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Journey of my sports/wildlife photography setup

Photography, when I first entered into this wonderful world, there was no turning back. I remembered the first real influence on my photography and still am a huge influence today, it wass National Geographic, their wildlife photography, travels, photojournalism in visiting countries, cultures and history etc. Therefore, wildlife photography was a field that I liked a lot yet I didn’t really explore due to equipment and budget constraints.

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I have another area whereby I have a very strong interest and that is sports, playing, watching, analyzing and photographing high speed sports action, especially football, rugby, Formula One. Although my current setup did allow me to take sports and wildlife photography, comprising of the Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM. I have plans to raise myself to another level in my sports and wildlife photography, with the addition of a prime lens, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM Mark I.

The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM lens is an ideal dream lens (a basic prime lens for sports/wildlife and a must have lens) for most sports and wildlife photography, without going into too much of a comparison of which other prime lens (such as the 400mm, 500mm or 600mm) would be more suitable/better. I saw this beautiful lens probably about more than a year ago, it was a mint and well kept used lens. I tried and held it, knowing that it was a second hand lens, manufactured around June 1995.  Being a very cost conscious and prudent person, never rushing into buying anything (I am a typical Capricorn). I planned my budgeting, weigh the costs and “returns”, almost everyday dreaming about owning an excellent condition second hand telephoto L prime lens.

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After a period of time of contemplating and deciding, I finally made a decision that I never regretted, making a reservation for the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM Mark I lens and collecting it on the 22nd Sep 2012 that was Day 2 of Singapore GP 2012. I was very happy to own this beautiful and awesome lens, which can fulfill my sports and wildlife photography (mostly). However, the journey didn’t end here and it only just begun on 22nd Sep 2012, I realized that my current accessories such as tripod, monopod and ball head were unable to handle the weight of my Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM Mark I combination.

This was an enriching and enlightening journey, chatting with photography mentors/seniors, Uncle Nelson, Mr Chan, Philip and Daniel. I learned about how heavy a tripod and a ball head (respectively) can take the weight of my new heavy weight combination. There was quite a bit of homework to research the various tripod and ball head brands and their technical specifications. Further in-depth research and analysis was finding a tele-converter and considering a gimbal head for my setup. Finally, after intensive research, planning, weighing the costs and requirements, I decided on the following additional accessories, after 4 months of researching, planning, asking for advice. The purchase flow execution took place a few times over the 4 months, doing it stage by stage, from tele-converter, monopod, ball head, tripod and finally camouflage lens cover. With each individual item separately added over a period of 4 months and on the 22nd January 2013, the Lens Coat camouflage cover arrived, signifying the completion of sports and wildlife photography setup (first round).

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Here’s my sports and wildlife photography setup that I built up over a period of 4 months

-       Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM Mark I

-       Manfrotto 055XProB

-       Sirui Ball head

-       Monopod

-       Lens Coat Camouflage Neoprene Cover for EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM Non-IS Mark I

-       Canon Extender 1.4x Tele-Converter (TC) Mark I (Mint second hand condition)

-       Peak Design Leash (to strap onto my 300mm allowing easy carrying it around)

Along with my Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, these would be sports and wildlife photography setup. Not to forget my new jungle hat gift from my Scoutmaster friends in Hawaii, the multi-functional headwear buff by National Geographic and Oakley Half Jacket!

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This is my story, a journey of my sports/wildlife photography setup, which took time, patience, planning, budgeting and lastly dreaming to make it turn into a reality! With a planned post like this, a portrait shot with my gear was on my agenda. Fellow photographer Renhao kindly agreed to help me out and I had a new portrait/profile photo and new cover photograph for my Facebook Page (that would be updated soon!)

Looking and moving ahead, I promised to bring my sports and wildlife photography to a new and higher level, sharing with all my readers and supporters here, who had been following and supporting me all these time! Here are my sports and wildlife photography portfolio!

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- Wildlife Photography

- Sports Moments Photography

Flickr

- Sports Photography Collection

- Wildlife/Animal Photography Collection

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  1. [...] Journey of my sports/wildlife photography setup (Canon EOS 1D Mark III & EF 70-200mm f/4 L & more) –> read it here [...]

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