Question: Will a 70-300mm Olympus lens work for golf photography?
Jess in Scotland is considering buying a new lens to photograph golf in its land of origin, and she’s wondering whether a 70-300mm for the Olympus platform will work.
Jess in Scotland asks:
I’m looking to buy a new lens for a few golfing tours coming up. Would this lens be compatible? (Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED zoom lens).
What do I want to look for for when buying a lens suiting for long distance movements??
(in the sun).
The short answer is that while that’s not a professional-quality lens, for shooting golf in daylight it should get the job done just fine.
One of the most important things to keep in mind during all types of photography is that your background can make or break your photos. When you’re shooting sports, you almost always want your subjects to be in focus and the background to be clean and free of distractions.
To achieve that effect, you’ll want to zoom in tightly on your subject and keep your aperture fairly wide. The more narrow your aperture is, the more you’ll have in focus in your shot. By keeping your aperture on a wider setting, you’ll ensure that your subject is in focus and the background around him/her will be nice and blurry (for those readers who don’t know, the lower the aperture number, the wider it is).
Olympus does offer lenses with a similarly broad focal range that are generally better suited for sports than the 70-300mm you’re considering. However, they are significantly more expensive. Their Zuiko 90-250mm f/2.8-3.5 lens, for example, goes for $5,900 (£3,407) on eBay. Their 300mm f/2.8 goes for $6,600 (£3,791).
The lens you’re looking at sells for about $360 (£207), which is a whole lot more manageable in the short term and much less costly if you decide to switch platforms in the future.
And it’ll work. Do your best to place plenty of distance between your subjects and things like crowds or trees that might clutter up your background. Also, try to show up nice and early to get a good spot, and don’t shoot during the participants’ backswing (golfers don’t take too kindly to that–I know a photographer who once mildly upset Tiger Woods with a noisy shutter).
Thanks for your question, and send us some shots from the tournament!