With severely limited shooting positions and 10 days of shooting, it helps to have a secret weapon. While I have been steadily pushing my luck with where I have been shooting from, I’m not getting any lower (well-trained security at Thomas & Mack), so to get some pictures that look different, I decided to get as close as I could (shout going out to the spectator whose legroom I bogarted) and shoot with my 85mm f/1.4. Most people don’t think of this as a sports lens, and this is why sports pictures made with it will look different.
It’s not without drawbacks: shooting at 1.4 (the only way to go) offers a vanishingly thin zone of focus. Depending on how close you are to the action, we’re talking inches, not feet. And because this lens isn’t built for sports, it (either version) won’t focus very fast. So shooting fast wild action like broncs and bulls means that you have to be quick with the AF-ON button, and also totally prepared to throw away a bunch of out-of-focus pictures.
But when it works, it really works (this is also true with lenses like 105f2, 135f2, and 200f2 depending on how close you are able to get).
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