Dec.  09



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 SAC Dons vs LB 1




Offense #6 - Almost a Touchdown


Ah yes, the dreaded night football game played under high school quality stadium lighting that doesn't appear to have been maintained very well, probably because of budget cut backs.  Just looking at the lighting banks, besides the bulbs that are burnt out, the rest are slightly different colors due to their age or technology type. 


However, newer full frame DSLR's actually present a solution to the light problem.  The ISO on the FX DSLR used above was set at 25,600.  There is no way film could keep up with the modern FX sensor.  Of course, if you're going to jack up the ISO, also shoot as wide open as possible.  The lens used is a Sigma 120-300 F2.8 zoom but the actual F-stop used was 3.3.  I like to stop down a little although, with this lens, it is not necessary.


The camera body and lens is quite heavy and does not contain any type of optical stabilization.  For me, even a monopod is slightly unstable.  I went to a hunting store and purchased a 5 foot tall bipod for a rifle.  I mounted it to a Novoflex panorama base and Stroboframe quick release for quick attachment and removal.  The bipod looks a little funky but works great. I could not find one for sale designed specifically for photography.  A monopod is a little wobbly on 2 axis whereas the bipod limits movement to only one axis.  The Novoflex panorama base allows for full 360 degrees rotation.


One of the advantages of shooting lesser attended Junior College football games is that there is space on the sidelines to maneuver.  A lens with a maximum focal length of 300 mm is a little limiting, especially on a full frame camera.  Expect to walk/run the length of the football field many times.


The image was captured on a full frame DSLR with Sigma 120-300 F2.8 zoom lens at F3.3 on a home made bipod.