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08-01-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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Suggestions for shooting major league baseball

Thinking of taking in a Toronto Blue Jays game against Tampa Bay next week.

I suspect my 300 or 400mm will be ideal depending on where I end up sitting.

Looking for suggestion on where to sit. I'm thinking along the 1st or 3rd base lines.

Anything I need to be aware of in advance. Any tips or suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-01-2010 at 08:02 PM. Reason: typo
08-01-2010, 08:40 PM   #2
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The last time I was at a Jays game (2 years ago?) they had a wicket that any bags had to be able to fit through, just like at the airport. My camera bag was also opened and inspected.

I wasn't expecting to be at the game so I didn't have anything longer than a 135mm that was way too short for the upper deck. I can't recall if there was a limit on maximum allowed lens length, and I don't see any mention of a limit on the Rogers Centre website. Seeing as I was at a night game something in the 400mm f/2.8 range would have been a whole lot more appropriate.
08-01-2010, 08:52 PM   #3
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You definitely want to check up front whether they have size restrictions on lenses.

As for where to sit: not behind the backstop. Not too high (although of course lower seats cost more), not too far down the line (same issue). As for which line, give some thought to who the pitchers are likely to be, also who some of the hitters you are most interested in, and whether they are lefties or righties.

Different parts of the field are different distances of course. I don't know if you're really thinking about 300mm or 400mm *primes*, but if so, be aware they'll be great for some shots, too short for others (although you can always crop) - but too *long* for others unless your seats are really bad.
08-01-2010, 09:38 PM   #4
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I got a few keepers with my micro 4/3 and sigma k mount 400mm f5.6 (800 equiv focal length, iso 400-800 either wide open or f6.3, at least 1/200 propped on knees since gf1 didn't have SR) at a twins game from the first baseline outfield (12th row) - with that focal length I was capturing the pitcher head to toe plus the mound. I can post some tomorrow for reference is you are interested! BTW go jays! (markhamite long removed to Minnesota!)

08-02-2010, 05:39 AM   #5
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I think you'll get much more interesting photos of the fans. Going to a ball game is a real experience, with tons of great "stories" to photograph.

Of course, I root for the Yankees, a real baseball team with real fans.

I don't know what it's like at a Blue Jays game.

HAH!!!!!
08-02-2010, 08:11 AM   #6
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My only recent experience with a big league baseball was at Fenway Park a couple of years ago. I used a Sigma 70-300 from the lower right field bleachers with most of the shots keepers. They checked out my camera bag going in but no problems. There were signs all over about no video cameras. I don't know what the policy is now that most newer DSLR's and super zoom P&S cameras shoot HD video. Be aware that ticket prices for the infield sidelines can be pricey. At Fenway, that's as much as a new telephoto lens pricey. I don't know how Toronto's seats are priced. It's cheaper for Red Sox and Yankee fans to see their team play in Baltimore. You can travel to Baltimore and spend the night in the Inner Harbor, go to the game, have dinner and travel home all for less than good seats at Yankee Stadium or Fenway.
08-06-2010, 04:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions guys.

A lot to consider here. Hey Ira, glad you have a real team in New York with “real fans.’ A-Rod made them wait long enough for number 600 didn't he? Seems to me Jose Bautista isn’t having any trouble hitting them out of the park.

I don’t go to many ball games so when I do I like a decent seat close to the action. I’ve got some Field level seats for the Tampa Bay game this Sunday. Tampa is only 1/2 game back of the Yankees as I write and the Jays are playing well at the moment. Hopefully it will be a good game.

Good suggestions Marc. I don’t have any long zoom lenses so my choices are the K 200/2.5, K 300/4 and the M 400/5.6. One of these should do the trick. They are all manual focus of course but with baseball you know ahead of time where the action is going to take place. I’ll just prefocus and meter in advance. At this point in time, given seat location and a weather forecast which indicates the dome might be closed, I’m leaning towards the K 200/2.5. Just might need that extra speed. Oh, bye-the-way Ira, do the Yankees have a dome?

I spoke to someone in the Jay,s ticket office and there was no mention made about restrictions on lens size. In addition to annoying others my only other concern about taking the camera to the game is missing the game as I’m concentrating of taking pictures. In any case it should be fun.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-06-2010 at 04:25 AM. Reason: typo
08-06-2010, 05:16 AM   #8
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tom

My first trip with a camera to a Jays game was the 1985 LCS with the KC royals.

