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06-23-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
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Night baseball

Generally speaking, is f/4.5 fast enough for night baseball?

I have a FA*300 that I want to try out at a minor league game, and I'm trying to decide between a day or night game. I'd be able to get better seats at a night game, and it fits into my schedule better. There are lights, of course, but it is a low-level minor league stadium.

06-23-2014, 04:06 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by DennisH Quote
Generally speaking, is f/4.5 fast enough for night baseball?

I have a FA*300 that I want to try out at a minor league game, and I'm trying to decide between a day or night game. I'd be able to get better seats at a night game, and it fits into my schedule better. There are lights, of course, but it is a low-level minor league stadium.
It may be, but make sure they will let you bring that long of a lens in, many stadiums have mm limits. Although I would think a minor league team would welcome any publicity.
06-23-2014, 07:45 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Please tell me your team hasn't embarrassed itself by adopting one of those vulgar-beyond-words, perversely contrived, so-cute-you-want-to-smack-the-mascot, idiot-baiting contemporary knicknames! ...O.K., I admit it, I would still be showing eight inches of stirrup out there on the diamond myself; but give us old schoolers a break anyway.

I used to go to about 32-35 AA Eastern League games a summer, anywhere I could catch one, but mostly at Beehive Field in New Britain, CT. Beehive was... quaint, let's say. It appeared to be lit by gaslight: you might have had some concern about the great grandson of Jack the Ripper waiting for you in the shadows if you were a lady of ill repute and, of course, a Red Sox fan. This was the early '90's, so those would have been the Curse of the Bambino Red Sox -- you knew it wasn't going to end well. Anyway, for Beehive, I would have had to recommend bringing a flatbed truck loaded with arc lights, along with your 300mm. This might have had something to do with the circa .237 team batting averages...

But Red Sox nation, Southern New England chapter, soon had to endure yet another ignominious circumstance -- a new team affiliation with the Minnesota frikkin' Twins (say, what?) and a name change to... the New Britain Rock Cats. Yech! They would have better been rechristened the Stanley Tools! *

But I was really returning to my roots as an ages 2-9 Indians fan (but from then, it was the Pittsburgh Pirates and the rising-to-dominate National League; I did know my baseball all right... and had that gift of Rawlings six-fingered glove, grass stained cowhide, and sweet smelling southern hard ash kind of prescience, even at that tender age). But, yeah, I saw it coming, the better times, after decades of Cleveland jokes, on and off the field: There was also The Curse of Rocky Colavito (traded in late '59 for -- oh, I can hardly bear to even say it -- Harvey Kuenn!). The Tribe finished second in '59, ahead of the hated Yankees... you know the rest.

So, yes, I have the balls to prove it... signed ones, that is, with the names of all those up-'n'-comers and veterans on rehab who became the heroes of the great Indians resurgence in the mid to late '90's -- including, yes, Manny "Just Being Manny" Ramirez. No dreadlocks then, but when a guy born and bred in New York speaks vaguely in the direction of a mic only through an interpreter, you could kinda see it coming...

So the Canton Indians eventually became the Akron Aeros [Ha, ha, the spell checker just changed that to the Akron Zeros! Hmm, speaking of Turing machines...]. O.K., a "meh" kind of name there, and pretty meaningless, unless you associate blimps with "aeros". I don't. But here's what got me off on this reminiscence/micro-rant: I just saw a few days ago that the Aeros, at some point, had undergone yet another name change... to the Akron RubberDucks.

Just shoot me now. -- Fred


P.S. - * Maybe that reference is a bit obscure outside of CT: New Britain is also known (proudly, it seems) as 'Hardware City'... on account of local enterprise, you know who.

Last edited by Kayaker-J; 06-23-2014 at 10:43 PM.
06-23-2014, 08:05 PM   #4
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What level minors are you talking about? How modern is the stadium's lighting system? Most minor league parks have not-so-good lighting, unless games are being televised regularly or the stadium is fairly new or refurbed.
Your goal is to freeze action, and for baseball you'll need a minimum shutter speed of about 1/250, preferably faster at 300mm. Jack up the ISO and see how it works. 12,800 on a K-3 may just do the trick. A monopod may help.

