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Thread: Using the 135apo at the US Open

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Thought you might enjoy seeing the M8 and the 135apo used to shoot tennis. More shots at my website...the images are up but some need to be reworked a bit .

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    panyawong
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Roger,
    I like the shadow during service on the second picture. Very nice.
    Regards,
    Panya

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    The second shot is beautiful.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Thank you ...for the kind comments. I like the images from the high seats as well. The point of the post though is really about focusing a rangefinder on a moving athlete . If you used the 135apo on an M8 you may wonder if it can be focused on a stationary subject. The 1.4x magnifier helps and then its a lot of practice ..prefocus ,anticipate etc.

    This was actually great practice for my street work. After a few days of shooting tennis...my focusing speed and accuracy improved quite a bit. So it was a skills test as well as a lot of fun.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    +1 on the second shot. Good light and the shadow makes it.

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Congratulation Roger, I love the two shots. The first one is a perfect action shot with crisp focus wich we all know is really delicate with te 135 !!! And I love the second one for its graphic style.
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Wrong lens to use!!

    The first shot here makes that young lady look older than Billy Jean King showing all sort of wrinkles.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    I really like the second one a lot
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    I like both, but that second one is special. Is that first shot a crop?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Roger put that one in your book
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Really enjoyed the gallery on your website. Great stuff!

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Thought you might enjoy seeing the M8 and the 135apo used to shoot tennis. More shots at my website...the images are up but some need to be reworked a bit .

    I think the second one is very good and can make money via Getty (not sure if you are member though)

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Appreciate the kind comments . The close up shot is a demonstration that you can "nail the focus" using the 135apo on an M8. (Its not a good use of the M8 and I could do much better with my D3 and longer AF lenses because I could better eliminate the background clutter.) The image is pretty close to full frame about 90% as I wanted to shift the player to the right of the frame. The technique to do this requires (1)that you can spot focus to an point of the return and (2) that you can time the shot to catch the ball near the racket . The only advantage you have is that tennis movement can be predicted.

    The next set shows the requirement to frame accurately ..the second new image is 100%.

    The first new image ,from the upper deck in Arthur Ashe Stadium , was close to my first pick. Bigger image and better action..flying "pony tail" .....but sun on the face won the selection. Now if I was shooting for Sports Illustrated ( in my dreams ..right) I would have used a 400mm from the same spot. In fact the SI guys were shooting from my exact location .

    I wasn t sure that I could make the 135/m8 work in these situations but I found that with practice , the infocus hit ratio continued to improve. When I shifted to the 75/2 for the night matches the results improved again. I did this to improve my street photography capabilities .

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Roger, My earlier post wasn't negative. The lens is amazingly sharp and with your technique you demonstrated how good it really is. Fabulous shots.

    Really enjoyed.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Vivek I didn t read your comment as negative.. I was trying to stress that images selected were intended to demonstrate a capability of the M system verse a here are a few nice photos.

    The focus challenge of the stadium shot is there is nothing to focus on. You can focus on the ground and estimate how much to back off . I didn t quite nail the running forehand ..you can see the shadow is sharpest.

    Appreciate the comments .. Roger

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Appreciate the kind comments . The close up shot is a demonstration that you can "nail the focus" using the 135apo on an M8. (Its not a good use of the M8 and I could do much better with my D3 and longer AF lenses because I could better eliminate the background clutter.) The image is pretty close to full frame about 90% as I wanted to shift the player to the right of the frame. The technique to do this requires (1)that you can spot focus to an point of the return and (2) that you can time the shot to catch the ball near the racket . The only advantage you have is that tennis movement can be predicted.

    The next set shows the requirement to frame accurately ..the second new image is 100%.

    The first new image ,from the upper deck in Arthur Ashe Stadium , was close to my first pick. Bigger image and better action..flying "pony tail" .....but sun on the face won the selection. Now if I was shooting for Sports Illustrated ( in my dreams ..right) I would have used a 400mm from the same spot. In fact the SI guys were shooting from my exact location .

    I wasn t sure that I could make the 135/m8 work in these situations but I found that with practice , the infocus hit ratio continued to improve. When I shifted to the 75/2 for the night matches the results improved again. I did this to improve my street photography capabilities .
    Not only great stuff, but very inspiring. I typically opt for the Nikon and long glass when shooting sports. I've done some with the Leica, but I need to try more. BTW, the first shot here in this post is killer!!

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    The key learning ..that I hope to share with this thread ..was that you can shot "action" with an M. Frequently I speak with photographers that say " I can t focus anything longer than a 50 " . Its not easy but it can be done and it will improve your accuracy and speed at every focal length.

