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Recommendations for shooting at an indoor arena with lens length limit

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by m0nsieur2, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. m0nsieur2

    m0nsieur2 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 8, 2012
    I'm planning on going to the Cowboy Stadium in Dallas and looking for a decent AF or MF lens to use. I'm looking at the Panasonic 45-200mm or a legacy Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4. The problem is that they specify on their website the following limitations for cameras allowed in their stadium:

    Compact cameras (still only) are permitted inside Cowboys Stadium as long as their use does not interfere with the game or other guests’ enjoyment of the game. Video cameras, tripods, monopods and cameras with a lens longer than 3" (detachable or non-detachable) are prohibited.

    Has anyone had problems getting into a game with zoom lenses? How strictly do they enforce these regulations? I have a generic 70-200mm legacy lens that measures about 5-6in in length, so I assume the Vivitar is a similar in length. Can anyone suggest a lens that might do the job (compact lens with decent focal length). Here are some old photos to give you an idea of the lighting conditions I experienced before.

    I tried taking some pictures there a couple years ago with an old point and shoot (Canon PowerShot G5). The pictures weren't wonderful, the autofocus was painfully slow, and they had pretty noticeable chromatic aberration in some situations. I have been using a Panasonic G2 now, and hope to take some better pictures this time around at the Cotton Bowl. I anticipate sitting in roughly the same section behind the SEC side, 1st deck. I'll attach a few ok pictures I took (some of the better ones with this ol' camera), just for a comparison of the focal length and shutter speeds I was using last time.

    These were taken at 110-140mm equivalents of 35mm full frame images. In u43 this would be 55-70mm. I only have a 14-45mm Panasonic, and legacy Olympus 50mm 1.8 I would consider using. I think by bumping up the ISO on my G2 I could get images of roughly the same exposure as I did on my Canon G5. I assume there would be a shallower DOF and more bokeh given the longer focal length of these lenses. Also, the EXIF data on this pictures did not contain ISO information. It shoots at 50, 100, 200, and 400 so I'm guessing these are 100 or 200 since 400 is very grainy for this camera.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/160s, f/3.0, 29mm (~140mm@35mm FF eq), iso 200?
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/200s, f/2.8, 23mm (~110mm@35mm FF eq), iso 200?
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/160s, f/3.5, 29mm (~140mm@35mm FF eq), iso 200?

    As you can see I will be sitting parallel to the direction of action, and I figure a u43 lens of 75 to 150mm should be ok. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm hoping to get at least get a good photo of Johnny Football.
  2. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    If I'm not mistaken, the 45-175 X is 90mm long, which is 3.54" long.

    That and the 2x digital teleconverter (if your Panny has one) would get you extremely close.

    Failing that, your 50/1.8 legacy lens with focus set in advance with a 2x digital teleconverter if you really must gets you equiv of 100 or 200mm in 35mm world...
  3. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    By the way, I have an old Vivitar OM 2x teleconverter if you want it, for merely the cost of shipping!
  4. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Nice seats. Don't need that much zoom if that's where you sit.

    Have you tried your generic 70-210? You probably found it's not good for sports by today's standards. Heavy. Requires prefocus. Takes away from enjoyment of the game. The Series 1 is all of that in spite of its reputation for being sharp. I don't recommend anyone paying much more than $25 for one.

    Best bet is one of the smaller M43 zooms. Pick it up. Zoom it out. Whir, click. You're done. No one in charge will notice, and if they do, hopefully they won't be interested in hassling a fan with a smallish camera.
  5. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    The brand-new Panasonic 45-150mm zoom should do the trick. Dimensions are approximately 2.44 inches wide by x 2.87 inches long. Plus it has lens-based image stabilization for use on a Panasonic body. Price, brand new at B&H, is $299:

    Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 45-150mm f/4.0-5.6 ASPH Lens -
  6. m0nsieur2

    m0nsieur2 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 8, 2012
    Thanks for all the responses

    My Olympus 50mm f/1.8 is already about 3in in length including the u43 adapter. I think the 2x adds another 1.1in, but this is an interesting option. Thanks for the suggestion.

    My 70-200mm f/4.0 is a heavy beast. I tried taking some pictures with it at a rodeo and it was very difficult. Probably only 2/25 images were sharp, due to lack of light, and the fact that we were sitting/standing on metal benches that would shift when people move. Having giddy people shouting, clapping, and jumping up and down next to me on the bench did not help at all. I also cannot stop this lens down because the aperture ring seems to do nothing, and even after taking it apart I haven't found any blades in it. Maybe someone took them out already. I think that stopping it down a bit would make it a little easier to focus, but it's impossible. Bottom line: now that you remind me of this experience I would probably be miserably frustrated if I tried to shoot with this lens, I would miss the game, and it might even get confiscated since it is too long.

    Yes I think this is the way to go. I wish the 45-200mm was under 3" like this one since it is cheaper and a little longer.

    I'll have to pick one up and take some practice shots between now and then so I'll be ready!
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