Wednesday, July 3, 2013

White Hot Glass

This past Sunday I attended and shot the FC Tucson soccer game. The opponent was second placed Ventura County from California. This would be the second time Tucson played them in the space of 3 days, having also played Friday night. While Friday night's 2-0 win was a good balanced display of attacking and defense, Sunday's game was quite different. Tucson took a lot of time to get into their stride and didn't break the deadlock until late in the second half. Tucson lost their cool at the end of the game with players arguing with each other. Ultimately this would lead to a lapse in concentration, allowing Ventura to equalize in the last minute of added stoppage time (which should have been over, except the ref continued play). A win that turned into a tough to take draw against a good opponent. While all the action was happening on the field I could help but be excited because of what lenses I was shooting the game with. Before kick off I was speaking with fellow photographer Michael Benson (His Website). After some conversation Michael asked me if I would like to use two of his lenses to shoot he game, one for each half. First up was the Canon 400mm F/4L DO IS USM super telephoto lens. Second half was shot with the Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM II. I must say I cannot begin to express how grateful I was to have the opportunity to use such nice equipment. Before I go into the performance of both lenses, I gotta say it's somewhat ironic I was able to use them. Earlier in the day I had posted a photo to both Facebook and Instagram. Talking about how I am committed to getting quality shots even with my shitty equipment. It seemed funny the opportunity would show itself having said that. As far as the performance goes, both were what you have come to expect from all of Canon's L-Series telephotos. Lighting fast autofocus, razor sharp optics, weather sealing, image stabilization, and all the other lovely bits that makes them so sought after. Shooting a soccer game with a EF full frame 400mm on an APS-C sized sensor can be challenging considering optically it's equivalent to 640mm. At that sort of range with a prime lens, framing can be very difficult. The speed of the game in midfield and final third makes tracking at that focal length a task in itself. Overall all I can say is the 400mm is an amazing lens for shooting sports and I would imagine nature/wildlife/birds is an area it also shines. With enough room, portraits and head shots will yield excellent results.  For the second half I used the 70-200mm, which again with my APS-C sized sensor, yields a field of view of 112-320mm. This is a an extremely useful range, especially with an F/2.8 aperture, and shooting directly on the side/end lines. I have used the 70-200mm non IS F/2.8 version before, during my trip to Glamis Sand Dunes last year. That is a very solid lens but this version II is that much better in alot of ways. A revised optical formula results in mind blowing sharpness across the frame at F/2.8. No bad things to say here about such a beast, only thing I can think of is obviously price and ergonomics. At anywhere between 2000-2500 it's certainly an investment. Besides price I would say weight is only other concern for some. At a little over 3 poinds hand holding for an extended period of time can become tiring on the arms, shoulders, and back. At a little over 4 pounds, the 400 was mounted to a monopod, so that was not an issue during use. After using such equipment its apparent an upgrade is needed, so im gonna work on that. It was a good game and I look forward to the next one. A big thanks again to Michael  Benson (His Website) for allowing me to use the gear. Until next time.

All photos in this post straight from camera. No post processing

All photos from first half taken with the Canon 400mm F/4L DO IS USM mounted on a Canon T2i body.

Players shaking hands before the game

Team huddle before kick off

FC Tucson get the game started

#7 Carlos Montes runs at the Ventura defense

Defensive header from Ventura to clear the ball in the first

#16 Isaac Ikyurav applys the pressure early in the first half

#5 Saheed Robinson tries to steal the ball

9 Ricardo Velazco looks for an open teammate in an attacking move

#5 Saheed Robinson challenges for the ball in the air

 #16 Isaac Ikyurav does well to hold onto the ball

Ventura goal keeper collects the a loose pass from FC Tucson

Ventura putting FC Tucson under pressure in the first half

 #12 Max Ornstill is fouled. Free kick awarded to FC Tucson

#5 Saheed Robinson holds up the ball and waits for teammates to join the attack

 #14 Dakota Collins shields the ball

Foul by FC Tucson

#14 Dakota Collins and #16 Isaac Ikyurav on the attack in the first half

#18 Dallas Jaye does well to hold onto a ball from a corner kick

#16 isaac Ikyurav dribbles the ball near the side line

#17 Edgar Reyna does well to defend a cross from the left

#16 Isaac Ikyurav helping out with defensive duties

Ventura get into a good position to fire in a shot on target

#18 Dallas Jaye does well to keep out a strong shot from Ventura

 Ball goes out of bounds. Goes to FC Tucson

Ventura clear the ball with a defesive header

#12 Max Ornstill keeps the ball from Ventura

#9 Ricardo Velazco is fouled during an attacking move

Red Card awarded to Ventura for a foul from behind

#14 Dakota Collins shields the ball

#16 Isaac Ikyurav

#9 Ricardo Velazco does well to beat his marker

All photos in the second half taken with the Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM II mounted on a Canon T2i body

#9 Ricardo Velazco takes on two defenders down the left wing

#5 Saheed Robinson checking on an opposing player

Ventura goal keeper gets ready to strike a goal kick near the Cactus Pricks

#9 Ricardo Velazco battles for the ball in the air

#23 David Clemens challenges for the ball in midfield

#9 Ricardo Velazco is fouled near the end line. Free kick awarded to FC Tucson

 #9 Ricardo Velazco gets ready to cross the ball that leads to the opening goal

#23 David Clemens does well to get to the loose ball in the box

#23 David Clemens scores his fifth goal of the season

 #23 David Clemens scores FC Tucson's only goal of the night

The Cactus Pricks celebrate the opening goal


Ventura County restart after going down 1-0

Aerial battle for the ball

Ventura County pressure the FC Tucson defense late in the game

Multiple FC Tucson players apply pressure on the ball

#25 Gabe Silveira does well to move the ball away from a sliding challenge

Midfield challenge for the ball

Ventura County getting physical late in the game. Free kick awarded to FC Tucson

Yellow card to Ventura County for pushing

Ventura County put a well placed header into the net to level the score late in the game

Ventura equalize and its 1-1 late in the game

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