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  1. #1

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    Does anyone photograph sports with their TLR?

    I had the bright idea to make the viewfinder masks for my Mamiyaflex so I could try using the 'sport finder'. Next bright idea was to try to shoot a middle school football game to test with HP5 @ 1600. I haven't developed the film yet so it may just be a mess. My technique was to prefocus just my side of the home team hash marks and stop down as far as practical - which was only f8 @ 1/30 on a 180mm. I also had a flash attached for the 2nd roll so maybe it helped.

    Is there anyone who has shot sports successfully? I'd love to see some examples as they are hard to find on flickr and such.

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I used to with a Yashica D back in the 60's, just set shutter speed and aperture, use hyperfocal distance for focus, piece of cake. Most of the yearbook staff at my high school learned this as basic photography 101, we also did candids in class rooms via this method. Also works for street shooting.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  3. #3

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    I tried but not with success. My TLR did not have interchangable lens so FL was too short for interesting shots of the field activities.

    Back in high school (a few years after Rick A) we abandon the TLR and used SLRs with zooms.

    I have since tried shooting kiddie baseball with MF SLR. Not easy either, and now use 35mm for the action and larger formats only for team individual/group portraits.

  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I spent many a Friday night running up and down side lines to stay with the action.
    Rick A
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    I spent many a Friday night running up and down side lines to stay with the action.
    I'm curious what film you used considering my meter told me -even with all the lights on - 1/30 at f5.6 ISO1600.

  6. #6

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    time

    There was a time when newspaper photogs were getting rid of their Speed Graphics and their main camera was a Rolleiflex. Plenty of them shot sports on 120 film. You have to know your limitations, but why not? Home made sports finders were very popular. I have a Yashicamat used by wire service photogs in the 1960s and 1970s and it has a folding wire frame sports finder that works great. Sounds like a fun project.

  7. #7

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    I have, with a Rolleiflex, maybe with a C330 too, but it's been a while and I don't have any the negatives.
    Pre-focusing, then following the action through the sports finder 'till it gets to that area works, as does using a hyperfocal setting.
    Unless you are very close, the focus isn't necessarily really critical.
    One advantage with the Rollei (depending on the model) is that it can focus with the sports finder set. I have a sports finder for my Hasselblad that does the same, but I've not used it very much.

  8. #8
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    The widely-acknowledged single greatest sports photograph of all time...

    Ali - Liston

    Neil Leifer, Sports Illustrated, Rolleiflex TLR w/strobe, May 25, 1965

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  9. #9

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    like many others, I too shot high school sports with a TLR in the 60s -- it is possible but, obviously, with limitations. The pre-focus, sports finder method works best, and you gotta time your shots but, yeah, you can do it.

    as to the ali-liston shot, this proves the value of "f8 and be there" as the secret to all great photography. Some really great shots used to be taken with speed graphics, even.

  10. #10

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    It seems I'm on the right track with prefocus and hope for the best. It would be interesting to try it with basketball this winter. Some Neil Leifer's shots looked pretty neat from under the board. Maybe the 65 or 80 with a potato masher and under expose the ambient by a stop. I'm starting to like this.

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