Shooting an NBA basketball game with the Leica M10 camera and Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4 lens

Shooting an NBA basketball game with the Leica M10 camera and Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4 lens ($3,795) by Onasj (see also his previous guest post):


I had the opportunity to sit on the floor of last night’s Celtics-Raptors game. Stadium policy is no “professional” cameras (to security, this means DSLR-like), so I brought the M10 with body cap on, plus the 135 APO, and was allowed in without incident.


Rangefinder focusing when your subjects are world-class athletes moving in unpredictable ways at breakneck speeds was a challenge, of course, but also very fun. My left thumb is still sore from the experience. Being able to see so much of the frame outside the subject was a huge plus in allowing adjustment for where the action was going. I’ll also note that a major reason fans aren’t allowed to carry big cameras into most sports stadiums is that shooting with a beast camera is annoying to the people around you; shooting the M10+135 APO didn’t seem to bother people. So two big wins for the M10 vs. a more typical sports outfit.


I tried live-view (too slow), zone focusing (too difficult since I had to shoot wide open to get a reasonable balance between shutter speed and ISO), and ended up shooting 97% of the photos the old-fashioned way (RF). I frequently had to rack focus while shooting as players moved towards and away from me; after a quarter or two this technique was reliably yielding good results.


In the end, while I have little doubt I could have done better with a current-generation AF-C camera, I was pleasantly surprised with how many usable photos emerged.


Almost all photos were taken at 1/350, f/3.4, auto ISO selected 4,000-8,000. Limited post-processing (mostly cropping and some exposure adjustment).



More pictures available on Flickr.

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