M

06-23-2014, 08:25 PM   #5
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This is unafiliated independent league, old stadium, but fairly well lighted, if I remember correctly. I've only been once since we moved here.

Bridgeport Bluefish, baby!
06-23-2014, 08:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DennisH Quote
This is unafiliated independent league
Those are the best. I remember the Utica Blue Sox from my youth. You should ask them ahead of time if you can shoot from a photographer's box at field level. Tell them you will post the shots on a national site--this one. I'd bring along an f2.8 or faster lens if you have one that's on the longer side.

M
06-23-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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Bluefish and Blue Sox: Yes! I can get down with those names just fine; especially since I was, at age 9, an erstwhile & sometimes right fielder for the fightin' Edgefield Blues, scrubs of the cut-by-the-Mighty-Mites caste. I suppose these days they also have scrubettes. While right field was the lowest of the low among positions in that sports circle, I did get better pretty fast with double digit age and soon was attempting to imitate my (at least by some long stretch) emulatable hero, Bill Mazeroski, as an ace -- or, enthusiastically grass stained -- gloveman at the keystone corner. Roberto Clemente was too godlike to think of emulating... but I did copy the batting stance and dig-in mannerisms for awhile!

Yep, Bluefish is a better name than say, the Bridgeport Cement Overshoes -- I'd heard, when I worked in CT, there were one or two gangsters of the Italian/Sicilian persuasion down your way... coulda just been loose talk... But there was this girl, Angela (Italian last name rhyming with "curvey"), who had a few very PERSONAL stories... It was a short romance!

Anyway, please show us your best pictures from the game. You might just inspire me to consider that FA* 300mm.
06-24-2014, 03:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DennisH Quote
This is unafiliated independent league, old stadium, but fairly well lighted, if I remember correctly. I've only been once since we moved here.

Bridgeport Bluefish, baby!
I just checked out the Bluefish website, which is pretty nice and very colorful. The league has a satisfyingly crisp, old school logo, and the Bluefish uniforms are clean and snappy. There's quite a mix of personal stories, players' ages, and career trajectories (not necessarily all that linear, one way or the other... and around and about, too, I expect) there in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs. Some recognizable names from the majors, regrouping and rehabbing/restructuring their game... And also Blue Crabs (continuing on with a theme) from Southern Maryland -- players by team membership, not a concession stand delicacy, I guess.

Well, it all looks like fun. There's a gallery on the website, just waiting for a few of your better shots with the FA* 300, DennisH. Catch a few good ones on a regular basis, and you could become a favorite of the local 'finatics', I bet. It might even get you free tickets and a free beer now and again. Good luck with the night action photo shoots. -- F.

06-24-2014, 07:20 AM   #9
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I looked a little closer at their website, and they have a policy that prohibits " professional camera equipment." Of course, that doesn't mean anything, so I emailed for clarification. I don't expect an answer, so I'll probably just show up and see how it goes. I have to go to the day game, as I just clarified my schedule, so at least lighting won't be an issue.
06-24-2014, 07:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DennisH Quote
I looked a little closer at their website, and they have a policy that prohibits " professional camera equipment." Of course, that doesn't mean anything, so I emailed for clarification. I don't expect an answer, so I'll probably just show up and see how it goes. I have to go to the day game, as I just clarified my schedule, so at least lighting won't be an issue.
According to the websites you equipment is "advanced enthusiast", just tell them if it's not Nikon or Canon, it's not professional. You have to make these things work for you.
06-24-2014, 08:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
According to the websites you equipment is "advanced enthusiast", just tell them if it's not Nikon or Canon, it's not professional. You have to make these things work for you.
Ha, ha... now that's taking our sad, second tier shame, normhead, and following the old adage: "When life deals you a lemon... make lemonade"! Chuckle, chuckle...

DennisH could also explain L.B.A. to them... and ask for pity!
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