I finished shooting my seventh hockey game with the Nikon D500 Digital SLR camera last weekend. I am more and more impressed with each outing with the D500. The shutter speed of 10 frames per second (fps) and super fast auto-focusing system has helped me greatly in getting photos like this one:
The Nikon D500 utilizes a cropped sensor which is designated as DX. That means a lens’ focal length gets multiplied by a factor of 1.5. This is a good thing for when I photograph a field sport like football or lacrosse. For hockey, it is a mixed bag. When I shoot from above the glass, my 70-200mm lens becomes a 105-300mm one without loosing a stop of light to the sensor. The issue comes when I use this lens from the photography holes along the glass. The focal length can be a little too much.
I experimented with a DX Nikon lens last weekend which I rented from LensRentals.com. The Nikon 18-140mm DX VR lens or 27-210mm with the crop factor seemed to be the perfect focal range. The lens was not perfect as it is a variable aperture lens going from f/3.5 at 18mm to f/5.6 as it is extended to its longest focal length of 140mm. That is a full one stop slower than what I shoot the 70-200mm lens at or f/4. It makes a big difference as the images are not as bright and the ice looks a bit grey. It will add time for me in processing the images.
Shooting the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII lens from the photography holes does give me great close up shots of the players. Not much cropping was required on this photo of the Syracuse Crunch goalie in action.
Again, when shooting above the glass, the 70-200mm becomes a 105mm-300mm lens which was what I needed in Binghamton to capture the action from the Press area. I did have to crop this action photo but not a lot. The 10fps came in to play here to allow me to pick the peak action image from a set of six.
I will keep shooting with all my lenses or renting others until I find my along the glass lens. Or maybe Nikon will make an 18-140mm DX Pro version with a set aperture of f/4. I can only hope.