The Main Event

20 02 2012

If you live in Tokyo, the impending Tokyo Marathon is just around the corner. It’s a great opportunity to get out in the streets and shoot some pictures. The route passes through quite a wide selection of neighbourhoods, though with a little planning, you can usually get to several different spots during the course of the race. What I generally do, is pre-ride the course, in the week leading up to the event. I’m a big fan of cycling in Tokyo, and usually bike between shooting spots on the day.

As far as equipment goes, I like to pack light. One tele lens, one wide lens, 2 bodies, and a flash. And nothing very extreme either, in terms of the telephoto lens. A lot of people I talk to seem to form the impression that sports photography is always about huge telephoto lenses. I shot the image below on a 180mm lens:

I used a teleconverter with this shot, so the 180mm lens with 1.4x converter about equivalent to a 250mm lens. Adding the crop factor of the DX format camera, about a 375mm in fullframe. The disadvantages are, the AF slows down because of the reduced light into the camera, and the image quality is compromised. With top flight AFS prime lenses, the converter isn’t perhaps so much of a problem, however for the older ‘screwdrive’ lenses I really can’t recommend it.

The Tokyo Marathon bears like every other large city marathon, a number of fancy dress runners. Our Lord Jesus, for example:

Then there’s the Salaryman, every Disney, anime, and cosplay character you can think of,  the list is endless. All richly entertaining, given the often inclement weather.

I’ll be shooting from around sunrise till noon, and you’re welcome to join me if you have a bike to get around on; I’ve got a job to shoot in the afternoon, at the Russian Embassy, so I hope not to get too dishevelled in the morning!




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