able to produce anything other than snapshots, and the light levels at theRogers Stadiumin Toronto (the dome was closed as it was mid-winter) gave a reading of 1/125 sec @ f/8 at ISO 1600. Technically this meant that any action shots I took would be noisy and not terribly sharp.

So, rather than give up, or waste the opportunity, I decided to accentuate the blur by steting the camera to ISO 100. This produced an exposure time of about 1/8 second at f/8, and this is what I used.


Bud Light -– Toronto. December, 2008

Panasonic G1 with 45-200mm lens
360mm equivalent. 1/6 sec f/7 @ ISO 100


NFL #3 – Toronto, December, 2008

Panasonic G1 with 45-200mm lens
400mm equivalent. 1/15 sec f/8 @ ISO 200