You know, I just can't walk past a mirror without taking a self portrait.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Ringside With Leica M (240)

Leica is not the camera of choice for sports photography. Manual focus, no continuous shooting to speak of (certainly not the 12 fps of my Canon 1DX), ISO challenged, slow processing, and manual aperture settings as well.
So when I shoot boxing why take it along? Aside from the 'ringside candids' how is it useful. Well for those who remember film, and going even further back the pre auto focus and even pre zoom lens days, how were sports shot then, boxing in particular. Single shots, manual film advance, manual focus, manual light level readings and aperture settings. Granted the type of results in general were not on a par with those achievable today. However there are some iconic images, Neil Leifer's Ali/Liston to name just one.
So last Saturday night I decided to try an experiment, or was it to prove a point! When I shoot with my Canons as a rule I invariably take light level readings, I use a gray card to set my white balance (custom white balance) and set my cameras to manual mode, set my aperture and shutter speed. No auto ISO, no aperture priority, no shutter priority, with the exception of AI servo and 12fps all other settings are fixed manually. and remain constant while shooting the action in the ring. So setting up my Leica would be no different - the only real challenge is the focus (especially since I like to shoot a narrow DOF) since the fighters are continually moving. At various times during the bouts I put my Canon's down, and shot with my Leica M (240) w/ 50mm Summicron - 1/500 @  f/4 (ISO 2500). Granted this is not the first time I have shot boxing with the M, but those situations were usually in the gym when the fighters were training. This was however the first time where the results mattered.

Here are some of the images, starting with a few ringside candids and then shooting the action:

Referee Jack Reiss

One of the Tecate 'RingGirls'

Fellow ringside photog Top Rank's own Mikey Williams

The ringside timer

Now for the action shots!

Focus, timing and anticipation!

The other Tecate RingGirl

End of the night, this shot in comparison was a piece of cake!

As always all images are   Copyright Peter Politanoff / RedStarImage  and may not be reproduced without explicit written consent. You are more than welcome however to link to this site.

1 comment:

Mark Berndt said...

Nice work Peter, and evidence of the fact that the photograph is in the eye of the photographer, not the gear. With the M you work slower, a little more deliberately, and capture the moments.