Shooting an NBA basketball game with the Leica M10 camera and Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4 lens (part 2)

This is part 2 of the previously published guest post Shooting an NBA basketball game with the Leica M10 camera and Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4 lens by Onasj (see also his previous guest posts):

I had the opportunity to shoot a second NBA game with the M10 and the 135 APO, this time the incredible game 2 of the eastern conference semifinals (Philadelphia Sixers at the Boston Celtics on May 3, 2018). I learned a great deal from my earlier attempt and also from the feedback of this forum. This time I devoted more shots to the atmosphere and environment, rather than predominantly focusing on the action.

Almost all shots were taken at 1/350s with the 135 APO; a few wider shots were taken with the 50 APO (tip: TD Garden security does not consider an M10+50 APO lens to be a “professional camera” and thus allows entry without any trouble). All focusing was done with the optical viewfinder. For shots near the rim, I tried to roughly pre-focus to the right distance and adjusted focus only as the action entered the viewfinder.

It was an amazingly fun challenge given how fast the action moves at this focal length, and much less work than it was the first time, with a substantially higher keeper rate. Overall, I was very happy with the performance of this tiny, improbable sports kit.

The full set of 28 shots is available on flickr:

Tatum hang 6

Photos from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals (Celtics vs. LeBron James and the Cavs), this time taken from “regular seats” (not on the floor) with the M10 + 135 APO.

My seat was located near mid-court this time, and I enjoyed the very different shooting perspective compared to sitting on the floor near one basket. Focusing was MUCH easier from this spot because the players were not running directly towards or away from me, and because my seat was farther from the action.

Once again, contrast, color, and sharpness of the 135 APO did not disappoint. Overall, I haven’t had this much fun shooting sporting events in memory, and the fact that the entire outfit fits into a bag smaller than a small box of Kleenex is amazing. Way more fun than lugging around a huge 70-200, an enormous 300/2.8, and a large DSLR.


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