The Nikon 300 mm f/4 lens I rented for covering the Nike Girls Nationals in Augusta this past weekend, was a huge disappointment for shooting indoors. The lens was horribly slow and constantly had trouble locking focus in the dimly lit gyms. Although I was using strobes, the lens needed sufficient ambient light to focus properly. Thus, I quickly returned the lens to my camera bag, where it remained the rest of the weekend. Not wanting to consider it wasted money, I decided to find an opportunity to use the lens in a friendly outdoor environment. I immediately thought of the guys who regularly play soccer every Wednesday & Friday from 11 to noon at the soccer field near the West Gwinnett Aquatic Center.
Based on the morning weather, I figured it would be cool and overcast for my outing. I was wrong on both counts. My wearing jeans and a dark colored shirt screamed heat stroke, but luckily I knew how to properly hydrate before taking the field. This I learned from several summer days on the courts of DeShong Park. I knew my limitations, and paced myself during the grueling hour shoot. The lens worked much better outdoors, but I didn’t care for the fixed length, causing me to miss shots when players were running towards me. Also, I tried not to run around too much, which meant lots of empty space in several shots. So, all in all, I don’t think I’ll be adding this lens to my equipment list. For now, I’ll stick with my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8, which tends to serve me well both indoors and outdoors.
Images from the gallery are located here.