I took my KX (film for those who confuse KX with K-x) and a Vivitar MC 400mm F5.6

I shot from the old grandstand at CNE stadium more than 400 feet from home plate, and had shots where the individual players were pretty small but recognizable on film.

Therefore if you want to have general action shots, a 400 is not a bad option (I believe you have one of those in you bag of K mounts)

In the Skydome (I still call it that) you can get closer, at a low cost.

I find the second deck on the left field foul pole is typically $24-$26 on game day, and you have a good view at 325 feet from the plate, and can usually get seats in the first row on the railing. This is key because you are above the field level seats, and in the first row, there are no fans in front. Using my favourite formula

Image size = subject size * FL / Distance

a 6 foot person at home plate will be 8 mm high on your sensor or roughly half the frame.

Clearly moving in helps, but unlesss you are looking for facial expressions and tight crops, you want the image to be at most 16 m high (person standing) hence no closer than about 50 meters or 160 feet. The first or third base lines will be a little close for a 400mm in this case.

The best solution would be if you can be somewhere on the second level, first row, with pre-ordered seats and then pick your lens, 200, 300 or 400 depending on how far away (down the foul line) you are

Remember the dimensions.

the foul pole in toronto is 325 feet from home plate, the bases are 90 feet apart, and there is about 50 feet of field between the stands and first / third base.

Depending on seats any of your birding lenses would do and I know you don't have an issue with MF

08-06-2010, 05:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I spoke to someone in the Jay,s ticket office and there was no mention made about restrictions on lens size. In addition to annoying others my only other concern about taking the camera to the game is missing the game as Iím concentrating of taking pictures. In any case it should be fun.

Tom G
Tom I regularly take my sigma 70-200F2.8 and a 2x TC there is never any question except if you take a back pack they will want to inspect inside it.

Have not been this year which is unusual, but since they traded away the "Doc" my son has lost interest. Yes jays are winning at the moment, but with Boston, tampa and the yankees in front of them, unless they spend serious money they will not be in the playoffs any time soon.

The best the jays can hope for is to be a royal pain in the &$$ for the teams ahead.
08-06-2010, 07:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Tom I regularly take my sigma 70-200F2.8 and a 2x TC there is never any question except if you take a back pack they will want to inspect inside it.

Have not been this year which is unusual, but since they traded away the "Doc" my son has lost interest. Yes jays are winning at the moment, but with Boston, tampa and the yankees in front of them, unless they spend serious money they will not be in the playoffs any time soon.

The best the jays can hope for is to be a royal pain in the &$$ for the teams ahead.
Thanks for the tips Lowell,

I'm going to be on field level, 3rd base side, about 20 rows up on the aisle. Should be some good sight lines.

I haven't been to a game in about 4 years. As you say the Jays have no chance this year but I think they have turned a corner. The Jays have lot's of good young talent in the lineup. Sadly, when the other guys have a payroll a hundred million dollars higher than yours your chances are slim at best if you want to make the playoffs.

I have a lot more hope for them than I do for the Leafs.



Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-06-2010 at 10:09 AM. Reason: typo
08-06-2010, 08:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I have a lot more hope for them than I do for the Leafs.

Tom G
I was 10 the last time the leafs won the cup.

After that I believed they would hopefully win before the turn of the centuary, now, after the milenium, I am not so sure.
08-06-2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I was 10 the last time the leafs won the cup.

After that I believed they would hopefully win before the turn of the centuary, now, after the milenium, I am not so sure.

Maybe next century Lowell.

Tom G
08-06-2010, 10:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
A-Rod made them wait long enough for number 600 didn't he?

Tom G
I can't stand A-Rod. And as a Yankees fan, I have to admit Tampa looks unbeatable.
08-06-2010, 11:09 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I was 10 the last time the leafs won the cup.

After that I believed they would hopefully win before the turn of the centuary, now, after the milenium, I am not so sure.
I think the bigger question is will a team from Canada ever win the cup again. It's been 18 years. And thats only if you consider Montreal part of Canada.
08-06-2010, 11:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I think the bigger question is will a team from Canada ever win the cup again. It's been 18 years. And thats only if you consider Montreal part of Canada.
Sad but true.

On the other hand we won the hockey Olympic Gold this year.

Tom G
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