Minolta 600mm f4 real life sports photography in the rain

claire · May 07, 2017 · Blog, Gear · 0 comments

Another article about my beloved 600mm f4 lens. When I take this lens to any event I could easily spend the whole event talking about this lens. It really creates gear envy with most photographers, non photographers are just impressed by the size which equates to “BIG PROFESSIONAL”. For me it is just one of the many tools. It is not the one I use the most, or the one I like to take with me. There are many drawbacks, it requires a dedicated bag, it is hard to shoot with this and have a 2nd body it always gets in the way. It is really heavy to carry around. But is has an amazing reach.

Last night I did shoot a football (or soccer game if you are from the US) I had the Sony A99II with the 70-400 and the A99 with the 600mm. I did shoot 91 keepers with the 600mm and 330 with the 70-400mm. For this reason I did put the A99 behind the 70-400. 600mm is great but almost to big for the game. As soon as players get over the middle line they get too close. When the local team was playing defense from the opposite side the 600 is fine and has some room to crop into the image. Having 2 different bodies it is always a though decision to decide which lens they will get. I usually will pick the newer body for lens that is likely to be used most. That being said today there are many cases where I will use my 2 older A99 instead of using the new A99II it is a great camera however the files are really large and the post processing work flow is slower. To protect my gear in these conditions I do use the Lenscoat Raincoat products the camouflage may look strange on the side line, I want to be able to use it for wildlife too.

I import all picture to the PC with a Lexar Workflow solution using command line Linux, I found this to be the fastest way to copy the files. I will the do my selection with Photo Mechanics and all Processing is done with Capture One 10.1 (or what ever the latest version is).

Here the example of 1 picture shot with the A99 + 600mm @ f5.6 1/800 ISO 2000, some times That is too far and to be able to crop in can be useful. This example is beyond what I would be happy to share. I include this to show how many pixels I can actually get rid of and still have a “decent” picture


2 examples of what this lens is capable of A99 + 600mm @ f4 1/400s ISO 3200, the in body stabilization works really well with this lens from 1993


Sometimes the action gets to close too fast and I don’t get a chance to change camera and the result looks like this A99 + 600mm f5.6 1/640s ISO 2000


A collection of some of the pictures from the game with the 600mm

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