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09-07-2011, 06:44 AM   #16
RonHendriks1966's Avatar

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I once did golf and having DA*60-250mm is a minimum I think. One way to work around the noise is to set up with liveview since then the cameranoise is down to a minimum.

If you have a DA*300mm that would work also fine. Zooming with your feet is mostly an option on the green, since there is lots of space. Try to time and hit the shutter on the time of the strike.

09-07-2011, 07:11 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
One way to work around the noise is to set up with liveview since then the camera noise is down to a minimum.
Never thought about this, but for me I can never get it right framing an action shot with live view, I am all over the place with it. I guess the acceptance or otherwise of camera noise level does depend a lot on what sort of tournament it is. I went to some of the more high profile tournaments here, (not to photograph) and I did notice, the mere lifting of cameras by some of the spectators up to their eyes had some of the officials go spare. No noise tolerated, none! I think it was Tiger Woods ? who once confiscated a spectators cam and thrashed it. I think to stay a little further away to mitigate the noise is the way to go.

09-07-2011, 07:25 AM   #18
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18-135mm is perfect for this. You need wide angle shots of the holes, as well as tele shots of the players. Silent focus, WR, great colour and contrast, excellent flare resistance, low pf, very sharp where it needs to be.

Last edited by audiobomber; 09-07-2011 at 07:41 AM.
09-07-2011, 07:31 AM   #19
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Hi everyone,
I've been shooting photos at a Golf tournament (German Ladies Team Championship) for one team for the last 5 years.
Sometimes I stand at the tee box, sometimes I walk with the flight, some times I wait at the hole and let the flights come towards me, sometimes I stand at a strategic (elevated) spot where I can overlook several holes.

From 2008 until last year I used my K10D & 50-200mm lens. The 200mm forced me to be rather close and the K10D was very loud, so players and spectators would kill me (by looks) every now and then because they felt I was disturbing them.
The sensivity of the K10D was too low to catch fast movements on good quality pictures.
And 3 frames per second is slow for catching the nice looking parts of the very fast swing phase.

This year I took photos with my K5 and the DA 55-300. I really like that combo, and so did players and spectators because they hardly noticed that I took photos.
The 300mm allowed me to stay further away and the K5 is very quiet (mostly, see below).
The sensivity of the K5 and the DA 55-300 is enough for good photos of fast movements even on cloudy days.
IMHO 300mm is a minimum, otherwise you will be too close to players.
And the 7 frames per second of the K5 is great for catching the good poses.

Golfers can get pretty annoyed if distracted when they have to concentrate.
It can be very quiet on the course and then even the K5 sounds very loud.
That's why I mostly take photos when the players are on the downstroke (which is too late to be influenced by you and your gear). And I leave them alone when they are adressing the ball.

I never use live view. No use in sunshine. Optical viewfinder is preferred.
Automatic exposure tends to get confused, especially with brightly coloured players in front of a dark background (trees), so I mostly used manual or sometimes TAV modes.

Cheers from Berlin,


(Might post some pix later)

Last edited by jephi; 09-07-2011 at 08:51 AM. Reason: typos
09-07-2011, 09:23 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I once did golf and having DA*60-250mm is a minimum I think. One way to work around the noise is to set up with liveview since then the cameranoise is down to a minimum.

If you have a DA*300mm that would work also fine. Zooming with your feet is mostly an option on the green, since there is lots of space. Try to time and hit the shutter on the time of the strike.
Sorry Ron but got to correct that immediately in case guys go out there and try that !

I've worked with the Pros at the HSBC Champions for a number of years (and other golf events) but have only been back-up shooter at one so far (maybe this year again) ! You absolutely must time the shutter for the moment AFTER they strike the ball. If you get it wrong and drop the shutter just before or at the time of striking the ball then you'll find your media pass rescinded and be off the course pronto !! Remember at these events there are up to 50 togs (when Tiger is playing) on one hole .... and silence until the moment after he strikes the ball (or face his wrath if it's mis-timed) !

Usually for amateur events you will have two photo ops before the event starts, maybe all of the players in front of the clubhouse, or maybe individual groups on the 1st tee just prior to teeing off. For big groups you are going to need something like a 17-50. For groups on the tee then pretty much anything will do, from a touch further away if it's a 50+ or a bit closer if you are using that 17-50.

On the course you need to identify maybe 5 or 6 locations and have the shots you want in mind. Look at shots from Pro events to give you some ideas of what to shoot. Shooting from behind each player with a tele (150 - 200) when they teeing off and you can get some nice shots of them in a finishing pose ... and you won't have disturbed anyone.

Bunkers are cool, in the woods or rough etc etc. Watch your backgrounds, sometimes it's good to have spectators in shot but for dramatic artistic shots then not (and for an amateur event you are not going to have many spectators anyway). Shots of players celebrating as a putt drops ... or looks of anguish on misses ... are always good. If you lay down maybe 10 -15 yards away but parallel to the ball then shoot right after impact (practice this before you hit the course !) then you can get some cool shots of grass flying up and with the player on his way to a finishing pose. On the 18th hole the hand-shakes are good. Some shots of the service people (beer girls etc.) are always warmly received !

After the event you may have to shoot at the dinner / prize giving. Make sure you have arranged with the organisers where you are going to stand to shoot the prize-giving .. and that is your spot ! You will need a flash but with the 17-50, and close enough, even diffused on camera flash is enough for decent shots ... but only if you don't have a good P-TTL or manual flash (you need to practice this well before the prize-giving starts so you are happy with exposure and flash diffusion / strength).

BTW - let the players know you are shooting for the organisers and you'll find them far more co-operative - so long as you keep out of their immediate line of sight (in front of or behind them or too close to the side of them) ! Be very careful of that - especially on the greens when you can find inadvertently find yourself directly on their line of sight.

Lenses : For me personally a golf event needs fast zooms and maybe a long prime or for special shots a quality prime (your 77 Ltd). So a 17-50/2.8, 50-150/2.8, maybe a 300 if you are on the opposite side of the fairway or green for close-ups and an 85 or your 77 Ltd. You don't really need fast focusing lenses (so the 50-135 would be a great lens to use) because shooting golf is all about pre-focusing on where the action is going to happen (so MF is great too for golf shots).

Take at least 2, preferably 3, batteries and 3 or 4 16GB SD cards. You should have a back-up camera (if you don't have one beg, borrow or steal one .... or at worst just take a P&S because the organisers will forgive so-so shots but never no shots of important events like the prize-giving) !

Good luck !
09-08-2011, 09:37 AM   #21
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THank you all for the great advice. I ordered a Pentax 50-135 along with the Pentax 540 GFX for the indoor awards ceremony, and will bring along my FA15 and FA77. The golf club owner has asked me to take some additional shots with his Canon 5DMKII and the 50mm f1.2.. I am getting nervous!!

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