This past Thursday the Dodgers played a day game and future Hall of Fame pitcher Clayton Kershaw got the start.
Sparky's favorite player is Kershaw and we were originally going to go to the game Wednesday night, but when I heard that Kershaw was certain to start I changed our plans.
I'm so glad that we did.
Even though the team lost — and Sparky was upset — we got to see one of the dominant pictures of our generation. And we did it together.
I was fortunate enough in my previous life in journalism to see several world class pitchers when I covered MLB.
Randy Johnson was one of those Hall of Fame pitchers (pitching for The Arizona Diamondbacks then). And I witnessed a no hitter thrown by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jose Jimenez in 1999.
But I never got to see either of those with my son. That is what made this special.
A pitcher like Kershaw comes along so rarely that it was important to change a schedule to see him -- I think Sparky will appreciate it with time. Plus this was only his second start since being placed on the disabled list that you can't take it for granted that he's always going to be pitching. (And even though the team lost, the old Kershaw appeared to be back for the innings that he pitched.)
And while there, I wanted to make some great photographs (of course!).
Before we even went to the game upon checking the Dodgers' website I noticed that the longest lens I can bring with me to the game could not exceed 6 inches.
That means my 70-200 Master would not make it.
I had this issue once at an Angels game a couple of years ago with a 70 to 200 mm F4G OSS lens.
Even know the reach was short it had a white barrel and that meant, to the security people, that it was a professional lens. Now it’s true that it’s a professional grade lens, but when one sits in the right field bleachers with a 200 mm maximum lens...well let's just say that's not a lot of reach.
Since that time, Sony has come out with the RX 10IV and it is perfect for this type of work (among other things).
These photographs accompanying this post were made with the RX 10IV and I was elated with them.
The camera has the equivalent range of a 24mm - 600mm lens and a maximum aperture of f4 throughout the range. In addition it also has the ability to zoom in and crop 1.4X to 2X (740 and 1200mm equivalents).
Not to mention it has incredibly fast PDAF for action and it fires at 24fps! Plus, it fires silently so you can photograph at this high rate very discreetly.
This gem of a camera has become the go-to for daylight sports of my children and, in this case, photographing MLB from the seats.
How cool is it to make a really nice action photographs that really show faces and emotion while in the stands?
It would be virtually impossible to duplicate any of the long lens photos with a smart phone. I did make some wonderful photos with the phone in close and a very cool Panorama with my iPhone X, but when it comes to action, there's no way that that phone in the camera can come anywhere close to these photos. Period.
There's simply nothing like having the reach of optics, coupled with the sophisticated AF and the size of the sensor (1”). These variables make working with the RX10IV the perfect camera for this type of event.
Now it's not tiny as an iPhoneX so I won't fit in your back pocket and it's not even as tiny as the new RX100VI (That new point and shoot camera CAN fit in the back of your jeans pocket). So the RX10IV is not them but what it is is a legitimate and rather serious sports camera for the advanced amateur and the professional who wants pro-grade features in an all-in-one body. That’s what this camera can do.
As a photographer who has carried bags and cameras and lenses and monopods over the years as a sports photographer, I almost feel like I'm cheating by using this little camera.
But the proof is in the photographs — when I show my photo friends my Instagram feet that includes these photos made with this camera, they are simply astonished.
I was astonished when I first shot with it. This was such a significant upgrade in terms of focus speed and usability from the previous version, the RX10III (which does not have phase detect AF).
It took me by total surprise and I am so thrilled that Sony came up with this camera. The lens (when in the off mode) is about 3 inches long. So I had no trouble at all bringing it in to dodger Stadium. And from our seats, I think you will agree that there were some pretty cool scenes. So let's look at some of the photos.