Fun at the Old Ballpark with the Nikon D850

May 07, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

One of the reasons I purchased the Nikon D850 camera is for its versatility. So far, I have mostly used the D850 for architecture and landscapes. But, I also like to shoot other subjects--like sports, The D850 exceeded my expectations yesterday when I attended the Ohio State Buckeyes versus the Fighting Illini baseball game.

Here are a dozen from the day:

1- I used the pregame warmups to practice my photography and dial in the settings. I haven't photographed baseball in a couple of years. The players don't wear their official uniforms until game time, though.

Fighting Illini baseballFighting Illini baseballFighting Illini vs. Ohio State baseball game at Illinois Field at 1605 S Wright Street on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois on May 6, 2018


2- One thing is evident about college baseball (at least at the Illini games)--the players are having the time of their lives! It's obvious that everyone is having a great time. And that carries over into the stands. Cheap concessions and free admission add to the fun!
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3- One of my first tasks was to get the obligatory "bat on ball" shot out of the way.
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4- When I attached the 500mm lens to the D850, it made me feel like I was right in the middle of the action.
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5- Can you see what happened here? Answer at the very bottom of this post.
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6- This player put on his "rally glasses" in the top of the second inning. I guess it worked. Ohio State scored 5 runs that inning.
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7- To shoot through the netting behind the plate, I removed the lens hood and placed the lens directly up against the net. Set the aperture to wide open and shoot away. Finally, just hope that a foul ball doesn't slam into the lens!
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8- The home plate umpire called a nice game. I'm not sure that he's ever seen a 500mm lens pointed at him before, though!
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9- The centerfield fence is 400 feet from home plate...plenty of distance to create nice, soft backgrounds.
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10
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11
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12- The Ohio State pitcher put a little extra into this pitch.
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So, here's what happened in #5. The batter tipped the pitch. It slammed into the catcher's face mask (knocking the mask away from his face). The ball then bounced back toward the hitter.

Granted, I haven't shot with a Nikon D5, yet. And, I'm not claiming that the D850 is as good as the D5 for sports. But, the auto-focus was snappy...I had very few photographs that weren't sharp. The high resolution files generate some stunning detail. The camera produced nice image quality even from the higher ISO settings that I sometimes had to use. It was an overcast day and rained a few times during the game. Overall, I was impressed with the performance of the D850. Now, I want to shoot more baseball!


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