Event Shooting With The Nikon D4
Last Sunday I took my youngest son Zachary and his friend Blake to a paintball scenario game. Normally I would join them in the trenches, going Full Metal Jacket. But, this time I paseed and decided to shoot the event as a press photographer. It's probably the closest I'll ever get to real combat. I decided to use the D4 and the Nikon 24-70mm lens. The D4 excels in its fast focusing and with its 10 frames per second shooting it doesn't miss a beat in capturing the fast paced action. I know that it is now eclispsed by the new D4S, but really, can you tell the difference between the D4's10 frames per second and and the D4S's eleven? The D4 handled the situation with aplomb. My only issue was the shoulder fatigue I experienced after the event. Spending 6 hours of running, squatting, ducking, and crawling with the camera and lens took its toll. It's a heavy kit to carry on your shoulder for that long. You have to be in some type of physical condition to execute. I think next time I might go with a prime lens, perhaps the 50mm 1.4 G lens instead of the 24-70mm. The 24-70mm is a very sharp lens, but it's also very heavy. I can use my feet to zoom in and out. The Nikon D4 took its hits, literally, and kept going. Only thing I had to do was wipe it down from all of the paint ball splattter it took. If you do an event like this, keep in mind to keep your gear light, wear some padding, because you will get shot at. Despite wearing a press vest, I was hit, and it does hurt. Paint ball players are a great bunch of individuals. Friendly bunch, and they do have a sense of honor. If you're hit, raise your hand, and declare that you are hit. They respect your honesty and will not shoot you. But, if you get hit, and do not call yourself out, they will pummel you for your dishonesty.