    I started working on this to facilitate a better travel kit. With the 135 I could have a 180FOV and avoid carrying a DSLR in addition to my M8 s . So the prize would be everything from 16 to 135 (24-180FOV) in a small Domke.

    The initial effort was a nightmare in calibration issues (and this was with 2 M8 s that were beaten into shape over a year). DAG calibrated my 135 ..three times...and told me he couldn t reliably focus it even with a special magnifier. Finally using my body we got it to focus on both his M8 and my M8.2. The images in my example we taken on my other M8.2 calibrated by Leica. It was the equipment ! but we finally resolved it.

    The second issue is being able to see well enough to focus. This requires getting the correct diopter and using the 1.4x magnifier. If the subject is stationary ..you can stack a 1.25x and a 1.4x...this is how you check calibration at near distances.

    Finally you need to work hard on technique and practice ... a lot. This is what I was so pleased with....after shooting tennis ..... capturing street action was a lot easier. Shooting a 75/2 wide open at night was easier than the 135 in daylight.

    For anyone obsessed with the issue of focus accuracy....take a look at the Leica factory video (I think its on DP review)..and see how Leica is now testing the new M9 calibration. This is the testing that was needed when the M8 was released..but it now appears to be exceptionally thorough (encouraging).

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Great shots Roger and I'll bet it was a lot more comfortable to carry that kit than the D3 and 200-400 zoom

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    I really enjoyed your photos Roger. I guess that is an added bonus from your practice.

    Mark

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    your first elena shot is nice. is it cropped or fill frame? did you sharpen at all or use any shadow-fill? just wondering. it is so hard to get these with everything dead on--looks like you did it. sorry for the dumb questions but i just can't tell with web shots--i imagine the original files are killer
    Last edited by fultonpics; 13th September 2009 at 22:50.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    The first elena shot isn t perfect ...it is a 90% of the original and was sharpened(no fill used). The 2nd elena shot is dead on (but didn t illustrate the thread as well). If you look at the shots on my website (click on the thumbnail twice to see full screen) you will be able to see the exact point of focus. A few of the 75 summicron shots are perfect.

    These are straight LR conversions using the standard preset for sharpening.

    The degree of difficulty in using the M for this type of action exceeds the benefit. Its beyond the range of focusing precision and requires anticipation as well as range focusing. But what was surprising to me was (1)that any images with the 135 would be critically sharp and (2) how much the practice would translate into better focusing skills on the shorter M lenses.

    The other subject worth mentioning is the US Open itself. This is a spectacular event with substantial shooting opportunities in itself. Maybe I know tennis too well and I can see the stories on the side courts. When I get a few minutes later I will post a few that show the impact of injuries on the junior level girls tennis.

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Roger, browsing through the gallery is a very nice experience and gives a much different feeling of the event than one normally sees from tennis shots, most likely due to your positions and use of the M.

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    thanks roger. i can't imagine using a leica m at a pro tennis event, but you have some how mastered it. just shooting back lit would be hard enough not to mention focus. your shots are great and maybe i'll see you around a tournament sometime!

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    I am late to this topic, but I, too, like the shadow photo. Nice work. DR

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    In all fairness ..you should know that the shadow picture has been done 000 s of times at the US Open. The stadium is extremely steep and the angle of the sun is at this point almost on the button 4PM on a clear day. Because of this all the real pros leave the pit area at about this time and come up to the cheap seats. The shadow picture was taken from my actual seat which I bought for this purpose.

    No other tennis stadium is of this scale so the image looks unique. One of the reasons I enjoy the US Open .

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    In all fairness ..you should know that the shadow picture has been done 000 s of times at the US Open. The stadium is extremely steep and the angle of the sun is at this point almost on the button 4PM on a clear day. Because of this all the real pros leave the pit area at about this time and come up to the cheap seats. The shadow picture was taken from my actual seat which I bought for this purpose.

    No other tennis stadium is of this scale so the image looks unique. One of the reasons I enjoy the US Open .
    Regardless, it's just flat a great shot!

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    F8 and be there its 4 52pm and the finals are on TV live...the court is now covered in a shadow. So that light lasts maybe 10-15minutes.

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Roger,
    Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your website !!

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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Thought you might enjoy seeing the M8 and the 135apo used to shoot tennis. More shots at my website...the images are up but some need to be reworked a bit .
    Roger

    Either you have gotten really better with these shots or Carolyn is filling in for you on the tough stuff.

    LOL Best Woody

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Using the 135apo at the US Open

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Roger

    Either you have gotten really better with these shots or Carolyn is filling in for you on the tough stuff.

    LOL Best Woody
    Do you know how much easier this would have been with her D90? We shot two weddings this summer and Carolyn was the 3rd photography. She had more captures than I did ? Plus she does movie clips and cranks out a DVD with her images and video in a day.

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