Low Light Venues and Slow Lenses

I haven’t blogged about the last few wrestling shows that I’ve shot, mainly because I’m posting them on Facebook and Twitter and don’t want to be too redundant with the photos.  To add a little interest I’ll write about the photography side and my lens choices. I’ve never been much of a wide angle shooter so I haven’t invested in a good wide angle lens but with wrestling you are so close you have to go wide.  I shot the April Funky Munky show with my Tamron 19-35 f3.5-4.5.  It would be categorized as a “slow” lens because of it’s 3.5-4.5 maximum aperture.  One of the downsides of a slow lens is that it doesn’t allow a lot of light in which makes the camera work harder to focus.  The Latin American club in Sterling has decent light so although I did have some trouble with focus I was happy with the number of good shots I got.  Here are two of my favorites below.

Funky Munky

Bucky Collins and Christian Rose


Funky Munky

Tyler Priegel and Judd the Janitor

In May, I went to Donahue, IA for Mississippi Valley Wrestling.  The venue was much darker and the slow lens was a bigger problem.  I did the best I could but missed a lot of good shots because of the focus problems.  Overall I wasn’t happy with my performance.  Here are a couple from that night below.


Markus Crane and Jason Pemberton


Knight Wagner and Moondog Bernard

The following night it was back to Funky Munky but this time they were in Kewanee and the light was poor.  I shot the first match with my 19-35 but then decided I didn’t want to fight the focus any more and switched to my 50mm f1.8.  Having a maximum aperture of 1.8 allows enough light in so the camera can focus.  The downside is that it’s a straight 50mm which is often too tight for the close quarters.  Despite missing shots because I couldn’t zoom out, I was much happier with the overall result.  When the tight shots work, I really like them.  Here are a couple examples below.

Funky Munky

Dan the Man and Aaron Xavier

Funky Munky

Tyler Priegel and Judd the Janitor

My solution is to finally purchase some good wide angle glass and get a 24-70 f2.8.  I’ll be able to focus in low light and zoom out when needed.

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